We’ve said many times how much the 2013 America’s Cup has changed boating – by creating foiling fever. The excitement generated by the AC72 foling catamarans has spawned all kinds of boating craft that lift off at speed.
Now you can join the foiling fun in 2020 when the foiling monohulls take the water for the America’s Cup in New Zealand – with a Manta5 foiling ebike. It’s an electric-assist fully foiling bike that weighs in at a hefty 63lbs, has a top speed of about 13mph, and will last about 5 hours on a charge. You can even pick yours up on your way to the America’s Cup, because they are headquartered in New Zealand.
It won’t be delivered until late 2019, but you can now put your name on the list to get one (along with the pleasure of a 10% deposit). Price? US$7495. That ain’t cheap, but it’s quite a bit of tech. Heck, some bikers will pay $15K for a road bicycle. We’d rather have two of these.
The idea is to capture the joy of biking on the water, which is no small task. You have to combine just the right foils with the right amount of assist from the electric motor.
If you live where the water is cold, note that you have to start the thing up under water and pedal your way out (see video). It’s also heavy. The marketing shows people slinging the thing over their shoulders – and maybe the music drowns out the grunts. And it’s new – so you can probably expect some bugs. But hey, we think it’s pretty cool.
The company bringing you this bike was founded in 2011 by Guy Howard-Willis and Roland Alonzo, both cyclists. They thought the lack of a water option for cycling was a huge problem (now that we think of it, so do we!). It’s been a long journey for these guys and we’re sure they are having some fun along the way.
In fact, the journey from start till now is a great story, captured in a Tedx talk in the video below. If you’ve ever had a dream about a product or business idea (and like messing around with boats), it’s an interesting talk.
We’ll be following the Manta5 as they move toward launch. At $7495, we have to think hard about buying one, but we are thinking about it!