Riding the waves on a cushion of air: the 25mph Jetbuster Jetrider XL
By Loz Blain
January 28, 2011
Surfango is dead … long live Jetbuster! Our favorite powered kayak is back with a new name, a new look and an air-suspended seat unit which will come as sweet relief to anyone who's ever suffered the battered buttocks you tend to get from jumping waves in one of the older models. The new Jetrider XL has been unveiled in Dusseldorf, with a joystick-controlled 9.5hp motor, 25mph (40kmh) top speed and the new Airshox seat unit, for a retail price of US$2,999.
Things seem to be kicking along quite well for the company formerly known as Surfango – you may remember their PowerKayak from back in 2007. After moving into its own factory, opening a distribution warehouse in New York and securing distribution just about all over the globe, the Costa Rican/British company decided to rebrand itself at the end of 2010.
One of its first moves under the new Jetbuster name was to announce the new Jetrider XL, which debuted this week at Dusseldorf's BOOT 2011 boat show.
Like the original PowerKayak, the Jetrider XL is built for fun times on the open water, lakes and rivers. Like a regular kayak, it's small, fairly light and maneuverable and you don't need a trailer to cart it about. Unlike most kayaks, it's got a 9.5 horsepower, 2-stroke jet motor built in with a joystick control between the rider's legs – and it's capable of a pretty meaty 25mph (40kmh) speed across the water.
It's got electric start, a 260lb (130kg) carrying capacity, a seaweed cutter to keep the moving parts out of trouble and a 1.5 gallon (5 liter) tank that holds enough fuel for 2-3 hours of flat-out, full-throttle fun on the water.
As much fun as that looks and sounds, those specs are shared with previous models. It seems that the older PowerKayaks must have been responsible for some bruised buttocks, however, because the key innovation on the Jetrider XL is the addition of a fully suspended seat unit. Equipped with Air-Shox springs and adjustable damping, the Jetrider is now much better equipped to go wave-jumping without slamming your rump too much.
While the Jetrider's gentle on the buttocks, it's not bad on the hip pocket either. US$3,000 won't buy you a sniff of a jet ski, and while these powered kayaks may not offer the big horsepower thrills of the latest Kawasaki or Waverunner, they do have a host of advantages all of their own – including vastly improved fuel economy, portability and ease of transport. The simple fact that they weigh just 139lbs (68kg) would make it easy to carry a couple of these fun little watercraft on a medium-sized yacht.
As for the company's other key product, the Powersurf XS stand-up powered surfboard pictured below … well, that just looks like crazy fun.
Head over to the Jetbuster website for more details.