Souped-Up Surfing: Surfboard With Jet-Powered Engine

With the JetBoard, surfers can catch rides anywhere, from a tranquil lake to the open ocean.
6:00 | 10/23/13

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Transcript for Souped-Up Surfing: Surfboard With Jet-Powered Engine
Any? Body who attempted to surf knows it can be back breakingly, muscle achingly, humiliatingly difficult. The sheer thrill is worth it. Although I wouldn't know. So why should this elation only be available to the agile few? Tonight, abc's nick watt, on the jet-powered surfboard and the controversy. Reporter: It is surfing, but not as the we know it. The air is bigger, the speed is greater, the wipeouts are wipier, because inside, those surfboard are packed with punchy jet engines. Propelling these riders through the foam at speed touching 45 miles per hour. Surfing, pseudo-religion, mystical union of man and nature has gone motorized. Has there been a bigger mechanical shock since dylan went electric at new port in '65. ♪ ♪ how does it feel ♪ are there grizzled old purists who think this is disgraceful? Indeed. Indeed. You have your salty dogs that if it wasn't a hand shape shaved board in the yard locally they aren't surfing it. Reporter: We found a purist. It will take away from the sport. I tell the gnarly surfer dude that think this is cheating. Come out. Give me 15 minutes. Like wake boarding or water skiing for 15 minutes. It kicks your butt. Reporter: Bob montgomery pioneered the technology. He is gnarly. Hit the waves with the duke back in the day. You are the classic californian surfer guy I would have thought would never want to put a motor inside the surfboard. Wrong. I always dreamed of a motorized surfboard since we were little boy. That god given dream never left me. That's why it's here. Montgomery claims the feeling is akin to riding a 50-foot monster. The closest thing to surfing on a big wave you will ever taste without surfing. Should a guy look me with min cal emin -- minimal experience, be allowed to taste the sweet nectar without putting in the early morning hours. I have done water skiing since i was 10. Perfect. Perfect candidate for a good show today. Reporter: Ha-ha. I forgot bob's instructions that you can ease off the throttle. I have never felt so alive! Yes, with a jet surf even a fat scottsman can feel what it is look to catch a big wave in the relative safety of the waveless lagoon. The sport need to grow by riders and players. All sports grow by riders and players. The product always evolves. In all sports. Reporter: Look at race cars, track shoes, even pole vaults for goodness sake. No sport stand still. The america's cup, oldest tro eest trophy in international sports was gentlemen sailing lumbering mono-hulls. It was won with team usa, skippering a space aged catamaran equipped with a carbon fiber wing that flew across san francisco bay at nearly 50 miles an hour. Are there old traditionalists wearing the blazers who look at you and think -- eh, disgusting. No question. The fact is though, this is the way forward. Reporter: Sometimes technology does go too far. Those nasa inspired body suits, sported by michael phelps and others at beijing olympics were later banned. Dubbed by some as technological doping. And golf's governing body just voted to ban those controversial anchored or belly putters. Creating a pivot on the body they say is just not within the spirit of the game. And not even surfing stand still. Remember, it started with a polynesian guy riding on a tree trunk. The sport evolves. As you can see in surfing celluloid images. The sport of surfing. Quaint endless summer, following board worshippers. And go around the island. Get killer secret spots. To the bikini clad blue crush about a women's pipe competition. Now there is this. Altogether there is 800 parts here. In this bad boy. All -- all fit into there. Looks like the insides of a human stomach. He rode a prototype in 1995. Now he sells these little monsters all over the world for upward of $6,000 a pop. Jet surfing has become so popular in the land locked czech republic of all places, they're even holding jet surf competitions over there. There are now, six, seven, jet surf manufacturers. The board still aren't available for sale in the u.S. There are permit issues that the makers hope to hurdle soon. With this board, bob montgomery doesn't want to end traditional surfing, he just wants to spread the sport to bring surfing to the masses where they live. You can be a surfer on a lake in oklahoma? Yeah, like the beach boys song if everybody had an ocean everybody would be surfing. There you go. Reporter: You brought the ocean to everybody? That's it. Reporter: I had a whale of a team out there. Fabulous. And it is actually inspired me to try regular surfing. You know, the old-fashioned kind. Without an engine attached. I'm nick watt for "nightline" in

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