Highlights from Interbike 2014

GolfBoard brings a hint of the waves and slopes to the greens

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August 23, 2013

The GolfBoard is a more adventuresome alternative to the golf cart

The GolfBoard is a more adventuresome alternative to the golf cart

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When people want to criticize electric cars, they often refer to them as glorified golf carts. Why? Because golf carts (with a few exceptions) are known for being slow and boring. That being the case, what options are there for hip, young golfers who are too cool for carts? Well, they might soon be able to carve across the greens on an electric GolfBoard.

The GolfBoard was created by a California-based team that previously built electric mountain boards – imagine a snowboard deck with off-road tires, and you start to get the idea.

Like those boards, this one features 4-wheel drive (via two 36-volt DC motors). This reportedly allows it to retain traction even on wet grass, and also to not harm that grass by spinning out. The use of relatively big, soft tires also helps avoid damage to the greens.

It has a top speed of 12 mph (19 km/h), and its 25,000-mAh lithium-ion battery pack should allow its user to cover at least 18 holes on one charge. It requires two hours to fully recharge.

Riders can choose between using a bag mount/stability handle (seen here), carrying their b...

Steering is achieved simply by leaning, while acceleration, deceleration, and going into reverse are handled using a Bluetooth hand-held controller (or at least they will be, in production models). Riders can choose between using a bag mount/stability handle, or carrying their bag while using the optional foot straps, or “freeriding” – this means going handleless, bag-and-strapless, and just carrying one do-everything adjustable-head club.

The GolfBoard team has managed to attract a couple of fairly big names to its project. Surfing legend Laird Hamilton is on board (no pun intended) as a design consultant, and Bally Total Fitness founder Don Wildman is a product adviser and board member.

Laird, Don and the gang are currently raising production funds for the GolfBoard, on Kickstarter. A pledge of US$3,350 will get you a board of your own, when and if they’re ready to roll. They can be seen in action in the pitch video below.

Sources: GolfBoard, Kickstarter

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away.   All articles by Ben Coxworth
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7 Comments

Well it seems that either the sport of golf is too slow, or you are trying to do two things at the same time; Instant, continual gratification, why not just play the game, stop trying to be hip, cool, and flaunting toys…

Ie; zipping past the course that a landscape architect or Golf course designer spent time laying out, while a real player usually walks with anticipation and revels in the changing terrain. So unless you are the first one on the course, expect to wait for the group ahead of you.

No, I would not let you play through, stay off the greens, and good luck finding your balls in the rough, sand or water hazards. I play 18 holes, use a pull cart, and get the full experience of the course, and a great work out to boot.

This may be a great all terrain board but that is a different sport. Why is the fitness trainer advocating this ride on device? Also does the surfer play golf?

Bob Flint
23rd August, 2013 @ 06:02 pm PDT

'Hip Golfer' I believe is an Oxymoron

TheSplund
24th August, 2013 @ 05:08 am PDT

This is going to fail. The Gnarboard campaign was WAY cooler,

http://www.gizmag.com/gnarboard-trail-rider-c5-corvette/23834/

was loads CHEAPER, and scrounged up only 5 sales.

I'm guessing the price is probably wrong - needs to be under the $1000 psychological barrier. And, seriously, I realize a lot of engineering goes into this, but folks like me look at the price of the bits, not the hours the inventors invested - and a board with 4 motors etc - that's less than $500 cost all-up.

christopher
25th August, 2013 @ 09:02 pm PDT

Wow, so funny reading comments from people who don't do enough research to know what they are talking about. High quality Lithium battery packs wholesale cost well more than your $500 alone. I expect it cost about $2000 in materials to build these boards.

If you look they are focused on selling and leasing to golf courses, I emailed to ask about fleet pricing and it was $2800, but their main market is to lease the boards to golf courses for $100 per month. That's a winning business model, golf carts new run between 7-10k each, at $100 per month they can rent these to courses, the courses can rent them to their clients at $25 a round, make the payment in 1 weekend, and the rest of the month is profit. These guys seemed to figure out the secret in deploying mass amount of these as there are 17,000 golf courses in the u.s. I'd way rather ride one of these with the bag holder, then rent a lame ass golf cart. My hats off to these guys, i just wish I'd thought of it first.

Epower
25th August, 2013 @ 09:57 pm PDT

Epower,

The pricing that you mention sounds reasonable. But I still fail to see any advantage this thing has over a "lame ass golf cart". If your in shape, you don't need a cart. If your not fit enough to carry or pull you bag, then you probably will appreciate being able to sit down in the shade of a cart while getting to the next hole. This thing is a gimmick in search of a market.

Siegfried Gust
26th August, 2013 @ 08:28 am PDT

You must not be a surfer or snowboarder, riding in a cart is a far cry from getting the surfing sensation with purpose as you chase your golf ball around the course. Ill tell you as a golfer, I cant wait to get one. Its all speculation at this point so I guess we can argue all day about it, only time will tell if these guys make it big or not... They have my support....

Epower
26th August, 2013 @ 11:34 am PDT

Too many things don't add up on this.

First of all, the price is very high. One mentioned a leasing model, where is their capital? 100k on kickstarter isn't going to get them very far.

Who is the target demographic? I guess they are trying to target golf courses themselves. Most golfers like to sit down between shots, this doesn't offer that.

This is a novelty product at best.

Ronou812
26th August, 2013 @ 05:04 pm PDT
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