Bowboard gives your ride some bounce
By Paul Ridden
November 15, 2013
A Florida company has thrown some essence of kick scooter, two cups of skateboard, a dash of bike seasoning, and perhaps even slice of Kangoo- or trampoline-like jump action into the idea mixer and cooked up what looks like one fun ride. When riders step down on its flexible deck, a special drive mechanism propels the Bowboard forward. The developers say that once mastered, users can bounce along at cruising speeds of around 12 mph (20 km/h).
The Bowboard has been years in development, and gone through five prototypes before arriving at the production-ready design you see here. It features an arced epoxy springboard above an aluminum alloy chassis, and pushing down on that board engages the patented spiral gearing mechanism at the single big rear wheel. This converts a downward push into forward motion, though a typical ride is said to involve giving it a bit of a kick-start before the bouncing starts.
There are two oversized longboard wheels at the front. Steering is undertaken using a height-adjustable and fold-down handlebar and column, with a bike-like brake lever used to slow down or stop. The Bowboard is reportedly capable of supporting rider weights up to 170 lb (77 kg), and its creators reckon that after about five minutes of practice, newbies will be speeding away.
The strange-looking scooter is currently the subject of a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign, to turn polished prototype into production Bowboard.
An early bird special pledge of US$299 will place your cross next to a black or white Bowboard. If all goes as planned, the first 300 units should be shipped out by this time next year.
It can be seen in use in the pitch video below.