A quiet morning on the Bergsee, just after the sunrise, the still on the lake is suddenly, albeit faintly interrupted by a single man on a board: a board without a sail or a paddle. Standing up, the surfer cuts and carves turns into the water at speeds of up to 30 km/h – but how?
It’s actually quite simple. The board itself has a small motor on the bottom in place of fins, propelling the board and allowing the rider to surf even on still waters, without the aid of paddles, sails or wind. Originally, however, the board was not developed for this purpose.
Surfing without limits
In an interview with the Bogner Magazine, E-Board inventor Markus Schilcher explained that he originally came up with the idea for his “Waterwolf” because he was having
Surfing without limits
trouble catching larger waves on the ocean. Only later did he realize his new board could also be used to eliminate waves from the process entirely.
“The board has a very strong motor powered by a rechargeable lithium battery,” says Schilcher. “Then I just turn the start-dial on the board can start surfing.” The idea seems pretty innovative for someone who is just an amateur surfer and hobbyist, but Schilcher actually studied mechanical engineering, and worked in the field for fifteen years. It was only natural, then, that he would develop such a board.
Since putting together the first Waterwolf on his own, Schilcher has expanded his idea into a business that now includes two test centers: one at the Starnberger Lake in Germany, the other at Lake Garda in Italy. At both locations, members of the public can call in and try out one of the E-Boards, and also buy one if they so desire.
Unfortunately, the boards are still not so accessible to the general public for purchase. Each board costs between 8,000-9,000€ ($9,150-10,300), making them more of a luxury-sport purchase. The difference between the standard and the premium boards is only technical in nature, with the premium boards also coming with a Bluetooth remote.
While the cost does make the boards rather exclusive, the boards themselves do not: beginners can ride E-boards as well as experienced surfers. They can be ridden with the rider on his or her stomach, as well as from the standing position. The Waterwolf boards mark a breakthrough in a sport which has otherwise remained unchanged for some time, proving once again that the possibilities when it comes to sports are endless.