Today we are featuring Andreas from e-surfer magazine, he is a part of our All star Jet Board Testing tour.
1. Hi Andreas! Please tell us how the idea of e-surfer was born?
I always liked to create websites around my favourite sports. The first website was wakeboarding.de in 1996. I also run jetski.de and some others in the past.
I was following the petrol powered boards for a while, but never made the step to buy one. I ride electric skateboards since about 10 years and started E-Boarder.com. at the same time I started E-Surfer.com as I found these trends very interesting.
In the meanwhile my focus has shifted very much from E-Boarder to E-Surfer. I am just a water-sport guy.
2. How do you see the jetboard market this year and 2019? What are your biggest hopes?
Well, I guess 6 months ago we all thought 2018 will be the year of electric surfboards with many new boards (and E-Foils) being available for purchase. I guess we all hoped this still in January 2018.
Now it looks more like 2019 as most manufacturers face delays or can only ship very small volumes.
I hope (or better wish) that at least 10 different electric surfboards and 5 electric hydrofoils will be available for purchase with a delivery date within 4 weeks or less in 2019.
3. There are so many new boards in development but seems like nobody is ever ready to sell. You work a lot with factories and manufacturers what holds back all developers?
I think building a reliable electric surfboard is not easy. Many manufacturers are afraid of returns. Some say if your have 5% of returns than your business is making a loss.
In addition it is not easy to get batteries. I think the automotive industry is buying most of the stock and they are buying huge quantities, so that electric surfboard companies cannot compete.
4. The average price of 10-15k for a jetboard is too high to become mainstream. When will the price get more reasonable and what needs to happen?
I agree. The prices should be in the range of 2k-4k to reach the mainstream. I think this will still take a few years.
5. It’s very inspiring to see countries like Sweden, Germany, Norway and Czech Republic that historically have no ‘surf’ and no ocean be so passionate about developing a jet board. What do you think about it? Why is it happening?
The Northern European countries have only a short summer, so they have plenty of time in the year to sit in front of their computers or in the lab. They also have very good engineers.
And yes, they have a lack of waves and are looking for ways around it.
6. How is your surf van doing? Tell us more about your progress!
As much as I like my Jeep Wrangler I needed a van to store and lock the surfboards. The van will also help me to go e-surfing in less than ideal weather conditions as I can change my cloth and warm up in the van.
7. The e-skateboard market seems developing much faster. What prevents jetboards from going mainstream?
The electric skateboards have at least a 5 to 7 years head start. They are around since about 2007. They also need much less battery power, don’t need to be waterproof and are for these reasons much cheaper. About 400 to 2.000 EUR.
The electric surfboards just need some time, but I believe they will come.
8. As of now petrol boards like Jetsurf dominate the market. When do you expect electric boards to finally become competitive in terms of power, weight and price?
Difficult question, but I would guess in 3 to 5 years. However, I think the adoption will start earlier as people like environment friendly and less noisy toys and will pay more for it.
9. You live a life that is a dream for many people, travelling the world, riding boards. What is your secret of balancing work and high tech toys?
I am happy that my job brings me all around the world and if I have a free day I try to to connect with E-Surfers and E-Boarders in order to meet and ride.
In terms of work life balance I have the advantage that I am working from an home office if I am not travelling. I have late night calls, but at the same time I can go out for a ride at noon.
Social Media is great for easy interaction, but it is very unstructured. The same questions got asked again and again.
Blog articles are structured and easy to find, but not very interactive.
A forum is a very good tool to educate each other. And since everybody can participate each claim from a manufacturers will be proved (or unproved) very soon.
This is what I like about forums.
If you think about that in general 90+ % of forum visitors are only viewing and not writing and how small the community still is, I find it impressive how the E-Surfer forum has developed in such a short time.
Especially the fact that almost every manufacturer has an account and is answering questions.
I want to thank everybody who is participating in the forum and especially you, Mike. You are one of the top 3 most active users, if not the most active one.
11 . Thank you! If you have something to add to your fans and followers?
All, let’s hope that prices go down, shipping dates get closer and more boards and foils will hit the market soon.
And please post your pictures and videos in the forum! Share your rides …