For a long time there have been attempts to use an engine with a small surfboard. Despite many difficulties, the innovative approach resulted in several prototypes with protruding combustion units. Unfortunately, a big weight and a direct contact of the engine with water made it impossible to use the board comfortably. Most likely for this reason, none of them were produced in series. Over time, technological progress gave more room for maneuver. Miniaturization in the field of combustion engines, the availability of modern materials ensuring appropriate durability and low weight, and the well-known water jet propeller opened the way to create a compact and lightweight board with a completely built-in internal combustion engine.
The first serial products were made by a Czech company that gave it a well-sounding name Jetsurf. This name derives from the use of jet propulsion, and refers to smaller versions of Jetski or Jetboat. The launch of Jetsurf on the market gave rise to a new sport called Jetsurfing. This discipline takes its toll in the form of new amateurs in many countries. More and more we can hear about competitions in this sport. Although they are not yet as popular as the well-settled varieties of wind surfing, board racing at speeds as high as 60 km/h has spectacular potential and attracts more and more fans.
Although this sport has just emerged, it is undergoing numerous changes. The latest Jetboards are increasingly using electric motors. It is difficult to say whether this is a result of constantly rising emission standards, which may threaten the future of small two-stroke engines (at least in the EU), or is it the focus on relatively simple construction and high durability of electric units. Despite its slow pace, the development of a battery cell technology makes electrics equal in performance to fuel-based solutions. However, the most important advantages are elimination of a negative impact on the environment and a quiet operation of the engine.
Regardless of the technological solutions, it is safe to say that Jetsurfing has been enthusiastically received by the surfing community as another important point in the history of water sports.