Demand is also growing in NRW
Also in North Rhine-Westphalia, supplier Frank Koehler from “efun Europe” reported increased demand. He has clients in Krefeld, Cologne and Dusseldorf who are interested in buying an eFoil. However, according to Kohler, there are still many people who say, “I’ve never seen that before.”
However, the growing public awareness is not only met with fascination. In Saxony, flakes – that is, the fins on the underside of the plate – are generally banned in lakes. This includes the eFoil. There is a danger of the horizontally oriented wings being underwater, “since they are not visible to other users in the vicinity and therefore can be dangerous. The achievable speeds are also higher,” says a spokesperson for the Ministry of Transportation. So far there are no uniform regulations in Germany.
In Bavaria, for example, according to a ministry spokesperson, electric watercraft do not require registration, but do require approval. eFoils are allowed in inland waterways – eg large rivers such as the Rhine and Danube – explains a spokeswoman for the Federal Waterways and Shipping Administration (WSV).
A Saxon authority commissioned a study to investigate the potential danger of the wards in more detail. The spokesperson explains that with a special permit, surfers are allowed to use foil in Saxony. Rüdiger Pusch, who leads the eFoil courses at Störmthaler See for season two, took one of these courses.
About 15,000 euros for an eFoil
Here, too, the demand is certainly present. But: “It’s not going to be a huge product,” Bosch thinks. Especially when buying an eFoil, people with around 15,000 euros will have to spend a lot of money. Depending on the provider, the courses cost around 200 euros. The course leader criticizes the ban imposed by the Saxon authorities: “You have to be careful. But you can set some rules.”
Thomas Weinhardt, president of the Federation of German Water Sports Schools, considers the state’s arguments flimsy. Foil sports are not without danger. But other water sports without chips are also allowed, which are much faster and no less dangerous. The compromise could be setting specific zones or time slots for athletes on the lakes.
In any case, Vivian Heymann is convinced of eFoil and is sure: “Now you have to try it again.”
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