A new kind of Stand-Up Paddleboard comes with a built-in motor that can drive a passenger at up to 3.5 knots. Add in your own powerful paddle strokes, and this could be the machine for crossing windy lakes or fighting against currents.
If you’ve ever used an inflatable stand-up paddleboard — or SUP — you know two things. Inflating the board is a bit of a chore. And paddling into the wind can be relentlessly tiring.
The new SUP on the block, SipaBoard, is taking a swing at both of these issues with its new line of “smart” SUPs.
At the heart of Slovenian-based SipaBoard is a rechargeable electric motor that slots into the base of the SUP. An inflation hose connects to the motor to engage the compressor, which pumps up the board. Remove the inflation hose and the motor converts to a jet-propelled motor to power the SUP on the water.
The motor is housed in a waterproof casing. A protected prop moves a current (of water or air) through the drive box to inflate or propel the board.
A standard inflatable SUP will take anywhere from 4 – 8 minutes to inflate. With a good electric pump it can take anywhere from 30 seconds to a minute. SipaBoard’s drive fully inflates the deck up to 15-18 PSI in under 5 minutes and is an integral part of the design.
Motor Assisted Paddle Board
The same motor provides roughly 3 hours of assisted cruising. The battery takes 90 minutes to charge from a complete discharge.
By itself, the board weighs in at 21.5 pounds — a competitive weight comparable to other inflatables on the market — and measures 11 feet by 5 inches. The jet propulsion system adds an additional 8.5 pounds, bringing the complete kit to 30 pounds.
The propulsion system has 5 settings (on/off and three speeds) controlled by a Bluetooth enabled paddle. It tops out at 3.5 knots, certainly not enough oomph to pull a wakeboard, but enough to ferry a 300 lb. load around the lake.
Man overboard? Not a big deal, the motor shuts off when the paddle is submerged.
SipaBoard currently has three boards available under the “Drive Collection.” The company is launching a Kickstarter campaign in March for a new line of boards—the Air Collection—which includes an updated compressor motor and battery, plus a yoga specific SUP.
The premium SUP comes at a premium price; it will cost you $2,000 for the board, paddle, and spare battery.