Not every surfer is lucky enough to live near a world-class break. In fact, many would-be surfers live hundreds of miles from the nearest piece of coast. For them, the new MXP-3 from Germany's Waterwolf represents the chance to transform the local lazy lake or river into a riveting surfer's playground. Part surfboard, part personal watercraft, the MXP-3 zips clean across flat water at speeds up to 21 mph (35 km/h).
Unlike the WaveJet, the Waterwolf MXP-3 isn't an e-power-assisted wave surfboard; it's not really designed for waves at all. Instead, the board untethers you from wave and wind conditions and lets you "make your own wave." It's a sport that's best described as electric moto-surfing.
The MXP-3 is powered by a 5 kW, water-cooled motor driving a propeller in back. The 20 Ah lithium-ion battery, which is housed in a watertight case, provides enough run time for about 20 to 25 minutes of water play or 8 km (5 mi) of range before requiring a three-hour charge. Waterwolf says that its propeller drive is fine-tuned for quick, sure turning and maneuvering, and the board's shape and construction are also optimized for performance under driven power.
The moto-surfer controls the MXP-3's output and speed via a Bluetooth handheld throttle, referring to the top-mounted LCD screen for speed and battery information. As a safety precaution, the board has a magnetic emergency kill switch that's activated at the pull of the wrist leash. Should the rider fall off, the tug of the strap pulls the magnetic connector out, cutting power immediately.
Compared to other powered surfboards like the PowerSki JetBoard, the MXP-3 has a simple, electric design and comparatively light 53 lb (24 kg) weight. Based on the video below, it looks like an absolute blast, even if it doesn't boast the speeds of gas-powered competitors.
Much like an electric car, the MXP-3 does suffer from limited range syndrome. We can't imagine that many folks will get this thing in the water and not want to play with it for more than 20 minutes at a time. They might find themselves yearning for a gas engine once the power bar pulls a quick vanishing act, though Waterwolf mentions that the battery is exchangeable, so we assume it will sell back-up batteries for extending water time.
Waterwolf showed the MXP-3 at the recent Dusseldorf boat show and plans to launch it this May. The board will be available in 94- and 96-in (240- and 245-cm) lengths for €6,990 (US$9,560), which includes VAT. For those that want to try before they buy, Waterwolf plans to host a demo center at its Oberammergau, Germany headquarters.