TAU’s innovative Water Vehicle Surfboard (WVS) is a new type of surfboard with a V-shaped hydrofoil wing equipped with means of propulsion. In one embodiment electric motor(s) attached to the hydrofoil generates the thrust required to lift the board out of the water and hover above the water surface as a low flying vehicle. The craft is controlled by the rider shifting its weight across the board or by thrust vectoring or by steering of the front foil (if exists).

Hydrofoils are known to possess high-energy efficiency as means of sea transportation for quite some time. In recent years, the use of wave and wind surfing boards have become a very popular water sport. More recently, underwater wings were attached by a thin strut to surf- boards to lift the board above the water level, decrease water resistance and increase speed. The wings “foiling” the board above the water level also contain an empennage, a connecting body and a mast to fix the wings under the surfboard and keep the wings submerged underwater while control its pitch angle.

Our WVS technology solves the safety and efficiency issues in existing hydro foiling vehicles- surfboards.
Safety – Current devices contain many free-sharp edges, that if come at high speed into contact with another swimmer, especially a child’s face, could result in serious injury. Note that typical speeds could reach 40kmh and total vehicle weight with a rider can exceed 100kg.
Efficiency – The invention also solves a significant lack of efficiency of the current devices, as indicated by their declared power rating. Existing concepts require 3-5kW of power, while for our device preliminary estimates indicate that 1kW will be sufficient at identical conditions.
Stability – Current devices are dynamically unstable in roll and are controllable only by moving the center of gravity of the surfer. Our device is statically stable in most modes of motion and therefore does not require a highly agile rider.

Our proposed solution is a WVS which can carry a single or several riders, standing, sitting, or lying on a rigid board. Depending on the speed of WVS, the board can reside at the water surface or be lifted above it.  The weight of WVS and the riders is compensated by lift force. The lift force is created by the V-shaped wing/s-hydrofoil piercing the water surface, typically at an angle, as in existing hydrofoil ships. The WVS may use a single rear V-wing, or one stern and front V-wing.
As the speed of the WVS increases, the lift created by the V-wing also increases with the dynamic pressure.  After the speed exceeds a certain threshold, lift becomes sufficiently large to elevate the board and the surfer/s “take-off” above the water level.

FIG. 1   A general view of the Water Vehicle Surfboard (WVS) with a V-wing assembly connected under the board with two motors. The modes of motion correspond to the nautical terminology.

Our WVS can used be as a recreational vehicle for surfing in still, wavy or windy seas, lakes, ponds, and rivers.
It can also be used by emergency or security forces for rapid, quiet, long-distance operations.


Provisional patent application

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