I have spent all of my summers for as long as I can remember on Lake Muskoka. My best years were spent as a sailing instructor at SMSC but since then I have explored many different areas of interest in Muskoka. I also have a degree in Environmental Studies and a strong passion for fighting climate change. Throughout my lifetime I have seen Lake Muskoka go from a social and moderately busy lake to an extremely busy and over crowded lake. Every year the boat traffic seems to get worse and worse and on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon it’s starting to get out of hand. The biggest culprits are Wake surfing boats, as the sport has increased in popularity drastically over the past decade, and especially in the past few years. It is leaving us with tons of boat waves rolling in every direction, causing for a rather unpleasant view, a bumpy cruise and leading to damage of boats, docks, boathouses and more importantly to the fragile shoreline ecosystem.
There are also a lot of carbon emissions, sediment agitation, noise pollution, and water pollution (from cleaning chemicals to gasoline spills) that come as side effects of boating on our freshwater resources. There is a constant battle between wanting to enjoy fun water sports such as wakeboarding and wake surfing and wanting to live more sustainably and reducing our carbon footprint. Thankfully we are finally seeing advancements in electric foiling technology. We are not far away from electric foiling boats that don’t produce waves, loud noise or require any gas or oil. Even more exciting is that Electric foiling surf boards (AKA E-foils) are now available for purchase in Muskoka. With an E-foil you can enjoy the rush of a surf-like feeling while feeling good about using renewable energy to power your batteries. If you want to try out foil boarding before buying, The Muskoka Store has a great rental program for E-foils that is really affordable and a lot cheaper than renting a jet ski for the day! Day rentals start at $150!
The Federation of Ontario Cottagers Association (FOCA) has warned us before that boat wakes have been shown to have increasingly detrimental effects on Loons and other birds that nest along the shore (FOCA.ON.CA). Wake surfing is a fun watersport, but the negative impacts it has on the shoreline and open water far outweigh the fun times on the wake surf. Wake surf boats are highly inefficient, lugging around an extra 1000-2000 lbs of weight in their ballast tanks in order to weigh down the boat and make a bigger wave. They are also inefficient in the manner that they are driven for wake surfing, plowing through the water at transition speed, never quite reaching planing speed. From an economic and environmental standpoint this really doesn't make sense. Lugging around all of that extra weight means that these boats are burning even more gas and emitting even more Co2 into our atmosphere. Not to mention the amount of money that cottagers are burning up in an afternoon of wakesurfing.
If you spend time E-foiling instead of wake-surfing you will greatly reduce the amount of carbon emissions, man made waves on the lake, pollution and money spent on gas. Now you can feel good about your time spent on the water, knowing that you are not taking away from anyone else’s enjoyment of the lake too. Try E-foiling….it’s so much fun!
You can find me demoing the Waydoo Flyer board around Lake Muskoka, Rousseau and Joe this summer. You might find me doing Demos at Tulos/Turtle Jacks in Port Carling, Boston Pizza in Gravenhurst, around the Kee to Bala, Near the Falls in Bracebridge or at your local Marina (Pride Marina, Spirit Bay, Walkers Point…). I will also be offering training sessions if anyone is interested. If you also love surfing/windsurfing, snowboarding, longboarding, wakeboarding, watersports and all adrenaline packed boarding activities then E-foiling is right for you! If you're interested in joining the fun find me on Instagram @RyanLind_ to check out my latest E-foiling content, you can send me a DM or call/text me (Ryan Lind) at 9054847782.