Innovation

With the Wakejet electric wakeboard, there's no need for waves, wind, or a boat

File photo: A surfer drops in on a large wave at Praia do Norte in Nazare, Portugal, February 10, 2017.  (REUTERS/Rafael Marchante )

File photo: A surfer drops in on a large wave at Praia do Norte in Nazare, Portugal, February 10, 2017. (REUTERS/Rafael Marchante )

Ask anyone who has ever tried wakeboarding, and they'll probably tell you that it can be lot of fun. After all, the sport combines elements of waterskiing, surfing, and even snowboarding, allowing participants to skim along the surface of a body of water at high speeds. Traditionally, wakeboarding isn't a solo sport, as it requires a boat to tow the rider along behind it. But a company called Radinn is looking to change that with the Wakejet Cruise, the world's first electric wakeboard.

The first Wakejet prototype was created in 2013 as a university project by a group of Swedish students. Radinn's CEO recognized the potential in the device and immediately began assembling a team of mechanical and electrical engineers who could turn those early designs into a viable commercial product. It took them three years to achieve that goal, but the electric wakeboard finally went on sale in 2016.

Powered by a 15-horsepower electric motor and controlled by a handheld remote, the Wakejet is surprisingly quiet as it zips across the water. The board is capable of hitting speeds of up to 28 mph, and will run for 30 minutes at top speed -- and even longer at slower velocities. The Wakejet's 48-volt battery requires two hours to fully recharge before hitting the water once again.

The board itself is made out of carbon fiber and Kevlar, which helps keep weight down while still maintaining a high level of durability. As a result, the Wakejet weighs just 55 pounds, making it fairly easy to transport to and from the water. And like most other wakeboards, it is small enough to carry in a car or SUV without the need for a special rack.

While the Wakejet provides plenty of freedom for riders, allowing them to board without the need for a tow boat, it doesn't come cheap. Priced at about $16,000, this wakeboard is definitely a luxury item. But for wakeboarders who do have the discretionary income, the Wakejet can be purchased directly from Radinn's website with a $1,500 deposit.