How to store electric surfboards in winter is a question that we get often. Of course we have our own experience with winter storage, but we also asked the manufacturers for their feedback.
It's getting cold in the northern hemisphere. A large number of e-surfers who recently still enjoyed their eFoil or a jetboard like the Lampuga Air or Awake Rävik have now stowed the good pieces somewhere in a garage or something similar. But what should you watch out for in winter storage?
We have quoted the answers of some manufacturers at the end of this article. Other manufacturers referred us to the user manual, which we looked up diligently to find out how to properly store electric surfboards in winter. It's about the boards themselves and of course especially about the batteries. Let's start with our own summary:
Store electric surfboards in winter - (Boards)
Whether it's an electric hydrofoil or a jetboard, the boards should first be cleaned thoroughly. Especially if they were used in salt water. When e-surfing in salt water, the board must actually be cleaned with fresh water after every ride. But before winter storage, you should make even more effort. Not only rinse the board, but also all hoses, contacts and cavities with fresh water.
Then you have to get the electric surfboards completely dry. Best in a boiler room with very dry and warm air. All compartments and cavities must be open. There you let the board dry for at least 24 hours. As after every use of the electric surfboards in salt water, all electrical contacts should be cleaned with contact cleaner for winter storage. Then lubricate the contacts with a seawater-resistant grease.
The board without batteries does not have great requirements for storage temperature. Although all manufacturers recommend room temperature, it can sometimes even go to minus degrees (e.g. in the garage). It is however absolutely essential that the board and all tubes are 100 percent dry.
Prepare the battery for winter storage
It gets interesting with the electric surfboards when it comes to the storage of the battery. The outside of the battery should also be cleaned with fresh water and then dried 100 percent. Here, too, the electrical contacts are first cleaned and then sealed, as already described above.
State of charge in winter. This is the most frequently asked question and the manufacturers' opinions sometimes differ. On average, 30-50 percent load is suggested here before storage. Since the batteries can empty by 50 to 75 percent over the winter, you should check the charge level every 4 weeks. The lithium ion batteries do not like deep discharge. At 20-30 percent you are in the best of hands in the area of security, but here you may have to recharge in winter. This is probably saved with a 50-60 percent charge, but the battery then also has more energy, which could cause more damage in the event of an accident (e.g. house fire). VERY important: A battery should never be charged below 10 degrees Celsius. All manufacturers agree on this.
The battery is also ideally stored at room temperature. Temperatures around freezing point are still acceptable, but the battery must be warmed up at room temperature for several hours before being charged again.
So, if you follow these tips for eSurfboards, nothing should go wrong for the spring start. All information here is without guarantee and we take no liability for any damage. If in doubt, contact the manufacturer directly. Please direct further questions in our forum.
Finally, the statements of some eSurfboard manufacturers:
Here are a few quotes from the manufacturers in alphabetical order.
Cabratec - Miro Schütz, CEO & Founder
All user movable screws and conectors should be lubed (vaseline is good, but even WD -40 is better than salty water). Charge battery both remote and board ideally at 30 %, or 50% and normally no need to charge during winter. Storing below 0 is not safety problem , not a problem for short time, but also not recommended for winter.
There is a small permanent decrease in capacity and risk of low voltage drop down. The 30 % charge can go close to 0 when very cold. So better store in your house garage or living area, than in a garden house. All battery fires are caused by accident of the battery by mechanical damage( it can show up in couple hours after battery damage but not days or weeks), so it makes no sense it ignites by itself in the middle fo the winter in your house.
Board after drying is no problem to store wherever at any temperatures.
EWAKE – Sascha Pollrich, CEO & Founder
The battery charge should not fall below 3.6V per cell. If the manufacturer has integrated a storage mode in its charger, the charger does this automatically when the storage function is selected. As a rule, 18605 cells, properly trimmed with the charger for storage, can easily survive the winter without recharging.
18 degrees Celsius (plus minus 10 degrees) is ideal for storing the batteries. Ideally in a dark place and with a humidity of below 50%. Freezing temperatures are okay, but the charge should not be below 10 degrees Celsius. You can store our specially designed lithium ion batteries in the house. Dry all contacts before storage and apply a small sprayer WD40 / Caramba / or seawater-resistant grease.
Before storing you can take the eSurfboards in the shower, paying attention to the battery poles! Rinse the radio remote control under clear water and make sure that it does not completely discharge during storage. To do this, check the battery status every 2 weeks. If the batteries are removable, please remove the batteries before storage. The board can be stored from -20 to +40 degrees. But room temperature is best. It is important that everything is dry.
Fliteboard - René Elysée, Head of Customer Support
Fliteboard and its components (Flitecell, Flite Controller, eFoil, Wings and Board) must not be used, charged, or stored below 0°C (32°F) or over 40°C (104°F) ambient temperatures as it can result in permanent damage to the components and void warranty.
Fliteboard recommends that all Fliteboard equipment be stored and if required, charged between 22°C (72°F) and 28°C (82°F) in a safe, dry place that is away from flammable objects/surfaces for maximum safety, optimum performance, and longevity.
When storing and not using the Flitecell or Flite Controller for greater than 1 week (long term storage), they should be discharged to a capacity between 50% - 75% for maximum safety. The Fliteboard components should also be stored in their relevant bags when not in use or charging to protect and prevent damage to them.
After long term storage of your Fliteboard components and before use, you are required to charge the Flitecell and Flite controller to 100% using the supplied Fliteboard chargers. These charging processes may take longer than normal (up to 24 hours) but this gives you time to inspect and perform routine maintenance and checks before your ride.
Lampuga – Jochen Schneider, Head of R&D
Keep the eSurfboards, battery and accessories only in a clean and well-maintained condition. Always store the batteries (rechargeable battery and remote control) separately from the jetboard. Lithium-ion batteries must be stored dry and cool and protected from strong sunlight (see technical data + battery instructions). Avoid additional flammable materials in the area of the battery and the radio remote control. This keeps the fire load as low as possible during storage.
Damaged batteries or remote controls must be kept where they can be monitored. In the event of damage, contact your dealer immediately. Treat the connector regularly with contact 61 from Kontaktchemie or an alternative care and cleaning product. If a connector or gasket is dirty, clean or wash it with clean fresh water (not pressurized) and wait for the connector to dry before applying the recommended products. Never use a cleaning or care product unless the manufacturer specifically recommends this.
Do not use the battery if it or the connector is damaged! Only store the battery according to the instructions and contact your dealer immediately if it is damaged or defective. Check the condition of the battery (including the connector) before using it. Severe corrosion on the plug contacts can lead to inadequate sealing.
Lift Foils - Jerry Tirado, head of customer support
In regards to the board storage during winter, make sure that the water tubing is clear from any water in case it freezes. And, keep the board stored indoors, preferably with an open hatch compartment (do not extend the hatch door over 90 degrees)
Hand Controllers can be left as they are, removing the batteries is not necessary but still a good safety precaution to follow. The eFoil even works well during freezing temperatures, take a look at this video of Travis Rice efoiling through ice. In regards to battery storage during winter, it should not be stored in a shed or outdoor storage where temperatures get below freezing. Moderate low temperature (0degC or even -5degC) won't damage the pack but -20degC is not good.
No heating pad is necessary. As long as it's stored inside above freezing, there won't be a problem. And, it should always be stored in a solid, dry, and flat area. What should absolutely NOT be done is charging when cold. The pack must be heated back up, at least to 10degC, before charging. Note: During over 3 or 4 months of storage, the battery will lose a good portion of charge, 50-75%.This is ok, the battery will enter sleep mode when reaching a low state of charge and will be woken up when placed on the charger again.
Radinn - Eric Blennow, Head of EMEA Sales
For correct Power Pack Maintenance always charge the power pack to approx. 50%-70% before storing it. Store the power pack in a room with dry air at room temperature (15–28 °C /59–82 °F). Never store the power pack in the board or leave it connected to the charger.
Fully charge the power pack before using it. Never fully discharge the power pack. Note: Regardless of if you have purchased the Radinn Speed Charger as an add-on, We strongly urge you to use the standard power pack charger once every ten charging cycles to maximize the battery’s life cycle.
Regarding the boards there are basically no restrictions except that the jetpack should be rinsed with clean water if riding in salt water.
ScubaJet - Michaela Dorfer, Customer Support team
Do not store the battery in temperatures above 45 degree C (113oF) as significant off gassing may occur. Keep the battery and SCUBAJET in a dry and shady spot when not in use. If the battery is not to be used for an extended period of time, store it in a well-ventilated area and away from children, heat and ignition sources and recharge it every two months to maintain charge and avoid excess off gassing. DO NOT store the battery inside the SCUBAJET.