They are a hit in countries such as Australia and New Zealand and will soon be a sensation on the coast of Mallorca. They are electric water bikes, a new vehicle that combines fun and sport in equal parts. And all of this without polluting the sea.
The latest-generation Hydrofoil SL3 water bike, by Manta5, has burst onto Mallorca in 2023 thanks to Salty Cycling, the official dealer for Spain, Morocco and Portugal of this new gadget. Its commercial director, Samuel González, assures us that water bikes are “a phenomenon with a long way to go that is just starting now”. Palma, Puerto Portals, Cala d’Or or Playa de Muro have been some of the scenarios in which demonstrations have been offered, however, “this year has gained visibility and we hope that in 2024 the phenomenon of water bikes will definitely take off; those who try it want to repeat”, says González.
How these water bikes work
Mallorca is one of the scenarios where the latest model of electric water bike, the SL3, sails. Its operation is simple. The bike is very easy to assemble. It consists of 5 parts and has only one screw. “It requires very little training, it’s a very intuitive ‘click’ process. In addition, the battery is the size of a shoebox, easily transportable and can be plugged into any socket at home,” explains González.
Once in the water, the ‘rider’ or driver of the water bike has to use the trigger that activates the electric motor to get the vehicle into position and… everything is ready to pedal on the sea. “You have three options depending on the level of ‘help’ you put into the bike. The most sporty, based on pedalling without motor support; another intermediate one, which would be equivalent to a ride as if it were a normal bike, combining the help of the motor and the pedals, and a third purely recreational and leisure option, only using the electric trigger and in which you can stand up, make turns, catch waves… Pure and simple fun”, explains the commercial director.
Water bikes in Mallorca
The main features of these electric water bikes in Mallorca include some of the following:
- Charging time of 3 hours.
- The weight of the bike is 35 kilos.
- It is 100% watertight, with no possibility of water seeping in.
- It reaches a maximum speed of 20 km per hour (9 knots).
- The battery life is about 3.5-4 hours.
The bike has a digital display that shows the battery level and the amount of pedal assistance the rider is exerting. In addition, another of the great virtues of electric water bikes is that they are environmentally friendly and do not pollute.
Regulation of electric bikes
According to Samuel González, “the coexistence of these vehicles in the water is like that of any jet ski or paddle surf. It uses the access routes to the beach marked by buoys and it is completely legal and free to navigate wherever you want, respecting these signs”. Furthermore, although it is not the norm in Mallorca, “they are also used in rivers, lakes and marshes. Even more so now that as of next year, jet skis will be banned in these areas”. On the other hand, although the bike has a small foil or elixir, there is hardly any danger to the bather or the driver, as it is protected in a shell and has a two-metre blade that prevents people from approaching it. “There has not been a single incident,” he says.
How to test water bikes in Mallorca
“All this is just beginning and it will soon be possible for the public to try out the water bikes on Mallorca through rental companies. Bike rental shops, water toy shops, yacht and charter businesses have shown great interest in acquiring these models in order to be able to offer them to the public. “The forecast for next season is very positive,” says the commercial director of Salty Cycling, the dealer that sells this model of bike. Soon, therefore, companies that see the potential of renting this ecological vehicle will begin to offer its use for pedalling on the Balearic Sea.