Wavejet powered SUP: First impressions
When the call came through, that our Wavejet powered SUP had arrived…it was slow motion from that moment on. It felt like some sort of dream, or like being in a movie…I mean every surfer since a kid as dreamed of a powered board. Struggling against the raging Ponto D’Ouro torrent, being swept out to sea in a huge easterly swell, charging against the crowds at Supers…the thought of some power to your paddle has danced around in front of us like a fantasy for eons.
And here it is…
The Wavejet powered surfboard.
As it turns out, this time, our power is attached to a monster surfboard. 11 feet of it. And when I first fired up, nothing happened, except a noise and a vibration under my feet. Remembering detailed instructions from Mr. Patrick Skeates, the go to Wavejet guy in Cape Town, I stroked a few times with the paddle, and next thing the jets bit into the water and scooted me off at some weird kind of full speed.
I was off…belting across the Umzimkulu River with a paddle in my hand and a huge scifi looking wristwatch flashing all sorts of coloured lights, on my wrist. I tapped the single button on the wristwatch and almost fell off as the jets let go. Another tap and I was back off zooming towards the far bank. Time to turn. Oh oh…it ain’t that easy, and we put the huge single fin right at the back of it’s box, but with the paddle in the water as far out as possible, she turned on a ticky. Obviously, the further back you go on the board, the easier the turns become.
So taking turns, John Fever and I zoomed around the wharf, the dogs insisted on coming aboard, at one stage I had 2 Jack Russells with me. If you know how to surf or skate, or ski I suppose, this is very easy. There is practically no stability problems for smaller guys like me and Fever.
Then my Dad had a go, he is huge, and opted to sit paddle ski style…and off he went, zooming around and around…with that same smile everyone gets when they get a go on this machine.
Then John took a ride down towards the mouth, turning back just past Spiller’s Wharf…when he got back, the Wavejet was still beckoning fore more, but the wristwatch was playing disco lights by now. So because it was our first session, we undid everything and took the pod upstairs for a clean and a charge.
The charging pack deals with the wristwatch and the Wavejet pod, at the same time. The wristwatch sits in a recessed holder within the charging pack (a pelican case style box) and a cable plugs simply straight into the pod. When the lights all go green (there are many lights)…it’s back on the water!
Fitting the pod back into the board is a one minute operation, and getting it off should be too, but John and I had difficulty the first few times. By now we are experts and do it a second. The supplied tools make things a cinch.
So, it’s a great piece of kit, and on the huge SUP, is versatile enough to take over a big portion of your ocean going hours. For funning around on flat water, it’s great…remembering that we are using clean energy, and aside from electricity to charge with, there are no other costs.
It is pouring with rain down here on the Umzimkulu today, and looks like it’s going to continue. But on Saturday, at 10am, we will have our Wavejet SUP down at Spiller’s Wharf, for anyone interested in buying one, or just having a go.
In the meantime, the waves are cooking at The Block, fish are jumping, and the Wavejet pod and cameras are fully charged…check back soon!