Electric Skateboards: EarthTechling Earth Videos

We’ve seen how electric cars and motorcycles can tear it up on the race track, and this week we’re looking at a slightly smaller but no less exciting way to get around with an electric motor. We’re talking about electric skateboarding, of course-some call it “powerboarding.” It’s a relatively new activity, and while it doesn’t provide quite the same exercise that traditional, human-powered skateboards do, they can reach top speeds of about 20 miles an hour and go up hills with ease. They can be fitted with special tires to make “mountainboards,” designed for off-road riding.

image via Bionic Wheels Hawaii

Many (not all, many of these items are homemade, so appearances vary. Check out the “Dirtsurfer” in the video below) of them look like traditional skateboards, but have a small electric motor affixed underneath. This and the larger wheels, which are mounted at the sides rather than the bottom, give electric skateboards an all-around heftier look–they almost look like a cross between a remote-controlled car and a skateboard, which, in fact, is a more apt description than you might think.

Where traditional skateboards are steered by the body’s motion and position, electric skateboards are steered via handheld joystick (some are remote controlled, others connect to the board by a cable), which means that a whole new set of hand-eye coordination skills would have to be learned in order to get around. They also have brakes, which make it possible for a skater to stop quickly. If you’re interested in electric skateboarding, check out the videos below and see the various ways it’s done–including using a drill as a power source. And remember to wear a helmet.

North Shore Hawaii electric skateboards going off road:

4WD Electric Skateboard:

AT Aluminum eglide powerboard:

Homemade electric skateboard:

First tests of Dirtsurfer with electric conversion kit in PL:

Laura Caseley is a graduate of SUNY New Paltz and a resident of New York State’s Hudson Valley. She writes for several publications and when she’s not writing, she can usually be found painting in her makeshift studio or enjoying the scenery of her hometown.

    • Cmcmahon

      The control only controls the speed and brake. Did this author even ride an electric skateboard?