The Outside Blog


The Most Inspiring Use of a Wavejet Surfboard Yet

Wavejets are surfboards with an electronic propulsion system. Users wear a wrist controller with a button that turns the board on and off. The company markets the high-tech planks to individuals who want to spend more time surfing and less time paddling, catch mushy waves, or drop into giants without a tow-in. Those uses are all interesting, but the most inspiring testament to the power of the invention was released yesterday.

In the YouTube video above, quadriplegic Jesse Billauer catches a wave at Chuns reef off of Oahu's North Shore. In 1996, Billauer was a promising young surfer with dreams of competing in the ASP World Tour when he was driven head first into a sandbar on California's Zuma Beach. He suffered a spinal cord injury at his C6 vertebrate and lost the ability to walk and had limited use of his arms and hands. He vowed to surf again and, with the help of his friends, did. He made an appearance in the movie Step Into Liquid. In 2002, he founded a non-profit, Life Rolls On, to help other injured athletes return to the water. They now take people out to perform a variety of action sports, from skiing to skateboarding.

Screen Shot 2012-12-14 at 2.43.20 PMJesse Billauer on a Wavejet. Photo: YouTube

In the video, Billauer uses his teeth to hit the button on Wavejet's wrist controller. As a result, for the first time in 15 years, he is able to surf without the help of multiple friends. "It's just mind boggling, he says. "I feel like I might not even need anybody."

H/T: Pete Thomas Outdoors

—Joe Spring

to Outside
Save Over

Magazine Cover

iPad Outside+ App Access Now Included!






Previous Posts




Blog Roll

Current Issue Outside Magazine

Subscribe and get a great deal! Two free Buyer's Guides plus a free GoLite Sport Bottle. Monthly delivery of Outside—your ultimate resource for today's active lifestyle. All that and big savings!

Free Newsletters

Dispatch This week's featured articles, reviews, and videos. Sent twice weekly.
News From the Field The most important breaking news from around the Web. Sent daily.
Gear of the Day The latest products, reviews, and editors' picks. Coming soon.
Outside Partners Outside-approved deals and special offers from select partners. Sent occasionally.

Ask a Question

Our gear experts await your outdoor-gear-related questions. Go ahead, ask them anything.

* We might edit your question for length or clarity. If it's not about gear, we'll just ignore it.