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Riding the waves on a cushion of air: the 25mph Jetbuster Jetrider XL


January 28, 2011

Jetbuster's new Jetrider XL, unveiled this week in Dusseldorf

Jetbuster's new Jetrider XL, unveiled this week in Dusseldorf

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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.

About the Author
Loz Blain Loz has been one of Gizmag's most versatile contributors since 2007. Joining the team as a motorcycle specialist, he has since covered everything from medical and military technology to aeronautics, music gear and historical artefacts. Since 2010 he's branched out into photography, video and audio production, and he remains the only Gizmag contributor willing to put his name to a sex toy review. A singer by night, he's often on the road with his a cappella band Suade. All articles by Loz Blain

Great, one more petrol powered device to polute the planet (it\'s frigging 2-stroke, the dirtiest ICE there is) and for morons to harrass sealife with, just what the world needs. When are humans going to realise that the planet isn\'t just here for us to use to get our jollies. I so wish the human race would grow up.

Here in Oz we have heaps of problems with dickheads on jetskis breaking bay speed limits, endangering other water users, killing and maiming seals, dolphins and even whales. Whoever came up with this really has no clue as to the complete stupidity of the average person, probably because they are completely stupid and selfish themselves.

The only good use I can see for this thing is surf rescue, and we already have rubber ducks and jetskis for that...

Mr T

Living right on the Florida coast, I would love one of these things. Too bad I can\'t trailer it to my 15mpg sports car. Life is fun. Live it!


The site says its 2995 EURO\'s , not dollars !

and today, that\'s $4100.45 USD



(correction to my comment of moments ago, and an addendum):

The site says its 2995 EURO\\'s , not dollars ! http://www.jetbuster.com/

and today, that\\'s $4100.45 USD

.. and, Mr. T : i do hate to raise the issue of hypocrisy, but you do seem to approve of jetski\'s (by your admission a risk to sea critters) when used to rescue surfers in trouble: in trouble cuz they are out there having fun .. So, if its your kind of fun, jetski\'s are ok ...

Oh, as these devices dont have a propeller, im curious how many whales, etc, have been damaged by jetski\'s, which use the same (and much more powerful!) technology .. Of course, bloodied whales as a consequence of surfers acting out their fun would be acceptable to you, i sense.


Wow to bad it doesn\'t have a supercharged V10 getting 4 gallons per mile. Wow it must use next to no gas and hence very little emissions. It looks like a great toy and considering it will get used as an alternative to driving a big boat around will most likely save fuel in its normal use. GREAT PRODUCT! Mr. T sit down.

Dave Maguire

I would like to see flexible solar sails developed for small seacraft. Since sails have a fairly large area, the power might be enough to provide propulsion. The craft might contain lithium batteries to store excess power. If the sun should go down, the sail would still be available. It would be a type of wind-solar hybrid.

Adrian Akau

David, you obviously know nothing about 2 stroke motors, look it up. They burn a mix of fuel and oil, their emissions are high regardless of engine size, they are the worst possible choice from an emissions standpoint. They choose them because they are cheap to make...

I didn\'t say I approved of jetskis, except for saving the lives of stupid people who swim where they shouldn\'t. Personally, I would rather let them drown (Darwinian natural selection), but if we must save them, a jet ski is more suited to the job than this I would expect. But, the use of jetskis should not be open to everyone, they should only be available to those who\'s job require them. The average person is just too stupid and ignorant to operate such things. Google it, there\'s heaps of reports of jetski riders doing damage to marine wildlife, injuring swimmers, killing themselves and others. As one forum poster so aptly put it: \"Not only should jet skis be banned on our waterways - they should be banned everywhere in the world. The only people who buy and use them have the kind of mind-set that says: \"Screw the planet - I want more stuff\". These idiots have no regard for the environment and no regard for the wishes of the great majority who prefer to quietly enjoy the aquatic and marine environment.\"

What I am complaining about is the attitude of \'if we can do it\' let\'s do it because it\'s fun and screw the consequences\'. This is the attitude that got the planet in such a mess in the first place, stupid selfish monkeys doing what makes them feel good instead of using a bit of brain power and finding a better, cleaner way to do things.

This device could have been much better electrically powered with a solar panel integrated into the unused top surface. After all, the average person will use this every now and then, there\'s be ample time between weekends for a reasonably sized panel to charge it up, assuming it was left in the sun. A separate panel plugged into it via a lead would solve the problem of people wanting to garage it.

So, don\'t just assume that because something is new, cool and fun, that it\'s a good thing, or even better than what came before. Use your brains, think about what you are looking at and how it could have been better. I know that\'s a big ask in this age of \'me, me, me\' but give it a go, huh?

Mr T

Fair go mr. T, this thing has a 9.5 horsepower motor. Jet skis are tuned for more like 250hp these days. In the scheme of things, this is a vastly cleaner and more fuel efficient way to have fun on the water.


I want one!

Facebook User

Mr. T really needs to step down, and get off the soap box. The clothes you are wearing require more energy to man\'f than an afternoon of fun on this. Why are these cats always so windy with their comments? How much cost/energy/pollution are the wars contributing to our world? Redirect your anger to the larger offenders.


Would love to see a unit like this built a bit bigger, with a bit less power and designed more for fishing. A few rod holders, room for a tackle box, small esky, bait container and room to store the caught fish. I'm sure many anglers would jump at this.


Jamie McDonald
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