With the LIFT4, Lift Foils is trying to catch up again after competitors have been coming up with new technologies for two years. What's new with the Lift eFoil version 4?
It was about time that Lift Foils scores with innovations after the introduction of the E1 in 2018 and the versions E2 as well as LIFT3, where unfortunately there were always only marginal improvements. This job is now to be taken over by the new LIFT4.
E-SURFER tip: You want to buy an eFoil, but are not sure which one is right for you? We are happy to advise you in the store, by email or on the phone. Our eFoil comparison also helps as a first orientation.
Lift remains with the known board sizes, but does without the 5'9 Explorer on the LIFT4. That leaves three Lift eFoil 4 models:
- 4'2 Pro
- 4'9 Sport
- 5'4 Cruiser
The LIFT3 will only be offered as the low-priced fiberglass version LIFT3 F. And only as Sport and Cruiser version. The board shape of the LIFT4 does not seem to have changed compared to the 3 version.
Instead, new metallic colors are used (surcharge 1,190 EUR), which were also seen at least partially on the LIFT3. So there is not much new in the boards.
With the new metallic models, they tried to polish up the value a bit again at the end of 2022. With the LIFT4, there are now new carbon latches for the battery compartment.
Cables, cables & water cooling
One of the most obvious points where you could see the outdated technology of the Lift Foils boards was the huge controller box with six cables and the two water hoses in the battery compartment.
Other manufacturers like Fliteboard and Audi rely on passive cooling and a maximum of two to three cable connections. This facilitates the assembly and disassembly enormously and reduces sources of errors.
Unfortunately, the LIFT4 sticks with the many cables and water cooling. They have however updated the software to make the motor even quieter.
Safety features were the biggest problem with the Puerto Rico eFoils in 2022. The remote control was always armed after switching on and did not have a safety shutdown, which is now a standard with other manufacturers.
The Lift motor did shut off in a fall when the remote control hit the water, but above water the motor was always active. Locking the motor (like other manufacturers do) prevents accidental rotation of the propeller and potential injury.
Lift had tried to introduce at least a tilt feature (see photo above), but there were probably problems with dropouts, so this feature - according to our information - was discontinued at least last year.
With the 2023 Lift model, new safety features are supposed to have been installed. Details were not mentioned yet.
Propeller / Jet
Since 2022, jet propulsion has become more and more popular. Manufacturers like Audi, Fliteboard, Takuma, Jetfoiler, Waydoo and others rely on the safe and smooth jet drive, which makes injuries caused by an open propeller impossible.
While there are definitely reasons for experienced riders to prefer a propeller, as we explain in our eFoil buying guide, there remains a risk. While many manufacturers rely on plastic propellers that break on contact, Lift prefers aluminum propellers. While these aluminum propellers are strong and powerful, they also cut like in butter….
The LIFT4 does not offer jet propulsion and stays exclusively with propeller solutions. The LCS Quick Release System for a quick change of standard propeller and folding propeller was already introduced on the LIFT3.
Effective mast height
Lift Foils had already produced hydrofoil surfboards without motors for surfing, kitesurfing, etc. before the first eFoil. Therefore, they had attached the motor to the existing technology about 10 cm above the wings.
Other manufacturers have designed their models as an eFoil from the beginning and have therefore mounted the drive at wing level. This not only extends the effective mast length, but also allows for a smoother ride.
Lift has not introduced any improvement here with the new 2023 board.
Lift has been promising the new Elite hand controller for over two years, but the launch has been delayed again and again. The remote on the Lift3 is still at 2018 levels and very limited in functionality.
The Lift remote is very robust, but also very limited in functionality compared to other manufacturers. It was on the same level as 2018 until 2022.
The LIFT4 remote stays with the same form factor but gets at least a few software updates and is supposed to be even more robust. Still no Elite remote, unfortunately.
A major new feature on the LIFT4 seems to be the battery, as it is labeled as 4th generation. I was not aware that there was a 2nd or 3rd generation? At least at first glance, it seems to have been improved with the reinforcements on the grip and edges. I quite like the military look, but ultimately it comes down to functionality.
The battery charging time has been shortened thanks to new software. The full range battery should now charge in 50 minutes. Before, it was about 80 minutes.
However, they probably didn't want to sacrifice compatibility with old Lift Foils models, so the connectors and thus probably the inner workings are probably pretty much identical. As in 2022, there is the familiar Full Range battery as well as the smaller Light battery.
At the end some more news. There are new wings again. The new Camber Wings come in the sizes 160, 210 and 270 and are supposed to be smoother to ride.
The new Lift Foils in Carbon and Metallic optic, full range battery as well as LCS Propeller is priced at about 15.439 EUR incl. 19% VAT plus shipping according to the Lift website.
LIFT 4 Conclusion
Unfortunately again only a facelift from Lift Foils. There are new wings and also a new outer design for the batteries, but in the end the technology stays on the spot even in the fifth year. Lots of cables, little safety and hardly any new features.
Of course, it's fair to mention that Lift boards for big wave riding are still among the market leaders along with Fliteboard. The board is very robust, has a wide range of wings and offers a folding propeller. This also makes sense, because after all Lift comes directly from the ocean and founder Nick Leason is a very good surfer.
But for the German and main European market one addresses a very small target group here.
The current platform of Lift Foils probably does not allow any major innovations. So you would have to bring completely new boards to the market in 2024 to catch up again. However, this would probably mean that there would be no compatibility with the current components. But this would be fine I guess.