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Tesla’s $1,500 carbon fiber surfboard is dumb

That didn’t stop it from selling out in less than a day.

Tesla’s $1,500 carbon fiber surfboard is dumb
[Source Photos: Tesla, Jeremy Bishop/Unsplash]

Sorry, surfer-wannabes with money to burn–you won’t be hanging a limited edition Tesla surfboard on your office wall any time soon. Less than a day after electric auto technology blog Electrek first spotted Tesla-branded surfboards on the company’s website, all 200 available units had sold out. One vocal segment of the internet appeared not to be sorry to miss out.

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Elon Musk loves to sell merchandise with his companies’ brand stamped on it. It’s a strategy that has worked well for Musk, who uses it to raise funds and grab headlines: In January, he sold 50,000 hats and 20,000 flamethrowers to raise equity for his tunnel construction business, the Boring Company. That’s $3.5 million in giant lighters. Not too shabby. This merch may sound bizarre to anyone who doesn’t see the allure of Ferrari polos or Porsche perfumes, but it sells like hotcakes–and Tesla’s surfboard was no exception.

[Photo: Tesla]

According to Tesla’s web page, the board was conceived by Tesla Design Studio and Matt “Mayhem” Biolos, the surfboard shaper from Lost Surfboards, a company that handcrafts boards in San Clemente, California. Tesla says that the board uses the “same high-quality matte and gloss finishes used on its cars,” with a “deck reinforced with lightweight ‘Black Dart’ carbon fiber, inspired by the interiors in our cars.” It’s black on one side and Tesla-red on the other. And it only costs $1,500 a pop, fins not included (a board of the same kind will typically start at around $540).

I was curious what actual surfers would think of the board, so I asked a friend who’s been surfing since he was a toddler what he thought. His single word answer? “Dumb.”

Amused but not entirely satisfied, I went to see what Reddit’s resident surfing community, r/surfing, had to say. “This is the equivalent of those Porsche drivers that wear their Porsche baseball caps everywhere to let everyone know they drive a Porsche. Ridiculous,” griped Redditor SourCreamWater. Churchillsucks put it even more viscerally: “It looks like something an evil villain would struggle to catch waves on.”

[Photo: Tesla]
But what about the design? One poster, DeclanC36, pointed out that his own surfboard has a black bottom and it’s a major pain: The black makes it too hot under the sun. On the surfing-focused website The Inertia, Alexander Haro seemed to agree: “Don’t leave it in the sun, because it will become a frying pan for your stomach.”

What about the shape and length of the board? “[At] that length and overall shape it should be a semi-gun,” says Redditor Jlsperling, referring to a smaller version of a “gun,” a board designed to take big waves. “But it’s probably half an inch too wide at least a quarter inch too thick.” Tesla could have made something really innovative, like a “really cool carbon fiber shortboard,” they added.

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So, it seems that some of the surfing community–at least on the internet–agrees with my friend. Or as one commenter put it more graphically, “WHO THE F*CK BOUGHT ONE OF THESE?”

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About the author

Jesus Diaz founded the new Sploid for Gawker Media after seven years working at Gizmodo, where he helmed the lost-in-a-bar iPhone 4 story. He's a creative director, screenwriter, and producer at The Magic Sauce and a contributing writer at Fast Company.

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