Wonder back to 2010 when a New Zealand outdoors entrepreneur named Guy Howard-Willies conceived the idea for Manta5. In the years since, bicycle designer Roland Alonzo brought the concept to life in the form of an electric-assist pedal-powered hydrofoil bike.
The Manta5 has an aluminium frame, two carbon fibre hydrofoils that provide life, and a 400-watt motor that augments the rider's pedalling power to turn the propeller.
The whole thing weighs around 20kg and can be partially disassembled for transport in the back of any car. It is designed for riders weighing between 70 and 100 kg and can be used in both fresh and salt water.
As with land-going electric bikes, the rider can adjust the amount of electrical assistance provided. The current Mnata5 prototype version can run for an average of about one hour per charge of its removable battery and reach a top speed of 15 to 20 km/h.
"I want these bikes to go well beyond just being a leisure product – I want it to be a sports product so it's competitive," says Howard-Willis. "If it's competitive it's a whole different market it fits into, and who knows, one day it might be in the Olympic games. I can see that, it may take a while to get there, maybe I'm too ambitious but, like I say, I've always been a dreamer."
While you watch the video below of the Manta5, keep an eye open as you can see a couple of prototypes in action: