E-Boards are taking the watersports world by storm. ONBOARD talks to Wayne Brooks about what to look for when buying a new board
Wayne Brooks, founder of Jet Board Limited, former surfer and water lover, and known in the industry for his seemingly endless collection of jetboards, bought his first board in 2008. It was one of the very first invented: big, heavy and clumsy. He has come a long way since then, always with a smile after a session on one of his many boards.
But that hasn’t always been the case. Often, Wayne would receive a new board only to find out the promised specs are not reality, or that the board isn’t actually saltwater proof, or to discover it is malfunctioning after one ride. Many a time he has come out of the water feeling great only to discover the board will not charge, or the battery is unsafe.
Today, having mastered the art of choosing jetboards and matching people with their perfect board, he advises that before buying a board you ask yourself what you want out of your board. Most electric boards average at a 25-minute ride time, continuous full throttle with an 85kg rider on top. This is a good industry standard, and something you should be expecting, but remember that when you mix up the speeds the ride time increases.
You also need to know where you are going to store your board. It is not recommended to leave it outside on the deck where salty winds and water can get to it. It’s also not recommended to store your battery fully charged, so consider a board that charges quickly.
It is a common myth that buying directly from the manufacturer is beneficial, but this is far from the truth. While the price remains equal, factories are specialised in manufacturing, while dealers focus on customer service and after-care. Look for the latter; these boards can break, and you will be thankful to have the back-up service.
Wayne also recommends caution with online shops: “Would you buy a boat from someone who has never been on one? Same goes for jetboards.” Look for dealers who offer a try-before-you-buy deal with multiple brands, and can give you honest and unbiased advice. Remember that when top speed and max riding time is mentioned online, it is usually measured without a rider, so when you add an 85kg weight on top these specs decrease.
Remember warranty! Dealers who also have service centres will be able to best help you should something go wrong with the board in the middle of summer. You do not want to be missing out on a whole season because the online shop you bought from doesn’t stock an impeller, or because the factory is at such over-capacity it cannot handle the warranty cases. Wayne has concluded after all these years that the best boards are modular ones. Rather than shipping boards back and forth, you can simply change the part yourself in a matter of minutes. Look for modular or be sure that you’re buying from a brand with incredible warranty capacities.
The industry is still incredibly new, some even say at an early adopters stage, so as for the future we are still waiting to see the big players like Yamaha, or Seadoo enter the market, before this can happen though we still need to see the industry grow massively. This also takes us to consolidation, right now it’s an industry where players enter and drop out at fast rates. Battery capacity and safety is still a big issue. Right now everyone is using li-ion, but as soon as a battery with a lighter ion, and larger capacity that is affordable comes out, we should see some great improvements in the jetboard industry in terms of weight, ride time and performance.
The new OLO ONE is an extremely well designed electric surfboard that enables silent and emission-free gliding. Depending on the user’s body weight, the board effortlessly accelerates to a maximum of 52km/h. If you take it a bit more discreetly, you can cruise for up to 50 minutes. The battery is charged via conventional sockets and takes about two and a half hours. An OLO ONE design can be customised to the client’s wishes, and the board will be personally delivered. Built inHamburg/Germany the price of an OLO ONE is 25,000 Euro.
Lift is the original eFoil creator and a leading innovator in top-performing hydrofoil technology. Family-run and with over a decade of experience, the company is made up of engineers who ride what they make. The Lift eFoil creates an experience that’s a mix of surfing, flying, and deep-powder snowboarding. A powerful electric motor, a state-of-the-art battery, and highperformance carbon-fibre boards, foils, and wings combine to create the world’s smallest watercraft. With the eFoil, riders of all athletic abilities can glide above any body of water.
Little shy of 18 months after it’s big brother comes the Awake RÄVIK S – a high-performance carving machine that provides the adrenaline hungry watersport athlete’s desire. The Awake RÄVIK S suits the rider who is looking for an intense, adrenaline pumping experience that enables dynamic use, no matter if you are hitting the waves for a jumping session or looking to carve around the buoys.
The Carver and Manta boards, hit the market at the end of 2015. Based in the Basque country, Onean are perfectly located in an area with a broad industrial experience, by the sea and with a huge surfing culture. Their multidisciplinary team, with different technical specialisations, is able to develop the project from the start until the last detail. The slightly more sedate Manta has two riding modes. Press the Wireless Controller once to set the power to 50%. Need more power? Press it again to proceed with 100% power and it is perfect for all the family. Whereas the Carver X is the ideal go-to option for users over 85kg wanting to experience the feeling of gliding over the water surface.
JetSurf – a world leader in motorised surfing industry has been a synonym for innovation and progress since 2010. Celebrating its 10 year anniversary this year, the Czech Republic manufacturer launches its first ever full electric surfboard. JetSurf ElectricTM keeps the world renowned JetSurf DNA to provide the best riding feeling. The ElectricTM is equipped with many safety features for easy and fast charging, airplane transportation and sea riders will appreciate the safe return mode on the 33kg (including battery) board. The brand new Adventure Plus DFI TM brings new possibilities in long distance riding.
Lampuga produces premium electric surfboards combining innovative design and state-of-the-art technology that offer fun and exciting experiences on water with the touch of a button. The boards are user-friendly, completely emission free and are built to high safety standards. The boards provide surfing experience to all riders regardless of experience level, age or physique. The inflatable Lampuga Air delivers continuouspower, speed and stability on water. Designed and produced in Germany, the boards employmodern electric technology. A lithium-ionbattery allows for a riding time of up to 45 minutes. When exhausted, its handy plug-and-play battery system allows for an effortless re-charge.