Wave of the future? LA club uses electric surfboards to enjoy sport with motorized help

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Tuesday, March 14, 2023
Electric surfboards catching the wave of the future
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The electric surfboards can fly surfers just above the waves at speeds up to 30 mph.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Could this be the wave of the future for surfing in California?

One Los Angeles-area club has been using electric hydrofoil surfboards to enjoy their sport with some motorized assistance.

"We manage to catch waves we never thought about riding years ago," says Merten Stroetzen with the Los Angeles Foil Club.

The surfboards can go from 10 to 30 mph and run on lithium ion batteries. One charge can give you 30-90 minutes of surfing time. And it can offer a range of 20 different speeds.

"The hydrofoil works like a little airplane and with that motor, as you start to gain speed through the water, the wings act like a little airplane and lift you up off the water," said Brad Dela Cruz, a founding member of the club. "So as soon as you gain flight, you're actually flying two to three feet above the water."

Some people build their own from parts, but manufacturers sell the boards for $6,000 to $15,000.

Because they're motorized, they're considered vessels, meaning they have to be registered with the Department of Motor Vehicles.

The club, which has about 300 members, also has access to some advanced tech that's not out on the market. Tow boogies are essentially motorized boogie boards with tow lines attached to pull surfers through the water, similar to waterskiing without a boat.

"You don't need anybody else if you just go out there and do it by yourself - which is awesome," Dela Cruz says.