- Category: Surfing News
- Published on Friday, 07 January 2011 08:35
- Hits: 11759
January 7, 2011, Orlando FL - When a hot product is introduced that revolutionizes a market the business world calls it a paradigm shift.The WaveJet, a jet-powered surfboard, could become the i-phone of the waves if and when the price comes down. With an introductory cost of around $4,000 it's unlikely that surfing lineups will become overcrowded with the device overnight. But if and when it becomes affordable, it could change everything.
WaveJet uses waterproofed lithium batteries to drive impellers embedded in a powerpack installed into the belly of the board. The batteries and powerpack/drive assembly weigh roughly 10 lbs, last for 30-45 minutes of continuous use and can be installed in almost any board type as part of new construction. The wireless connection between wrist and motor is set so that if you fall off the board it automatically cuts the motor. The batteries can be charged by your car as you drive to the beach.
WaveJet was invented by a tow-in surfer who wanted to get into monster waves unassisted by a jetski. WaveJet will do that. Big wave champion surfer Garrett McNamara endorses the product. But big wave surfers are few and far between. Even with a WaveJet not many people will take the chance of being crushed by a four-story office-building sized wave. If it comes, the paradigm shift will come to the waves surfers see daily at local beaches.
With a wave jet a surfer can push a button and reach the line-up with virtually no effort at all. The effort of paddling into the lineup is the one thing that keeps surfing breaks from becoming even more crowded than they already are. WaveJet enables virtually anyone, at any skill level, to get out to the lineup faster than even the most experienced and best conditioned surfers. And once in the line-up the WaveJet enables its user to claim virtually any wave he or she wants... paddling into the wave is virtually effortless too.
From WaveJet's brochure:
"Wirelessly controlled from a band on your wrist, WaveJet's patented PWP technology helps even the most experienced surfer catch more waves. Capable of eight to ten knots on still water, WaveJet lets surfers paddle out four times faster than by using arms alone... it puts you where you want to be to catch the wave."
While 30-45 minutes of continuous use doesn't sound like much, that could translate into 30-45 1-minute assists for paddling out (or in) to waves. Without power assistance, ten waves in 2 hours is a pretty good surfing session for most surfers. With WaveJet a surfer might ride 3-4 times more waves per session.
I spoke at length with a WaveJet rep. He's used the thing and says it works as advertised - in shortboards, SUPs and even kayaks. "Don't the guys hate you in the lineup?" No, he explained, he's cool about WaveJet and doesn't abuse its powers - "I could have every wave if I wanted to, but I hold back." What about someone less thoughtful? He had no answer to that.
WaveJet drive assembly with embedded batteries
Boards with WaveJets installed