WaveJet founder and CEO, Mike Railey, began developing the patented WaveJet personal water propulsion technology 10 years ago in his home in San Diego, California. Mike was doing some tow-in surfing and wanted to create a way to miniaturize jet-ski technology to fit into the board seamlessly.
Many had attempted powered surfboards, but they were all big and heavy, gas powered, and not streamlined to the board, which caused them to compromise and negatively impact performance and maneuverability.
After 8 years of developing the technology on his own and being awarded 3 patents, Mike was connected with Michael Vlock, a CT and NY based investor who, having gone surfing with his son in Hawaii, was looking to develop his own powered surfboard. Michael served as the original angel – and current investor – and WaveJet Propulsion was born.
Over the next two years, the partners worked on developing the technology even more, and brought on a team to launch the Company. WaveJet initiated sales in early 2012. With his invention and further development of the WaveJet Power Pod, Mike was able to create a fully modular, clean energy system that pops in and out of any WaveJet ready board (a board fitted with the correct cavity that will receive and lock in the Power Pod).
As a result, consumers can have one pod that will lock in and out of any board – SUP, surfboard, body board or other WaveJet-ready watercraft. The WaveJet Power Pod, which uses renewable, rechargeable lithium ion batteries, gives 20 lbs of thrust and will take the rider up to 7mph. The pod is powered through a wireless wrist controller that utilizes Seatooth technology and recharges into any electrical outlet in just 3 hours.
WaveJet technology also featured an electronic dismount, so that if the rider falls off the watercraft, the power is cut. While WaveJet was founded on the premise of assisting experienced surfers in charging big waves, ultimately, the technology has a number of targets and uses: While the Company’s most granular target audience is male and female, 35-55, HHI $100k +, there are also a number of additional psychographically driven target markets, which include:
1. Beginner and Experienced Surfers and paddlers – Including those looking to surf big waves, those with limited amount of time who want to have fun even when the surf isn’t that great, and those in flat or freshwater environments.
2. Yacht Owners/Boating Community – the body board and SUP especially are great boat toys and can be used to transport boaters to shore or to other vessels.
3. Resorts and Rental Locations– WaveJet propulsion technology creates stability of board to water, making it a great way to learn how to surf or paddle and actually succeed, and also enables even beginner riders without the strength to paddle an SUP to enjoy time in the water; the Company recently launched its first Surf School with Tradewinds Resort in St Pete Beach, FL.
4. Disabled or Injured Watermen – WaveJet propulsion assists disabled or injured surfers and paddlers in getting out to and into waves, and makes up for any lack of ability to paddle. WaveJet works closely with Life Rolls On and has specially designed boards that will help spinal cord affected athletes to continue having fun in the water.
5. Lifeguards – The WaveJet rescue board gets to the victim in half the time, and enables ocean rescue professionals to conserve energy and focus their efforts upon saving lives and aiding victims.
The Company has initiated testing programs with ocean rescue organizations in California, Hawaii, North Carolina, Florida and Rhode Island. WaveJet’s current product line consists of surfboards, stand-up paddle boards, body boards, fishing stand-up paddle boards and rescue boards. The Company is partnering with world class shapers such as Todd Caranto of Pau Hana Surf Supply and Steve Walden of Walden Surfboards to create the most high performance watercraft in the market. The Company also partners with professional athletes including Cory Lopez, Garrett McNamara, Jesse Billauer and Peter Mendia, who each serve as team riders.
WaveJet will also launch kayaks, light boats and other products in 2014. MSRP for full systems ranges from $4395 – 4995, but once a consumer has a pod, they can also supplement their collection of watercraft with additional WaveJet ready boards, which have recommended retail pricing between $800 -1450 and can be utilized with the pod from their original system. All WaveJet ready boards also come with a blank pod, so that they can also be utilized for non-powered surfing and paddling while the power pod is charging.
WaveJet was the proud recipient of the 2012 Edison Award for innovation in transportation technology. WaveJet has been featured on CNN, the Wealth Network, ESPN, Forbes Magazine, Fortune Magazine, Men’s Fitness, the Robb Report, Surfer Magazine, SUP: The Mag and many other global media platforms. WaveJet products are now being sold in 39 countries around the world.
Please also visit: www.wavejet.com