The First Jet-Powered Surfboard
by Owen James Burke
New jet-powered surfboards will add between 6 and 10 knots to your speed in water, along with 14 pounds of extra weight, which is not always a bad thing in the water. The extra speed when surfing seems a bit unnecessary with the kinetic energy of a wave, but if one were interested in paddling a long distance, either to surf a specific spot that has no beach access or to make it out past impossible breakers, this PWP (personal water-propulsion) device may come in handy.
Wavejet can be built-in to nearly any flotation device with enough flat surface area, including stand-up paddleboards, rescue boards, kayaks and even boat tenders.
Founder/Inventor Mike Railey of Del Mar Ca, breaks it down down:
Q. What is the technology that WaveJet is built on?
A. Patented Personal Water Propulsion (PWP) technology invented in the US is a revolutionary, one-of-a-kind system. It’s a clean, quiet, battery-powered miniature jet drive that can be plugged into any WaveJet-ready personal watercraft, including surfboards, standup paddle boards, kayaks, inflatable’s, belly boards, DPVs and operated with a wireless controller (wrist).
Q. How fast is a WaveJet?
A. Manufacturers will be able to offer boards that run about an hour and fifteen minutes and those pods will have a top speed of about 6 mph. There is also a higher performance pod with a top speed of 10 mph that will have a run time of about 40 minutes.
Q. How much does a WaveJet weigh?
A. A WaveJet pod will add about 14 lbs to a surfboard. Surfers that are testing WaveJet powered boards say they love the additional control and balance they get from the additional weight. If you think about it, boards float on water, so once you put 20 lbs of thrust in a board, weight becomes your friend and the WaveJet becomes your jet powered assist.
Q. How does a rider control the board?
A. We put leading edge wireless technology developed by WFS Defense into an oversized wrist control. The system is very unique because the signal must travel under water. If you fall off your board the WaveJet powers off.
At $3,500 per board, we wont see packs of Wavejets filling the line-ups right away, but you can bet we’ll see surf pioneers around the world using Wavejet technology. Look out for the first line of Wavejets from Walden Surfboards mid September.
The possibilities almost seem endless–I’d be willing to bet it would make a half-way decent trolling motor, too.