Spanish watersports brand Onean has unveiled two battery-powered boards that make it possible to surf without any swell (+ movie).
The Basque Country brand has been working on the design for the electric boards since early 2013. It has now partnered with product development company Bizintek Innova to launch its first two models: Carver and Manta.
Shaped similarly to a traditional longboard, the Carver model is powered by a 440-Watt dual-core electric motor and an axial water pump, designed by Onean's parent brand Aquila Boards. The motor is controlled remotely using a hand-held device, which can increase and decrease power.
Surfers can use the board to slalom across the water at speed without having to rely on waves for propulsion, with the battery providing up to 20 minutes at its highest speed. Batteries are easily interchangeable, with a charging time of two hours.
The more rectangular Manta model is powered by similar components but has been designed for more casual surfers, allowing for cruising along calmer water surfaces such as canals.
The board offers top speeds of seven to eight kilometres per hour, with more than two hours of continuous usage time from a single charge. Onean describes it as "the best choice for those wanting to cruise into unexplored areas".
"Based in the Basque Country in Spain, the company is perfectly located in an area with broad industrial experience with a huge surfing culture," Onean said in a statement.
The two models are now available for pre-order online, and a third model named Blade is also in development.
Surfing has previously proved a rich source of reference for designers. French studio Trust in Design referred to the shapes and manufacturing techniques of surfboards when designing a one-off table for Paris surf boutique Cuisse de Grenouille.
Industrial designer Marc Newson has also turned his hand to surfboard design, creating a custom-made hollow nickel board for American surfer Garrett McNamara in 2007, which was exhibited at the Gagosian Gallery and eventually sold at auction for over $200,000.
Other unusual methods of transport unveiled recently include Lexus' eagerly awaited hoverboard, which uses magnetic fields to carry its rider without touching the ground, and a laptop-sized board with wheels described as the world's smallest electric car by its inventor.