LAS VEGAS–There’s no need to kick to get the ZBoard moving. It’s got an electric motor that allows it to silently glide forward at speeds of up to 17 mph.
The board has weight sensors at either end that relay your weight distribution to the electric motor on the rear axle. Lean forward to get the ZBoard moving and lean back to stop. Sway from side to side to steer like you would with any skateboard. The sensors are progressive, so the more you lean forward, the faster you go. Conversely, the harder you lean back, the faster you stop. There’s also a hill hold feature to keep the board from getting away from you on an incline.
The ZBoard’s makers were able to fund the project through Kickstarter and have already shipped the entire initial batch of orders. The ZBoard is now sold exclusively through the manufacturer’s Web site.
Two ZBoard models are available for purchase today. The ZBoard Classic has a top speed of 15 mph and a 5-mile range from its lead acid battery. The ZBoard Pro has a slightly higher top speed of about 17 mph and a range of 10 miles from its lighter lithium iron phosphate battery.
The more advanced lithium battery shaves 7 pounds of weight, but at 30 and 37 pounds for the Classic and Pro models, respectively, neither ZBoard model is what I’d call featherweight. The ZBoard Classic retails for $649, while the more powerful Pro model runs $949, so neither model is what I’d call affordable.