Is the future of skateboards electric? Ben Forman and Geoff Larson, creators of the ZBoard, believe so. The ZBoard was designed to giver riders everything they could want from a board, with none of the drawbacks of other electric boards.
First prototyped in 2009, this board was always intended to be a better form of skateboard, with features that make it easy to control and enjoyable to use. After multiple prototypes and models, it wasn’t until 2012 that the project for the ZBoard really started to take off. With the help of a Kickstarter project, the Zboard's founders, who were college students at the time, managed to make enough money to seriously fund their project. Since 2012, the ZBoard has evolved yet again and it’s second model, aptly named “ZBoard 2” is available now.
What it Means to be Electric
While the ZBoard isn’t the first skateboard to have a motor, it does have some features that set it apart from other electric skateboards. This skateboard isn’t remotely controlled, like some other electric boards, and it’s completely under the control of its rider. Two pressure pads allow the rider to accelerate or brake, and this is done completely with your feet- no hands involved.
The ZBoard can also be more environmentally friendly than other boards. Its motor lasts longer than others, with around 16 to 24 miles per charge. According to the ZBoard website, it “Gets a carbon footprint equivalent of up to 1500 miles/gallon.”
The ZBoard is designed to be similar in size to normal skateboards. Its motor is small and not bulky. Its slightly curved design helps make the board simpler to maneuver.
Two handles on either side of the board make it easy to carry with you and you never have to worry about trying to wrap your arms around the base, to get a good grip. The ZBoard is also fairly lightweight, weighing less than 20 pounds. While some electric skateboards may be bulky or difficult to bring with you all day, the ZBoard aims to be as portable as possible.
Lights for Safety and Night Rides
The ZBoards’ integrated headlights and taillights mean that riders can enjoy their board both during the day and at night. Riders can turn the lights on to look cool or to make sure other people can see them and avoid collisions.
ZBoard believes in delivering quality products to its customers and so all of its boards are built and tested within the company’s shop, in California. No manufacturing is done outside of the United States, and all of the materials are durable and meant to provide the best level of use for the longest amount of time.
Because of the quality of the materials used, as well as the effort put into perfecting each board, the ZBoard is not as conveniently priced as some of the other mass-produced boards out there. The price for the ZBoard 2 “Blue” model is $1,299, on the company’s website. The price for the “Pearl” model is $1,499.
The biggest difference between the two models is that the Pearl model has a range of about four miles longer than the Blue model, and each is made of a different type of wood and has a different type of wheels. The Pearl model also weighs two more pounds than the Blue one.
Whether you’re an avid skateboarder or new to skateboarding, the ZBoard can definitely be something to look into. ZBoards have gained a lot of attention over the past few years and they have impressed quite a few skaters. Some have even referred to it as “life-changing.” Even if you’ve never been on a board, that almost makes you want to try it out. If you can handle the price, it might be worth it to do just that.
Will electric skateboards one day replace regular skateboards? It’s hard to tell. Maybe nothing can really replace the classic man-powered skateboard, but the ZBoard has definitely been working to make the electric skateboard more popular and more convenient.