When you think of surfing, chances are high that warm climates come to mind: the waves of Oahu, the beaches of Southern California, the azure waters of Indonesia. We tend to associate the sport with balmy ocean air and mild crests, a liberal scattering of palm trees on the shore.
It isn’t likely that Sweden is a locale that instantly pops into the head when one thinks about catching a wave.
The small Scandinavian country does boast some under-the-radar surf hubs, especially Torö on the Southern Archipelago, where autumn storms produce formidable waves. Beyond the rare sweet spots of its Nordic seas, however, Sweden is actually poised to impact the future of the sport in a big way. The reason? A company called Awake, headquartered in Limhamm on the Øresund Strait, which is producing some seriously high-tech surfboards.
The Awake Rävik Electric Surfboard is crafted from composite materials that make it especially lightweight, a key element for achieving high speeds. Carbon fibre provides a sturdy house for the electrical components inside, while also making the board capable of withstanding hard impacts. Boards are manufactured in-house at the Awake facility using state-of-the-art components. And because this is Sweden, a leader in rigorous sustainability, eco-lovers will be pleased to know that sustainability has been considered at every step of the design and manufacturing process. The Awake facility is one in which environmental standards are strictly adhered to.
Inside the board, the 11 kW brushless electric motor delivers plenty of torque — enough, in fact, to propel the rider to an adrenaline-inducing 30 knots per hour in a matter of seconds. Seals are watertight, and the board is designed to take advantage of cool water temperatures, negating the need for internal coolants and hence minimizing maintenance requirements.
The Awake exchangeable battery pack is comprised of lithium ion cells, which work in tandem with the motor to deliver up to 40 minutes of mixed riding. But no need to worry about the clock; an integrated LED indicator keeps track of the time so that you don’t have to, letting you know when you need to head back to shore. The battery pack can easily be swapped out in a single motion, allowing for hours of riding. The wireless throttle, designed for ease of use (Awake is big on user feedback and testing), is both ergonomic and intuitive. The display monitors speed and other pertinent information that the rider requires.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a high-tech gadget these days without an accompanying application. Awake delivers with a mobile app that keeps the rider informed of battery life and estimated riding time. It also features a quick-start guide.
A highlight feature of the Awake Rävik Electric Surfboard is its various performance modes. The rider can tailor the experience based on personal riding style, level of experience, mood, or environmental conditions. There are four different options available: KIDS, ECO, SPORT, and EXTREME. We love this accessibility feature, making the board perfect for hard-core professionals but also beginners who wish to go gently.
The brand’s mission it to become “the world’s leading electric surfboard manufacturer by 2020,” and whether they hit that mark next year is something we can only wait to see. Until then, curious riders with 18,900 Euros to spare can take to the waters knowing they’re in good, electric hands.
Images via Awake.