Santa Cruz Tech Beat


Inboard M1 is Best New Electric Skateboard on the Block

By Sean O-Kane
The Verge

January 10, 2016 — Las Vegas, NV

[Editor’s note: Santa Cruz Tech Beat published Central Coast Angels Invest in Electric Skateboard Startup on December 15, 2015.]

It’s a motorized board that you can ride when it’s turned off.

Electric skateboards are one of the most exciting new products in the last few years. Because they’re new, there’s no escaping some massive caveats. They’re heavy and expensive, long range and great battery life aren’t easy to find, and you really can’t ride many of them if and when the battery dies. That last one is a big problem, and California company Inboard has a unique solution.

Inboard brought a prototype of its first board, the M1, to CES, so I (and a number Verge staffers) took a test ride in the parking lot outside our trailer. Riding it was a blast, even thought it was a prototype that didn’t have the final polish you expect from a production model.

There are a few things that make the Inboard M1 different from other electric boards. Let’s start with the wheels. Instead of fixing an electric motor to the bottom of the longboard deck, Inboard actually built the motors into the rear wheels. Not only does that clean up the look of the board, but it means you can ride the M1 like a regular skateboard without ever turning on the electric motor. That’s not an easy feature to find; many of the other companies have had trouble getting their boards to coast smoothly when the motor isn’t engaged, and only ZBoard seemed to have made it work with its ZBoard 2 (which we tried at last year’s CES.)

“There’s a lot to like, but it’s unsurprisingly expensive.”

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