Shred The Gnar Without Paddling For Waves

[Ben Gravy] isn’t your average pro surfer. For one thing, he lives in New Jersey instead of someplace like Hawaii or Australia, and for another he became famous not for riding the largest waves but rather for riding the weirdest ones. He’s a novelty wave hunter, but some days even the obscure surf spots aren’t breaking. For that, he decided to build a surfboard that doesn’t need waves. (Video, embedded below the break.)

The surfboard that [Ben] used for this project isn’t typical either. It’s made out of foam without any fiberglass, which makes the board less expensive than a traditional surfboard. The propulsion was handled by an electric trolling motor and was hooked up to a deep cycle battery mounted in the center of the board in a waterproof box. The first prototype ended up sinking though, as most surfboards can’t support the weight of a single person on their own without waves even without all the equipment that he bolted to it.

After some reworking, [Ben] was able to realize his dream of riding a surfboard without any waves. It’s not fast, but the amount of excitement that he had proves that it works and could fool most of us. This hack has everything, too: a first prototype that didn’t work exactly right and was fixed with duct tape, electricity used in a semi-dangerous way, and solving a problem we didn’t know we had. We hope he builds a second, faster one as well.

10 thoughts on “Shred The Gnar Without Paddling For Waves

  1. Well I wouldn’t call it fast but it is interesting. I have a question though, are there any battery chemistries that are lighter than water, if so you could make the entire surfboard the battery and use a wireless hand control to control the motor. You have no idea how hard it is to surf on the great lakes!

    1. Yes, interesting build and “looked really funny”. Need to wind surf the Great Lakes from what I can tell. Have to see if I can get the gear out again and in the trimaran fashion I have planned next for the canoe and kayak to have a flotilla water base. Not sure on the battery chemistries… interesting idea to even have embedded in the frame even if have to cut through glass to maintain.

  2. There is a dude here that modified his stand up paddle board with an electric water jet system for a model boat. It’s fairly quick and the control is hand held. The guy nearly killed himself on it when I was on the lake as he fell off and the thing took off without him. If not for the kill lanyard he would have likely drowned. Foolish but it can work.

    1. OK, so he had a kill-lanyard as a first measure of safety. When you wrote “nearly killed himself”, I feared he had been injured by the propeller. Just falling off such an unstable vessel should not pose a threat, It should be considered quite normal as it has a high probability. So yes, if you do it under cold conditions where you can not (or do not want to) swim a life vest and or neoprene suit is a very good idea.

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