Absolutely, speed allows a rider the freedom to go through wind and chop and maneuver effectively. Firefly equipped boards go about 5 mph making them lively and responsive on the water and fun to ride.
A typical standup paddle boarder goes 2-3 mph without a motor. An electric drive designed to operate at 2-3 mph gives you a “paddle assist“ experience. Many of Firefly’s competitors offer drives that go at paddle assist speeds only. At these slower speeds the experience can be underwhelming.
With Firefly you get a true electric SUP experience where you are going faster than you would normally paddle. The extra speed enhances what you can do on the water in terms of turning and maneuvering. Faster “paddle enhanced” speeds also have a magic feel to them. Like flying on a magic carpet, you feel a bit superhuman.
Firefly does not outfit inflatable SUP boards with electric drives. We prefer the more precise tracking and maneuverability of rigid boards. Given our dedication to performance, we plan on sticking with this business model in the near future.
To give our customers the best deal possible, we sell and ship directly to our customers. For those located in the Pacific Northwest, we engage customers with on the water demonstrations at various beaches. Purchases are often arranged at that time. We are working to establish more demo centers because we firmly believe that having customers “try before you buy” is the best way to do business.
Firefly specializes in outfitting only standup paddleboards with electric drives. We do not install motors on kayaks. The primary market for companies offering fin-mounted motors for SUP boards is actually the larger kayak market. As such, their adaptation to SUP boards is a significant compromise. This results in the SUP‘s fin being replaced with a motor resulting in an overall loss in board stability on the water.
Yes, there are a number of other companies offering electric propulsion systems for standup paddleboards. They are either fin-mounted (e.g. Bixpy and ScubaJet) or the drive is integrated into the board (e.g. SIPA). Firefly’s forward-mounted drive has significant advantages over both fin-mounted and integrated drives. Boards with fin-mounted drives are less stable without a fin, not well balanced and don’t handle well on the water. Boards with integrated drives are equipped with jet drives that are inefficient at converting battery power to propulsion and tend to be expensive and underpowered. For additional information about comparative systems, click here for Firefly’s Technical “White Paper” on electric paddle boarding systems.