Two-wheeled skateboard offers surfing on tarmac experience
By Mike Hanlon
December 31, 2005
January 1, 2006 The EssBoard is a skateboard with a twist – quite literally. Its two castor type wheels enable a motion that is very difficult to descibe, but enables the board to be propelled up-hill, and without needing to touch the ground, while at the same time enabling a motion that more closely captures the feel of surfing or snowboarding than any previous asphalt skateboard. Emanating from Korea, the EssBoard appears identical to “the Wave” board which comes from California, and the Exboard which comes from the UK, though we’ve been unable to ascertain which was the original or whether the designs originated independently. Putting originality aside, the Essboard (and presumably the Wave and exboard) offers some compelling functionality, as it works the torso and legs at the same time as offering captivating entertainment value. If you can’t quite comprehend what the Essboard, Exboard or Wave board can do, or how they work, check these videos at the Streetsurfing site, or these vidz at the Exboard site, or these at the Essboard site for beginners and expert riders.
The Essboard flows smoothly once you’ve overcome the initial (and very quick) process of learning, and with both castor wheels capable of rotating 360 degrees, the board is powered by working the legs and torso, and it doesn’t take long to realise that the activity is extremely beneficial.
One of the most interesting “new” capabilities the Essboard offers is the ability to drive it without needing to touch the pavement – it’s taxing to power it with the dynamics of the board, but it offers a workout that benefits core strength, as our 43-year-old test pilot Alex Sanz ably demonstrates in the images.
There are some other unique aspects to the Essboard, most notable when you actually ride the board is the way that it allows you to step off when you’re finding things difficult – we won’t attempt to explain the phenomenon in physics terms, other than to say that unlike a skateboard, the design prevents it from slipping out from underneath you. In short, this makes the board much safer than a normal skateboard,
Pricing appears to vary between US$125 and US$200 in different countries, so we’ll leave it up to you to chase down the best deal.