Surf on Sidewalks This Christmas for Under $400 With the Surfwheel SU

Have you ever gone surfing? Well, neither have I. Actually, most of us haven't. To change all that, mankind has been devising all sorts of equipment promising to bring the feel of floating on waves to our concrete jungles.
Surfwheel SU 7 photos
Photo: Surfwheel Limited
Surfwheel SUSurfwheel SUSurfwheel SUSurfwheel SUSurfwheel SUSurfwheel SU
One such contraption is the newest device built solely for offering the feel of riding a wave. Whether or not this is true, we’ll leave that up to you. It’s simply called the Surfwheel. And although there are three different models from this manufacturer with the same name, the one we see here is known as the SU. Technically, it’s considered an electric skateboard or hoverboard.

The way it’s set up is quite simple. It's basically a flat surface with only one giant motorized wheel in the center. Simple enough, right? Well, on the outside anyway. As is, the entire device comes in with a weight of 19 lbs. (8.8 kg). But, as far as what it’s made from or how it’s all set-up, we’ve got nothing to work with.

There seems to be quite a bit of secrecy around the way it’s all set-up. So much in that the actual wheel that the SU uses has even been granted a patent number. And that’s not the device's only component with a patent number. The team really took the time to make sure no Chinese copycats get their hands on the idea and start producing something similar.

Surfwheel SU
Photo: Surfwheel Limited
There are a few things we do know about the SU. The first is the device does include a motor that will offer a max speed of 12 mph (19.3 kph), in line with the top speeds achievable on a skateboard. What we don’t know is how much power the motor has. But most of us don’t care about the power as long as the speed is there. This vehicle seems to have it. Plus, it can carry a rider weighing 220 lbs (99.8 kg). Pretty decent for a no-name with unknown power levels.

Now, for the all-important battery, we don’t know if any major manufacturer is involved with the construction of the 12 X 2000Ah 3.6V cells. It may not seem like much, but the pack provides enough juice to propel the SU for up to ten miles (16.1 km) of riding round the neighborhood. Unfortunately, that's the only place where you’ll be able to use this device because of the way it’s set up.

Surfwheel SU
Photo: Surfwheel Limited
One of the main downsides to the way this vehicle functions is it cannot perform at all on any sort of incline. Not that the motor isn’t strong enough, but because those two-foot pads won’t allow for any incline to be taken as you’ll simply smash into the incline itself. Ok, maybe it can handle a three-degree incline, but the manufacturers recommend no incline whatsoever. Not to mention the range, which is not excellent. I'd love to be able to ride more than thirty of forty minutes. At least it’s only going to run you $399.

All this aside, seeing as this isn’t the first or the last idea of this kind, I'm sure we’re going to see better and better designs as time goes on. Honestly, we aren’t that far away from a real hoverboard for urban mobility. Coming up next?

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About the author: Cristian Curmei
Cristian Curmei profile photo

A bit of a nomad at heart (being born in Europe and raised in several places in the USA), Cristian is enamored with travel trailers, campers and bikes. He also tests and writes about urban means of transportation like scooters, mopeds and e-bikes (when he's not busy hosting our video stories and guides).
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