Article taken from the June 2021 issue of Forbes Italy. Subscription!
Transform your interests At work is what Jay Howard Willis, a New Zealand watersports entrepreneur with a strong passion for cycling, and the founder of the company has done. Manta5. Today, for fans of water sports, a revolutionary novelty has appeared: the world’s first e-bike, produced by Manta5 in New Zealand and finally also available in Italy, Switzerland and Malta. To distribute the product exclusively will be Aquarid, a player specializing in water navigation, which serves as a regional car rental hub.
Equipped with an electric motor and carbon fiber paper (just like the America’s Cup boats), the Manta5 Hydrofoil is designed to faithfully reproduce the experience of cycling on water and is the product of seven years of design and seven prototypes before reaching the final model. “I am happy that Aquaride is the protagonist of this new adventure that will revolutionize the world of cycling and boating by creating a synergy between land and sea,” he said. Danilo FrattiniCEO of Aquarid. “It was love at first sight; the innovative idea, design, contexts of use, the prospect of creating a new sports discipline and the green aspect sparked a curiosity that translated into active participation, adding to the founder’s personal and business vision aimed at the product development and sports movement.” Halfway between innovation and design, the new model represents new frontiers for cycling and water sports thanks to advanced components and high-level materials such as carbon fiber for the foil and aviation aluminum for the frame that allows the boat to float in favor of portability out of the water.
“Italy is the ideal location for the development of the Hydrofoil e-bike not only from a commercial point of view, but also from a sporting point of view,” added Mark Robotham, CEO of Manta5. The goal of Manta5, which Aquariide shares in full, is in fact to make Hydrofoil Cycling a new sport that can include athletes of all types and levels of readiness: an individual sport, able to enhance the environment through a vehicle. Completely ecological and landscape riches of the territory. Easily maneuverable in the water, from a performance point of view, the Hydrofoil’s yield is finally comparable to that of a road or mountain bike: a 460-watt electric motor providing seven levels of pedal assist, and battery autonomy around four hours on a single charge. The product will be able to advance the tourism promotion of the enormous Italian-Swiss water heritage and, as Frattini noted, “contribute to the creation and development of pioneering initiatives at the national level and the creation of new employment opportunities.”