January 8, 2013
Totally Stoked: ZBoard Electric Skateboard Unveiled At CES 2013
Michael Harper for redOrbit.com — Your Universe Online
It´s been pitched as a solution for those eco-minded individuals who need to get from point A to point B but are too lazy to walk. Complete with an electric motor and a top speed of 17 mph, the Zboard is part Segway, part Tony Hawk, and incredibly cool.
This weight sensing electronic skateboard has already had its time in the Internet limelight following a successful Kickstarter campaign (the founders proudly boast that they fulfilled every order on time) and several positive write-ups on popular blogs and Web sites. Today, the California founders of ZBoard walked away with the 2013 CES Showstoppers LaunchIt award, wherein they pitched their business plan to a panel of New York Angel investors. Once they receive the funding they seek, they plan to deliver even more boards than last year as well as continue to improve their design.
And as it is, the ZBoard is incredibly cool. Similarly to how the Segway senses which way the rider wants to go, the ZBoard moves forwards and backwards depending on the way the rider is leaning. The founders say they came up with the idea for the ZBoard after growing tired of pushing their skateboards up those steep California hills and, worse still, having their bikes stolen from the University of Southern California (USC).
Like the popular longboards of today, the ZBoard comes equipped with all-terrain wheels to carry the rider through patches of grass, as well as up semi-steep hills. But unlike a longboard, the electronic skateboard comes with a convenient handle built into the deck, a regenerative braking system and an electric motor which can be charged on any 110v outlet.
All told, the ZBoard rides with a carbon footprint equivalent of 1500 miles to the gallon–very cool, indeed.
The ZBoard is available now online and starts at $649. The ZBoard Classic tops out at 15 MPH and can carry a rider for up to 5 miles before it needs to be recharged. The ZBoard Pro costs $949 and can run up to 17 MPH for a range of 10 miles. Interested parties should get their orders in quickly, as the lead time for these boards runs from an estimated 8 to 12 weeks.