There is nothing new about an electric skateboard (you can pick one up today at Sears or Toys 'R' Us), but the founders of ZBoard have come up with an innovative way to make electric mobility safe and easy. The ZBoard uses intuitively placed weight-sensing pads to control acceleration and braking, and Translogic recently had the chance to check one out.

Weighing in at 30 pounds, the ZBoard is powered by a 400-watt motor and a lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) battery giving the board a 10-mile range and top speed of 17 miles per hour. The unique sensors on the Canadian maple deck allow riders to lean forward to accelerate and lean back to slow down, stop and even back up. Early prototypes used electric brakes to bring it to a stop, but after it was discovered that this caused damage to some electrical components, the design was changed to incorporate regenerative braking for better stopping and longer range.

Created by Ben Forman and Geoff Larson as a part of a mechanical engineering project, the two men expected to sell 25 boards in three months, but instead they sold that many in just three days. There are two versions of the ZBoard with the Classic going for $649 and the Pro (the model tested by Translogic) priced at $949.

While we're still holding out for the day when hoverboards become a reality, the ZBoard definitely sounds like a lot of fun. Check out how it works in the video below.
TRANSLOGIC 117: ZBoard


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 10 Comments
      Geoff Larson
      • 2 Years Ago
      Hello, this is Geoff from ZBoard. Thank you for your interest and support! I'd like to share a few thoughts with everyone based on some of your questions: Mr E -- We've got three more years to deliver, so be patient! bke599 -- One of our primary goals was developing a skateboard that anyone could ride. We are confident that the ZBoard is without question the easiest skateboard to ride, and has the shortest learning curve. The platform is extremely stable, and it will not roll out from under you like a stationary longboard. Arturo Rios Jr. -- Just for you, today through Friday, use code "AUTOBLOG" during checkout at zboardshop.com, and we will take $100 off the price of either model. Alan -- We are fans of all skateboards, electric or not. We feel we stand out in a number of ways over others, beginning with the fact that the ZBoard is available now and starts at less than half the price of some others. Our hands-free operation is also unique, and adds generously to the ride experience. TRAILbrake -- The ZBoard has a ground clearance of just over 2.5", and I have yet to get "stuck" on anything due to insufficient clearance. Additionally, the 105mm wheels handle many terrains and obstacles that ~76mm longboard wheels just simply cannot navigate. As a Dervish owner myself, I can say that there are times when I'd rather ride/push, but very much prefer the ZBoard to get around. Thank you again for the feedback! I'll come back later to answer more questions if you have them.
      SublimeKnight
      • 2 Years Ago
      Why not make the board out of a battery (LiFePo cells are actually very tough)? Why not put the motors in the wheels?
      Rich
      • 2 Years Ago
      Anyone else noticed that for how "smart" we are/tech is, we are using more and more resources to do the same thing. My legs work fine on my skateboard.
        Carma Racing
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Rich
        Mine too, but having ridden a motorized one (50cc hi po engine + pneumatic tires), I can say they are not the same thing. The performance of the one I rode had me wondering "what the hell am I doing standing up?" I would like to try an electric one too. Bet some kid is gonna take these things to a new level and we'll have another extreme sport!
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      csrecord
      • 2 Years Ago
      A thousand dollar skateboard that's not really a skateboard. Ever hear of walking?
      Widgie
      • 1 Year Ago
      Zboard is available in France at www.zboard.fr
      Mr E
      • 2 Years Ago
      This better be leading to the hoverboards we were promised!