The SUPs (Stand Up Paddle) surfboards have become very popular in recent years. With prices between $365 and $2,450 (300 and 2,000 EUR), they also offer beginners the opportunity to relax and try out on the water. iSUP surfboards in particular are easy to stow in the car or even in a backpack. Here the “i” stands for inflatable and so this water sports device can be folded up small.
SUP with electric motor
The so-called electric SUP boards (E-SUP for short), which are driven by an electric motor, are new. At speeds between 2-7 MPH (3 and 10 km / h), you can be assisted by the engine power on longer tours. Such an E-SUP is fun for the whole family. The slow speeds make it safe for smaller children too. However, an adult should always be there.
Due to the low performance there are hardly any legal restrictions on the waters. E-SUPs can be used wherever normal SUP boards are allowed. Naturally, nature reserves, bodies of water with dangerous currents or places with commercial shipping are excluded for both.
A distinction is made between two approaches. On the one hand there are SUP motors that are simply mounted on the surfboard instead of the fin. On the other hand, there are complete electric SUP boards that have both the battery (lithium-ion battery) and the drive integrated directly into the board. Depending on the speed and weight of the driver, both variants offer a range of between 60 and 240 minutes.
SUP motor conversion kit
You can get a cheap SUP motor from $485 (400 EUR), but such solutions are usually not long-lasting. Water (especially salt water) and electricity do not get along very well, so good quality is a prerequisite for long-term enjoyment of the device. In addition, in cheaper models, the batteries are attached separately to the board and this can be a nuisance – especially with children.
Another reason speaks against the entry-level models: they work with a large propeller. This is well protected and does not pose any danger, but when the engine is switched off it creates a great deal of water resistance. This makes paddling and steering difficult.
Luxury SUP motors work with a streamlined jet drive and have an integrated battery. In addition, models like the ScubaJet can also be used as diving scooters. In terms of price however, they are in a completely different price segment at around $2,450 (EUR 2,000).
Complete E-SUP surfboards
Complete solutions are available between $2,450 and $3,650 (EUR 2,000 and EUR 3,000). The integrated battery can easily be removed for charging. The biggest plus point of these boards is that the internal jet drive creates no drag at all in the water. In addition, the fin does not need to be replaced.
This means that such an E-SUP can be ridden like a normal stand up paddle board even when the engine is switched off. Some models like the Sipaboards can even use the drive as an electric pump to inflate the iSUP. The boards are available in different sizes depending on the application: from the narrow racing board to a wide platform for anglers.