Electric Surfboard Doesn’t Need Waves

Surfing is a majestic sport, but one which relies heavily on the environment to provide suitable waves for the practice. If you don’t live near the right piece of coast, you’re simply out of luck. Of course, you could always build yourself an electric board instead to tear up the local lakes – and that’s precisely what [Simon] did. 

Following on from earlier experiments with 3D printed boats, the board is powered by a pair of jet drives, sourced from [YOUNGSTERS JETS]. Not one to skimp on horsepower, [Simon] selected twin 5000W motors to provide plenty of motive power. Of course, operating at such power levels comes with some headaches, and there’s plenty of blown ESCs and damaged motors along the way. Perseverance and plenty of cash outlay later, and the board is out carving elegant lines in the water at over 45 km/h.

Future updates aim to solve the problem of water ingress into the electronics, particularly the hand controller, of which [Simon] has already ruined two. We look forward to seeing more of these craft out in the water in coming days, particularly as they’re at least 30% less loud and annoying than the common jetski. Video after the break.

20 thoughts on “Electric Surfboard Doesn’t Need Waves

  1. This is a perfect example of why the initial prototyping should have waaay oversized parts. Twin 5000W motors is probably the sweet spot for these things. Can’t wait to see what else he comes up with.

    1. Except there’s already loads of companies making them, better and more refined designs than this one, they are incredibly expensive to produce, and they’re of no use whatsoever for beach lifesaving,

  2. The clear lid seems like it doesn’t have enough attachment points to be watertight. I’m wondering what the best way is to find the leakage points. What about putting a shrader valve on it, adding a little bit of pressure with a pump, then put it underwater and see if/where any bubbles are coming from? Does finding all the air leaks guarantee no water leaks? Another issue might be dynamic loads on the box causing distortion and intermittent leaks.

    Of course, another way to deal with water leaks is to add a bilge pump. :-)

    1. Double wall construction helps too – you want your leaks to not line up. Absorbent material to catch any water that gets through. And you want to make sure the water cooling connections aren’t leaking.

      Sounded like he also only had one bag over his controller, so any hole would just let water straight through. Double bag those things! Hell, bag the escs and motors too!

  3. RTV can be your friend or enemy. I think Form-a-gasket still exists too. Assemble, dry test, bolt on a heatsink if needed and then encase in epoxy leaving some of heatsink exposed. Or go the other extreme and use a chainsaw motor w mechanical throttle.

  4. I’m imagining a bunch of surfers at the beach all wearing life jackets. It’s a pretty weird image. Have you ever seen such a thing?

    As for hitting someone look around. He appears to be in a small inland lake surrounded by mostly trees. There is him, the camera man and I thought I noticed one other person who may not be with him way off in the distance. Even if he loses control it would be some incredibly bad luck for him to hit someone.

    I would still have the kill switch though. Otherwise it might take off, get stuck in the muck at the far shore and burn up it’s motors before he gets there to retrieve it.

    1. Or it leaves him in the middle somewhere, hitting his head as he falls down, and it’s another drowning statistic.
      CaptnMike has it right. There’s a reason water-craft, and powered water-craft, are designed with various features and have laws governing their use. This powered water-craft attempt just happens to start from a surf board.

  5. Water cooling seems a natural fit for smaller electronics/motors in this application – maybe a feed pipe off the jet(s)?

    Also is there more on the raft shown at the end of the vid somewhere – very cool!

      1. Thank you!

        It’s almost like I’m approaching peak internet efficiency, which is to say – skip though most of an interesting video/post/blog/article/whatevs and leave a comment on something “missing” or needing clarification, then using crowdsourcing to sort it out for me while I continue on with my endeavors.

        Point being, I missed that part, you clarified, it took me less total time than watching the entire vid, you had fun, we all win :-)

        Second question is still unanswered if you’d like bonus points – that raft, where can i feed my need to knwo more on that one, looks very cool.

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