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We started with the Wave Arcade CT90 surfmobile, but in all honesty, that project was more of a novelty than something that could reliably get you to and from the surf.
And the handful of times where it broke down and needed a haul (dismantled in the back of a Jetta, pushed way farther than anyone would like to push it, or shoved into the back of an SUV), it was clear that Wave Arcade needed a new 2-wheel surf mobile.
What better option than an e-bike? It’s environmentally friendly, it allows you to save your energy for the surf, and they’re really fun to ride. Pick the right model and you can outfit it just like the old CT90 workhorse.
That’s what we did with the Super73 S1.
Quick List to Build your Own Super73 Surf Bike
Ready to set up your own ebike for surfing?
First, you’ll need a bike. Shop Super73 through this link to take $100 off your order.
Here’s a list of the other gear we used to turn the S1 into a surfmobile:
|MBB Moped Surfboard Racks, by Moved By Bikes, Compatible with Mopeds or Electric Bikes with Tubular Cargo Racks, Longboards Shortboards SUP
|kemimoto Motorcycle Saddle Bags, Middle-Sized Motorcycle Side Saddlebags Scooter Panniers Green
|ABUS 410 Ultra U Lock
|Onguard Doberman Resettable Combo Coil Cable Lock (Black, 240 cm x 12 mm)
|Keeper 06107 Ultra 24" Gray/White Flat Bungee Cord
The other bike racks from Moved by Bikes are good choices too, these include:
There are some differences in how each one mounts up, but each of them are high quality bicycle surf racks.
When you’re mounting those, you’ll want to use some anti-seize lubricant on the bolts.
Additionally, when mounting the brackets and the bracket for the u-lock, it can give you a better mount and help protect the paint on the frame if you wrap the tube first. We found gas pipe thread tape to be an easy and inexpensive option.
The Super73 S1 stood out as a worthy e-bike for some surfmobile mods for a few reasons:
- Built in rear rack.
- Headlight for heading to dawn patrol or heading back from an evening surf.
- Big tires to help make sand, gravel, and dirt a bit easier to navigate.
- Classic styling that makes you feel like your riding an old-school moped.
There are certainly better ebikes out there, but for our purposes the Super73-S1 is a good candidate at a reasonable price.
- 25 mile + ranges at 20 mph if you use the throttle only and up to 35 mile+ using the ECO pedal assist.
- Top speed of ~20 to 26 mph.
- Internal hub motor with 1,000 watt peak power.
- 30″ seat height.
- 20″ x 4.25″ all-terrain tires.
- Hydraulic disc brakes.
- Overall weight of 70 pounds with a weight capacity of 275 lbs.
- Battery charge plugs right into your standard wall outlet.
Creating an Ebike for Surfing
A bicycle has always been a great way to get to and from the beach – if you’re close enough.
It allows you to bring along the bare minimum if you want. You don’t have to worry about parking or permits. You can pull right up onto the sand if you want.
However, if you live in an area with hills on your route, the prospect of biking to and from the surf is way less appealing.
An e-bike gives you all the conveniences of a bike with the extra convenience of not having to do the work.
I’d much rather have a leisurely commute to and from the beach and tire myself out surfing.
Outfitting and e-bike to be a proper surfmobile doesn’t take all that much.
And, the Super73-S1 gives you a great base to start with. It’s got all the racks and exposed frame tubes you need to mount your gear.
Now, if you’re a real minimalist, I guess all you need is the bike and a strong arm to hold your board while you steer with the other.
That’s probably not the safest nor most comfortable option though.
There’s only a few simple things to turn a bike into a surfmobile:
- A way to carry your board.
- A way to carry and stash your towels, wetsuit, and clothes.
- A way to lock up and secure your bike.
Here’s how we outfitted the Super73-S1:
- Surf Racks.
- U Lock with frame mount.
- Secondary cable lock.
- Single Saddle Bag mounted opposite the surf racks.
- A few bungee cords to secure the board, towels, and anything else.
Some additional odds and ends to mount and secure some things included:
- Pipe wrap to wrap around the frame tubes to give the mounting brackets something to bite.
- Anti-seize lubricant for the surf rack mounting bolts.
The end result is an ebike that’s great for a surf and looks pretty rad too. Board goes in the racks, lock goes in its mount, wetsuit in the bag, towels strapped to the cargo rack, and you’re off.
Gear and Products Used
Below you’ll find a run down of the gear we used and how we mounted it on the Super73-S1.
The most important aspect of any surf bike are the racks.
Moved by Bikes makes the best surf racks out there, and these are the same ones we used on the CT90.
They’re sturdy, come with quality mounting hardware, and are super easy to pop off if you don’t need them at the moment.
The moped racks are the most sturdy design they offer, and work perfectly for an ebike like the Super73 S1.
We mounted ours under the rear rack with the mounting brackets on the inside of the frame.
This position allows the mounts and tubes to stay out of the way when the racks aren’t installed and gives you plenty of stability for carrying almost any length board.
We’ve tested a wide range from a 5’3″ fish to a 9’5″ log.
We wrapped the frame in pipe thread tape to give the mounts something to grip and protect the paint.
If you ride your bike to the beach in your wetsuit, you may not need a luggage bag. But, it’s nice to have some storage, and I’m not a big fan of riding in a wetsuit.
For the S1, we repurposed the old soft panniers from the CT90 surfmobile.
These come connected, so we cut them apart and mounted the bag we liked onto the side of the bike opposite the surf racks.
Most pannier bags for bikes and motorcycles will come with plenty of straps and hooks for you to mount them with to your frame.
We hooked this one up to the cargo rack and a few points on the rear frame and has no issue with stability or rubbing anywhere it shouldn’t.
If you wanted to get more serious with your luggage, you could get:
- A pannier frame for the rear rack.
- Hard bags.
- Waterproof bags with mounting clips.
A saddle bag is an easy way to carry your wetsuit, sunscreen, wax, fins, tools, a leash, or whatever else you need.
Security for your e-bike should be top of mind. When you’re in the water with your ebike likely out of sight, you’ll want to feel pretty confident that it’s safe.
A U-lock is one of the most secure ways to lock any bike, and ebikes are no exception.
We went with this one from Abus, which includes a mounting bracket to attach to the frame.
We found this bracket to be pretty loose and wobbly on its own, but we were able to fix that by wrapping some extra pipe thread tape around the frame first. This allows you to tighten the clamp down all the way so it won’t jiggle or slide.
The first place we tried to mount it was on the rear frame behind the bag, but found this to be a little less than ideal.
Next, we loosened the seat on the S1 and slid it back an inch or so. This allows you to mount the U-lock holder between the seat and the battery, and it stills gives you enough clearance to take the battery off and on.
This position felt the most secure and out of the way.
When you lock up the bike, make sure to set the U-lock tight against the mounting object and the frame to prevent leverage attacks.
A combination cable lock is a nice extra piece of security that you can use to capture the front and rear wheels.
The combination lock is more convenient than having to carry two sets of keys, and serves as a nice back up to the u-lock.
No security system is 100% theft proof, but the more obstacles you add, the more secure your bike will be.
Finally, we use bungee cords to secure the surfboard in the racks and our towels on the rear rack. Carrying two towels is always convenient – one to stand on and one to deck change with.
We like the flat bungee cords with plastic hooks. These won’t damage the paint or, more importantly, the surfboard.
The boxy, open frame and the built in cargo rack give you plenty of mounting points for your bungee rope. It’s extremely easy to secure your gear to this bike.
Reviewing the Super73-S1 as a Surf Bike
After just the first surf with the S1, it was clear that it was a worthy surfmobile.
I took the 9’5″ longboard to put the bike to the test on its first go.
While the weight of the board wanted to tip the bike when it was standing still, once I got on it, it was no problem.
With the surf rack mounted under the rear rack, even the longboard had plenty of clearance and stability.
The surf spot I picked for the first go was about 2.5 miles from my house. The route there and back took me up a handful of hills with most of the steep ones on the way back.
I used a mix of throttle and the 3 pedal assist modes to test out the bikes full capabilities.
It handled the hills with ease at about 8 to 15 mph, depending on the grade and the mode I was using.
I did not break a sweat in either direction, and I made it make with plenty of battery left. I probably could have turned around and done the same route another time or two.
Considering the way the roads and bike paths are designed on this particular route, getting to and from the beach on the ebike took about the same amount of time as it takes me in a car.
The specs make this bike a good choice if you live within 2 to 10 miles from the beach. With those ranges, you should have no problem getting to the surf and getting back home without having to pedal under your own power.
The design, weight, and low seat height of the bike make it good for loading up with surf racks and carry even a heavy longboard.
You’re able to keep both feet on the ground and a hand on the board if needed when navigating over sand, gravel, or through gates.
It is fun to ride, and I expect it to be even more pleasing when the summer crowds arrive and I won’t have to circle around for a parking spot.
Super73-S1, or any e-bike really, is not a bad way to get to the beach.