Surfing 2.0.: a whole new kind of adrenalin rushHours of surfing without waves: Welcome to Jetsurfing in Perth
The high-performance motorised boards of Jetsurf take traditional surfing to a new level, transforming even calm waters into a surfer’s playground, and delivering an experience described by elite ocean athlete Kai Lenny as “a mixture of surfing and MotoGP”. “Jetsurfing is a whole new kind of adrenalin rush and you don’t need a big wave in order to feel it,” says Lenny, the 2013 stand-up paddle (SUP) world champion.
“Flying across the water is similar to the feeling you get riding a giant wave. Once you drive into a turn the G-forces leave you wanting more. It’s really addictive.”
The 12hp Jetsurf board is capable of speeds up to 35mph (58kph) and has a range of up to 45 miles (75km) or 90 minutes on a full tank. Adjusting for speed is as easy as squeezing or releasing the throttle, which is a handgrip on the end of an electronic leash attached to the surfer’s wrist. It also acts as an emergency kill-cord to stop the engine as soon as the rider lets go.
While the engine takes much of the strain, it still takes a lot of physical effort to keep the board in check for extended periods, as most surfers aren’t used to riding a wave for more than a few minutes. “This wave lasts over an hour before you need to refuel,” says Martin Sula, the board’s inventor. “It demands a great deal of physical and mental strength.”
However, thanks to the fact that the board has a relatively small engine and featherweight carbon-fibre hull – the entire rig tips the scale at just 14kg – the Jetsurf board is easy to handle on the water and simple to transport.
There are currently only a few locations worldwide that offer Jetsurf training, and one of the most picturesque is Perth, in Western Australia. Surfers and non-surfers are welcome and, with serious air and even backflips all-but guaranteed daily, there’s no need to check the surf report.
“If you’re voyaging across larger bodies of water, a GPS or mobile phone is a good idea – just in case,” says Martin Sula.
Do you dare to get jet-propelled?
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