A serendipitous journey
When flying home from a trip to the US in January 2020, Flite Founder & CEO David Trewern saw Marc Newson on the seatback screen presenting his Yard Boot design for Australian brand, R.M. Williams. He was sitting in a Newson designed Qantas Business seat.
“Marc was a design hero of mine 30 years earlier when studying Design at University. I had always admired the purity of form of Newson’s work. I even documented Marc’s design ethos and aesthetic in my first Fliteboard business plan. Seeing Marc on the screen led to a daydream about collaborating with him on a future Fliteboard. The universe has a funny way of making connections when intentions are strong,” says David.
Two weeks later, during the Australian bushfires that came to be known as the Black Summer, Flite organised a raffle to raise funds by offering a chance to win a Fliteboard. Within a week over 1,000 tickets had been sold, with all entries ending up in David’s inbox. His executive assistant was busy deleting the emails as they arrived, so he only ever saw a handful. When one of those slid into his inbox with the name Marc Newson, David immediately reached out.
“Marc responded within a minute expressing enthusiasm for our brand and products. Before long I was meeting with Marc on a trip to London, and a collaboration began with the clear intent to create the ultimate Fliteboard.”
Reimagining an icon
Fliteboard, sometimes thought of as a flying surfboard, is a creation that has captured both of their imaginations. Much like their shared love of supercars, there is a fascination with the limits of what humans can do with physics, engineering and design.
Renowned as the market-leading eFoil, Fliteboard has won all the awards, from a Red Dot best of the best to Good Design Gold to a Green Product award. Living on the edge of innovation means the journey is never over. Reimagining an icon needed iconic thinking.
A new visionary
Marc Newson has designed everything from spacecraft to cars, mega yachts, watches and furniture. Arguably the world’s greatest living designer, he has created masterpieces for Apple, Louis Vuitton, Ferrari, Hermès and Riva. He is the only industrial designer represented by Gagosian and set a record for the most expensive object sold by a living designer with his Lockheed Lounge.
Form follows function
The mission of the Flite x Marc Newson collaboration was to create a lighter, stiffer, stronger and more responsive eFoil than any in existence. The design was informed by the technology, with the fundamental question: how far can we take this intersection of art and science?
Designing the future
With an uncompromising commitment to using the best materials and construction techniques that humans have discovered, their design ideals have resulted in unparalleled craftsmanship and performance. This sophisticated work of art is limited to a one-time release of 999 full configurations and will be revealed at the London Gagosian Gallery in September 2023. You can pre-order yours here.