As electric skateboards grow in popularity, more companies are trying to cash in with light, powerful new designs. Based in San Francisco, Kuickwheel is a startup that wants to rattle the likes of Evolve Skateboards with a light, compact entry-level unit and a longer-range, high-performance board.

The first board from Kuickwheel is the Serpent-C. With a range of just 10 km (6.2 mi) from its 2.9-Ah battery, and a top speed of 18 km/h (11 mph) thanks to a 300-W in-wheel motor, it isn't the highest-performance board on the market. But what it lacks in outright grunt, it makes up for with its compact size. Made from maple wood, iIt weighs just 2.9 kg (6.4 lb) and is less than 460 mm (18.03 in) long, making it shorter and lighter than the Bolt and Stary boards.

Sitting at the other end of the spectrum is the Serpent-W, a proper performance longboard. It's 104 cm (40.75 in) long and 27.5 cm (10.82 in) wide, with a deck made of aluminum alloy. Range from the 4.4-Ah battery jumps to 15 km (9.3 mi) and max speed is boosted to 40 km/h (25 mph) thanks to twin 900-W motors.

The extra grunt means the Serpent-W is able to scale hills with a 36.5 percent gradient, which is something its rivals from Boosted Boards and Xtnd can't replicate with their less powerful decks. You'll be able to enjoy that performance in the rain, too, thanks to its IP54 waterproof rating.

Both models in the Serpent lineup are controlled using a dedicated remote control, rather than the more fashionable (but arguably less practical) apps popping up elsewhere. Along with the ability to control your acceleration and braking, it allows riders to toggle between Eco and Sport riding modes, and owners of the W can fiddle with the look of their under-deck LED lights. It's charged with a MicroUSB cable.

At the moment, Kuickwheel is chasing funding on Kickstarter, where it's raised more than US$21,000 of its $30,000 goal with 29 days remaining. Pledges start at $199 for a Serpent-C with a fast charger, while the Serpent-W will cost early birds $499. Should they make production, the C and W are expected to retail for $349 and $749 respectively.

You can check the boards out in the video below.

Source: Kuickwheel

View gallery - 11 images