This weight-sensing electric skateboard is the brainchild of five US engineers from the University of Southern California who wanted a device that’s easier to ride than a skateboard, but less taxing than a bike. Funded by a Kickstarter campaign that raised over $600,000, there’s even a Zboard 2 out now that can reach speeds of up to 20mph.
It’s green, it’s portable and it’s what everyone – if you believe the marketing spiel – will be riding to work on in a couple of years. Segway-style sensors ensure the Solowheel stays upright, but it still takes a couple of weeks to master. Transfer your weight forward to reach speeds of up to 12mph. The lithium battery can be charged in 45 minutes, and recaptures energy when going downhill.
The Onewheel’s sideways stance sets it apart from other self-balancing smart scooters like the Solowheel and Phunkeeduck. Lean forward to go, backward to stop and press your heels or toes to turn. Charge for just 20 minutes to ride for up to six miles. Top speed 15mph.
Billed as “the next step in the evolution of transportation”, Phunkee Duck is a two-wheel, hands-free, self-balancing smart scooter that can reach top speeds of 12mph and travel over 10 miles on one charge. Once you’ve mastered your tilting and leaning technique, you can even learn how to do spins and tricks on it. Celebrity fans include Justin Bieber – who enjoys riding his around his private jet – Jamie Foxx and Kendall Jenner, who fell off hers, apparently.
Another child of Kickstarter, the Marbel electric skateboard is a much lighter affair when compared to other ridealongs, weighing only 10lbs. It’s speedy, too, zooming along at 25mph at a distance of 19 miles per charge. All the electronics are built into the carbon fibre composite deck and connects to your smartphone via an app so you can spot patterns in your riding style and track your rides across the city.
The Ryno’s Batman aesthetic has already got the internet frothing with excitement, and early testers report it feels perfectly safe to drive. Gyroscope sensors and accelerometers ensure you remain upright as you reach speeds of up to 10mph. The only let down? The battery takes six hours to charge, and only lasts for one hour, i.e. 10 miles at top speed.