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We Took ZBoard’s Awesome Electric Skateboard for a Spin

by Brandon Russell | January 10, 2013January 10, 2013 6:00 am PST

It’s not summer, but I wish it was. This crazy electric skateboard created by ZBoard, which you can control with hardly any effort whatsoever, is completely wacky but also incredibly convenient. I can already see these being popular down on the many sunny boardwalks of Southern California.

When you see something crazy like this you just have to try it. We did, and it was really strange—at first. Initially balancing is like the first time you stood on a skateboard, and trusting the front and back pads, which propels the ZBoard, takes some getting used to. But once you commit, and let the board do its thing, the darn thing makes perfect sense. And it makes you want to cruise around all day.

The ZBoard is simple: stand on the front pad, go forward; stand on the back pad, go backwards. They’re both weight-sensing, so the harder you press, the faster you go. It’s got some leeway when you lean left and right, so you can maneuver and turn, but don’t expect to carve the pavement like a wave. It’s really meant to just go straight given that it’s pretty heavy. It didn’t seem that bad, though, since there’s a nice padded handle right there on the board itself.

The really great thing about the ZBoard is that it’s electric, so you can recharge at night and go again the next day. There are two models—the ZBoard Classic and ZBoard Pro—which vary by range. The Classic carries a Sealed Lead Acid battery and can go up to 5 miles, while the Pro model has a Lithium Iron Phosphate battery that can carry you 10 miles. Both have almost identical top speeds of 15+mph and 17+mph, respectively.

Sometimes it’s the little things you see on the show floor that can bring a smile to your face. The ZBoard is one of those things that’ll make you say, “What is that?!” in a good way. They’re a bit pricey, unfortunately—the Classic starts at $649, while the Pro is $949.

Brandon Russell

Brandon Russell enjoys writing about technology and entertainment. When he's not watching Back to the Future, you can find him on a hike or watching...