Top 8 Best Paddleboard Motors | 2020 Reviews (Current Drives)

Paddleboarding has been growing in popularity today. Not only do water sports enthusiasts do this, but families and occasional recreation hobbyists participate and have their paddleboard at home.

Even though the name suggests it, Paddleboarding does not have to be too tedious with you just using a paddle. Nowadays, paddleboards come with motor attachments. Even motor conversion kits are available, so you can easily attach a motor to your ordinary board.

Here is what you need to know about electric paddleboards and the most trusted products in the market.

Top 8 Best Paddleboard Motors Reviewed

  1. Current Drives Electrafin – Best Overall
  2. iSUP Electric by Torque – Best Value
  3. ePropulsion Vaquita – Editor’s Choice
  4. Bixpy PowerShroud Motor
  5. SCUBAJET
  6. Sipaboards All-Arounder Drive
  7. Sipaboards Cruiser Drive
  8. Aqua Marina BLUE DRIVE Power Fin

1. Current Drives Electrafin – Best Overall

Current Drives Electrafin

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Features:

  • Type: Conversion kit and complete board
  • Weight: 6.6 pounds
  • Speed: 4-5 miles per hour

When it comes to reliable electric motor fins, the Electrafin is your friend. It is a silent, zero-emission motor conversion kit perfect for any water sports vehicle you mount it to, whether it be a kayak, a canoe, or a dinghy.

It comes with the same mounting system as a standard US fin box, making it easy to attach to any paddleboard type. The kit also includes a Bluetooth remote, control case, battery charger, and an owner’s manual to get you started. Spare remote batteries, and a rubber boot for the switch comes with it, too, ensuring you a complete set.

One of its good features is its safety propeller ring, which protects you, fellow paddlers, and underwater debris or marine life from getting snagged. The motor also comes with an emergency stop leash that connects your ankle to the control case. If you fall in the water and get separated from your board, the leash can detach from the case and automatically switch off the motor.

The remote makes the fin versatile, as you can control whether you go forwards or backward. You can enjoy its speeds up to 4-5 miles per hour for two hours or have a leisurely cruise and enjoy it for up to six hours. The Samsung Lithium-Ion battery provides a lightweight and long-range power pack, chargeable using any wall outlet or with the Current Drives Solar Panel.

If you have not owned any paddleboard yet, Current Drives also offers a fully motorized paddleboard.

ProsCons
Accessories with an instruction manualEasily sold out
Emergency measures for your safety
Environment-friendly
Lightweight motor

2. iSUP Electric by Torque – Best Value

iSUP Electric by Torque

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Features:

  • Type: Complete board
  • Length: 10 feet
  • Width: 30 inches
  • Thickness: 6.7 inches
  • Total weight: 53 pounds
  • Weight capacity: 352 pounds

Dean Jarrett, the founder of Torque Jet Boards, has been traveling the South Pacific and Asia for 15 years, experiencing every beach he can surf. He has visited them all. And as he looked at every person that has shared the beach with him enjoying the waves, he thought of how he can develop an idea from the 1960s and make it affordable and enjoyable for everyone?

The result is what his company creates today, completely motorized jet boards every person can enjoy. One of the newest additions in their family of motorized boards is the iSUP Electric.

Their board is constructed with their patent aluminum jet system built into the tail of their paddleboard, with its battery pack in the center. Since the motor is completely on the board, you can use it as an ordinary SUP without the motor’s drag.

You can control your board in two ways. One using the SmartWatch that is connected on your paddle, or using Torque’s mobile app. It has a range of three speeds—4 miles per hour, 5 miles per hour, and 7 miles per hour—and it can last for up to two hours at top speed and 5 hours at low speed.

Upon purchase, you get a battery pack, a paddle, a double-action hand pump, and a heavy-duty backpack to keep all your equipment in. You can also purchase their electric pump and connect it to the board’s battery to inflate your SUP in minutes.

The board is made with the standard sturdy materials for any SUP. It is made with a drop-stitch core and high-quality marine-grade PVC, with a slightly thicker layer of PVC lamination for extra durability and buoyancy.

ProsCons
Doubles as electric and ordinary SUPHard to pump
Controllable through a mobile appBoard is heavy
High weight capacity
Easy to use

3. ePropulsion Vaquita – Editor’s Choice

ePropulsion Vaquita

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Features:

  • Type: Conversion kit
  • Weight: 9 pounds
  • Speed: up to 7 miles per hour

From the founder’s humble beginnings as a water sports lover, Danny Tao studied engineering and robotics in 2012 and did volunteer work for ocean protection. Creating environment-friendly electric products for water vehicles became his push to build ePropulsion.

Hailing from Hong Kong, they created the LAGOON, an electrical conversion kit that can easily attach to any SUPs available in the market. A couple of years after it was released, it was renamed the Vaquita with its countless improvements.

The Vaquita can easily attach to any SUP with a standard US fin box or their universal fin adapter. You can also use it in canoes and kayaks.

The 300-watt-hour battery can last for 5 hours at half speed. To its full speed, it can last up to more than one hour. It also includes LED indicator lights to let you know its battery life in real-time.

Its wireless remote controller features an emergency stop and a slider, so you have smoother control over the speed. It also has an elastic wristband that you can wrap on your wrist or your paddle. The emergency stop is a sensor that detects if you have fallen in the water. This stops the motor automatically.

Vaquita has more safety features. The propeller is inside a safety ring preventing anything from getting snagged underneath. It also has a system where the propeller does not continue running unless it is underwater. You do not have to worry about leaving the motor on as it automatically turns off after a few seconds above water.

ProsCons
Multiple safety featuresEasily sold out
Smooth speed controlHigh price
Lightweight materials

4. Bixpy PowerShroud Motor

Bixpy PowerShroud Motor

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Features:

  • Type: Conversion kit
  • Weight: 2 pounds

The idea of Bixpy started in 2014 when founder Houman Nikmanesh got stranded 5 miles off the coast of San Diego in a sailboat with no wind. He was too tired to pedal against the currents. His mind started to think of ideas once he got home. He needed to create a detachable motor he can use in case of emergencies like that. And years later, he shares his solution to the water sports market.

Weighing only two pounds, the PowerShroud Motor is the lightest attachable motor on the list. Not only is it compatible with any small water vehicle, but it can also be used in both saltwater and freshwater. Bixpy’s materials make their motors withstand any type of water it touches.

While they are not specific with the speed their motors go, they ensure that it runs up to 75 minutes at top speed, and up to a whopping 10 hours at low, cruising speed. The rechargeable lithium-ion batteries take 5 hours to charge.

Its special feature is its impeller. This means, unlike a propeller that uses thrust to move, their motors use the suction of water to move.

Other features include a wireless remote control you can strap on your wrist or paddle. It comes with a safety SUP leash that connects to a magnetic kill switch that automatically switches the motor off when you fall into the water. You also get the batteries’ wall charger and a user manual.

All of these can be bought separately on their website should you need a replacement.

ProsCons
Parts can be bought separately for replacement.The website does not specify the motor's speed.
Usable in both freshwater and seawaterLong charging time
Ultra-lightweight
Impeller feature

5. SCUBAJET

SCUBAJET

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Features:

  • Type: Conversion kit
  • Length: 24 inches
  • Weight: 10 pounds
  • Speed: up to 7 miles per hour

Scubajet is an Austrian-owned company that developed the first water jet system that turns most paddle-powered vehicles into electric vehicles in the market. While their product is more suited for SUPs, they are currently working on making the Scubajet adaptable to kayaks, canoes, and foils.

It currently offers two models: the Scubajet Neo and the Scubajet Pro. The main difference between the two is their size and battery capacity. The Pro offers two kinds of battery: the 200 watt-hours that last up to two hours, and the 400 watt-hours that last up to four hours. With the Neo, it only has one battery that can last up to one hour.

If you are worried that it will not fit your SUP, it comes with a standard US fin box and a Slide-In fin box adapter to make it compatible with any SUP. It also comes with a wireless remote controller with a display that shows the motor’s current battery runtime, power, and speed.

ProsCons
Adaptable to any SUP or water vehicleNot many accessories
Wireless remote controllerA bit expensive
Heavy-duty battery

6. Sipaboards All-Arounder Drive

Sipaboards All-Arounder Drive

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Features:

  • Type: Complete board
  • Length: 11 feet
  • Width: 35 inches
  • Thickness: 5.5 inches
  • Speed: 4 miles per hour

If you have not owned a SUP yet, Sipaboards offer motorized boards for you! One of their most versatile SUPs is their All-Arounder Drive Stand-Up Paddleboard. The lightweight SUP is 11 feet long, and you can enjoy it as an ordinary SUP without the drag from the motor’s weight.

As its name suggests, it is an all-around paddleboard that can be easily used by your family. It is great for a slow cruise paddling on flatwater, like lakes.

Their integrated motor is called the SipaDrive that doubles as an air compressor to inflate your SUP. The board inflates in just under 5 minutes, and you can enjoy the 4 miles per hour cruising speed for up to three hours.

If you are up for some night paddling, the All-Arounder Drive comes with LED lights underneath the board to light up your path.

The All-Arounder’s Bluetooth remote controller can fit onto any paddle or oar. You can control almost every setting—motor speed, LED brightness, and pressure setting—without compromising your grip.

The quality of their boards is no different from renowned SUP companies. Made with a drop-stitch core wrapped with dual-layer vinyl-based fabric, you are sure to get a durable board. Its deck is covered with comfortable EVA foam to keep you comfortable while paddling for a long while.

It also comes with a safety SUP leash that connects to the motor, so it automatically stops should you fall in the water. You also get the battery charger, and you can keep all this equipment with their high-quality board bag.

One of its special features is it comes with an app! You can track your motor’s speed, all your rides, and adjust your board’s settings. You can also get all of Sipaboards’ updates.

ProsCons
Motor doubles as an air compressorEquipment is too heavy to carry
Comes with a mobile appBag tears easily
Fast chargingLow speed
LED lights

7. Sipaboards Cruiser Drive

Sipaboards Cruiser Drive

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Features:

  • Type: Complete board
  • Length: 11 feet
  • Width: 31.5 inches
  • Thickness: 6 inches
  • Speed: 4 miles per hour

Another great motorized SUP from Sipaboards is their Cruiser Drive. Almost all its features are the same, with the SipaDrive motor and air compressor, Bluetooth remote controller, and the LED light function.

The Cruiser Drive has the same construction as the All-Arounder—made with a drop-stitch core wrapped in dual-layer vinyl fabric and an EVA foam deck.

It also comes with a battery pack and charger for the board’s motor. You also get the safety SUP leash and the heavy-duty backpack to carry all your equipment. It also has the mobile app function where you can customize the board’s settings and get updates.

The main feature that differentiates the Cruiser from the All-Arounder is its shape. The Cruiser is much sleeker with a 31.5-inch width, increasing the board’s speed. It also has a pointed nose, making it easier to glide through the water.

The Cruiser Drive is perfect for novices and experienced paddlers who can take on slightly harsher waters.

ProsCons
Comes with a mobile appHeavy to transport
Sleeker; increased speedBag tears easily
Durable constructionSlow top speed
Self-inflating

8. Aqua Marina BLUE DRIVE Power Fin

Aqua Marina BLUE DRIVE Power Fin

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Features:

  • Type: Conversion kit
  • Weight: 13 pounds
  • Speed: 3 miles per hour

Aqua Marina has been serving the market since 1991 and is the leading water sports brand selling all kinds of equipment worldwide. With the mission of “Ultimate Fun, Maximum Safety!” they have sold over one million products worldwide and are trusted by many.

While they are more known for inflatable SUPs and other small water vehicles, they also offer the BlueDrive Power Fin to power your ordinary SUP. It is small and very easy to install.

The total weight, including the battery pack, is 13 pounds. It comes with a safety leash that connects to the motor, that if you should fall into the water, it will stop automatically. It is controlled by a Bluetooth remote, and it comes with a waterproof arm strap. However, it has been proven to be weak, and you must turn towards it for it to work.

Its overall speed is perfect if you are more of a flatwater paddler. If you are lightweight enough, you can enjoy speeds up to 4 miles per hour during your leisure touring paddle. It can run up to 30 minutes at top speed and 60 minutes at low, cruising speed.

Upon purchase, you get a user manual and a battery charger that charges the battery to its full capacity in 5-6 hours.

The Power Fin is very easy to use that even children over eight years old can manage. This is perfect for your entire family to enjoy without too much worry.

ProsCons
Replaceable propellerBluetooth signal on the remote is weak
Easy to installCheap bungee cord straps
Kid-friendlyLong charging time
Affordable

Best Accessories for Your Paddleboard – A Guide

Whenever you do a sport, you must always have special equipment and accessories to perform more efficiently. This goes for either doing it for fun or professionally. It is the same with paddleboarding, as it is a water sport, after all.

You do not just get the paddleboard upon purchase; you also get the basic equipment needed for you to enjoy the experience even more. However, sometimes you may only get the board upon purchase. Here is a guide for you to know what the most important SUP accessories are that you need.

SUP Leash

The SUP leash is the most important equipment you need. If the package does not come with its SUP leash, this is the first thing you should buy next. Aside from the life vest, this accessory can save your life.

The leash always keeps you and your SUP connected. When you happen to paddle along harsh waters and fall off your board, you will not separate from your board. Not only does this save you money from buying another board, since all SUPs are buoyant, but it is also your only floatation device that can save you if you are unable to swim.

There are two kinds of SUP leashes, a coiled and a straight leash. A coiled leash is the most common SUP leash. Since the cord is coiled, the leash avoids the water giving your board less drag. The straight leash may fall into the water and decrease your speed, but this gives you more movement on your board. The straight leash is mostly used for paddleboard surfing and racing.

Personal Floatation Device

Another life-saving accessory you need is your PFD or a personal floatation device. While we know that traditional PFDs are ugly and unflattering in photos, companies nowadays produce modern PFDs that are stylish and hardly noticeable.

Whenever you go paddling on remote areas or deep waters, it is highly recommended you wear your PFD. You never know when you are too tired to swim, which can save you from that immediately.

Paddle

This may already be a given, because how can you use your paddleboard without a paddle? Although the paddles that come with your paddleboard are usually not of the greatest quality, it is highly suggested that you find a more durable paddle that is sold separately.

Paddles included in SUP packages are usually made from aluminum or low-quality fiberglass, typically very flimsy to use by consumers. You can avoid getting irritated with flimsy paddles hindering your overall paddling experience once you get a better paddle. More durable paddles are usually made from carbon-blend materials that are lightweight.

Electric Pump Compatible with Paddleboards

If you have purchased an inflatable SUP, then a manual pump is usually included in the package accessories. You can always get an electric pump to inflate your board easily, but make sure that the pump is compatible with SUPs.

Air compressors can still be of help, but make sure you have a pressure gauge with you so ensure you are not going above the recommended PSI. Using air compressors may tend to over-inflate your board.

Paddleboard repair kit

SUP repair kits are very important if your SUP has a small patch-job you can immediately fix. A repair kit usually contains one or two tubes of glue, a PVC patch sheet, sandpaper, and a valve wrench.

A SUP Carry Bag

Of course, you need a durable bag that can carry all these items, including your paddleboard. The accessory package usually comes with a heavy-duty carry or roller travel bag to put everything you need in.

Make sure that you have all these accessories before hitting the water! It is more fun to go paddleboarding if you know that you have everything you need just in case of an emergency.


Best Motor for Paddleboards – Top Pick

There are two categories in the list—a complete electric SUP and a conversion kit. Current Drives’ Electrafin is our top pick for the SUP electric conversion kit, while the iSUP Electric Jet board by Torque is our top pick for the complete electric SUP board.

The Electrafin is the most environment-friendly conversion kit with an affordable price point. It also very lightweight, easy to install, and has multiple safety features that make it worth the buy.

Torque’s iSUP Electric has everything you need and want in an electric SUP. It is affordable, has a long-lasting battery, and you can control the board using their mobile app. How cool is that?


Conclusion

You do not have to tire yourself too much whenever you go paddleboarding with the market’s available motors. It is amazing how many attachable paddleboard motors there are, including completely motorized boards you can enjoy.

It may cost more, but you can be assured that these products are all heavy-duty and can last you a long time. A great investment for your whole family to bond together! If you have previously bought a paddleboard, you can always find affordable and easy to use attachable SUP motors like the Electrafin by Current Drives.

You can also buy a fully motorized paddleboard, and Torque’s iSUP Electric is a good start for an all-around electric paddleboard.

Just make sure you always know what you are looking for and always seek help whenever you are unsure of the product you are buying. Always ask for specifics, and you will be more knowledgeable about the products in the long run.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Are paddleboards worth the money?

Paddleboards are worth the investment, but many people get scared away from its usually steep prices.

One of the reasons why paddleboards are expensive is the cost of their construction. SUPs are usually made of highly durable materials, usually with military-grade PVCs and the new reinforced drop stitch technology. This ensures the buyer that the product they are getting will last them a long time. Cheap paddleboards may hurt your wallet in the long run, since they are not usually made from sturdy materials and may need more repairs often.

The costs also include distribution costs and its increase in popularity recently.

While the prices may be steep, paddleboards are worth the money because you get to use it for a long time.

What is better, an inflatable SUP or a hardboard SUP?

It all depends on you, as both inflatables and traditional SUPs have their benefits and disadvantages.

Inflatable SUPs are typically more affordable and easier to travel with. You can just deflate it and fold it in a storage bag, and you are good to go! Inflatables are usually more lightweight than traditional SUPs, easier to carry to and from the water. It is also more durable since it is inflatable. You do not have to worry about it being damaged immediately if you accidentally drop it or hit it on rocks or other sharp surfaces.

Inflatable SUPs are perfect for family vacations, calm recreational activities like yoga, but it is also suitable for white water paddling because of its durability.

If you are more of a load-and-go person, then you may want the traditional hard SUP. Also known as Epoxy Resin SUPs, they are typically heavier than the inflatables. But their design and weight give them more glide and agility in the water, making them more suitable for SUP surfing and SUP racing.

Epoxy SUPs are perfect for beaches and heightened performance and speed. If you plan on participating in more serious paddleboarding activities, the hardboard is for you.

Are inflatable SUPs good for beginners?

Yes. All-around Inflatable SUPs are perfect for beginners. It is easier to travel with since it consumes less storage space, and it is lightweight. This is great if you plan to use your board often.

If you have children with you, inflatable SUPs are more friendly. They are easier to use and highly susceptible to damage. It will not ding and scratch easily if your child decides to fling it around.

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