Skip to main content

Surfer uses custom hydrofoil surfboard to cross Hawaii’s most dangerous waters

Kai Lenny Hydrofoil Surfing
Hawaiian big-wave surfer and all-around water athlete extraordinaire Kai Lenny pulled off an unprecedented feat this month, riding an impressive 50 miles on his unique hydrofoil surfboard. Lenny traversed a channel referred to as the Alenuihaha — a crossing which connects Hawaii’s Big Island to the island of Maui — regarded as one of the most dangerous stretches of open water on the planet. While the achievement itself is impressive, Lenny didn’t do it simply for fun but rather to kick off a massive statewide cleaning of each Hawaiian island.

Like hydrofoils found on boats — which lift the hull off the water to increase speed — Lenny’s surfboard hydrofoil props him a few feet above the ocean, almost giving off the appearance he’s riding a Back to the Future II-style hoverboard. Though the distance between the Big Island and Maui (along the Alenuihaha channel) registers at just 30 miles, the total distance covered accounts for Lenny’s actual trajectory which didn’t end up being a straight point-to-point journey.

“The longest hydrofoil downwinder I’ve done so far, with the longest swells I’ve ridden so far,” said Lenny via an Instagram post. “50 miles on the foil during my crossing of the Alenuihaha (Hawaii island to Maui).”

To get started on the course, Lenny received a small slingshot headstart from a group of Red Bull-affiliated rowers before embarking along the channel. As mentioned above, he completed the triumphant tour to satisfy the larger endeavor of cleaning up the Hawaiian islands. An effort he’s started with the help of Red Bull, Sustainable Coastlines Hawaii, Surfrider, the Hawaii Wildlife Fund, and 5Gyres, Lenny not only plans to help clean but intends to travel between islands via his hydrofoil board.

Lenny documented his remarkable trek on his Instagram account, which is where the famous surfer figures to likely publish updates on future rides and cleaning efforts.

Rick Stella
Former Digital Trends Contributor
Rick became enamored with technology the moment his parents got him an original NES for Christmas in 1991. And as they say…
I turned my van into an office with a battery-powered AC and heat pump
An EcoFlow Wave 2 air conditioner and heat pump inside a Mitsubishi Delica van.

Like a lot of remote workers, I know I’m lucky to be able to work from home. I have a home office with a comfy leather chair, a skylight, and an oversized doofus of a dog, Marty, who reclines adorably on the couch behind me for Zoom meetings. But I’d also be lying if I didn’t admit I go a little stir crazy from time to time, yearning to work from somewhere other than the same place I eat, sleep, and relax.

How about a van? I bought my 1990 Mitsubishi Delica for camping, but it always seemed like it could serve as a mobile office with a view, if not for one critical shortcoming: For nine months out of the year in Portland, it’s too cold, and for the other three, it’s too hot. Without adding thousands of dollars for a battery power system, my best bet was heavy socks and gloves. But EcoFlow gave me a glimmer of hope at CES 2023 when I spotted the EcoFlow Wave 2. With an onboard battery, it promised to heat or cool anywhere, no external power system needed.

Read more
I was wrong. E-bikes are so practical, they’re a transit cheat code
An Aventon Level 2 ebike sits outside a grocery store.

Confession: Despite loving both bikes and gadgets, e-bikes never excited me. Compared to my bicycle, e-bikes seemed unfair. Compared to my motorcycle, they seemed slow. Compared to my car, they seemed impractical.

But with $1,500 federal e-bike rebates potentially on the horizon at part of E-Bike Act, I decided it was past time to reconsider. Not just because 30% off would make them way more accessible, but because the entire idea that e-bikes could be worthy of a rebate changed the way I looked at them: less as toys, more as transit. Had I written off an entire way of getting around because I was looking at it the wrong way?

Read more
Upway launches one of the best marketplaces for certified e-bikes, new or not
Man holding ebike from Upway in a field, lifestyle image.

This content was produced in partnership with Upway.
It wasn't too long ago that e-bikes were a rare sight, but all of that has changed, and rightfully so. Electric bikes are all over the road these days, and there are many brands either venturing into the technology, to launch their own versions of the sustainable transportation option or reiterating existing and traditional designs. From Aventon to Schwinn, or RadPower to Momentum, with so many opportunities, the prevailing question is, where do you go to find the best deals and the best information about these brands and their e-bike models? The answer is Upway, the number one certified electric bike provider and an official partner to many of the aforementioned brands.

What is Upway, exactly? It's a marketplace, specializing in e-bikes, featuring an inventory that's sourced from some of the best brands in the world. There are American brands -- like Specialized, Cannondale, and RadPower -- and European brands -- like Riese, Muller, and VanMoof. The best part is the discounts, offering up to 60% off retail, for a plethora of brands. Upway is on a mission to make sustainable mobility affordable for everyone. It's also one of the best places to go for a new or pre-owned e-bike, and here's why:

Read more