Paddle Board Motor
Ready to cruise atop the water with ease?
If so, you've made the right choice in looking for a paddle board motor. With the ever-growing popularity of paddle boarding, we're beginning to see more and more companies coming up with innovative ways of pushing the sport to its limits.
You may have heard of paddle board motors before, but the real question is,
"Do they work as well as the manufacturers claim?"
We're here to answer that question.
Continue with us on this paddle board quest!
The 4 Best Paddle Board & SUP Motors
1 - Michael Dolsey Designs: E-FiN, SUP Motorizing Kit for Hard SUPs - Best Overall
If you're looking for a discreet way to speed past the other paddleboarders at your local shoreline like some kind of water wizard, we recommend picking up the E-Fin from Michael Dolsey Designs.
Don't get it confused. This is not an electric paddle board but an electric conversion kit that uses a unique design to turn any SUP into a SUP-ER SUP (apologies for that).
The battery life on this conversion kit is good for up to six hours, longer than pretty much any paddle board session we've ever had.
At full speed, it can take an adult rider up to 7 mph.
However, we recommend hovering around 3-4 mph, as anything past that can get a little squirrely.
There are three variable speed levels you can choose from, taking you anywhere from a gentle paddle assist to Flash Gordon on the water. We dig the fact that it integrates with a fin, too, as it keeps your board stable and provides ample tracking.
2 - Newport Vessels: Saltwater Trolling Motor - Best Variable Speed Technology
While the Newport Vessels Saltwater Trolling Motor is meant for small boating vessels, we've seen guys rig this up to their paddle boards in wild ways to max out their full speed on the water.
The 12V electric power provides more than enough power, while the quality build allows it to run as long as you could possibly ask for, and without overheating.
There is a 30" shaft that runs down to the three-blade propeller, and because of its larger size, it is best for large SUPs.
The shining element of the Newport Vessels Saltwater Trolling Motor is its variable speed control.
With eight speeds to choose from, including three reverse speeds, you can turn your SUP into the Willy Wonka elevator of the sea!
But in all seriousness, the motor speed can be a lot to handle, so we would only recommend it for experienced riders.
At 55 pounds, the battery isn't exactly portable, and it will add some weight to your paddle board, though it'll give you three hours of complete electric shred out in the waves.
3 - HiSun: Electric Fin Suitable for All Surfboards - Best for Speed
We know what you're thinking, "not some little plastic toy from China that's going to break after the first use?!?"
We're here to tell you; this is not a toy.
With a top speed of 18mph, the HiSun fin conversion kit absolutely rips!
With a brushless motorized fin, an ultra-efficient lithium battery, and wireless remote control, you get everything you need for speed, power, and control.
However, with great power comes great responsibility.
For that reason, we don't recommend this electric SUP fin for beginner riders unless you want to retain a low speed.
We really dig how easy it is to mount the fin onto your fin box. You can either strap or bungee it to your board for additional safety as well.
4 - Watersnake: Venom Electric Trolling Motor - Best Multi-Use Unit
Whether you're heading out on your paddle board, your kayak, or your dinghy, the Watersnake Venom Electric Trolling Motor can provide you with the speed you need.
The design is simple, especially for those who are familiar with trolling motors. It uses the same mounting system as the Newport Vessels conversion kit and comes with the same range of speeds.
However, it weighs slightly less, making it a more versatile choice and better for smaller riders.
The propeller is surprisingly quiet too. So you won't have to worry about disturbing marine life around you, which is great if you've gone fishin' for the day.
The 12V motor provides more than enough power for you to enjoy, and includes a high-voltage meter display so you can keep an eye on your battery pack condition.
If you're someone who lives and breathes watersports and you want one motor to rule them all, the Watersnake Venom Complete Electric Trolling Motor is a fine specimen.
Electric SUP Buying Guide
The first thing you need to consider is the design. For example, do you want something that you can safely attach to your fin box, or are you more of a DIY guru who likes the idea of rigging up a speedy trolling motor to your board?
Of course, not ALL paddle boards can handle the same types of motors. For example, if you have an inflatable SUP, it might not be able to support the full weight of a heavy trolling motor.
Not only must you consider the weight of the motor itself, but also the weight of the battery it requires. Of course, heavy motors are typically more powerful because of the additional components, meaning the speed to weight ratio evens itself out.
However, if you want to keep your motor on your board and paddle manually, you'll have to deal with that additional weight. Some of these motors can be up to 50 pounds, so it's something to consider.
Many electric SUP conversion kits give you a battery life of anywhere from three to six hours. If the battery pack can't provide at least three hours of life, you might want to reconsider. The last thing you'd want is to get a mile out from shore and have it die on you.
How fast can your motor take you?
Some people prefer cruising at a low speed, while others are out there to break records. Make sure you have information regarding top speeds and how those speeds correlate with battery life (typically, the faster you run a motor, the quicker the battery will go).
You should also consider whether or not it has variable speed controls, and if so, how many. For example, Trolling motors typically provide a wider speed range, sometimes allowing for reverse maneuvers.
Can You Attach a Motor To A Paddle Board?
Whether you want to attach a fin-style motor to your paddle board or a trolling motor, it's easy to do so! However, we recommend going with products that you can attach to your fin box, as they're made specifically for traditional and inflatable SUP boards.
What Muscles Do Paddleboards Work?
Paddling is the ULTIMATE workout for your entire body. From your shoulders to your arms to your quadriceps to your knees, you almost don't need a gym membership if you have a body of water nearby. Even those land legs will have to kick in to keep you balanced and strengthen your core.
How Fast Can An Electric SUP Go?
Some electric SUP products have a top speed of around 10mph, though many of them can't even go that high. For the most part, an electric motor should be thought of as an assist, not as a full-force driver. If you want to extend your top speed, we'd recommend going with a trolling motor.
The Final Verdict
Paddle boarding is one of the best core strength exercises out there. But let's be honest, sometimes we just want to enjoy the sweet sounds of the ocean waves around us without having to work for it. It's pretty incredible how many great electric SUP conversion kits are available on the market, though it's easy to feel overwhelmed with so many choices.
If we had to pick one to recommend as our favorite, it would have to be the Michael Dolsey E-Fin. This fin is so easy to install, has a long-lasting battery pack for full-day excursions, and works on all kinds of SUP boards, allowing you to electrify your entire quiver if you choose.