CLC powerboat pulling a hydrofoil board

Does anyone have any experience or thoughts on this? I just finished building a foil and a board to go with it. My plan was just to learn to jump off the dock and pump with it, but then I thought that getting towed by a boat would be a lot of fun too. But I know next to nothing about boats that aren't powered by human muscles and paddles. 

Any thoughts on electric out board motors and if they are even powerful enough with current tech would be awesome too


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RE: CLC powerboat pulling a hydrofoil board

  You know there are electric surf boards?  For example, Top 11 Best Electric Surfboards | 2023 Reviews (Awake, Liftfoil) - Surf Hungry

Towed behind the boat............The newer foils, gas or electric, can be started from the beach. From our water sking days and an "air chair" I can tell you that water depth and clear of obsticles seems to be the greatest danger behind other boat traffic.  Our ski boat is powered by a  V-8 so the power to get the board/chair up was small thing.  The air chair needed 20 to 25 mph for good control.  A skilled boat captain will help control wake problems. The boat should have mirrors. We tow from a center post.  A floating line is necessary to keep the line from fouling the prop. It is best for there to be a spotter in the boat especially in busy boat traffic areas.  Launching from a dock is often how stories with bad endings start for the beginners. Launching from floating in the water is better.  PFDs are a good idea and often required in some states. 

Don't know about your foil. 


RE: CLC powerboat pulling a hydrofoil board

   I'm having trouble loading the pics of the board/foil I made but it's the one from Clearwater Hydrofoils. The wood/foam kit with the 2300 cm foil. 
min regards to e-foils and surfboards, I've used e-foils, and they're cool, but it's not really what I'm going for. 



RE: CLC powerboat pulling a hydrofoil board

Is this your foil kit?

So what's pumping in this context? Is it something like getting a swing going except that the result is forward motion?

Clearwater's page claims that all the foil needs is 5 mph to fly. So the question is, do any of the CLC power boats have enough spare oomph to get you and the board up to 5 mph or more.

I wouldn't be surprised if you couldn't do it with quiet, low wake wind power with an Outrigger Junior.

If you're within range of BLBF, it could be fun to bring your board along and see what CLC boat can tow it. Typically the Peeler Skiff is there to act as a safety boat, someone may bring a Cocktail Racer, John Staub usually brings his OJ for the sailboat races and Mark N paddles his kayak like hell.



RE: CLC powerboat pulling a hydrofoil board

Yup, that is the kit I built. 

Pumping, to the best of my ability to describe looks a bit like someone doing continuous Ollie's on a skateboard and the up/down motion can keep one going forward  it's pretty tough  I'm figuring it out though  

I'm in California so BLBF is pretty far away. 

Thanks for the input!

RE: CLC powerboat pulling a hydrofoil board


OK, the ollie meant even less to me than pumping. I admit it, I'm the wrong age. My skateboard was steel wheels with ball bearings attached to a wooden board and I only got to ride it after I'd finished skinning the dinosaur that dad caught that morning. So here's a great YouTube video explaining the whole thing.for others like me following this thread.

Good luck,


RE: CLC powerboat pulling a hydrofoil board

   Back when..........we used to try to pull a real skinny, short girl behind a Hobie 16, sail catamarand, on a pair of water skis.  We had good trade winds, but success was maybe 1 in 10. The problem was that the initial power to pull her up out of the water took too long for the light weight boat to generate. Then too when she did get up increased drag during turns slowed the boat down. 

Good luck. 


RE: CLC powerboat pulling a hydrofoil board

   I don't have any experience with newer electric motors or how much power they might now be putting out.

Pletny of experience towing skiers, tubers, and (back in the day) an old home made "barn door" type wooden board we used to ride on as youngsters before old enough to water ski.

For what you want to do, I'd think a Peeler Skiff with a 15 hp might work.

I'm sure my Rhode Runner with 25 hp will work.  It won't pull a water skier, but even with my 230 lbs on a commercial canvas covered "tube" thing I found it more than fast and exciting enough for this old man - airborne over wakes, etc.. And one or two kids on the tube had a blast.  A tube is much more drag than your board will ever be, up on foil or not.

I don't think any other CLC boats will meet your needs.

RE: CLC powerboat pulling a hydrofoil board

   Forgot to add - apart from the bigger, modern speed-sailers, I'd say the sailboat of choice for towing a water skier is an A-scow!  An awesome boat, and what a ride!

Couldn't find a video of an A-scow, but this looks like an E-scow with a skier - wow! 

And finally, some A-Scows at Torch Lake Yacht & Country Club, Michigan, sailing past the club  where I worked as sailing director and life guard in HS/college years '76-'81 (note the tower on the point and the dock where I spent many hours).  What a fast, powerfull boat! 

RE: CLC powerboat pulling a hydrofoil board

   Just logged in after not being on in a while. Thanks Bubblehead for the good tips and cool links as well. 

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