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: