One of the best highlights onboard a yacht is a toy locker full of the latest water sports gear, from jet skis to paddleboards. However, for anyone looking for high-octane adventures across the waves, powered boards are fast becoming the toy of choice when it comes to luxury superyacht charters.
From full foiling surfboards to jet water-propelled flyboards, these are serious adrenaline-rush inducing toys that promise to turn you from beginner to pro in no time, earning you massive kudos and possibly winning you an admiring audience shoreside, as well as several envious stares from the yacht!
Here’s our round-up of the latest and best powered boards that no superyacht charter should be without;
Basically a surfboard on steroids, these independently powered carbon-fibre composite boards are incredibly lightweight and elevate you up out of the water, allowing you to lightly skim the surface at speeds of up to 30 mph. They are also one of the most environmentally-friendly toys on the market, as they emit almost no sound and zero emissions.
Controlled by a waterproof hand-held bluetooth remote, you have the option to manage your speeds over a number of settings from beginner to advanced, which are easily adjustable, coupled with ridges on the boards providing greater stability, so you look like a pro surfer from the minute you step on.
Lift Foils, Mark Zuckerberg’s Puerto Rican hydrofoil board company of choice, is renowned for its quality products offering everything from ergonomic controllers to state-of-the-art design for enhanced aerodynamics and manoeuvrability.
Foiling boards add a whole new dimension to powered boards, allowing users to fly above the water with maximum efficiency and zero emissions
Fliteboard, another reputable company that specialises in foiling boards, offers a range of boards, including an inflatable option: the Fliteboard AIR, ideal for beginners and yachts with limited storage.
Powered by high-grade lithium batteries, Fliteboard's latest electric boards include advanced carving models specifically designed for pro-riders, including their ULTRA model – the world’s smallest e-foil – for the ultimate elevated thrill ride across the waves.
They also include a GPS funtion on their app, allowing users to track their journey and share with envious friends back home!
There are several non-foiling options available on the market, from inflatable to carbon-fibre composite, which all offer a range of high-tech specs for the discerning adrenaline seeker.
They also come in a variety of shapes and sizes for different hydrodynamic performance functions and abilities, with top speeds ranging from 15 to a whopping 40 mph.
Some of the most popular brands today include Swedish company Radinn, who specialize in electric surfboards that have fast become synonymous with innovation and quality design, as well as Awake, another Swedish company whose CEO was instrumental in pioneering the first lithium-powered boards and continue in their quest to produce cutting-edge, high-performance and sustainable products.
Run-times can vary depending on how fast you go and the type of battery installed, with some of the more speedier high-end models incorporating a dual-jet propulsion system with two batteries for longer rides and greater stability.
Most powered boards, whether foiling or not, come equipped with a fast recharge of around 1-3 hours, giving you time to enjoy a delicious prepared meal onboard before taking to the waves again for a postprandial surf.
Some boards even come with exchangeable battery set-ups, so you can get straight back into the water. Who needs to eat, anyway?
For complete beginners, SUP has a brought out a range of electric paddleboards and, although not operating at the same kind of dizzying speeds of powered surfboards, are perfect for anyone looking to take a breather from paddling, giving you the freedom to enjoy the views as you glide effortlessly across the water!
Wave Jam also offer a family-friendly option where you hold on a bit like a boogie board as you are blasted through the waves. Guests can also take advatage of the board's silent propulsion to cruise over colourful reefs and watch fish and other marine fauna as they dart about in their underwater kingdom oblivious to their audience above!
For maximum stability and buoyancy in the water, the perfect powered board accessory has to be the Jet Surf Tube, ideal for younger kids or older children just starting out.
This is an inflatable rubber tube that's fitted over the electric board to create a stable base – not dissimilar to a hovercraft – so that even youngsters can hop on and feel like a pro surfer!
This accessory is currently only available for Jet Surf models, but other manufacturers could well follow suit in the near future.
These have been enormously popular over the years, with superyachts jumping on the bandwagon and adding them to their ever-increasing toy inventory to cater for the thrill-seekers among you.
Flyboards are essentially attached to a hose connected to a jet ski, which provides underwater propulsion to lift you up to 12 meters into the air, as well as propelling you through the water and back out again.
You can perform some seriously cool aerial acrobatics as the other guests look on in awe. That said, it does take a little time to get the hang of it, so be prepared to spend a bit of time under the waves, rather than on top of them! Water jets are emitted from the base board, and riders have to find their centre balance for perfect elevations into the air (at least, that’s the idea) before diving into the sea below.
In a similar vein to flyboards, hoverboards are attached by hose to a jet ski and you have the option to use the bindings on the board, like a snowboarder with your feet planted perpendicular on the board. Using the elevated nose for support, you can perform any number of graceful twists and turns in the air, or if you prefer you can simply straddle it and hang on!
Whatever your preference, water jets propel you up out of the water for an exhilarating thrill ride above the ocean, as a crew member or charter guest tracks your journey on a jet ski behind you.
Another similar product is the Jetovator, a sit-down water-propelled "bike" with additional jets emanating from two front nozzles allowing you to manoeuvre and turn in the air, whilst the rider on the jet ski controls the power of the thrust with the throttle.
More and more superyachts are adding powered boards to their water sports inventory, meaning anyone looking to charter a yacht with any of the toys mentioned in this article now have a much wider selection of charter yachts to choose from.
Notably, electric boards with their near-silent performance and zero emissions are becoming increasingly popular for Owner's and guests alike who are keen on preserving the marine environment.
If you're interested in booking a yacht with powered boards, browse the full fleet of available charter yachts by using the search by onboard toys function, or contact your yacht charter broker for more information.
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