Is drone surfing the future of kiteboarding?

September 19, 2016 | Kiteboarding
Drone surfing: Henning Sandstrom rides a an $17,500 octocopter

A drone company has probably reinvented the sport of kitesurfing. Enter the man-machine world of drone surfing.

In a distant future, you might not need the wind to go kiteboarding. Freefly Systems has unveiled an $17,500 octocopter that can tow a human across the water.

The idea was first tested with a skateboard on a parking lot. But the results were so impressive that the team behind the Alta 8 octocopter decided to open a new chapter.

The outcome is a spectacular new water sport; a blend between kiteboarding, skimboarding, wakeboarding and surfing, but with a technological twist.

Henning Sandstrom, a former pro kiteboarder from Sweden, grabbed a skimboard and rode the drone in the waters of Dash Point Park in Tacoma, Washington. He even pulled a few tricks and carved his rails on the glassy lake.

Tabb Firchau, the co-founder of Freefly, says that because Sandstrom was gliding over water, it doesn't take as much force to pull him. However, for drone surfing to become a reality, technology has to evolve so that the pulling force and the overall autonomy can be significantly increased.

Will we reach that stage? We will. But while we wait for it to happen, let's just use drones for filming our surf from above.