Summer is here (at least in the Northern Hemisphere), so we reached out to the manufacturers of electric surfboards & hydrofoils to get an update about who is shipping. We asked about the current delivery times as well as how much boards they can produce a month.
In January 2018 we thought 2018 would be the year where finally a choice of electric surfboards would be available. In summer 2018 it was proven that due to delays of many manufacturers it didn't happen. Last year only Onean, Lift Foils, Mertek and Loawai (formerly CURF) were able to ship meaningful volumes. In January 2019 (at the boot trade-show) we thought 2019 will be the year. Let's do a reality check.
In our electric surfboard and electric hydrofoil comparison tables we count currently 20 announced electric surfboard and 16 hydrofoil models:
That's sounds a lot, but if you want to buy one you may currently hear a lot "pre-order only". What does this mean?
NOTE: We expect a lot of updates and feedback over the next weeks and months and created the topic "Actual delivery times of electric surfboards and hydrofoils" in our forum. we encourage all manufacturers to share their updates in the forum.
Who can ship today?
We had most meaningful manufacturers on the phone over the past 2 weeks and this is what we found out:
- Onean - The Onean Carver is shipping since 2017 and the Carver X since 2018. According to CEO Inigo and Sales Manager Jon they can currently produce about 12 boards a week. Delivery time is usually within days.
- Lift Foils - The Lift Foils eFoil is shipping since June 2018 and has shipped about 1,000 boards until now. According to CEO Nick they can produce 200 boards per months (growing) and ship within 2 weeks globally.
- Loawai (formerly CURF) - The Loawai boards are shipping since summer 2018. They produce about 15 boards a months and can ship within days. They are so far still focussing on Europe to be able to offer local support.
- CabraTec - The Cabratec EasyGoat shipped in small volumes since 2018 and and the company is currently producing about 40 boards a months with a delivery time in Europe within one week. The larger XXL board for heavier riders is also now available according to CEO Mira.
- Awake - Awake is shipping since spring 2019 and can produce 20 boards per month. Shipping time is around 2 weeks.
- Fliteboard - The hydrofoils from Fliteboard started shipping pre-orders. New boards do have a delivery time of 8 weeks according to CEO David Trewern. They can produce currently 120 boards per month.
- E-Takuma - According to CEO Cyril Coste their hydrofoils started shipping pre-orders and they are planning to produce up to 280 boards in Taiwan and France a month. Shipping time for new orders shall be 6-8 weeks.
- Olo Boards - Olo's custom designed boards do ship in small volumes since spring 2019 and has currently a shipping time of 9 weeks.
- Waviator - The german hydrofoil shipped in small volumes since summer 2019 and is preparing a bulk order of 100 boards to be shipped in August. More about the Waviator offer soon.
- Mertek - The Mertek S1 is shipping since 2018, but can only handle rider up to 70 kg. Mertek is building the boards based on orders and can produce 100+ boards per month. Lead time is currently 1 month.
- Jetwake - Jetwake from Korea started to ship pre-orders. They can produce about 50 boards and 200 batteries a month.
- Cheap Chinese brands - You can find several boards and hydrofoils from China on websites like Alibaba. We cannot recommend them. There is a reason why they are so cheap. See an example on our forum.
So it looks like about 10 boards are kind of shipping. Remember - this is information directly from the manufacturer and needs to be proven. We saw so many delays that it is likely that some of these dates are shifting. I personally have only seen Onean, Lift Foils and Mertek shipping in large volumes.
By the way, when you read "small volumes" this usually means that they only ship to selected beta users in order to gather feedback from early adopters, so that they can improve smaller bugs. This is a common process which more or less every manufacturer does.
How about all the other electric surfboards & hydrofoils?
It is one thing to show a fully working prototype, but a complete different story to sell a reliable motorised surfboard in mass production. Every manufacturer confirmed that and all of them faced delays. The last think you want to do is too ship a product which fails at the customer. This will become very expensive and could let the company die as we have seen already with some companies.
- ESURF - The ESURF from Sweden is producing about 10 boards a month, but has sold all inventory exclusively to Luxury Water Toys from Monaco to be bundled with yachts. They are not selling directly or through other resellers.
- JETSURF - The Jetsurf Electric surfboards are announced for Q3 2019. The Czech company around Martin Sula continues to focus on petrol powered boards and I expect the date to slip to 2020, but let's see.
- Lampuga - We got recently informed from Managing Director Alexander Pick that Lampuga will not sell to end-users in the near future.
- Radinn - According to Alexander Fuehrling from Radinn they are currently shipping pre-orders and expect deliveries for new orders end of July. They don't report the number of boards they can produce per month.
- Water-Rebels - The Jetboard from Berlin is not publishing the release date yet. We are talking on a weekly base with CEO Stefan Klug.
- Torque - The Torque Jetboards will be not available before Q3 2019. According to CEO Dean Jarret he also took another round to optimise several components.
- Waterwolf - The Waterwolf MPX-3 is this year only available in very limited number (below 10). According to CEO Markus Schilcher he is restructuring his company for a re-launch in 2020.
- Audi E-Foil - The Audi e-tron hydrofoil is currently only a prototype. Mass production is not planned before 2020
- ElDoRiDo - The hydrofoil company from Czech republic is currently focussing on an electric plane and has pushed back the launch date for the e-foil to an unknown time.
- Elevate.rocks - The Germany company will not sell complete electric hydrofoils anymore, but will rather focus on selling components. The date for these components is not available yet.
- JetFoiler - The JetFoiler from KaiConcept was one of the first electric hydrofoil announced on the web. The company however was shifting their priorities and there is almost 3 years later still no launch date available.
- Pegasus Foil - Pegasus is still finishing up the product development according to CEO Andre Yi. No launch date is available.
- Plurato Sailfin - The electric hydrofoil team from Croatia does not reply to any email. I guess there are still busy and not ready.
- VeConcept - The VeCarve from Canada is also facing some delays. According to CEO Chris Vermeulen it will be a couple of more weeks.
So is 2019 the year of electric surfboards & hydrofoils?
Well, it is certainly better than 2018 and 2017, but most manufacturers are still not ready. We are still early in this new sport and the components are still very expensive. You can see how low the volumes are which are produced on a monthly base. The high price attracts currently only early adopters who have the budget.
Basically every manufacturer is facing delays and takes longer as expected. David Trewern mentioned in our last article:
"We have ended up spending four times our initial research and development budget. The extra effort has been well worth it."
So if you see new announcements for a much less expensive price you should be careful. Many of the founders of the top brands here are very smart guys with plenty of experience and are very well funded. If it takes them 3 years to produce a mass production board and they prefer only the best (and expensive) components then I guess this has a reason.
Will the boards become cheaper? I would think so, but I am not sure this will happen 2019. Probably not.