Drones

Is dronesurfing the next wave in watersports?

Is dronesurfing the next wave ...
Freefly Systems has previewed a potential new sport: dronesurfing
Freefly Systems has previewed a potential new sport: dronesurfing
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Freefly Systems has previewed a potential new sport: dronesurfing
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Freefly Systems has previewed a potential new sport: dronesurfing
The rider manages to maintain a decent speed being pulled by the drone
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The rider manages to maintain a decent speed being pulled by the drone
Freefly Systems' Alta 8 drone features in the dronesurfing video
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Freefly Systems' Alta 8 drone features in the dronesurfing video

Drones have brought exciting new camera angles to sports coverage and even led to the development of the new sport of drone racing. Now, as a farewell to the summer, Seattle-based Freefly Systems has enlisted one of its drones for dronesurfing, a new take on kitesurfing where the kite pulling the rider across the water is replaced by a drone.

Even with a running start, pulling someone on a board across the surface of the water – even if that water is still and calm – requires more horsepower than the average consumer drone can put out. That's why Freefly used its Alta 8 octocopter, which is built to carry professional camera equipment weighing up to 12 kg (26.4 lb).

The rider manages to maintain a decent speed being pulled by the drone
The rider manages to maintain a decent speed being pulled by the drone

The svelte rider in the video manages to maintain a decent speed when being pulled by the drone and it definitely looks like a lot of fun if you've got the lightweight build for it, but anyone carrying a few extra kilos isn't likely to set any speed records – or possibly move at all.

So until drones get a bit more powerful – and maybe someone builds some simple drone control mechanism into the tow handle so the rider isn't at the navigational whims of a second person – you're unlikely to see hordes of dronesurfers at your favorite waterway for a while. But if you are keen to give it a shot, the Alta 8 retails for US$17,495.

You can check out the dronesurfing action in the video below.

Source: Freefly Systems

Dronesurfing

1 comment
habakak
Very cool! More power, longer battery life and controls on the tow handle and a new sport is born.