Originally posted on CleanTechnica
I’ve always been fascinated with surfing, admiring the balance and courage it takes to shred your way across a massive wave. Now imagine how much more fun surfing would be with an electric motor propelling you across that wave at speeds of up to 34 MPH? You can do more than imagine with the Lampuga electric surfboard…though not for all that long.
Don’t get me wrong, this is a wicked cool idea, and one day I could see self-propelled surfboards forming the basis of a new kind of extreme surf sport. But the fact remains that this $17,400 electric surfboard packs only enough battery power for 20 to 35 minutes of action, though the top speed of 34 MPH is a tantalizing proposition. The battery pack takes between one and two hours to charge, and a leg cuff automatically shuts the board off should the rider wipe out. And as you can see in the video, this thing really gets going, and while not quite as fast as a traditional jet ski, it ain’t no paddle boat either.
So why the high price, exactly? Well for one, waterproofing any marine powertrain (electric or combustion) isn’t cheap, as anybody that’s ever purchased an outboard motor can attest to. To keep weight down, the Lampuga board is built out of carbon fiber, though it still comes in at a chunky 86 pounds, most of that weight coming from the 15 horsepower motor and battery pack. It’s not like surfboards are cheap to begin with, as many beginner boards will set you back $400 to $500. But for the price of a compact car, I’d expect a little more performance, you know? I’d personally hold out for a New Electric Silverback if I’m going to spend crazy-money on some kind of electric water toy.
That said, I can’t help imagining a new sci-fi surfing sport where electric boards zip riders across choppy waves as they perform stunts, score points, or whatever. It’s a neat idea, and one I hope sticks around to mature and improve.