I love being in the water – it’s not just therapeutic for me – it’s a necessity. Skin diving, paddle boarding, surfing, boogie boarding, scuba diving, you name it, I love it. Living in Southern California I get to experience these things on a weekly if not daily basis and it’s become a part of me. Yes, sometimes the weather isn’t perfect but the only thing that deters is the good waves, not me from needing them. So when a California inventor came up with a viable option for overcoming the bad wave days and taking even better advantage of the good days – I had to look into it.
The Wave Jet is a self propelled surf board that allows you to ride a wave longer and get into the bigger waves without a tow. You can easily switch out the propulsion section with a plastic replacement and surf as normal so you don’t need as many boards. It comes in many various sizes and is controlled by a bluetooth wristband so you only have propulsion exactly when you need it.
Why it’s different
Now I’ve seen a few hack-job ideas of what people think of as options for ‘self propelled’ surf boards but strapping what looks likes a jet engine to a board doesn’t make for an advanced surfboard – just a poorly weighted inconvenience. Other inventions have created totally different shapes and boards that are propelled but nowhere near the word ‘surf’. Another pull (having nothing to do with the board) is the fact that some guy just had the idea and wrestled with it for 9 years before it worked – that level of commitment is commendable in my book.
So you can’t do everything
Buying your way into surfing has never worked, as with anything, it requires skill, talent and time. And believe me if you’re trying to buy your way in with this invention, it will cost a pretty penny. Surfing is a culture unto itself that has rules. Wave Jet has made special notice of this and has some recommendations for those who are using their product in crowded waters including the fact that propulsion doesn’t mean you can cut in front of other surfers – sharing the water is important.
Repurposing to save lives and help people
People have already started buying this to aid in search and rescue operations. Life guards use this board in the same way that surfers do; except instead of trying to get to the perfect wave, they are getting to those in danger – saving lives. This board also opens up surfing to those with disabilities; allowing more people to join in on the sport.
And I still don’t know…
Okay so with all these things, all of what is good about this, I can’t decide if, given the option, I’d own one or not. Sometimes the point isn’t to always have the option of the perfect wave or the best ride but to experience the power and the tumult of the ocean. Leveraging technology always comes at a cost – to you and others. Whenever I see an invention pop up that opens many doors but at the sacrifice of the ‘art’ I cringe just a little bit and then I remember that if everything had to be done the ‘hard way’ we’d still all be living on arable land and barely surviving. So where do you draw the line? I say we don’t draw any lines.
Spec-Op Surfboard – What do you think it should look like?
Sounds a bit of a stretch I know, but with these quiet propulsion systems the potential tactical applications really begin to open up. I’ve met with a local board shaper and we are working on a “Spec-OP” paddle board. My thinking is that we’ll be able to use it as a platform for small boarding teams allowing them to quickly and quietly approach ships and conduct visit, board, search And Seizure (VBSS) operations. Also with the propulsion system an operator will be able to lie down in the prone position for the final stages of a water infiltration.
It’s also going to have to look “Bad-Ass” so that it will sell.
I’d love to hear what you guys think:
- What would be some other possible applications of a board like this?
- What should it look like?
Hit me in the comment section with any thoughts, pictures, videos or ideas you may have.