After a variety of sports and activities introduced drone technology, drones have also made their way into surfing. Freefly’s professional ALTA 8 is a drone meant to replace surfing kites. These drones can tow a surfer into the open waters and back to the shore. Drones generally can carry a limited payload and drones which can carry actual humans are quite big. With the ALTA 8, surfers can get a new edge to their sport with this compact yet powerful drone which is capable of towing humans.
With increasing technology, drones are becoming more capable of lifting and handling heavier payloads without increase in their size. Washington based Freefly mainly designs cinematic drones capable of carrying shooting equipment but with surfing octacopter it has successfully demonstrated its efficiency of towing humans. They shot a demonstration video which became extremely popular. In the video a surfer can be seen sprinting and then getting onto the board while the ALTA 8 leads the way towing the surfer into the water a great speed. One of the main advantage is that the surfer will be able to control the direction of his route whereas surfing kites relied on winds and would not be of much help in harsh weather conditions.
However, the ALTA 8 comes with a price tag of $17,000. Traditional surfing kites may be a lot cheaper but the thrill, speed and versatility of a drone is unmatchable.
Watch the demonstration of drone surfing by Freefly Systems: