Electric skateboards are certainly building up some momentum as a form of urban transport, and they seem to just keep getting lighter and lighter. Florida-based start-up Marbel is the latest to set its wheels in motion, this week launching a crowdfunding campaign for what it claims to be the world's lightest electric vehicle – the 9.9 lb Marbel.
You could be forgiven for forgetting that Red Bull sells more than 5 billion cans of soft drink a year. For every logo you see on a can of energy drink, there must be another five plastered on screaming Formula One cars, upside-down motorcycles, stunt planes and skateboards. Red Bull almost single-handedly created the energy drink market we know today, piggybacking on the rise of extreme sports to get its brand out there ... and delivering some truly memorable marketing stunts along the way. Here's our five favorites.
An abundance of sensors
speaks to the popularity of tracking sporting performance. But extending this technology to an extreme sport like skateboarding raises another set of questions. How can a device be attached to the board without affecting performance? And, even if it is possible to quantify a sport so deeply rooted in the expression of personal style, is there a point? A group of skaters from Buenos Aires, Argentina feel there's much to gain by tracking flips and spins and have developed Syrmo, a motion tracker that fits discreetly underneath the trucks to gauge everything from air time to the force of your ollie.
At first, the term "Lean skateboard" seems like it could refer to any board. After all, pretty much every skateboard relies on a leaning action for turning. Usually that turning is controlled by the rubber bushings in the trucks, but the Lean replaces the standard truck with a multi-link truck that allows the wheels to tilt into the turn, which the Lean's creator claims adds power and stability.
Though the only range problems a leg-powered skateboard suffers are to do with the fitness of its rider, electric skateboards do offer the thrill of being able to take on a Corvette
without the aid of bionic limbs, zip over dirt, grass or road
without running out of puff, or even just get the adrenalin pumping
on the way to work. For the last 3 years, an Australian design team has been working on a multi-purpose powered board called the BajaBoard, which boasts 12 kW (16 hp) of 4WD electric grunt, adjustable independent suspension and LED lighting at the front and back. The project has now headed to Kickstarter for the final push toward production.
Motor power can make already crazy, awesome adrenaline sports even crazier and … awesomer. Just look at designs like the Gnarboard
. Unfortunately, filling a garage with various forms of motorized gear could quickly bankrupt a professional sports star. If an experimental thrusting system from UK-based Dreamscience Propulsion makes it to market, it could save some of those dollars by rolling the fun of several types of motorized boards into one device. The electric propulsion system lends motor-muscle to skiing, surfing, paragliding and beyond.
A 7,300 lb (3,311 kg) floating skateboard ramp has been installed on Lake Tahoe as part of Visit California's Dream365 tourism campaign. The ramp took four days and 300 man hours to complete before it was lowered into the Californian lake and put to the test by pro skateboarder Bob Burnquist.
It seems that every year manufacturers add a new function to the backpack or carry-on. In 2012, it was the Micro Luggage
scooter. In 2013, it was the Glyde Gear Fly
backpack-trolley-scooter. And in 2014, it's the Olaf backpack-trolley-scooter-skateboard. This 4-in-1 pack offers some serious flexibility for transporting you and your belongings.
Better known for developing electric aerial drive systems, including the drive technology behind the Greenwing ESpyder E280 electric ultralight aircraft
, Yuneec is bringing its e-tech down to earth. Its new E-Go Cruiser motorized longboard combines robust range, sporty performance and a relatively affordable price tag.
If there's a way to move your legs, there's probably a cycle or scooter that takes advantage of it. We thought we'd seen them all, but after stumbling upon the Aeyo at this week's ISPO Munich show, we realized there's always another wild, new design out there. The cricket-like legs of this unique vessel convert inline skating-style motion into cycling.