Dan Baldwin, original inventor of the Scarpar
, is continuing to build prototypes of his odd brainchild – the powerboard. Featuring two grippy, articulated tracks, both powered by an onboard motor and controlled through a hand-held throttle, powerboards give users the ability to traverse rough terrain - sand, creeks, rocks and even fallen logs - with a good degree of agility and speed. Baldwin has just released a series of videos showing his Ungoverned board
Two years ago, we had a look at the Scarpar
- a twin-tracked, high speed all terrain powerboard that seemed like a promising power toy. Well, we've just spoken to Scarpar CEO Andrew Fern, who has confirmed that this unique vehicle is going into production later this year, and he's taking deposits as of now. Basically everything on the board has been changed since the last prototype we saw - it now runs an independent electric motor in each of the two articulating tracks, and the hand-held throttle and brake unit is now wireless. And as Fern describes after the jump, getting it to a production-ready point has been a herculean effort; his design team more or less had to create their own realm of engineering theory to deal with such an unprecedented set of vehicle dynamics. The following interview is a fascinating look into the development cycle of a new product. Most importantly though, the Scarpar still looks like extreme fun, and a remarkable way to launch yourself into the foliage.
Twenty-one year-old Canadian Ben Gulak heads up BPG Werks, a company that is developing this seriously fun looking vehicle called the DTV Shredder. Like the Scarpar Powerboard
, the Shredder is an all-terrain tracked vehicle that the rider stands on, like a skateboard – or in this case, a mini-tank. What sets it apart is its larger size, handlebars, and an in-development 48hp rotary combustion engine that should allow for a top speed of over 97km/h (60mph).
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. Calling venture capitalists - get this thing to market!