Razor adds power with the RipStik Electric (hands-on and the odd falling off)
Eight years after launching the original RipStik, Razor has created an electric-powered version of its caster board two-wheeled ride-on. The RipStik Electric features an in-wheel hub motor and is controlled by a joystick-style remote. We recently had the chance to hop on one, to see what it can do.
The RipStik Electric is the latest ride-on from Razor to benefit from a bit of power to make it more fun. It features a lithium battery and an in-wheel hub motor capable of powering it along at speeds of up to 10 mph (16 km/h). This allows a hand-held wireless remote to be used to control speed rather than the traditional snake-hips twisting and wiggling.
With the addition of this power comes extra bulk. The RipStik Electric is considerably fatter than its predecessors and has a bulge at the rear where the in-wheel hub motor is located. On the plus side this makes it even more obvious about which way around you should be riding. However it also sees the weight increase from 3.6 kg (8 lb) to 5.2 kg (11.5 lb), which means you won't want to be carrying it around unnecessarily.
The molded traction deck and overall build of the RipStik Electric make it feel like a very solid piece of kit, and one which should be easier to carve along pavements on (local laws permitting, obviously) than its predecessor. The one slight let-down is that the remote doesn't feel quite as sturdy as it looks, though maybe that's because I envisaged constantly smashing it against the ground as I fell off.
This vision of my time with the RipStik Electric was based on previous experiences where I'd come to the conclusion that RipStiks didn't like me or my sense of balance. As such, it was with some trepidation that I stepped onto the new model after a brief demo and instruction from one of Razor's professionals who made it look far too easy.
However, despite a few early stumbles and falls, no bones were broken. Once I'd worked out the timing of kicking off with my rear foot before pulling on the remote joystick, getting going felt as natural as jumping on a scooter.
Steering is done by angling your foot over the front caster wheel, and because you use the remote to control speed via the fixed rear wheel, the RipStik Electric is surprisingly easy to use. By that I mean it's easy to keep moving and get where you want to go … not necessarily to look cool while doing so.
After a few runs I was happily weaving between visitors to the re:creation stand at the Toy Fair in London and wishing I had more space to see what it could really do. However, these limitations and a general lack of skill (there was a moment I almost sent a 7 ft/210 cm tall Pikachu flying) prevented me from making the most of the RipStik Electric. If you do fall off, the board will quickly come to a standstill.
We think the RipStik Electric is shaping up to be a solid addition to the Razor line-up and look forward to seeing what it's really capable of out in the wild.
The RipStik Electric is due to be available in winter 2016, priced at £200, which is around US$285.