Motorized paddleboards are a relatively new invention that offers an alternative means of enjoying watersports.
These boards are excellent for both recreational and competitive purposes. As such, they are becoming popular among avid outdoor enthusiasts.
After all, motorized paddleboards require less physical effort than regular paddleboarding since they come with an electric motor or engine that assists the paddler.
Even though a motorized SUP lacks the fun and excitement associated with traditional paddling for some people, others fall in love with them for convenience and efficiency!
If you’re looking for a way to bring your paddleboarding experience to the next level, the motorized paddleboards will have you covered.
Since motorized paddleboards are not as well known, figuring out their functions can be pretty challenging.
Therefore, in this post, we’ll take an in-depth look at the motorized SUPs, their setups, and their operations to help you understand them better.
Table of Contents
First The Basics! What is a Motorized Paddle board?
A motorized paddleboard is an alternate version of the standard SUP with a jet engine or electric motor for paddling assistance.
Usually, these boards are pretty popular among elderly paddlers. But they also offer excellent performance for kids, experts, and beginners alike. Plus, it’s safer than a regular SUP board!
The core advantage of a motorized SUP is that it can go farther upstream against strong currents and traverse long distances due to increased power and superior hydrodynamics.
Additionally, some of the more advanced motorized paddleboards can auto-inflate. This way, the rider will spend less time pumping and more time paddling!
When Would You Use Motorized paddle boards?
Motorized paddleboards offer a safer way to explore the water with less effort, more speed, and better efficiency. Thus, they are perfect when the paddler wants to see, enjoy the great outdoors but quickly tire from traditional paddling.
Furthermore, a motorized board is an excellent option for extended trips where traditional paddling would be too time-consuming or difficult.
Additionally, these potent watercraft can also perform as an alternative means of transportation on the beach or across the bay!
Last but not least, SUP fishing trips can become more fun with one of these boards. You can quickly propel your board and reach those lilypads where fish love to hide. Then turn your motor off to conserve power and let your SUP glide silently near the fish.
The possibilities are endless as you can use a motorized paddleboard for extended trips, running rivers, recreational paddling, SUP fishing, and if you have an inflatable kayak you can attach the motor to it too.
What are the main different motor types?
Due to its rising popularity, paddleboarding technology has evolved over the years. Nowadays, you can easily find several types of motor for your SUP board.
There are 2 main types of motor that are popular among the paddlers.
Firstly, there’s the typical electric motor and fins. These devices offer quite a bit of power, but they can be heavy and require a moderate energy level to operate. Moreover, they can be noisy if not appropriately maintained.
Secondly, there’s the jet SUP propulsion engine. It’s harder to install on the board and does not offer as much thrust as the motor fins. But, it’s more power-efficient, easier to handle, and quieter in the water.
Aside from these, there are also power motors and fin-mounted paddle assistance devices.
Moreover, recent developments of paddleboarding technology include complete conversion kits, which will let you customize your motorized paddleboard for extraordinary performance and versatility!
Can The Electric Motors Be Fitted On Any Paddle board?
The majority of the standard paddleboards will support these motors. However, the paddler will need to pay close attention to the board’s maximum carrying capacity and overall weight distribution.
SUP boards aren’t the most spacious watercraft. Thus, space is another essential factor to consider when picking up a paddleboard motor.
So, in essence, as long as the board is sizable, buoyant, and sturdy, you will be able to add a motor to it safely!
What types of paddle boards are best suited for motors?
Not all SUP’s are equal. As such, some of these crafts will perform better than others when motorized.
Typically, bigger boards like the fishing or touring SUP’s are ideal for adding an engine. Moreover, the family-friendly boards with several riders can also get tremendous benefits from a motor conversion kit.
On the other hand, smaller, kid-friendly boards with a length below 9′ aren’t very suitable for these devices. After all, these crafts often have low buoyancy and may become harder to handle after attaching a motor.
Additionally, wider boards will support the jet engines better, while a board with a cutaway tail would be the perfect fit for a propulsion motor.
SUP boards with a US fin box such as the Glide O2 Retro will perform better with a power fin, a fin-mounted propeller, or jet.
In summary, boards with lengths of 10′ or more and high durability, versatility, and stability are suitable for these engines.
What Accessories Are Required To Power A SUP Motor?
Paddleboard motors are an excellent option for anyone who wants to enjoy the water on their terms without having to rely solely on muscle power.
As such, there is no shortage of options available when it comes to selecting a motor. But, there are some essential accessories that you will need to power these devices.
Fortunately, most Sup engines can connect to a battery pack for power. Typically, a 12V battery set is robust enough to power even a SUP trolling motor. Yet, to keep the board more stable, lightweight batteries can also be a fantastic power source.
You’ll also require sturdy power cords, a remote, and a charger to function correctly. (most of which should come in the package)
If you wish to go with a more environment-friendly option, you can pick up a solar-powered SUP motor. But the panel and the motor may take up space, and its performance may be unpredictable since the weather can change rapidly and without warning.
In summary, using a lightweight 12V battery pack to power the motor should be a practical, efficient option.
What Is The Average Speed Usually Achieved By A Motorized Paddle board?
SUP motors are not very proficient when it comes to speed. This lack of speed is primarily due to the limited space and weight limit.
Even so, most motors offer a modest cruising speed that shall meet the needs of any paddleboarders.
The motor fin engines can get an average speed of 5.2 knots or 6 mph, while the jet drives usually operate at 2 knots or 2.3 mph.
On the other hand, the power fins boast an average speed of 2.6 knots or 3 mph.
So, for extended tours or fishing trips, the motor fin devices are better, while the jets are more sturdy in the hands of a seasoned paddler. In contrast, the power fins are ideal for beginners.
What Is The Average Runtime Of The SUP Engine?
Depending on the heat and battery capacity, the average runtime of a paddleboard motor is 1.5-2 hours.
The larger propulsion motors will take more power and heat up faster. Thus, they aren’t perfect for longer paddling sessions.
In contrast, the power fins are smaller and can run for a longer time. But, the jet devices are the best due to their power-efficient nature and colling features.
Are Paddle board Motors Difficult To Install?
With the introduction of motor conversion kits, installing a paddleboard motor has become surprisingly simple. Plus, some of these motors only require the paddler to use a couple of clamps and bungee cords to get the devices installed.
There are more complex, advanced motors that require the skills of an expert for installation.
In such cases, it might be better to go with a board that has an integrated SUP jet engine.
On the other hand, if your board has a US fin box, you can slide in a power fin such as the HiSun JS Electric Fin Power Unit, and the process becomes quick and effortless.
If you’re looking for a way to take your paddleboarding experience to the next level, then the motorized paddleboards might be right up your alley.
Moreover, the SUP motors are highly versatile. You can install them quickly on most types of paddleboards with minimal effort.
Motorized SUPs do require some extra accessories like a battery pack or charger, but they make it easy to explore areas that would otherwise take hours by paddling alone.
Thus, you won’t have to worry about getting stranded out there with one of these boards.
In short, once you find the perfect motorized SUP board for your needs, you’ll be able to enjoy paddleboarding like never before!