Electric surfboards: what are they and how do they work?

The next generation of water sports

Electric surfboards are becoming all the rage among everyone from water sport enthusiasts and tech heads to lake lovers and beach goers. And it should come as no surprise—electric surfboards are an exhilarating and easy way to experience the thrill of wave surfing while incorporating the conveniences of modern technology. But what is an electric surfboard, and how does it actually work?

If you're looking to delve into the era of electric surfboards, this comprehensive guide has you covered. Whether you’re a seasoned surfer or a first-timer, you'll learn everything you need to know about the state-of-the-art watercraft taking over the world of e-mobility, including how far and fast it can go, its different parts and features, and all about pricing, product tips, and safety considerations. Let’s dive in.

What is an electric surfboard?

A photo showing two people riding Radinn electric surfboards / jetboards, with a view of the handheld remote

As a new water toy, electric surfboards are rapidly gaining popularity for their ease-of-use, accessibility, and adrenaline-packed fun

An electric surfboard, also known as an e-surfboard, jetboard, or motorized surfboard, is a watercraft designed for surfing over the water. Unlike traditional surfboards, electric surfboards are equipped with an electric motor that uses jet propulsion to move the board forward, allowing you to easily glide along the water’s surface without the need for paddling, wind, currents, or waves.

Electric surfboard advantages

One of the main advantages of electric surfboards is that they allow you to surf over any body of water and maintain speed with significantly less effort and experience than traditional surfing. They’re a fantastic option for beginners who may not yet have the strength, skill, or comfort in the water to ride traditional surfboards, as well as for more experienced surfers who want to explore a new, adrenaline-packed kind of water activity, hit turbocharged speeds, and perform stunts and tricks.

Another advantage of electric surfboards? They don’t require you to live in a specific location or be dependent on specific weather conditions. For so long, surfing has been limited to where you live and what the water is like—you can’t wave surf if there aren’t breaks and you can’t kitesurf if there isn’t wind. With electric surfboards, you can surf anywhere, anytime you want.

Finally, electric surfboards are relatively quiet and produce no carbon emissions, making them an environmentally-friendly watercraft that allows you to adventure in nature without disturbing marine life or polluting your local waterways.

How does an electric surfboard work?

A closeup photo of the handheld remote of the Radinn jetboard / electric surfboard, that shows the thumb throttle mechanism and the LED light interface

Electric surfboards are powered by a handheld remote with a throttle mechanism that connects to the jetpack for smooth and precise control

An electric surfboard works via a motor impeller that uses jet propulsion to move the board forward through the water. The motor is powered by a rechargeable electric battery that is attached to the board, usually under the rider's feet or within a waterproof casing. The Radinn battery, for example, is placed into a slot in the center of the board’s hull, and clicked into place using lock rings.

The jetpack is the drive unit of the electric surfboard, and usually sits underneath the hull at the tail of the board. The jetpack’s motor impeller (think propeller, but inside a tube) uses power from the board's battery to rotate its internal blades. The blades suck water in and forcefully eject it back out — moving the board forward through jet propulsion.

You control the speed and acceleration of the jetpack via a handheld remote control, usually with a thumb throttle. You steer the electric surfboard by shifting your body weight to turn and change directions.

How far can an electric surfboard go?

The range of an electric surfboard varies depending on a number of factors such as the size and capacity of the battery, the weight of the rider, the rider’s top speed and overall performance, and the riding conditions. Generally speaking, most electric surfboards can travel between 8 to 15 miles (13 to 24 kilometers) on a single battery charge. At Radinn, we measure our electric surfboard range in time. On average, our electric surfboards last about 45 minutes on the water with one battery charge.

As mentioned, the rider and riding conditions have a significant impact on range. If you’re heavy, or constantly riding at top speeds and in very choppy waters, the battery will drain quicker and reduce the overall range. Conversely, if you’re lightweight, or riding in calmer waters and at lower speeds, the range will be extended.

How fast can an electric surfboard go?

An action photo of someone carving deeply at high speed on the Radinn jetboard / electric surfboard

The Radinn electric jetboard is one of the fastest on the market, hitting top speeds of 37 mph / 60 kmh

Just like the range of an electric surfboard, the speed of an electric surfboard also varies depending on the rider and the conditions in which the board is ridden. Furthermore, the model and design of the electric surfboard can have an impact on performance, as some boards are built for speed and some boards are built for tricks and breaks.

As with riding a bike, riding in rough and choppy conditions or against strong currents will result in slower speeds, while riding in calm waters or with the wind at your back will result in faster speeds.

Generally speaking, most electric surfboards offer top speeds between 20 to 30 miles per hour (30 to 50 kilometers per hour). The Radinn electric surfboard is one of the fastest on the market, with the ability to hit top speeds of 37 miles per hour (60 kilometers per hour).

Note that many electric surfboards, like the Radinn, come with different settings that allow you to adjust your speed to match their skill level. This can be highly beneficial for beginners who are still learning to ride, as well as more experienced riders who want to push the limits of their board's performance. Radinn speed settings can be customized via the Radinn app, and include four levels—Easy, Standard, PRO, and UNLEASHED

Parts and features of an electric surfboard

To fully comprehend the inner workings of an electric surfboard, it's essential to have a thorough understanding of its different parts and features.

The main parts

Electric surfboards are composed of several key components that work together to provide you with an outstanding motorized surfing experience. Here's a brief overview of each component:

  • The board: It’s not called an electric surfboard or jetboard for nothing. The board itself is typically made of foam, fiberglass, or carbon fiber, and provides buoyancy and stability in the water.
  • The jetpack: The jetpack is the drive unit of the board, and usually sits underneath the hull at the tail of the board. Inside the jetpack is the impeller, also sometimes called the waterjet.
  • The impeller: The impeller or waterjet is a rotating device that looks like a fan blade, enclosed within a nozzle. It intakes water, and as the impeller spins, creates a high-pressure water jet that shoots out of the nozzle at the back of the board, providing propulsion.
  • The battery: The battery is what powers the motorized impeller inside the jetpack. It’s typically rechargeable and removable from the hull of the board.
  • The control system: The control system usually takes the form of a handheld remote that pairs with the jetpack and an app on your phone. You can use both to control the speed and acceleration of the board
  • The charging system: The charging system usually connects directly to the battery. It is typically a separate device that plugs into a power source like a wall outlet.

Radinn electric surfboards utilize all the components above, including the board, jetpack, battery, control system, and charging system. Every Radinn electric surfboard also comes with a handful of other accessories, such as a board leash that operates as an on/off key and safety strap, a set of fins to provide more grip, and a board bag for protection and easy transport.

A photo showing the design features of Radinn jetboard / electric surfboard as it is submerged in water

Electric surfboards have many unique features that make them stand out from other watercrafts

The main features

Electric surfboards have a handful of features that make them fun, customizable, and easy to handle. Here's a brief overview of each of these features and how they impact the setup and surfing experience:

  • Speed: Electric surfboards offer ultra-high speeds, providing an exciting and thrilling ride across the water.
  • Performance: Electric surfboards offer certain performance and trick capabilities, like the ability to jump off your own wake and carve deeply.
  • Setup: Electric surfboards are easier to setup and maintain than other watercrafts as they don’t require any launch equipment or substantial storage solutions.
  • Power: Electric surfboards do not require any gas stops as they run off of a rechargeable electric battery.
  • Design: Electric surfboards come in many different styles and designs and can be built for different levels of stability, maneuverability, performance, and speed. Design details include the hull shape, rocker, kickpad, rails, fins, and more.
  • Stability: Electric surfboards can vary in their stability, and thus how hard they are to master, especially for beginner riders. Board width, length, and shape all contribute to the overall stability.
  • Safety features: Electric surfboards typically come equipped with various safety features such as a safety leash—which can serve as an emergency kill switch—as well as features that automatically decrease the speed when the battery is low to ensure the rider can get back to shore.

Radinn electric surfboards integrate all of the above features. With industry-leading speed and range, a modular system that lets you setup and transport your gear with ease, and a three product line that offers a handful of different performance and stability features, Radinn electric surfboards have something for every kind of rider.

How much does an electric surfboard cost?

The price of an electric surfboard varies greatly depending on the model, brand, and features. Electric surfboards tend to be more expensive than traditional surfboards and instead in the range of other water toys like jet skis and ski-doos.

Entry-level electric surfboards typically start at around $3,000 to $4,000, while more advanced models can cost upwards $15,000 or more. Radinn electric surfboards fall in the $10,000 - $12,000 range due to their quality materials, lithium-ion battery, and cutting-edge IoT technology.

Ultimately, the price of an electric surfboard depends on a variety of factors like longevity and durability, and you should consider your individual needs and usage patterns when selecting a board.

Safety considerations when using an electric surfboard

Two kids wearing life vests and riding the Radinn jetboard / electric surfboard

Beginners should always wear a life jacket or impact vest while riding an electric surfboard

When riding an electric surfboard, safety should be top of mind. Beginners should always wear a life jacket or impact vest while riding, and carry a whistle on you to call to attention in the case of an emergency. Beginners should also consider wearing a helmet and practicing in a low-traffic area away from other boaters and swimmers.

Before taking your electric surfboard out into the water, it's crucial that you familiarize yourself with the laws and regulations in your area. Since electric surfing is a new sport, there are not always laws and regulations specific to riding them. In that case, you should follow the laws and regulations of other personal watercrafts like jet skis and ski-doos. Read more about the best places to surf in the U.S. and the best places to surf in Europe.

Finally, it's important to regularly maintain your equipment to ensure that everything is working properly. Radinn electric surfboards offer over-the-air updates, the same way your smart phones do, so be sure to check the Radinn app often to see when updates are available.

By following these safety considerations, you can minimize the risk of electric surfboard accidents and make the most of your time out on the water.


Electric surfboards are ushering in a new era of water sports by combining the power of modern technology with iconic surf design and technique. They’re 100% electric and virtually silent with no gas stops or launch equipment necessary, and offer ultimate aquatic freedom for riders of all ages and abilities.

Just insert your fully-charged battery, set your performance level in the app, and hit the water in sleek style.


How fast does an electric surfboard go?

The speed of an electric surfboard varies depending on the model, rider’s weight, and water conditions, but they typically range from 18 to 30 miles per hour (30 to 50 kilometers per hour). The Radinn electric surfboard can hit top speeds of up to 37 miles per hour (60 kilometers per hour), making it one of the fastest electric surfboards on the market.

How long does an electric surfboard last?

The battery life of an electric surfboard varies depending on the model, rider’s weight, speed, and water conditions, but most electric surfboards—including the Radinn— last about 45 minutes on average off a single battery charge.

Why are electric surfboards so expensive?

Electric surfboards are similar in price to other personal watercrafts like jet skis and ski-doos. They’re generally more expensive than traditional surfboards due to their advanced technology and specialized components. The cost of manufacturing and sourcing high-quality materials, such as carbon fiber and lithium-ion batteries, can also drive up the price.

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