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Scarpar's 60kmh all-terrain twin-tracked Powerboard

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April 26, 2009

The Scarpar Powerboard prototype

The Scarpar Powerboard prototype

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April 27, 2009 It's rare that you see a whole new segment open up in personal mobility - and this one looks like an absolute cracker. The Scarpar Powerboard is an off-road powered skateboard capable of taking on pretty much any terrain other than water. An electric or 4-stroke petrol engine powers two articulated tank-style tracks up to a terrifying 60kmh, using a hand control for acceleration and braking. Mud, grass, sand, snow - the Scarpar is capable of driving over just about anything, including rock piles and even fallen logs, as the video below shows. Calling venture capitalists - get this thing to market!

We've seen offroad skateboards before - and even powered ones - but the Scarpar Powerboard is another kettle of fish altogether. It uses two articulated grippy tracks, both powered by an onboard engine, to crawl its way over just about any terrain. 'Crawl' is perhaps not the word for a powered skateboard capable of 60kmh down a forest trail - which is nothing special on a motocross bike, but quite a trouser-browning experience on a skateboard, we'd imagine.

The Scarpar company, based in Queensland, Australia, have been working on prototype powerboards for several years now, but development has been stunted in recent months due to the global financial crash. No final engine has been chosen, but CEO Andrew Fern tells us that a battery-electric powerboard might be the first one to make it to production, as he believes they're likely to be able to match the 35km range and 60kmh top speed of the 4-stroke petrol version.

A simple hand control takes care of acceleration and braking, and steering is much the same as on a standard skateboard - perhaps a little less nimble due to the weight of the engine and tracks.

The Scarpar is likely to be a big hit for beach and snow use and as such, Fern says they're looking at a swappable track system to give more track surface area for the dunes and slopes. Meanwhile, offroad testing looks like an absolute blast as shown in the video below.

Fern is seeking to raise the capital to get the Scarpar into production. A retail price of between US$2000-3000 is the current estimate. Best of luck lads, it looks like a seriously awesome toy for those with the cojones to ride one in anger.

Loz Blain

About the Author
Loz Blain Loz has been one of Gizmag's most versatile contributors since 2007. Joining the team as a motorcycle specialist, he has since covered everything from medical and military technology to aeronautics, music gear and historical artefacts. Since 2010 he's branched out into photography, video and audio production, and he remains the only Gizmag contributor willing to put his name to a sex toy review. A singer by night, he's often on the road with his a cappella band Suade.   All articles by Loz Blain
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7 Comments

Wow, I've seen a lot of attempts at powered skateboards.. but I think you should deem this a powered snowboard. It looks like a pretty basic engine, likely for longevity and reliability but I could imagine some of today's hobby air engines could really make this thing crank... I've got dreams of surfing some dunes!

Anyone need a field tester???

CreativeApex
27th April, 2009 @ 06:51 pm PDT

I can see that you could do with some leverage on that... but that'd kinda take away from the "board aspect", perhaps some extensions up the back of the heel/calf? Something that would be easy to fall out of in any case :) very cool. sign me up!

Craig Jennings
24th May, 2009 @ 07:01 pm PDT

Read Neal Stephenson's _Snow Crash_ - this device plays a role in much of the novel.

Kelly Williams
20th July, 2009 @ 01:26 pm PDT

They sould put a seat on it, I cant ride skateboards

Facebook User
24th July, 2009 @ 04:12 am PDT

Err wtf? No this is not in any way in snow crash... Snow crash was talking about a SKATEBOARD with SMART WHEELS. aka SKATEBOARD like they have now with a radar and other goodies in the nose and wheels that were not one solid piece but made of dozens of individual pads that extended or retracted based on what the nose radar told them was upcoming on the terrain and also depending on the rider of the boards body position... sensed probably with something akin to what's in the wiimote in the trucks. How did you get a tank board out of snow crash?

Facebook User
20th February, 2010 @ 10:38 pm PST

cool mount two on a sled and basicly go fast up the hill and faster on the down

squidfish
25th February, 2012 @ 02:43 pm PST

1) I'd like to kick myself for not even thinking of such a thing.

2) I've no clue how they can get the power from the motor to drive the tracks.

3) I'd like to suggest an unpowered non grippy track across the bottom of the motor as an alternative to a skidplate, if occasionaly the skidplate is not slippery enough

4) Yes to electric, motors are good enough, & batteries are getting there.

Dave B13
29th October, 2013 @ 06:25 am PDT
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