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Who’s that guy gliding along Kingston’s waterfront?

Phil Yendt rides his electric hydro-foil on Kingston’s waterfront. Photo by Paul Soucy

He easily draws as much of a crowd as is permitted wherever he goes. Gliding on the water like a hot knife through butter. You may have seen him at his usual spots, either at Confederation Basin or down by the Pump House Museum.

“Everyone who sees it is amazed and wants to know more,” he said. “Some people want to try it, some people are afraid of it, but it’s my addiction these days.”

His name is Phill Yendt, and he’s been riding his electric hydro-foil for nearly two years — for him, it’s a great way to get outdoors and social distance.

It looks like a mini surfboard with a seat and propeller.

“I use this handheld remote to control the propeller,” he said “Other than that it’s just balance.”

The hydro-foil can reach speeds of nearly 45 kilometres per hour, but Yendt says the feeling of gliding on the water that fast becomes uncomfortable.

“I’ve only maxed it out to see if I could,” he added.

Phil Yendt rides his electric hydro-foil for onlookers at Kingston’s waterfront. Photo by Paul Soucy.

It was years of watching the many kite-surfers along the Kingston shoreline that drew Yendt to this new sport. Many of the kite-surfers use an electric hydro-foil to reach the speeds they do, he said.

“It’s a unique feeling,” he said. “You’re basically standing two feet above water — it’s just this, sort of, a feeling flying.”

And when he’s reaching those speeds and gliding along the waters the way he does, you can’t hear a thing.

“It’s whisper-quiet,” he described it. “If you’re riding on a sea-doo or you’re wakeboarding, you can hear that constant smashing of the water. This when you’re lifting up above the water, there’s such little drag it’s almost complete silence.”

He’ll even ride behind the Wolfe Islander III if the weather is right. With a year and a half of experience under his belt, Yendt said he’s become a partner with the manufacturer and can offer lessons under their umbrella. For more information Phill can be reached at [email protected].

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