Here's a brief rundown on the state of motorized surfing
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 27 January, 2014 - It's 2014, aren't we all supposed to be zipping around the lineup on jetpacks by now? For some reason, the motorized revolution has been slow to catch on. Let's face it, the last few movements in surfing have been dekonstructionist in nature: Stand Up Paddleboards, Alaias, handplanes and bodysurfing. So we wonder, were we all scarred by that brief period in the '80s when petrolheads tore up lineups on JetSkis? Probably not, the bulk of surfers today didn't surf during that period.
Maybe the simple act of riding a wave (and by extension, the ocean's energy) is what we're all trying to connect with, and putting a motor on your surfboard dilutes that 'pure' connection. For those of you looking past the 'pure' connection and who want to mainline some motorized fun, below is a rundown of three motorized boards.
The MXP-3 from Germany's Waterwolf is part surfboard, part personal watercraft. The MXP-3 can reach flat water speeds up to 21 mph. Unlike the WaveJet, the Waterwolf MXP-3 is not designed for waves. The concept is that once on a motorized, self-propelled board, those looking for new stoke territory will hit the flat water outposts. The practice has been described as electric moto-surfing.
The MXP-3 is powered by a 5 kW water-cooled motor driving a propeller in back, so be careful. The 20 Ah lithium-ion battery, which is housed in a watertight case, provides enough run time for about 20 to 25 minutes of water play or 5 miles of range before requiring a three-hour charge. Waterwolf says that its propeller drive is fine-tuned for quick, sure turning and maneuvering.
The other motorized surfboard of note is the PowerSki JetBoard. The inventors have taken the basic shape of a surfboard and built in asmall and flat 45 horsepower motor capable of propelling it to 40 mph. With the rear thrust, rail and the three fins beneath, the JetBoard carves and generates G-forces up to 6G. The claim is that the JetBoard never cavitates or slides out and boasts of being stable even during high speed turns.
The WaveJet is a personal water propulsion (PWP) device that adds a little motor power to paddling. Unlike the JetBoard and Waterwolf which use motor power, the WaveJet has the more modest objective of assisting riders into waves. The company claims it lets the rider paddle up to four times faster.
The WaveJet itself is a pod that's designed to fit quickly into WaveJet-ready boards of all kinds - surfboards, paddleboards, boogie boards and rescue boards. It fits flatly against the bottom of the board and uses two aluminum impellers to provide up to 20 lbs of thrust and 12 mph of speed.