Today in Nothing Is Sacred: Dronesurfing Is Now a Sport

Where we're kitesurfing, we don't need wind

By Reuben Brody

 
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12 September 2016

Wakeboarding: the act of surfing behind a boat that pulls you across the water.

Kitesurfing: the act of surfing behind a kite that pulls you across the water.

Dronesurfing: the act of surfing behind a drone that pulls you across the water.

Wait, what?

Yeah, dronesurfing. It’s exactly what it sounds like, and it’s still in its infancy.

Seattle-based Freefly just used its Alta 8 'copter to pull a kiteboarder across the water for the first time. The Alta series can do this while also supporting a 25-pound camera, although the battery life decreases more quickly with additional weight.

Before you run out to try this at home, not that the drone's use in surfing has limitations at present. For one, you need someone on shore to fly it via remote. Second, you need to be very thin. Third, you'll probably need a charging station nearby if you plan on doing it for more than 20 minutes at a time. But as you can see from the video below, the boarder gets great speed and can even ollie.

The octo-blade Alta 8 retails for close to $18K, so unless you’re a serious filmmaker, you may want to hold off on catching this wave.

The Specifics

Freefly
ALTA 8

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