This eSurfboard regulations overview is a community effort. There are so many different eFoil & Jetboard laws out (or not) by country, region or even lake by lake that we need your help. At the sea there seem to be only a very few restrictions, but at inland waters like lakes and rivers there are a few of them. Some regions do even ban eSurfboards. We will update this page every time we receive further feedback from all of you. Please share your findings on our forum or contact us.
Almost a year ago (early 2020) we reached out to many partners, resellers and manufacturers to share their local experience with authorities. In addition we checked different forums and Facebook groups. So far we got aware of following eSurfboard regulations and eFoil & Jetboard laws. We sorted them by region:
- North America
- Asia & Africa
eSurfboard regulations - North America
Let’s start with one of the few countries worldwide which have currently banned eSurfboards. eFoils are so far illegal in Canada due to a Transport Canada regulation prohibiting propeller driven surfboards. You could probably argue that Jetboards using an impeller are not impacted and according to some of the users Jetboards seem not included in this ban:
Transport Canada which is equivalent to US Coastguard just confirmed all efoils with a propeller open or ducted are banned in Canada because of safety. $300+ fine every-time you are caught using one. Jet surfboard and the Jet eFoil are allowed.
Responsible for the local eSurfboard regulations is:
Standards Regulations Officer/Agent aux normes et Réglements
Small and Fishing Vessels, Design and Equipment Standards and Boating Safety | Petits bâtiments et bateaux de pêche, normes de design et d’équipement et sécurité nautique
Marine Safety and Security | Sécurité et sûreté maritime
Transport Canada | Transports Canada
330 Sparks St. 330, rue Sparks
Ottawa (Ontario) K1A 0N5
Telephone | Téléphone 613-991-1367
There is a Facebook group called "Canadian eFoilers“ who is trying to work with the local authorities to update the laws, so that eFoils would be allowed as well.
In the U.S the requirements vary state by state, but it seems many states tend to require a registration.
In Florida for example the law states the following:
All vessels, with the exception of non-motor-powered vessels less than 16 feet in length, non-motor-powered canoes, kayaks, racing shells or rowing sculls, regardless of length, must be registered through your local Tax Collector’s Office.
So technically an efoil or Jetboard ridden in Florida requires a registration. Further, if an eSurfboard is determined to be a “personal watercraft” there are numerous additional regulations and requirements that would apply.
More details at http://myfwc.com/boating/regulations/
Here is a quote from one of the users:
I have registered our efoils in Florida. State law requires that all vessels with an electric motor (of any size) be registered so better to be safe than sorry. Not the prettiest thing on the side of the board but at least it’s done. Cost me $38 with a paper copy of title/registration. Titled as a home-built vessel which didn’t require FWC inspection, but the tax office was curious so they got to take a peak at it. Anyway, if you’re in the USA you’re likely going to need to title/register your board.
Currently anything with a motor has to be registered on Hawaii. You have to put an identification number on your board. While there is something in the regulations that exclude surfboard, it is probably not meant to cover motorized surfboards. Here is a user quote:
My concern is that as these things become more popular the authorities will probably crack down and regulate them like “Jet Ski’s”, “Thrill Crafts”, “PWC”. Then they will be super regulated and only legal to ride in a few specific locations. I stay away from boat harbors, beaches with lifeguards, and parks or beaches with lots of people.
eFoil & Jetboard laws Europe
Austria, Germany, Switzerland
We have written a detailed report already early 2020 in German called Elektro Surfbrett Zulassung – Rechtliche Situation rund um Hydrofoils & Jetboards about this regions. We contacted more than 40 authorities to get on the ground of this. In a nutshell:
- Austria: The laws vary region by region. In general the eSurfboards fall into the category of floating objects and are allowed with local exceptions. However, you need a license if the eSurfboard has more than 4.4 kW power.
- Germany: In general eSurfboards are allowed in Germany. They need to be registered if they have above 2.21 kW. eFoils need to be registered as "Kleinfahrzeuge (small boats)" which have less restrictions than Jetboards. Jetboards need to be registered as a personal watercraft aka Jetski. However, there are again local exceptions. On Bavarian lakes and Lake Constance eSurfboards are banned.
- Switzerland: Switzerland has currently banned eFoils and Jetboards
Croatia eSurfboard regulations
Croatia seems to have following regulations and laws. A vessel up to 1.5 hp under 3 meters doesn't need a license. From 4 hp under 3 m it needs license, but doesn't need registering. Everything above that, needs registering and different stages of license (depends on length, power and weight. To make things even worse, it all depends on the region of the country, every region has their own rules and pricing.
In France eSurfboards are ruled by the « Division 240 law text », these rules are made for safety and must be applied by everybody (personal and rentals users) using a watercraft.
Then, depending on the power of the watercraft :
- If JetBoard < 4,5Kw or 6 CV/HP : no licence needed to ride, just check local rules and authorization to ride a motorized watercraft (even if 100% ecologic because no gasoline & no oïl)
- If JetBoard > 4,5Kw or 6 CV/HP : need to have a boat licence 1st level to ride
- You always need to check local rules to be able to use motorized surfboards (especially in protected areas, lakes, rivers)
JetBoards rules for the sea and beaches :
- Departure from the beach in swimming zones forbidden
- Departures allowed in sea channels allowed for boats and jetskis too
Electric SUP rules :
- Because of it’s slow speed and it’s length >2,5m, you must ride in the band of 300 m (from the beach) only
- You can go up to the 2000 m (from the beach) but must have all safety equipment (like in a boat) on board,
- At lakes and interior waters you can ride without restrictions
Italy, at least on the Lake Maggiore and Lake Lugano, did also ban eSurfboards, because they work close with Switzerland. Here is a quote from the Federal Department of the Environment, Transport
Navigation on Lake Maggiore and Lake Lugano is governed by a Convention between Italy and Switzerland. Vessels are subject to this Convention and, as far as construction, safety conditions and technical suitability are concerned, they must also comply with the requirements of the national legislation of the place where they are normally based.
Electofoil surfboards are classified in Switzerland as pleasure boats according to the Inland Navigation Ordinance (RS 747.201.1, ONI). For pleasure boats shorter than 2.5 m, the prohibition of motorization applies, see ONI, Art. 121, para. 5. It is therefore not legally possible to use an e-foil in Swiss waters.
Federal Department of the Environment, Transport
Head of Navigation Section
Energy and Communications (DETEC)
Federal Office of Transport FOT
Mühlestrasse 6, 3063 Ittigen, Postal address: CH-3003 Bern
Tel. +41 58 462 46 62
If you want to ride eSurfboards at the sea, there seem to be no restrictions.
It seems that the Dutch authorities haven't figured it out. Like many other countries. The eSurfboards do not fit into any of the categories for boats. Vessels which make over 20 km/h require a registration as well as a license. Since they cannot put eFoils and Jetboards into a category the registration is not possible. It was very similar in Germany in the early days.
Here is a user quote:
I tried to register my efoil so I had to pay €54 and wait for there response. First I got an email to sent some pictures also with a hull number, so I made it and sent it to them. Than they told me they would investigate it. One week later I got a letter telling me that I could not register because it doesn’t fit in there category of fast boats. So long the law is not ready, you should not be fined for an infringement that doesn’t exist. I am not a lawyer but this looks like a legal vacuum and the legal vacuum always benefits the citizen.
Portugal - eFoil & Jetboard laws
Portugal seems to be open minded at least at not crowded places. See the following quote from Mike @Jetsurfingnation in our forum:
In Portugal the use of efoils and jetboards is regulated by the local maritime police departments. Some of them don't allow especially in a very public Algarve beaches with too many swimmers, others allow the use of those watercrafts if you have a proper maritime insurance.
Spain - eSurfboard regulations
Also in Spain there seem to be no regulations yet. Here is a quote from our partner Jetboard Limited:
Currently there is no restriction, we ride when we want where we want, the guardia civil sees us and we have never been questioned or stopped. The only thing I know is that you need to ride outside of the buoys.
eSurfboard regulations - Australia
There seem to be different rules for each state. In Victoria the rules state that you must register any powered vessel that has more than 40 pounds of thrust or is capable of more than 5 knots. For NSW their rules states that it must be registered if it’s is more than 4.0 kilowatts or 5 horsepower. Plus the operator should have an appropriate marine or boat license with a PWC rating.
Here is a user quote from our forum:
I’m based in Victoria and have recently purchased an eFoil. I have been in contact with MARINE SAFETY VICTORIA and they requested I register my board as an “open boat” not a PWC or powered Canoe. There are some new regulations (dispensations) being considered for Efoils, however for the time being In Victoria I have been advised that we are required to have the board registered and hold a boat/ PWC licence to operate in all Vic waters. Until the new amendments are written we will have to operate under the current power boating regulations. I understand NSW has already made it compulsory to operate under their PWC regulations.
eSurfboard regulations Asia & Africa
The situation in Israel looks challenging. So far we have following user feedback:
I received a fine of 800 euros because I do not have documents for my esurfboard and the law requires a cruise test. The procedure and the bureaucracy is so complicated in Israel (you have to submit all the plans and diagrams for an engineer’s approval and after that …).
We need your feedback
As you can see a lot of regions are still missing and many many local regulations are not clear. It is still early for the local authorities to get their head around this new water sports trend. If you have any additional input or correction please share your findings on our forum or contact us.