Highlights from the 2014 LA Auto Show

Dropboards motorized carving board powers over dirt and pavement

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February 15, 2013

The Dropboard Carve Motor 50cc

The Dropboard Carve Motor 50cc

Image Gallery (21 images)

Walking the floor of the recent ISPO Munich sports show, there were a few things that were almost impossible to miss – the automated polar bear walking the corridors, for instance (see the gallery). Outside of that oversized white teddy bear, and maybe a scantily clad promo girl or two, the Dropboards Carve Motor 50cc spun my head faster than anything. This burly, all-terrain motor board looks more like a go-kart than a skateboard.

We've seen a number of motorized skateboards here at Gizmag – from mind controlled electrics to tracked, gas-powered all-terrain rovers to ultralight EVs.

The Carve Motor 50cc distinguishes itself in a few ways. Perhaps the most obvious is that hulking outboard engine that makes it look like a power boat out of water. As its name informs, that's a 50cc engine – the same 2.5-hp 50cc two-stroke engine used in some of Dropboard's scooters and minibikes. The motor and drum brake are controlled via a hard-wired hand controller.

Another aspect of the Carve Motor that stands out is its sheer size. That size is partly a factor of the large, knobby tires designed for off-road use, and partly an effect of its carving-inspired construction. In addition to motorized vehicles, Dropboard specializes in carving skateboards – big, long land surfboards designed to get low and flow. The carving board influence can be seen in the board's length and axle shock absorbers.

The carving board platform allows riders to get low

The combination of 50cc engine, carving construction and off-road tires results in a board with the grunt to push you around town, the maneuverability to slash dirt and hit jumps, and the versatility to roll over bumps, rocks, potholes and other landscape surprises. It is capable of traveling up to 21.7 miles (35 km) per fill-up in as little as an hour (top speed = 21.7 mph/35 km/h) and can carry riders up to 220 pounds (100 kg). It weighs just over 50 pounds (23 kg). The front end retracts more than half a foot (17 cm), allowing for a more compact travel footprint.

Dropboards has been selling the Carve Motor in its home market of Brazil for several years and was at the ISPO show in hopes of broadening its distribution. Toward that end, it opened a European branch in Portugal last year.

The Carve Motor 50cc is available for R$2,990 (US$1,530). For those that prefer a greener skate, Drop also offers an 800-watt electric skateboard for the same price. Its line of non-motorized carving and mountain boards hovers around the R$1,000 (US$510) range.

Source: Dropboards

Update: This story was modified on Feb. 20, 2013 to correct an error regarding pricing information. Prices were mistakenly listed in US$, when they were actually in Brazilian Real. The correct prices and currency conversions have now been added. Our apologies for any confusion and thanks to commenter Adam Valdes for pointing this out.

About the Author
C.C. Weiss Upon graduating college with a poli sci degree, Chris toiled in the political world for several years. Realizing he was better off making cynical comments from afar than actually getting involved in all that mess, he turned away from matters of government and news to cover the things that really matter: outdoor recreation, cool cars, technology, wild gadgets and all forms of other toys. He's happily following the wisdom of his father who told him that if you find something you love to do, it won't really be work.   All articles by C.C. Weiss
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4 Comments

Interesting, but gas-guzzling skateboards are a thing of the past. They have been replaced by cleaner/quieter/quicker electric versions. I'd put a decent electric skateboard up against a gasser any day.

First impressions tell me these guys are just selling cheap knock-offs. Their non-motorized "boards" on the website look almost Identical to the "made in USA" Carve-Boards. They seem to have taken the bottom truck from MBS Mountainboards (who has their stuff made in China) and mated it to a knock-off carve-board. Not only do they appear to be knock-offs, they also are selling 'em for 2X the price of the real-deal. These guys should not be promoted if this is in fact the case.

Milton
16th February, 2013 @ 11:14 am PST

@Milton

Batteries have a lower energy density than petrol/hydrocarbons, therefore not the thing of the past. In addition the manufacture of high capacity lithium-ion batteries are extremely environmentally unfriendly, and the energy used to charge the batteries comes from a hydrocarbon source. why is quieter good? so people aren't aware of a moving vehicle.

Neon
17th February, 2013 @ 02:21 pm PST

@Neon

In a skateboard application petrol-powered is a thing of the past, as are petrol-powered bicycles. Next will be motorcycles, followed by automobiles. When the performance of an EV starts to kick petrol ass, the petrol becomes a thing of the past. For the 3K dollar price tag one could have purchased a Gnarboard electric skateboard, which has a 28 mph top-speed, a 20 mile range, and a 2-hour recharge time. Not to mention it can reach top-speeds in as little as 1.9 seconds, which out-accelerates any petrol-powered skateboard ever made. Aside from the "refueling time", petrol loses.

As for the "electricity comes from burning coal" argument, I'd like to point out to you that: 1. Electricity is increasingly becoming "cleaner", and 2. Even if 100% of your electricity were to be coming from a coal-powered plant, it is still less polluting to drive an EV. Go check out the Tesla Motors "go electric" page for some awesome info-graphics on the subject. They get their figures from the US Energy Information Association. It's pretty hard to debate against the "efficiency" of electric when it is proven that electric motors can achieve 95+ % efficiency while gasoline is stuck at 25 - 30% efficiency... not to mention the wasted gasoline from "idleing" in traffic.

As for noise-pollution: I don't think you are going to find many supporters of noisy petrol-powered skateboards. If you think having noise is so crucial to a moving vehicle, then I'd encourage you to solve that problem without the use of polluting our air with an ICE. But I think you would find the lack of noise to be a great benefit, as the "loud pipes save lives" argument is not quite as powerful as the "paying attention to your surroundings saves lives" one.

Milton
17th February, 2013 @ 07:25 pm PST

Are those hand dolly tires?

sk8dad
18th February, 2013 @ 12:33 pm PST
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