Ungoverned powered board tackles rocks, sand and snow


October 29, 2013

The Ungoverned is a powered board designed to tackle everything from rocks to snow

The Ungoverned is a powered board designed to tackle everything from rocks to snow

In its early days, skateboarding was known in some circles as "sidewalk surfing," but lately we've seen a number of powered boards designed to leave the street behind and head off road. In 2009 we looked at one such prototype board known as the Scarpar Powerboard. The inventor of that board, Dan Baldwin, has now developed another prototype all-terrain board called the Ungoverned that is designed to tackle everything from rocks to snow.

Resembling a cross between a caster board and a tank, the current Ungoverned 1 prototype rides on two caterpillar tracks that are powered by a four-stroke engine. However, Baldwin says it's a relatively easy process to swap out the engine so that any power source such as batteries and electric motors could be utilized.

"The poweer source is not what makes this vehicle special, but more so the engineering that has gone into the vehicles handling. We see it comfortably traversing huge river stones and even logs!"

Measuring 1,390 mm (54 in) long, 360 mm (14 in) wide, with a track width of 320 mm (13 in), the deck sits at a height of 140mm (5.5 in). The whole unit weighs in at 49 kg (108 lb), which Baldwin points out is a "hell of a lot lighter than your average snowmobile." It's also lighter than the Scarpar board that tips the scales at 65 kg (143 lb).

The vehicle is designed to seamlessly transition between various types of terrain without the need to change the tracks and has been tested on rocks, sand and dirt. Baldwin is planning snow trials in the near future. Acceleration is controlled by a wired hand controller but the Ungoverned's maximum speed hasn't yet been announced. Of course, speeds are sure to vary across different terrain.

While Australian startup, Scarpar Pty Ltd established in 2005 further develops and brings to market Baldwin's original Powerboard, Baldwin continues to develop high performance vehicles for his personal use.

Source: Baldwin's Blog -

About the Author
Darren Quick Darren's love of technology started in primary school with a Nintendo Game & Watch Donkey Kong (still functioning) and a Commodore VIC 20 computer (not still functioning). In high school he upgraded to a 286 PC, and he's been following Moore's law ever since. This love of technology continued through a number of university courses and crappy jobs until 2008, when his interests found a home at Gizmag. All articles by Darren Quick

I find myself wondering if a similar traction system could be adopted for a "motorscooter" frame. Like say the Honda Zoomer/Ruckus.


It occurs to me if you went electric the drive system would be far simpler. Room inside tread for motors and controller(s) , maybe also some batteries in addition to batteries between treads under or inside of board. Could also have a power out port so batteries can power other things as needed. The proposed Detroit Electric car is designed for power out.

Dave B13

I'm glad its not electric. Something like this you want to be able to use on the fly and not have to worry about recharging for hours when you're camping or what-else. Reminds me of the DTV Shredder but less intense, which may be its biggest plus!

Richard Auchus

Nature exists only to give us a place to have fun, and a pristine, untouched creekbed is nothing more than a challenge for another off-road habitat shredder. If I meet you riding one of these on a hiking trail, I will not be kind to you.


This is what I like! I just need to be adopted by some rich parents!

Ben Robinson

The electric version would be far better.

Not sure where the poster below thinks it takes hrs to recharge as many batteries can be recharged in 15 minutes with the right charger!!

Best likely is swapping battery packs.

I've been thinking about a wheelchair going up steps with tracks and four of these tracks would work nicely. Using 4 short ones makes steering without scuffing solves that problem.


Rubber tracks suck up a bunch of power, Two mc-91 motors would be interesting on this device, it would be able to waterskip

Jay Finke

Transitional species need habitats too.

Snake Oil Baron

Make it so I can mount to my wheels on my wheelchair and go cross country in winter here in Minnesota! Or at least to get the mail.

Layne Nelson
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