GolfBoard brings a hint of the waves and slopes to the greens
By Ben Coxworth
August 23, 2013
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.
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.
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