Blea electric surfboard tests the crowdfunding waters
If an ongoing crowdfunding campaign is successful, the likes of Lampuga, Radinn and Aquila could be in for some competition. Blea Surf recently hit Kickstarter, with its relatively low-priced Blea Shark electric surfboard.
There are actually two models of the Shark being offered – the Performance and the Sport.
Made out of reinforced polymer, the Shark Performance weighs 30 kg (66 lb) including battery, and has a top speed of 20 mph (32 km/h). The carbon fiber Shark Sport, on the other hand, tips the scales at 27 kg (60 lb) and tops out at 30 mph (48 km/h). Both models feature a swappable battery that provides a claimed 40 to 70 minutes of go time per 1.5 to 2-hour charge.
Riders control the speed via a handheld throttle, while a kill switch attached to their wrist keeps the board from proceeding without them when they fall off. According to the designers, learning to ride only takes about five minutes, even for people who have never surfed before.
Specs-wise, the two Shark boards are within the same ball park as many of the other electric surfboards we've covered previously. If they do reach production, though, one area in which they may stand out is price.
Plans call for the Performance and the Sport to ultimately cost US$5,999 and $8,999 respectively, which is significantly less than the approximately $14,000 to $24,000 that some of the other boards are priced at (although Aquila's boards are actually in the mid-five-thousands). Additionally, during the current Kickstarter campaign, backers can get the Performance for $2,999, or the Sport for $3,999 – assuming everything works out, that is.