Test et Review: Planche électrique Sipaboards

Inflatable paddleboards have become a fun, space-saving and convenient way to more easily explore lakes, rivers and oceans for all ages. Now you can add some power to your ride with the SipaBoards Drive Neo , a first-of-its-kind, self-inflating, motorized electric stand-up paddleboard (SUP).

Of course, the SipaBoards Drive Neo makes it easier for you to navigate strong currents, but it also gives you peace of mind if you're paddling with young children or older people. And since there is never a guarantee against bad weather, you will be able to return to shore quickly and safely. Plus, this same motor allows you to inflate your board yourself for a hassle-free day.

An electric motor may seem like a simple technological improvement, but this is no ordinary paddle board. Take it out on the water and you're sure to get questions and enthusiastic looks from other paddlers. However, before you buy, you'll need to decide if the SipaBoards brand of luxury leisure is in your budget - because at almost $2,800, the Drive Neo is undoubtedly a luxury.

sipa foldout


With inflatable stand-up paddle boards normally costing between $300 and $800, it can be difficult to understand how shelling out a few thousand dollars can be worth it.

We saw a similar debate when e-bikes hit the market alongside conventional bikes. Sure, the mechanics of the bike are the same on either model, but an e-bike allows you to ride more easily over rougher terrain, cover longer distances, and enjoy a more relaxed ride and less physically demanding.

The same goes for SipaBoards: The integrity of the activity remains intact, but you have more opportunities to explore. The SipaBoards Drive Neo's motor helps you fight against opposing currents and allows you to continue sailing when your arms get tired, while allowing you to enjoy your time on the water with less effort.

One of the main selling points of the Drive Neo is that it inflates automatically thanks to its electric motor. Not only does this mean you don't have to spend time sweating over a hand pump, but also the Drive Neo's motor runs on batteries that charge via an adapter, meaning you don't need from looking for a power outlet or draining your car battery to install everything.

To inflate the board, simply unroll it, hook the motor hose to the end of the board and put the motor into inflation mode with the remote control. Once the motor starts, the board begins to inflate and stops automatically after a few minutes. At that time, you can drop the motor into the central slot of the board and restart the motor, which will finish fully inflating the board and stop automatically when everything is ready.

With the motor, the entire inflation process takes about five minutes. All that's left to do is lock the motor cover, snap on the paddle and add the fin.

This simplified setup gets you on the water much faster because, let's face it, that's where the Drive Neo is the most fun to use. The board has three speeds that vary between 3.5 and 4.5 miles per hour, which you control from a remote attached to the paddle or via Bluetooth from the SipaBoards app, which also keeps you informed of battery life.

When we took it for a test ride, we found the board offered plenty of stability in all three speed modes, even in slightly choppier water. The electric motor allowed us to quickly get away from the shore and onto the waters, although we had to be careful to avoid rocks and other obstacles. The best part is that when you're ready to return to shore, you can engage third gear and return virtually effortlessly, as if you were sailing.

sipa remote

The remote also reacts almost instantly to changes in speed and power, so if you fear an imminent collision, you can shut off the motor in a second and resume manual control of the board. And if you fall off the board, the motor automatically turns off when the paddle remote hits the water, preventing the board from moving too far away from you. This is one of the coolest features of the board in general.

Although the electric motor is the main selling point of the board, there is no need to use it all the time. When the motor is off, the Drive Neo functions like a standard inflatable board, making it ideal for sunbathing, paddleboard yoga, fishing, picnicking or exercising. You can also attach a seat to the board for a more kayak-like experience. And if you fancy a nighttime ride, the motor is equipped with a light that illuminates 3 meters deep in clear water, which is a great feature for visibility and safety in the dark.

sipa motor insert


When packed, the 11-foot SipaBoards Drive Neo weighs about 17 pounds, which is a bit less than most other inflatable SUP boards, which are closer to 20 or 25 pounds. It's true that this weight doesn't include the motor, which comes in a separate carrying case and adds an extra 11 pounds to your board. Fully assembled with the motor, the Drive Neo weighs around 28 pounds, which is pretty close to most 11-12 foot boards.

The Drive Neo comes with all the basic accessories and features of a SUP. You will receive a board, a carbon fiber paddle, a fin, a leash, a carrying strap, bags for the board and motor, repair and maintenance kits and, unique to SipaBoards, a electric motor, two batteries to power the motor, a charging adapter and a remote control to control the speed of the board. The construction of the board itself is strong and durable, and it has a nice top handle that didn't allow our feet to slip. Its simple, modern design and colors are also very aesthetically pleasing, which is always a plus.

Like other inflatable boards, the Drive Neo packs into a carrying case that you can wear like a backpack, and an oversized bag at that, giving you the portability that has given inflatable SUP boards the edge over bulky wooden boards. They are therefore ideal for traveling, whether by car, plane, public transport or even by bike if you have balance. The ease of packing these inflatable boards also makes it easier to find space to store them in your home.

sipa board strap carry

To repackage the Drive Neo, you remove the motor and fin, then squeeze and open the valve before folding it back into the case, which only takes a few minutes. The motor and batteries are stored in a separate case with a strap perfect for carrying over the shoulder.

Since the Drive Neo is motorized, it emits some noise when operating on water. The noise isn't loud enough to prevent you from having a conversation or hearing what's going on around you, but it may be enough to disturb you if you're looking to paddle in peace.

The main drawback of the SipaBoards Drive Neo is its price. The cheapest motorized model comes in at $2,795, which is nearly triple the price of traditional high-end SUPs. Therefore, if you are looking to buy your first SUP or want enough boards for the whole family, the Drive Neo is not the most economical solution.

SipaBoards was one of the first to get into e-SUP, but there are now other motorized SUP boards on the market. You can buy a motorized accessory that clips onto your existing board or opt for a model closer to the Drive Neo, where the motor is built into the body of the board and helps inflate it. The Drive Neo still outperforms many of its competitors, with faster charging times and long battery life. Its price is also about average for other motorized options, even those that come without a board.

For some, the cost of an electric SUP may be worth the safety guarantee it can offer. In all water sports, currents and bad weather can surprise you. A motorized board gives you more confidence to navigate longer distances without worrying about not having the power to get back to shore. Motorized boards, like the SipaBoard Drive Neo, are therefore a great option for families, seniors or paddleboard beginners who are still learning. So if paying more for a motorized board is worth the added peace of mind, then the SipaBoards Drive Neo is definitely one to consider.



sipa board pipe inflate

The SipaBoards Drive Neo is definitely a luxury. Claiming to be “built at the intersection of technology, luxury and sportsmanship,” the Drive Neo delivers on that promise by taking what we already love about paddleboarding and giving us even better ways to use it.

A motorized aid can be very helpful if you have small children or pets who like to accompany you on the water but can't yet hold their own when paddling. It can also save you from having to call for help if you no longer have enough energy to paddle to shore safely. The auto-inflate feature is a great plus for those who can't stand the manual inflation process or simply want to get on the water faster.

Ultimately, it all depends on your budget and what you want to get out of your paddleboarding experience. If you're looking for a board that saves you some hassle and operates almost effortlessly, the SipaBoards Drive Neo is an innovative option that will really let you cruise the waters, as long as you remember to recharge the batteries once you return to the House.

This text is from a CNN article


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