A few months ago, our old friend Joel Johnson logged many miles on an incredibly awesome -- and incredibly expensive -- motorised longboard called a Boosted Board. Now, the company is announcing a whole new line of the miracle machines. And they're actually pretty reasonably priced for a cutting-edge electric vehicle.
Which is to say, $US1,000 each -- but the original Boosted Board retailed for a whopping $US2,000. And since the Mountain View, California-based company wants as many people to enjoy the thrill and convenience of a motorised longboard, they have spent the past few months streamlining their production process and improving the design of the boards. The new line of Boosted Boards features the same American-made bamboo decks. (Actually, they're 100-per cent American-made.) But they start at half the price and feature even better technology than the original.
The new entry-level, extra-portable Boosted Board is called the Single, thanks to its one-motor drive system controlled by a handheld remote throttle. It costs a single grand: $US1,000. With 1,000 watts of power, it can hit top speeds of 18 mph and go seven miles on a single charge. (A little simple maths suggests that it will run a little less than half an hour at full speed, of course you can also just lay off the throttle and ride it like a normal longboard to conserve power.) The single can climb hills up to a 15 per cent grade, and weighing in at 13.5 pounds, its the lightest vehicle that Boosted makes.
Things get more fun -- and more expensive -- from there. The new mid-range Boosted Board is called the Dual and costs $US1,300. As you probably guessed this longboard sports a dual-motor drive system that produces 1,500 watts of power and can conquer hills up to 20-per cent grade. That extra juice also gives the Dual a top speed of 20 mph and a maximum range of six miles. Boosted says that, in addition to more power, the dual-motor system makes for a better carving and turning experience.
The top-of-the-line Boosted Board, the Dual+, is an improved version of the original model. However, it's significantly cheaper at $US1,500. Like the Dual, the Dual+ has a two-motor drive system, but it cranks out 2,000 watts of power and boasts a top speed of 22 mph. That extra wattage also means it can tackle steeper hills: up to an impressive 25-per cent grade. Boosted brags that it's "the most powerful light electric vehicle ever built."
On that note, it's important to think about these longboards as vehicles, not another piece of sporting equipment. As Joel quickly realised, a Boosted Board is actually robust enough to handle daily commutes. "A lot of people look for reasons to use it instead of their other vehicles," Sanjay Dastoor, Boosted chief executive and co-founder, told Gizmodo in an interview. The motorised longboards are also a lot more fun. "The way the board feels is much more like a surfboard or a snowboard," Dastoor explained.
The young CEO went on to say how Boosted hopes to continue to make its motorised longboards more accessible to more people. "A lot of the same kinds of advances that made drones possible are here in land-based vehicles," he said. "Right now the dominant cost with the electric vehicle is the battery design." And just like with drones and electric cars, Boosted Boards will continue to become cheaper as manufacturing costs go down and battery technology improves. Dastoor says that Boosted won't compromise on quality, especially in the single-speed, belt-drive motors that make the boards zoom.
The new Boosted Boards are now available. And if you purchased one of the original Boosted Boards -- whether through the company's website or the Kickstarter project that launched them into the mainstream -- Boosted is offering to upgrade your old board for free as well as a warranty extension. Boosted will also price match for anyone who purchased a board on or after September 15, 2014. They can get a refund of up to $US500. So everybody wins. [Boosted]
All images via Boosted