The best electric surfboard is different person by person and we will be not able to cover this in a general article. We can however give a status update on who is actually able to ship. If you want a recommendation which would be the best electric surfboard or hydrofoil for you, we suggest you check out our buying guide and we will find the right board for you. That's said - in this early days one of the criteria for the best electric surfboards and efoils is the availability and this is what we will cover here.
Since beginning 2017 we thought this year will be year where many products will come to market. It certainly was not 2017 and not 2018. But was it 2019? At the beginning of each year the industry leaders usually meet at boot in Dusseldorf (Germany) which has turned out as one of the shows where most of the electric surfboard and electric hydrofoil brands are exhibiting or are at least be present.
At boot 2018 only Lampuga, Radinn and Jetsurf were present with their own booth. Some others like Onean and Mertek (at the time eSurf) were present at the booth of their resellers. CURF (Now Loawai) were present with an exhibition downtown Dusseldorf. Jetsurf (market leader in petrol powered surfboards) was presenting the first time their e-surfboard prototype. More details in the boot 2017 article. Most of them promised to ship in 2017, but not all of them achieved this as you can read later.
One year later at boot 2019 next to Lampuga and Jetsurf also Lift Foils, Fliteboard, Awake, Loawai and Jetwake did exhibit at their own booth. Radinn was not present anymore. Other than Lift Foils and Loawai none of the exhibitors had started to ship at the time of the boot trade-show in January 2019. The promises was "spring or summer 2019". Again, you will read later, who was right. Check out our boot 2019 video interviews:
For boot 2020 which will be from January 18th to 26th 2020 we got so far confirmation from following companies that they will exhibit. Lampuga, Lift Foils, Fliteboard, Jetsurf, Onean, Torque, Awake, e-Takuma and Hoverstar. You can see it is getting more year by year. In our forum we will post updates about the exhibitors and publish a hall guide PDF right before the show. Check our boot 2020 forum thread.
2019 best electric surfboards and e-foils update:
Already in beginning of June 2019 we published an electric surfboard shipping report to identify which electric surfboards and e-foils are actually shipping and how many are produced each months. Now that we entered 2020 it is time to review again.
- Lift Foils - Lift Foils started to ship the eFoil in summer of 2018 and shipped probably around 2,000 products until end of 2019. We guess that they are now the company which has not only shipped the most electric hydrofoils, but actually lead the entire electric surfboard category in terms products shipped.
- Onean - Onean from Spain with the Manta, Carver and Carver X was probably the electric surfboard company who was shipping first and does continue to ship. We assume that they are no.2 in terms of products shipped.
- Waterwolf - The Waterwolf electric surfboard with a propeller also was early to market, but shipped only in small volumes. CEO Markus decided to take a break in 2019 and we hope he will be back in 2020.
- Loawai - Loawai - former CURF did start shipping in 2018 and did continue to ship in 2019. At the end of 2019 though they went out of business as their investors had a dispute and they decided to file chapter eleven. If and how they will come back is unclear at this time. Limited stock is still available for sale with discounts.
- Cabratec - Cabratec started shipping their e-foils in 2018 in limited numbers and did continue to do so in 2019. In 2020 a new improved model is expected.
- Mertek - Mertek also started to ship in 2018 (at the time under eSurf brand) and continued to ship in 2019. Unfortunately the Mertek Jetboards are only designed for very light riders under 70 kg.
- Fliteboard - Fliteboard had some delays (like many other e-surfboard or e-hydrofoil players), but started shipping around August 2019 internationally.
- Jetwake - Jetwake did start shipping in summer 2019 and we were able to test a board, but is had still problems with some technical issue. These might or might not be solved by this time.
- Awake - Awake Jetboards are shipping since spring 2019 with a capacity of about 20 boards per months.
- OLO Boards - The OLO Jetboard from Germany is shipping in small numbers. The boards are custom made.
- Ewave - The Ewave Jetboard started shipping late summer 2019. Unfortunately we missed the opportunity to test the board in Spain as the shipment was delayed. Looking forward to review it in spring 2020.
- E-Takuma - The E-Takuma e-foil did start to ship recently and we are looking forward to meet them at boot for further updates.
- Waviator - The Waviator electric hydrofoil from Germany shipped small volumes in 2019. It will be interesting to see if they can scale in 2020.
- Hoverstar - The Hoverstar electric hydrofoil will exhibit at boot in January. We are looking forward to have a first look at the e-foil from China.
- Torque - The Torque Jetboard did ship in small volumes, but we are looking forward to learn more about their plan in 2020 when we meet them at boot.
- Jetsurf - The Jetsurf Electric is not shipping before 2020. The company continues to focus on their petrol powered boards.
- Radinn - Radinn seems to ship, but the company is very unresponsive. The community is wondering if they are just a start up with an exit strategy. See the Radinn forum thread.
In 2020 we expect the current players to ramp up there volumes as well as to see some new players enter the market. There are more than enough announcements, but time will tell who will be able to deliver. Some aggressive e-foil players were just introduced in our Foil Inc. and Supernova article. Especially Supernova has some interesting concepts like the race e-foil or flyshoes. See a picture below.
But these are so far only 3D renderings and we are looking forward to see if this can become real. At least these are some interesting thoughts and might lead to innovation.
And than there is the Audi e-tron hydrofoil, which is actually not from Audi, but from Audi engineers who want to launch the product under their own brand in 2020. We assume they will exhibit again at CES in Las Vegas beginning of January. We will be in Vegas and check out their updates. In addition Waydoo will exhibit again at CES in Las Vegas, but most of the updates will be seen at boot end of January. Onean gave us a hint that we can expect a new model at the boot show.
If we have learned one thing in the last 3 years, it is that it is one thing to deliver 3D renderings of products or even a full working prototype. But to build a reliable and safe product in mass production is a completely different story and it usually takes much longer than expected. I am not aware of any manufacturer who was not facing delays and sometimes these were up to 2 years. So coming back to the term "best electric surfboards and eFoils" we feel safte to say that the best boards are the boards who are shipping. The good thing about the internet and social media is that it makes the products transparent. Once they start shipping you will see people posting about them. Either good or bad. We are monitoring this very closely.
We hope this article was helpful for you and wish everybody a HAPPY NEW YEAR!