Do Jet Surfboards Spell the Future of Surfing?

2017-11-22 07:52:15

By now we’re all familiar with jet surfboards. Be it out in the water, at your local swimming hole or bay, or reading about them in blogs such as this, we’ve seen and at the very least -as surfers of course- wondered what future inventions like jet-propelled surfboards hold for the sport we hold so dear to our hearts. So, is this the end of surfing as we know it? Probably not, at least we hope. But with these inventions (including artificial wave pools) bringing the art of surfing to areas without a coastline, it appears that the sport is poised to take a significant leap forward.

jet surfboards

What are Jet Surfboards?

The majority of these jet surfboards use twin motors powered by lithium batteries and controlled by a simple “ON/OFF” switch worn on the wrist. Each engine sits in a removable pod at the base of the board near the jets. On average these boards can move up to a speed of 10 miles per hour and on the larger boards riders can cruise on the flat water sans surf. They’ve been used everywhere from flat lake surfing to riding the big waves of Nazare in Portugal. Models range from shortboards to longboards to SUPs and rescue models.

The Future of Surfing?

It’s no doubt there’s been some serious backlash with these jet surfboards. A common argument being that by taking paddling out of the equation, the order of the lineup is broken down. We all know surfing can be a greedy sport, and with a select few on motorized boards, it’s hard not to imagine a lineup where those few rule the roost in the water. But, is this apocalyptic vignette truly a reality? I mean, with a price tag of around $4,500 and a limited amount of merchandise available, are we really about to experience a blight of jet boards? Most likely not. The authenticity surfing is so engrained in the culture it’s going to take some serious efforts to convince the community to drop the muscle power and take to the motor.
It’s no secret we live in a world where technological advancements affect every facet of our lives. And for the most part, the motivation behind such innovation is benign. Just look at the artificial wave trend. Kelly’s wave, for example, has set a new standard for the world of wave pools. It may even be the future of competition. Whatever the case, as with any new technology, there’s certainly some resistance at first. However, after this initial write-off, there’s always some residual curiosity into the unforeseen benefits of the product. Could jet surfboards make riding a 100-foot wave a reality? Could they provide some training regime for big wave surfers? Only time and a willingness to learn will determine the answer.