What Is An Electric Surfboard? And Other Water-Based Boards
Surfs up; it’s time to step into the future and embrace the power of the electric surfboard!
That’s right, electric surfboards are here and have actually been around for a while now. The same goes for the electric body board and the electric paddle board.
All exist in the current sea sports ecosystem/landscape.
There are actual electric surfboard competitions these days if you can believe that!
Welcome to the 21st-century guys, the age of the electric ocean.
Surfing is all about navigating nature and rolling with the punches, and these boards allow you to do just that.
Stay tuned; below, we’re covering everything you need to know about the electric surfboard and then some. We’ll also be touching on other motorised boards (including the infamous electric foil board).
This is an ideal read for newbies and avid wave enthusiasts looking for something familiar yet different.
Let’s get into it.
The Electric Surfboard Explained
Surfing is a pastime as old as time.
You can trace surfing all the way back to the 12th century.
Look it up.
There are cave paintings that clearly illustrate some form of surfing.
Did they predict electric surfing back then?
Then again, who did?
The electric surfboard is different in all the right ways, sporting a powerful lithium-ion battery and other top-notch features that you wouldn’t get otherwise.
Electric power allows the board to travel at incredible speeds across the water. But how do they work?
It’s not that complicated.
With every electric surfboard, you’re given a handheld remote control. The controller allows you to move at speeds you’re comfortable with (and slow down, obviously).
Are they harder to ride?
Sure, if you’ve never stepped on one before.
That being said, you should pick it all up faster if you’re one of those experienced surfers.
Anything with a motor in it will feel unnatural at first.
We should mention that, unlike electric cars, electric surfboards aren’t meant to replace your standard board.
In fact, we’d recommend you keep a hold of your standard board if you’re going to buy an electric one.
Owning an electric surfboard doesn’t make the other obsolete.
Think of it like owning an electric skateboard alongside a conventional one; both have a place in your rotation.
Easily the best thing about these power-assisted surfboards is the fact that you don’t need to do any of the swimming to get it moving.
You don’t need to harness the power of Poseidon via currents to move on still water. All you need is a decent electric surfboard with a high power capacity (for longer journeys between charges).
Travelling back to the inland has never been easier.
Best Electric Surfboard Pick: Awake RÄVIK ONE
- Top Speed: 30mph
- Riding Time: 20-40 Minutes
- Charge Time: 80 Minutes
Innovation in spades; meet the Awake RÄVIK ONE, easily the best electric surfboard on the market today.
It might look bulky at first, but it’s actually a lot lighter than the majority of electric surfboards you’ll find on your search.
It weighs in at 83lbs total (this includes the battery).
Could you call it lightweight?
We think so.
The Awake RÄVIK ONE features three throttle sensitive settings, allowing surfers to adjust accordingly when tackling the high seas.
Price-wise, expect to pay €10,900 (roughly £9,300), which might seem expensive to some. Still, you’re getting a high-end e surfboard here.
You can get a decent electric surfboard for around £5,000, but we’ve gone with this one for obvious reasons.
Another great thing about this electric surfboard is the fact that you can remove the battery at will. In other words, you can carry spares, so if one runs out, you can simply insert the other and continue surfing.
Most have built-in batteries limited to around 40 minutes of use, which sucks as it means you have to lug the board around and swim with it back to shore.
Yes, the Awake RÄVIK ONE can conk out after 20 minutes, but the fact it has interchangeable batteries does make up for that.
E4TP Says: Life on the waves has never felt so freeing! The Awake RÄVIK ONE is everything you could ever want in a motorised surfboard and then some. Swedish company Awake Boards should be heavily praised for this one.
The Electric Foil Board Explained
The electric foil board, otherwise known as a ‘hydrofoil board,’ isn’t too different from an electric surfboard.
You still stand up on it, it features a handy controller, and you can use it to map large sections of water before even touching a wave.
However, it is built differently in that it sports a motor/stem underneath. The board can look like any standard surfboard (depending on the manufacturer). It’s what’s underneath that you need to look out for.
You see, an electric foil board will actually lift you in the air slightly, giving the rider an additional level of control/glide.
They’re quite freaky to look at, to be honest.
Seriously, go watch any video of an electric foil board in action and see for yourself.
Freaky, yes, but fun to ride?
Oh hell yeah.
Surfers have been quick to highlight the differences between a standard electric surfboard and an electric foil board.
Standard e surfboards are great and all, but they can be pretty sluggish to steer — especially when riders are moving pretty fast.
For maximum control, you’re gonna want an electric hydrofoil board.
They Aren’t For Everyone: Sure, they offer the most control possible, but this can be a blessing and a curse. You will fall off a hydrofoil board a lot. Similar to electric one-wheelers.
Practice does make perfect, though, so it’s not impossible to master these boards in time.
Best Electric Foil Board Pick: Waydoo Flyer One
- Top Speed: 21.7mph
- Riding Time: 85 Minutes
- Charge Time: 120 Minutes
Meet a bonafide water free-styling champion.
Meet the Waydoo Flyer One — the Carbon Edition model, in particular.
Unlike no other, this is an electric foil board capable of riding around for up to 85 minutes total, which actually bags you a lot more time than the electric surfboard mentioned above.
That being said, it is a little slower than the Awake RÄVIK ONE. Still, it doesn’t need to be, given it requires a different level of control.
More than double the length of time by our count.
The Carbon Edition model is better than the EPP version in build and real-world application — if control is important to you over all else.
Its modular design makes it ideal for transport too, which is ideal if you’re having to drive to and from the beach.
The ‘Plug-And-Play’ battery is another fantastic feature, allowing for quick switches on the move.
We should also mention the Waydoo App and how it’s compatible with the Waydoo Flyer One via Bluetooth.
Surfers can complete firmware updates through this app!
It does come with a warranty that lasts two years, so if anything should break, you will be covered (as long as you buy the Flyer One from Waydoo directly).
E4TP Says: it’s a free-styler, plain and simple. If you’re someone looking for maximum control and have around €7,399 (roughly £6,300) spare, then this will be the electric foil board for you. Don’t settle for less. Go for the best in the Waydoo Flyer One.
The Electric Body Board Explained
Standing up on an electric surfboard can be difficult, which is why it might be a good idea to head in an electric body board direction.
A motorised body board means you never have to stand up, or kick your feet, given all the power is generated for you.
To be clear: Riding an electric body board is very similar to swimming with a standard body board, only you don’t have to do a thing.
All you do is lean on and go!
They are pretty buoyant, so if you want to dive with them, you need to apply pressure to the top to dip beneath the water.
Oh, that’s right. An electric body board — or jet body board, as it’s sometimes known — is just as effective underwater as it is bobbing along the surface.
Lifeguards use body boards all the time, but electric body boards are a lot different and can be used by everyone.
Ever wondered what that torpedo buoy is that lifeguards carry?
Yeah, that’s part of the body board family.
Just a shame it’s not electric…
Know that an electric body board is in many ways a gateway to other eco-friendly waterfront rides.
Once you’ve glided around the water on one of these things, you’ll want to level up to some tougher rides, like the infamous electric surfboard, for example.
Best Electric Body Board Pick: Wave Jam 156
- Top Speed: 10mph
- Riding Time: 50-60 Minutes
- Charge Time: 50-120 Minutes
Pump up the jams with the Wave Jam 156, an electric body board promising great things to those interested.
It’s one of the best looking boards out, period.
Have a look for yourself.
Most will look straight at its technical spec, but we’re a sucker for an eye-catching colour scheme, and we’d be crazy not to highlight it here.
Let’s get it out the way now: this electric body board isn’t as fast as you might expect. Riders will notice its 10mph speed almost instantly.
So why have we chosen to include it here?
The Wave Jam 156 is very portable and has two unique charging settings. We should also mention the fact that the board is quite manoeuvrable; cheaper than most too.
Power comes from a 5kW battery, a small capacity battery (hence its max speed) that does make the Wave Jam 91 a lot lighter (40lbs total including battery).
Storing this electric body board at home is a dream, given its dimensions (57” x 23.6” x 11”), too.
Price-wise, expect to pay around £5,500 for this one. Electric body boards tend to be significantly cheaper than standard electric surfboards, with the Wave Jam 156 being no exception.
Can you see why we chose it now?
E4TP Says: There are cheaper electric body boards out there, but you can’t put a price on quality. That’s exactly what you’re getting with the Wave Jam 156, too: quality. It’s far superior to the Wave Jam 91.
The Electric Paddle Board Explained
And finally, we have the electric paddle board.
Paddle boards are different (in a good way) as you need to use a paddle to get them going, but you didn’t need us to tell you that, surely.
Electric paddle boards weren’t made to break the sound barrier. They give more of a lazy river type vibe.
Pretty blissful when you stop and think about it.
Most require an electric paddle board pump to get going, but some — like SipaBoards’ motorised paddle board line — can self-inflate at the push of a button.
It doesn’t take that long to inflate, by the way. Still, it does shave a couple of minutes off of its prep time.
Paddle boarding is, usually, a helpful stress-reliever. Well, you can amplify your comfort levels on the back of an electric version, that’s for sure.
Stand up paddle boarding (SUP), as it’s also known, is at its best during the summer (unless you live somewhere hot, that is).
It’s a popular thing in Europe, and electric paddle boards are slowly growing in popularity; the only issue is you don’t have as many options compared to electric surfboards or motorised body boards.
It’s why you see so many electric paddle board conversion kits online; people are making their own!
Best Electric Paddle Board Pick: SipaBoards All-Rounder
- Top Speed: 3.11mph
- Riding Time: 60-240 Minutes
- Inflate Time: 8 Minutes
There are electric paddle boards, and then there’s the SipaBoards All-Rounder electric paddle board.
SipaBoards have quite the reputation in the market, having put together multiple electric SUPs over the years.
The All-Rounder is the everyman’s electric paddle board in that it doesn’t travel too fast or too slow (although 3.11mph may seem slow to most).
Remember: Electric paddle boards are built for calm, cool and collected journey’s, not rip-tiding through 40mph waves.
The 2021 model, in particular, is almost 40% lighter than its previous iteration, making it a lot easier to store and carry when you need it.
As we’ve already mentioned, the All-Rounder is a self-inflating type, taking around 8 minutes to go from folded to water-ready.
We think this is a lot more reliable than going with an electric paddle board pump, but others might think differently.
The integrated Paddle Assist System really comes into its own here, ensuring that you’re always in control no matter the body of water.
The SipaBoards All-Rounder also comes with app compatibility.
From the app, riders can start the inflation cycle, alter the speed of the board, and toggle the LED lights.
That’s right; this electric paddle board is great all day and all of the night.
It’s not just humans that enjoy life on open water on the back of these things, either.
People take their dogs out on this SUP and everything!
E4TP Says: An electric paddle board like this deserves recognition, and we’re going to give it just that. The All-Rounder is one of SipaBoards best offerings and will change how you look at water travel. Trust us.
The electric popularity wave has swept over watersports
What Is An Electric Surfboard? And Other Water-Based Boards
Electric surfboards are creating quite the splash at the moment, to the point where a lot of stockists are completely sold out of some boards.
The same goes for electric body boards and electric paddle boards, for the most part.
Electric foil boards are the only exception. Barriers to entry (aka varying skill levels) have probably put some off.
Which is fair play, as the majority are pretty intimidating to look at — and, ultimately, control if you ever try one out for real.
Do you know anyone who owns an electric surfboard or any other water-based boards at the moment?
If your answer was no, then what are you waiting for?
Watersports wait for no man, especially the electric kind.
Electric Surfboard FAQs
How fast are electric surfboards?
The answer to this question depends on the surfboard in question. Some can travel up to 40 miles per hour. Know that the faster you go, the quicker you’ll drain the battery. Most electric surfboards can only move for around 45 minutes, so be conservative for maximum use.
What is an electric foil board exactly?
An electric foil board is very similar to an electric surfboard in design and how you’d stand. The only difference is a hydrofoil will lift the board in the air once it builds enough momentum. It can look jarring at first, but it’s a hell of a lot of fun.
How does an electric body board work?
An electric body board is ideal for beginners, given you don’t need to be as coordinated in terms of balance. All you do is lean on, turn on, and the board does the rest. They have more in common with jet skis than surfboards, in our opinion.
Are electric paddle boards fun?
Of course, they are! The electric paddle board allows you to cover a lot more space compared to its non-motorised counterpart. It can take some getting used to, but we’d say it’s more than worth it (if you can afford one).