Forget McFly’s hoverboard – we still aren’t quite at that point yet – but if the innovations unveiled at CES 2012 tell us anything, it’s well on it’s way. As if pretending to know how to surf concrete on a long board wasn’t easy enough, two companies have recently created a new generation of electric skateboards. Why get outside and exert any amount of effort if you can zip around town on battery-powered boards?
The Zboard is set to launch on the 1st of March of this year and has two different models to choose from – the Classic and the Pro. The Classic can reach speeds of up to 15 mph and has a range of about 5 miles on its sealed lead acid batteries. The Pro is a little more powerful and has a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that allows for up to 17 mph and a range of just over 10 miles to every charge.
Both models offer a very close simulation of riding the real thing – with a highly-intuitive electric motor that’s hands-free, it can accelerate and decelerate based on how the skater shifts their weight on the board. They both also include regenerative braking. Pre-orders are now available (with a $100 deposit), and prices have been set at $500 for the Classic and $800 for the Pro. Check out their website for more details.
Metroboard is another company that has also launched its own line of electric skateboards, which are currently available to consumers online. They’re more customizable than the Zboard, offering different board choices such as standard long boards (36″ and 41″), and the shorter cruiser-style (27″ and 32″). The longer boards have less maneuverability but are far more stable, and the shorter boards tend to give the skater quite a bit more agility. These boards all max out at about 19 mph and are powered by rechargeable lithium batteries.
The only difference with the Metroboard is that speed is controlled by a wireless remote that is very similar to the Nintendo Wii controller and uses Bluetooth technology to communicate with the board, so you kind of lose that feeling of being self-propelled. To prevent runaway boards, the regenerative brakes engage automatically when you drop the remote and the board is more than 10 feet away from it. Metroboards are available for purchase through their website with prices ranging between $500-$545.