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Trend topic e-surfboards

Tim Maier

Published on 27 Jun, 2023

Trendthema E-Surfboards
Deep blue skies, snow-white spray and the sound of waves: hardly any other sport represents the feeling of freedom and adventure as much as surfing. But if you have ever stood on a classic windsurfing board, you also know the weak points of this leisure activity.

Because if you don't have the sea on your doorstep, you can usually only enjoy surfing on cruises during the holiday season - and then only if the weather is good and the wind conditions provide the right waves. Since there is never a guarantee for this, disappointments are inevitable.
For newcomers, there is also the fact that it takes some time and effort to get on the board safely.

There are now alternatives to traditional surfing:

Motorized surfboards are currently in vogue. They have become indispensable in the selection of water toys from discerning yacht suppliers and ensure that there is no chance of boredom on the water. Not infrequently, the e-boards become the undisputed highlight among the available toys during a charter tour. That's one of the reasons why Gearphin decided to sell high-quality surfboards with motors: They bring the feel-good atmosphere of carefree yachting days into everyday life in no time at all.

And water sports fans with a penchant for innovation also swear by the e-surfboard phenomenon: Battery-powered electric motors, clever Bluetooth solutions and other functions bring independence and sustainability to surfing pleasure in equal measure. After all, a surfboard with a motor can also be used when there is no wind or on inland waters with generally little waves. This gives you tremendous flexibility in use - but that's by no means the only advantage.

Nevertheless, there are a few things to consider when choosing the right e-surfboard: The right brand guarantees quality, the right model tailor-made fun right from the start. You can find out more about this in this post.

Motorized surfboards
- a trend phenomenon with history

As the name suggests, the new trend toys are motorized surfboards that have a number of differences and advantages compared to the traditional non-motorized boards.

The current hype about electric surfboards is comparatively young because the required technology has only been sufficiently mature for a few years and manufacturers are continuously working on improvements. The basic idea, on the other hand, has occupied clever minds for quite some time.

As early as the 1930s, there were initial attempts in Australia to equip surfboards with a combustion engine. However, these so-called "surf scooters" were just as unsuccessful as the inventions that followed over the next few decades, especially in the USA. While some models were more reminiscent of a bulky boat, others came surprisingly close to today's modern variants. Most of the time, however, it remained with less successful prototypes that never made it into series production.

Ironically, the first breakthrough in terms of marketability was made by the Czech company Jetsurf in the 1990s - ironic because the Czech Republic itself does not have a coast. The boards developed by Jetsurf still had a combustion engine, so they weren't exactly pioneers in terms of environmental friendliness. On the other hand, its motor was characterized by its power and lightness, and thus proved itself for use on special surfboards. The company now also offers contemporary models with an electric motor. In addition, Jetsurf is a co-host of the MotoSurf World Championship, which is contested entirely with electric surfboards. This internationally successful event also shows: The e-surfboard is here to stay!

Floating or whizzing?
Different types of electric surfboards

Just as the forerunners of modern electric surfboards differed in approach and construction, there are also different types today - namely electric hydrofoils, electric SUPs and jetboards. Which type is best for you depends on your personal preferences and the intended use. So get clear in advance about what your electric board should be able to do and, if possible, let yourself

With the e-hydrofoil (or foil board) there is a mast under the board itself. The electric motor is mounted on a hydrofoil on this. When the engine is started, the board lifts and floats above the water surface at a certain speed. The first prototypes of this type were developed at the Swedish KTH University in 2008, but commercially manufactured e-foil boards did not appear until ten years later.

In addition to the feeling of flying over the water, the longer battery operation is a popular argument in favor of these models: Up to two hours of runtime are possible here, and the batteries are often smaller and lighter than in other types of motorized surfboards. However, you should note that this type of motorized surfboard is a little more difficult to ride than jetboards: first of all, you have to learn how to keep your balance when gliding at a height of 70 centimetres. Maneuvering requires a certain skill. Especially for newcomers, there can be a certain risk of injury with e-foil boards due to the height.

E-SUP stands for electric stand-up paddle boards. The engine installed here only allows a leisurely progress of five to ten kilometers per hour. Perfect for chilling and slowing down, but if you need speed and adrenaline you're probably better off with a jetboard.

Finally, jetboards get their name from their jet propulsion, i.e. they are accelerated by bundled jets of water using the recoil principle. This makes these models significantly faster than those with propeller drives (which only a few manufacturers rely on today when it comes to motorized surfboards): Under optimal circumstances, speeds of up to sixty kilometers per hour are possible, which is fast enough to keep up with a motorboat. Even driving itself is learned in a flash, operation is very simple, and due to their shallow draft, jetboards can also be used in shallow waters without any problems.

So far, jetboard batteries have usually run for a maximum of forty-five minutes. But that shouldn't detract too much from the surfing pleasure, since you can easily replace the battery and quickly recharge it. We can also expect further developments here in the future.

Nimble, agile and easy to handle, jetboards are enjoying growing popularity.
It is no coincidence that Gearphin focuses on this type of e-surfboard when it comes to sales and is the official sales partner for an innovation-driven and dynamic young brand from Germany.

Manufacturers in the spotlight

If you're into electric surfboards, you can't go past Lampuga. But as I said, behind the Italian name is a German brand. Originally founded in northern Germany, the company now develops and produces in Rastatt, Baden-Württemberg. This is where premium class e-surfboards are made in a specially built, state-of-the-art production hall. This means that with this brand you get quality "Made in Germany" - this is reflected in various aspects.

First of all, high-quality materials and technological know-how are used as well as modern design with clear lines. The boards are not only handy and pretty to look at, but also bring smart innovation to the water - be it the powerful motor or the battery, which has above-average stamina by industry standards.

In addition, there are high safety standards and the constant improvement of the proven models. And it is not for nothing that the company also has a motorized surfboard specifically for water rescue operations in its portfolio: durability and reliability are very important here. The same applies to sustainability, because the products are one hundred percent emission-free thanks to the use of electric instead of petrol engines.

Ultimately, the e-surfboards from this brand consistently implement the approach of making surfing accessible to everyone: Thanks to the powerful electric motor, you are always independent of wind conditions for your surfing fun. The well thought-out design also allows you to transport your board easily and get on the water in no time at all.

As already mentioned, the brand name is Italian and suitably describes the mahi-mahi: This nimble predatory fish is found in all oceans from the Caribbean to Hawaii to the Indian Ocean, but is nevertheless an exclusive catch. The mahi-mahi reaches top speeds of up to 60 kilometers per hour and sometimes jumps spectacularly out of the water in pursuit of flying fish. A suitable name for a strong brand in the e-surfboard sector.

The Lampuga Air:
A must-have for adventurers

It is no coincidence that the Lampuga Air has long since become an enormously popular yacht toy that should not be missing in any well-assorted toy collection. What co-founder Marc Hammerla once said about e-surfboards per se applies to the agile entry-level model: »a product with iPhone functionality, but with which you can throw in a house like a Nokia 3210«.

In other words: a motorized surfboard that combines modern technology and elegant design on the one hand with durable and practical materials on the other.

In fact, the Lampuga Air is made of robust double-layer PVC, as is also used in racing boats, for example. This not only promises a long service life, but also makes the board comparatively light.

The technical data is impressive: A lithium-ion battery with a capacity of 3.6 kWh provides power, allowing the motorized board to zoom across the water for up to forty-five minutes. With a little practice for the optimal driving style, up to sixty minutes of surfing fun should be possible. If the battery needs to be replaced, it can be easily removed and fully recharged in just two hours. Also on board is an electric motor with almost 14 hp (with an output of 10 kW).

At 230 centimeters long, 75 centimeters wide and 25 centimeters high, the Lampuga Air is a comfortably large board that is stable in the water and makes it easy to stay balanced - another reason why the Air is that is the ideal entry-level model.
The base is pleasantly large and non-slip for a secure hold. Once you are in the water, further control is very simple: you change the direction by shifting your weight, you regulate the speed yourself with a handy Bluetooth remote control. This in turn has a handle and a tether - so you don't have to worry about losing the remote control at full speed.

Even if you have little water sports experience, you can easily get started with the Air, the pretty jetboard is so intuitive and user-friendly.
Incidentally, pretty is not just an empty phrase here: The Lampuga Air received the Reddot Design Award for its well thought-out and sporty design.

Transport is also easy. Because as a further highlight, the name says it all: The Air is inflatable. The dimensions mentioned are therefore only relevant when the item is fully assembled. On the way to the water, you can transport your board and motor separately and make optimal use of even the scarcest storage space, because the Air takes up little space. When you arrive at your destination, you simply attach the motor to the board and pump it up - this is done within a few minutes and you can start surfing.

High safety standards are almost a matter of course. Like all other models from the brand, there is a kill switch, i.e. an emergency stop switch in case of danger. In this case, a magnetic system is used: when driving, you wear a safety rope on your ankle that is connected to the kill switch. Should you then fall off the board, the tug on the kill switch ensures that the power supply is immediately interrupted and the electric motor is switched off.
The engine itself is also kept at an optimal temperature at all times thanks to a sophisticated cooling water system.

Gearphin also offers the option of personalizing the Lampuga Air at the time of purchase, be it with individual text or a logo. In addition, the board is available in different colors as standard, so that you can completely adapt it to your personal preferences. In addition, there are lots of practical gadgets such as various pumps as well as spare and additional parts.

Legal information about Electric Surfing:
Where can a motorized surfboard go?

The main advantage of electric surfboards over the classic models is obvious: With a motorized surfboard you are completely independent. A jaunt under the Adriatic sun and in sight of the summery yacht? No problem. A fast-paced start to a day on the Baltic Sea coast? Your electric surfboard is ready for use. Or just a swim on the windless bathing lake in front of the front door to revive the holiday feeling? Why, surely.

Independence from weather factors is not the only aspect that makes surfboards with electric motors the water toys of the future. Unlike the internal combustion engine experiments developed over the last century, today's e-boards are completely emission-free and therefore pose no danger to the waters in which they are used. On top of that, an electric motor is silent, another advantage over the outdated combustion engines. Especially on local lakes, apart from the pounding of the waves, you are out and about without much noise pollution for the area - in case of doubt not only other bathers and water sports enthusiasts will thank you for that, but also waterfowl and other animals in the area.

However, the local rules must be observed, especially with jetboards such as the Air: The use of motorized surfboards is not permitted on all inland waterways! A boat driver's license (more precisely: a sports boat driver's license inland) is usually not necessary for use, because this is only mandatory for a power of more than 15 hp - but most electric surfboards are just under 14 hp.

However, jetboards are legally classified as personal watercraft. Overall, their approval is somewhat more regulated than that of small vehicles (e-foils are classified as such), but there are no uniform regulations at federal or state level. It is therefore important to clarify in advance with the responsible waterway and shipping authority whether and under what circumstances use on lakes, rivers and other inland waters is permitted.

Things worth knowing about buying an e-surfboard

Quality has its price - this also applies to the selection of the right electric surfboard. The acquisition costs for a high-quality model are quite different than, for example, buying a traditional surfboard without a motor. If fabulously cheap offers then appear, the temptation to secure the supposed bargain is quickly great.

But reaching for a no-name model at seemingly cheap prices is not worth it in the end, that should definitely be considered. Dumping prices for electric surfboards are usually an indication of inferior materials and often also improper production conditions in the country of origin. Such cheap boards rarely give long-term pleasure, but break quickly. They can also be dangerous if, for example, the battery or electric motor have not been properly processed and there is even a risk of short circuits in open water.

After all, the renowned quality brands have their prices for understandable reasons, such as the processing of high-quality materials that guarantee a resilient and durable product. Above all, there is good technology in a good electric surfboard. The battery in particular often makes up a third of the purchase price, but it also convinces with above-average charging capacity and performance - and above all it meets the safety standards.

When buying a motorized surfboard, you should therefore not save at the wrong end, but rely on authorized and trustworthy dealers such as Gearphin and established manufacturers who can guarantee you high quality and safety standards. Good dealers should also be able to give you sound advice when choosing your new board.

Gearphin, for example, has extensive experience in the yachting sector and works with renowned charter agencies - this ensures in-depth know-how about water toys, but also knowledge of customer needs and requirements.

Beyond the purchase price, the expenses for your new water toy will also remain manageable, since operating and maintenance costs are limited, as is the need for the necessary accessories.

Electric surfboards are more than a trend. This is clearly shown by how far back their development history goes: The idea of ​​a high-performance surfboard with a motor fascinated water enthusiasts even before it could be technically implemented. Today's possibilities are likely to far exceed what has been dreamed of since the 1930s. The undeniable appeal of Electric Surfing is its accessibility. While mastering traditional surfboards requires a lot of practice and fitness, e-boards require little more than the right amount of spirit of optimism: Everything else can be learned in no time at all.

In this respect, a high-quality e-surfboard is an all-round worthwhile investment for your freedom, your pleasure and your thirst for adventure.