There’s drone photography, drone filmmaking, drone racing, drone dueling, and now, dronesurfing! Yes, you read that right – the newest craze when it comes to drones and their application in the world of sports is using the UAVs to surf and glide across the salty seas. The most similar sport to the growing phenomenon that is dronesurfing is kitesurfing, where those who partake hop on a board and are guided through the waters by holding onto a kite in motion. However, since this is 2016 and kites are so low-tech that they haven’t been used in anything really revolutionary since Benjamin Franklin discovered electricity with one, they are now being swapped out in favor of powerful drones.
The sport originated from Freefly Systems, a company based out of Seattle that decided to utilize their Alta 8 octocopter for some aquatic, summertime fun. Your typical consumer drone lacks the speed, capability and horsepower to pull a person across the water in an effective manner. Freefly’s 26-pound big kahuna was designed to carry professional camera equipment and can more than make up for the shortcomings of consumer drones (aka it can drag you across the ocean). The waverider isn’t necessarily in control, however. Until a system is built that allows the rider hanging onto the drone to control it, another party will have to navigate the drone so the rider can hang ten in the shallows. Check out dronesurfing in all of its radical glory by watching the video below.