Flyak -- Is it for Real?

-- Last Updated: Mar-13-06 9:45 PM EST --

It's not April 1, but I did wonder when I first checked the link for the Flyak
This "kayak" built in Norway hydrofoils right up out of the water on 2 wings and proportedly can reach a speed of 16.9 miles per hour. The website offers theory to support these claims . . . I'd appreciate any of that explained in layperson terms. How would the stability (or lack thereof) compare to a narrow racing kayak? Who wants to try one? (I do).

Rank speculation welcomed!

Where do I send the check?!?
Thats amazing! Does the water have to be flat enough, how will it work in waves?

Boggles the mind doesn’t it?

I read another
article on is somewhere, but cannot find it now.

The impression it gave me was that one generally needs to be an “olympic level” paddler (perfect robotic-like stroke technique) to keep the foils on plane and turning on plane was very, very hard. Waves? Not a chance!

It was also in the March issue of Canoe
and Kayak

I believe it
Though I am not what you would call an Experienced Kayaker. Heck you couldn’t call me a rookie kayaker without degrading the skill level.

But I do have some backround in enginering. I use to work at a machine shop. You would be amazed at the technology in anything now.

I’m sure that is real. But as someone mentioned you probably have to have perfect strokes. I couldn’t balance that thing if it was in a vice.

Been out for a while now …
The foils are unaffected by waves to a degree since they remain subsurface… once the boat itself is out of the water that is.

Rent “Laird” at the video store to see how the foil technology can work on waves.

Have not tried this ( foilyak) but have used the adult tricycle looking thing that you simply ‘jump’ pump up and down on for propulsion in waves and it is amazingly , scalpel like smooth …

Paddler magazine this month has article
But the videos on that website are priceless. Clearly, if I paddled my butt off in my Pungo, I’d go fast too. Amazing? Only that he had Anna Choy in his garage and still wanted to get out on the water alone.

I want a dose of whatever he’s on.

Honestly, a fine new concept. By the way, it says in Paddler mag that it will be mass produced for around $2500, and that it starts with hull on the water, where it is relatively slow to get to speed, then paddle like a crazed beaver and once up, watch out!

Doubt he can turn the thing though, so there, Nah! (sticks out tongue). I see nary a video of turning on there. Flatwater, racing speeds only (there goes my shark fishing on hydrofoil kayak tour group idea). All my edging and bracing skills? Unnecessary. Rolling? A fiasco.

it’s real
I did a workout with some kids that saw the thing in action at a regatta in Europe last year. They said it is pretty cool. Way more stable than a regular ICF flatwater kayak and way faster. They said a relative novice could probably do 500m faster in the flyak faster than an Olympic champ could do it in a conventional ICF boat. They didn’t mention how long a fit paddler could keep the thing up or whether it turned, but for the novelty of sprinting really fast it was cool.

We were told the same story when the kayak was shown at a race last year:

Foils or not - it’s a sweet kayak. Is it a problem it doesn’t come with a keyhole shaped cockpit? :slight_smile:


Australian TV
It was featured on the Beyond Tomorrow TV program where they raced it against an Olympic K4 with all the paddlers being of an elite level. The K4 led initially but the Flyak overtook it towards the end.

It does require a lot of power to get it to fly. They tested the reporter and found she only had half the power to weight ratio necessary to make it fly.

Where can I get such a clean garage?
Does the little white suit really help?

ICF Rules and Mucking about in boats
Do the foils on the Flyak disqualify it from ICF competitions? (I’m guessing there is a rule in there somewhere). Will the future bring a separate racing category for “flying” kayaks? (I’m guessing yes). Will there ever be any practial purposes for this technology – for those of us who want to muck about the bay? (I’m guessing no.)


I’ve read some of artcles about human-powered hydrofoils. It’s apparently a delicate balance between having enough wing area to become foilborne and having the drag be low enough to allow sustained “flight”. Neat stuff!

That thing is cool!
I don’t care who ya are, that thing is cool.

The white suit says it all…Pimp my yak

I saw the video whee he launches from the shore with the trike thing. how do you recover from a capsize? Can you set it into position under you in the water and start pumping up and down and you get back up?


Hitch a parafoil kite to that Flyak…
and let the wind shuttle you along at, oh, about 75 mph. Just don;t tip; water resistence’ll rip your arm off cleanly at the collarbone.

Wonder how Marty McFly would do on one of these Flyaks?

This one?

The Future Of Surf Kayaking?

Those things look more dangerous than fins.