For anyone who thinks the worst part of stand-up paddleboards is the paddling, you’re going to love this week’s Awesomely Weird Alibaba Electric Vehicle of the Week entry. Apparently, all it takes to ditch the paddle is a $300 SUP conversion kit that turns a paddleboard into an electric surfboard.
Electric conversions are all the rage these days. We’ve seen plenty of electric bike conversion kits, and there are even kits to turn an old car into a snazzy new electric vehicle.
But converting a stand-up paddleboard into an electric surfboard sounds like a whole new level of fun.
Putting aside the fact that this kind of kills the exercise benefits of SUPs, it still sounds like a fun way to spend an afternoon out on the water.
And for just $300, it seems like this Alibaba special can help you and nine of your friends make it happen. Oh yeah, that’s the other thing. There’s kind of a minimum order quantity of 10 units. But no worries – once your friends see how awesome this thing is, I’m pretty sure you’ll be able to move those other nine fins pretty quickly.
From what I can gather from the super bare-bones Alibaba sales page, the conversion kit seems to have a carbon fiber fin that houses a small electric motor and a propeller complete with prop guard.
The cynical part of me wonders if that’s the real fin that you get, since $300 already sounds like a pretty killer price, not even considering the carbon fiber.
But taking them at their word, it looks like a pretty nice kit.
The batteries and controller are housed in a nuclear football/Tupperware/Otterbox-style case that appears to be strapped onto the board in a less-than-elegant style. But I guess you’ll be buzzing the coast so fast that no one will get a good look at how janky the attachment appears to be.
Or at least I assume you’ll be flying along at a good speed. There are no tech specs to tell me just how fast this thing can go, though they did at least describe the motor as “high power,” which sounds like a good sign to me!
The concept is actually pretty cool and it’s something we’ve occasionally heard of before: a swappable fin on a typical stand-up paddleboard that adds a little motor and propeller to let you lazily cruise your local waterways.
It’s definitely not going to give you the thrill of a faster and more powerful electric surfboard. Based on the size in the images, I’d guess that it’s no more powerful than 250 watts.
Compared to the ultrafast 35 mph (56 km/h) electric surfboards I’m used to playing around on, I’m not sure it’s going to offer the same wind-in-your-hair and spray-in-your-face experience.
But then again, it’s also considerably less expensive than most $10,000 electric surfboards out there, so perhaps there’s something to be said for taking it slow and easy.
If I had to choose though, I think I’d still prefer something a bit more powerful. Check out my last ride on a high-power electric surfboard below. As soon as an Alibaba kit can do this, I might consider actually buying one.