Electric Bodyboard / Water Scooter Analysis: Firduo’s Electric Jet Board is Torn by Surf!

Bodyboarding is a lot of fun in an old-fashioned way, but what if the sea is so quiet (or if you are in a pool or lake)?  Then the electric bodyboard will give you the same excitement no matter what kind of water you are on.  Firduo’s got a chance to check out his electric bodyboard.

The Firduo Electric Bodyboard is unlike anything we’ve ever tried.

We’ve tested electric surfboards and electric hydrofoil boards, but both of them require a learning curve.

They require a thick wallet that you can sit on rough.

The Firduo Electric Bodyboard here is a fraction of the price of an electric surfboard and is very easy to use.  There is basically nothing to learn and no need for balance – you just squeeze and hold the throttle!  But in about a dozen places he said, “It’s not a life-saving device” that comes to mind again and again.

 What makes this thing tick?

Not sure how to describe Firduo Electric Bodyboard.  When I think of bodyboards, they say, “It’s not a lifesaver,” when we all go to friends’ houses to think about cheap toy items that we play with our friends.

But Firduo is not.  It looks like a scaled-down jet ski.  This is basically a small electric towboat that floats high and hangs on the handlebars.  There is a foam surface behind the bow so your skin is fine when you put it on, and a little LCD screen to see your energy level, battery percentage, motor temperature and other important data.

A pair of buttons on your right thumb allows you to choose how powerful the motors are and that your left index finger triggers that power.

The two propellers located under the Firduo are connected to a pair of 2 kW motors and a single waterproof electronic speed controller.  With both motors turning at full power, the smaller vessel pulls a maximum of 4,000 watts of power or about 5.3 horsepower.  This leads to a maximum 340N pressure (76 lbf or 34.6 kgf).

At full power, it can pull an average sized rider at speeds of about 5-6 mph (4.3-5.2 knots or 8-10 km / h).  It may not sound like much, but it is very fast when you are pulled over the surface of the water.

 The cool part is that you are not limited to just the surface of the water.  You can dive, though not easily.  The entire thing is IP68 rated and operates at a depth of 30 metres (100 feet).  The only problem is that Firduo floats so ridiculously that it is hard to dive into it.  You have to push your nose down and then use your upper body strength to show it down until it starts diving.  If you don’t know how to swim properly, be careful.

Once you get one or two feet under the surface it’s easy because it goes wherever you point it, but you have to keep a little downward direction to deal with the positive buoyancy.

This is definitely not meant to be a scuba-diving scooter, and extreme sailing is really good for safety because if you’re tired you can sleep on the thing and float smoothly throughout the day.  He writes in about a dozen places, “This is not a life-saving device,” which is true, though I would love to throw one of these in a pinch.  

He specifically stated that this was not a life-saving device that made me want to live out my ultimate Baywatch fantasy

When it comes to the ride, I find that there are two basic positions and they really affect the ride.  You can either stretch your arms fully and rest your chest on the board so that you are basically pulled behind Firduo, or you can flex your arms and bring your face straight behind the bow so your torso is mostly on board.

While your non-hydrodynamic high body seems to drain the battery quickly as it hangs in the water, the arms extended position is a bit easier.  When you exhale on the device and ride too much on it, the battery lasts longer and feels like you can go even faster.  This makes it easier to turn because you can actually tend to twist and carve like a fast boat.  The downside is that you get too much out of the water and get less of that splash-splashy goodness.

When you are underwater, the procedure of extending the arms seems easier and less tiring, although it is difficult to rotate under the water with the arms extended.  Pulling the Firduo into your chest makes the underwater turns much easier.

Another cool feature that I haven’t touched on yet is the GoPro mount on the bow.  I added an expander arm and when I put the camera back it allowed me to shoot, or you could put it in front and shoot things in front of you.

 Firduo Electric Bodyboard

No matter how fun Firduo Electric Bodyboard is, there are two things we complain about.  The first is battery life.  They claim a 60-120 minute run time, but we have never watched it closely.  We can get 25-30 minutes of battery, though we only used the maximum power mode.  The low power modes are great and in fact I put the Firduo on when I let my young nephews try it.  Depending on the size of their smiles, it’s also fun in low power mode.  But when you’re ripping at full power, you’re definitely not seeing one to two hours of use.

The battery is removable, so you can easily take a spare battery or two to swap it.  The waterproof connector makes it easy to open the battery door and take out the battery even in wet weather.  Which brings me to my next complaint: weight.

Firduo himself is not too heavy.  But the battery door has louvres in it that act as weep holes to let water out.  When the device is in the water they reverse – they fill the battery compartment with water.  Thanks to waterproof connectors this is not a power issue, but it adds approximately 10-20 lbs (4-8 kg) of water, which you will immediately feel when you take the Firduo out of the water.  It takes about a minute for the water to drain completely, so you’ve got an extra heavy bodyboard to transport the farmers back to your towel on the beach until the water finally drains.

That being said, the complaints are minor compared to how much fun this stuff is.  We love being able to take it everywhere from the neighbouring pools to the wide open ocean.  It is well built and it feels like it will last for many years (good hassling after any saltwater use is good for extending its lifespan).  And with the current price of $ 1,900, it’s not as expensive as we fear.

Yes, it’s definitely not cheap.  But we have never ridden electric surfboards and e-foil boards for less than five figures.  So when it comes to electric water sports, everything is relative.

Source Firduo

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