Drone-Surfing: Hang Loose With Freefly Systems’ Alta 8

Freefly Systems’ Alta 8 drone was designed to carry heavy film equipment with the help of 8 powerful rotors. Know what else it can do? Help you surf.

byMarco Margaritoff|
Drone-Surfing: Hang Loose With Freefly Systems’ Alta 8

Here at The Drive Aerial, we've been covering the Drone Racing League's championship. Racing drones through amazingly designed tracks and having it broadcast on ESPN is pretty cool, as are the Aerial Sports League's "Game of Drones" battles taking place in the Bay Area. What could possibly be more impressive than creative drone-related concepts like these? Welcome to "Dronesurfing", which is exactly what it sounds like. Thanks to Freefly Systems' Alta 8 drone, which was purposefully developed to carry heavy loads such as cameras and other film-related equipment, the Alta has 8 rotors. This gives it the power to lift - or pull - a substantial amount of weight. Say, something weighing around 150 to 200 pounds. Like a surfer.

Ok, so the Alta can't exactly pull a person from a standstill into motion. According to Gizmodo, you can't just be stationary and wait for it to pull you across the ocean - you'll have to work for it. That's why the surfer below has to make an effort to provide some momentum for the Alta, by getting a running start and hopping onto the board before the Alta begins pulling him across the water. Still, this is an incredibly cool idea to use drones for, as it's not only creative and functional, but even feels satisfying and cathartic to watch without even participating oneself. Check out this video from Freefly Systems below to see the Alta and surfer work in tandem to get to a beautifully smooth ride across the ocean.

What do you think? Pretty impressive, right? Whenever it seems like we've collectively wrapped our heads around the possibilities that drones are offering us as a culture and society, something like this pops up and makes us re-asses everything all over again. Drones are here to stay, and are only getting better - lighter, stronger, smaller. The more capable these UAVs get, the more specific and creative their uses will become. It's videos like the one above that make you smile, and tingle at the excitement of what possible other ways to use UAVs there are. Who knows? Maybe you'll be the one to think of the next big thing.