Jet Surfing: The World’s Next Watersport?

If history is any indicator, the North Shore of Maui is the tinkering ground for the world’s next generation of watersports. Both stand up paddling and kitesurfing can trace their roots to this fabled stretch of coastline, and new footage coming out of the Valley Isle shows some of Hawaii’s best watermen testing out what could potentially be the world’s next watersport.

In a weird, hybrid cross between jet skiing, race car driving and surfing, jet surfing employs a mechanically operated board that is equipped with a two-stroke engine, which can propel the board to speeds up to 35 mph. There isn’t any paddling involved in the process whatsoever, and with the use of a handheld accelerator the rider can adjust their speed to cater to the speed of the wave.

While the boards, which are the design of Jet Surf, have been around for a couple of years, this is the first footage we’ve seen of them being tested in what has historically been the proving ground for the “next big thing” of watersports.

Granted, the $12,000 price point is out of range for most of the world’s surfers, but if the trend catches on there is a good chance the prices will fall as the popularity increases.

What do you think? The future of watersports, or just another gimmick?