Although one of the big appeals of paddleboards and kayaks is the fact that they are human-powered, there are some scenarios in which a motor could help. The HydroJet was designed with that fact in mind, as it can be mounted on existing watercraft as needed.
Designed by a Portland, Oregon-based team of watersports enthusiasts, the 34-lb (15-kg) device incorporates a single water-cooled electric jet drive motor. Previous prototypes featured two such motors – one on either side of the board/kayak – but they were found to create too much drag, and use too much battery power.
The current version of the HydroJet is fastened to the rear of the user’s watercraft via a proprietary strapping system. It’s then controlled by an included wireless handheld remote, delivering a top speed of over 17 mph (27 km/h). One charge of the removable 44,000-mAh lithium-ion battery pack is claimed to be good for up to 80 minutes of runtime.
The remote is IP68 waterproof, meaning it can be submerged down to 1.5 m (5 ft) for 30 minutes without leaking. If the user should fall off their board and into the water, the HydroJet will stop as soon as their thumb releases the remote’s throttle switch.
Steering is managed by shifting one’s body weight and/or using a paddle.
Should you be interested, the HydroJet is currently the subject of a Kickstarter campaign. Assuming it reaches production, a pledge of US$1,100 will get you one – we’re told that the retail price will be in the range of $1,300 to $1,400. It can be seen in action, in the video below.
HydroJet jet drive for paddleboards and kayaks