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Electric Surfboards [ What They Are And How They Work ]

In recent years, electric surfboards have been creating a fad among surfers. Some old-school enthusiasts might believe that e-surfing is not the same as surfing. However, it still has quite the popularity among youngsters.

If you are one of those who didn’t know about it and are curious about what are electric surfboards, then you have come to the right place.

As the name implies, electric surfboards are surfboards that run with an attached motor. Surfing depends on the waves available in the water, and at times those waves aren’t favorable for the surfers. An electric surfboard can come in handy at those times. It uses lithium batteries and an electric motor to glide the surfer through any kind of water surface.

The operating system of electric surfboards is quite fascinating as well as innovative. However, there is not much information available on the Internet about it.

So, keep reading the article if your curiosity is peaked. You would also find some useful tips and pointers at the end of the article, which can help you to choose the correct electric surfboard.

What Are Electric Surfboards?

To properly understand what these electric surfboards are, you need to know a little bit of history about them.

As mentioned, in recent years these boards have been quite popular, but you will be shocked at how old the concept itself is.

These boards were first introduced in 1953, in Australia, under the name of surf scooters.

These electronic surfboards were mainly used by lifeguards to save people who were drowning. As these boards are super-fast, lifeguards were able to save more lives using them.

Later, electric surfboards were introduced all around the world and quickly became popular. During that time, however, it was not an easy sport to master.

Coming to modern times, these devices have been updated throughout the years, and have become a popular choice for people who tend to seek thrills while surfing.

Today’s technology is more fun, intuitive, and quite versatile for every kind of need of its users. That’s why these are becoming increasingly popular among the younger generations.

You may be wondering whether or not e-surfing is easier than regular surfing. To answer that, you need to understand your abilities with electronics and how swift you are with them.

Apart from that, in most cases, users have reportedly mentioned that this device makes surfing or paddle boarding easier because of its adjustable settings.

Also, not to mention, you can use this device even in flat waters. Therefore, you would not have to wait until the ocean or river had good enough waves to surf.

In this way, a surfer can choose the time when they feel like surfing, rather than waiting for the tide to come in at a specific time. This is also one of the reasons why people love it.

How Do Electronic Surfboards Operate?

All you need to know is that, unlike regular surfboards, electric ones have their independent power source. They have high-performance motors and long-lasting batteries that help them operate when a user is riding them.

Electric surfboards almost have the same appearance as normal surfboards. However, they are more stylish and have other features that traditional boards do not possess.

An example would be the source of electricity. As you know, surfboards do not require electricity, since waves act as their motor. E-surfboards, however, are entirely reliant on electricity.

Additionally, the source varies from board to board, but mainly on the manufacturers.

Companies are always looking for new ways how they can make their customers’ experience more enjoyable. Hence, they keep upgrading and renovating their system.

Nevertheless, most companies use lithium-ion batteries. Due to their long life, these batteries ensure that the board will perform better for a more extended period.

They have a high power density, so you would not have to worry about the board shutting off during a ride. On top of that, you will also enjoy less discharge from the cells.

Lithium-ion batteries are also rechargeable, so you can use them over and over without worrying about them running out. So, generally speaking, they will give you outstanding performance.

You just have to recharge them whenever it signals you, otherwise, the batteries will begin to deteriorate.

Some companies also use mixed batteries in their boards. It would not matter if you still use lithium-ion, but the point here is, you get options to choose from.

The mixed batteries, however, might not give you a super-fast performance.

The reason is that not all batteries work the same. So, you would have to choose powerful ones to have the strongest performance.

The charging time varies between boards but generally, it takes 2-3 hours for them to get fully charged. The battery provides you with a long performance time of at least 6 hours.

You will be able to get even more performance from the surfboard if you recharge it on time.

The motor is the next important part of the electric surfboard! You can easily locate it at the end of the board, under a cover. This location allows the board to move and stay on top of the water.

Commercially made electric surfboards usually have between 5W and 15W of motor power. It can reach up to 40 miles or 65 kilometers per hour, depending on how powerful the motor is.

All of the boards would come with spare parts that are needed by you if something goes wrong. For example, extra batteries, handles, triggers, and leashes.

As you can see, electric surfboards offer a modern approach that far outweighs traditional surfboards. However, it still depends on individual opinions.

Hence, one can easily make decisions after having a clear understanding of what traditional and electronic boards can do.

Things To Consider Before Buying An Electric Surfboard

Now that you know what an electric surfboard is, and how they work, let’s discuss some tips that will help you choose the right board. If you’re considering getting one, make sure you check out the following things before buying.

1. Board Speed

Electric surfboards can easily reach speeds of 40 miles per hour, as mentioned earlier. Also, take a look at models that can go up to 55 miles per hour if you prefer more speed.

Nevertheless, do consider your safety while choosing these boards. It would be better to choose an average-speed one if you are new to electric surfboards.

2. Battery Selection

Lithium-ion batteries are the best and chosen by several companies. Despite long hours of use, it maintains its battery health most effectively and also charges fast.

Battery life depends entirely on how often you use the board, and at what speed you use it. The average electric surfboard should provide 1-3 hours of service, based on the wattage of the battery and its price.

3. Board Type

Electric boards come in many types. There are stand up paddle boards, longboards, fun boards and many more options. Hence, you have to choose one of them.

Consider your strengths when choosing a board. If you are good at SUPs, then go for electronic paddle boards, if you love surfing, then electric surfboards.

4. Board Construction

In the same way that they come in different designs, they also vary in their construction style. Like usual boards, these too come as solid boards and inflatable boards.

There are slots for a battery and motor on inflatables as well. That’s why they are a bit heavier than regular inflatable boards. Solid boards would also be bulkier than regular solid boards.

5. Length and Width

Just like it is important to determine the right size for your regular surfboard, the same rule applies to electronic boards too.

Therefore, you must make sure you are buying the perfect size. As you know, if you end up choosing the wrong one, it can be difficult for you to balance the board.


Electric surfboards are amazing if you like a bit of extra adventure and thrill in your surfing. I hope this article has helped you understand what are electric surfboards and how they operate.

Best wishes if you choose to buy one for yourself and hoping the guidelines provided here would be helpful. Stay safe and have fun on the waves!