While Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak might not be an obvious skating underdog, his outspoken enthusiasm for electronic boards made quite a few media waves in 2010. Back then, potential producers seemed optimistic at launch, but their swift vehicles (with top speeds of around 20 mph) did not exactly roll up the market. And we assume that Mr. Wozniak, too, soon reached his e-board limits – if he even continued to use it.
Entirely unsuitable for everyday mobility needs, they lack official approval for traffic or pavement use. And what about the characteristic and mythical skate feeling? That, too, falls by the wayside – manufacturers don’t recommend trying standard tricks like ollies or kick flips; harder maneuvers are even considered impossible.
So what is their actual appeal? German skater and sporting journalist Holger von Krosigk weighs in with some criticism. “Skateboarding is all about individuality, freedom, and aesthetic purism. So, why should skaters embrace something that falls flat on all those issues? What’s more, it removes the best aspect – pushing!”
Right, we almost forgot. Pushing, i. e. using your own power for acceleration, is not part of the equation at all. So, we are unlikely to see skate icons like Tony Hawk, Steve Caballero, Lance Mountain, or über-legend Stacy Peralta upgrade their boards with electronics anytime soon, despite their advancing age.
Ultimately, skateboarding is far more than a means to move, far more than a youth movement – it is an actual way of live. Last up on the list above, Stacy Peralta also directed the seminal documentary Dogtown and Z-Boys, capturing the scene’s unique way of life in some truly sensational images. Incidentally, Catherine Hardwicke later used his work as a blueprint for her star-studded Hollywood adaptation, Lords of Dogtown.
Nevertheless, the electronic offshoot does promise on-board fun, at least according to the guys at Boosted Boards. And why not? Their aim is to cruise, not push. Their products are not about concrete sessions, tricks, or bowl battles, but simple and unadulterated cruising pleasure. Period.
And that is something the ultra-light Boosted boards offer in spades. According to the brand’s slogan, “light enough to carry anywhere, fast enough to go everywhere. A revolutionary combination of portability and power,” the 12-15 pound longboards lure customers with the promise of “more time riding and practicing, less time pushing and walking“ – and add to the company’s balance sheet.
And while there is no point in pushing these engine-driven boards at seasoned skaters who consider the sport an actual lifestyle, anyone looking for straight-forward fun and maybe even the odd adrenaline-fueled downhill session is bound to like the electronic version. After all, Boosted’s manufacturers got one thing just right: a sophisticated and mature technology with fast-charging batteries and easy handling.
Now, the market offers e-boards in all shapes and guises, equipped with countless of features like ABS brakes, wear-free wheels, double motors, seamless performance levels, short braking distances, and many more …
All photos in the gallery by Boosted Boards.
For more information on Boosted Boards, check out www.boostedboards.com.
Text: Agi Habryka
Header image: Boosted Boards