The electric skateboard is an intriguing short-distance transportation solution for some, and just plain fun for others. But e-skateboards tend to be large, heavy and priced into the four figures. A new aftermarket electric drive called the Sk8-Booster could help attract potential e-skaters scared off by those cons, giving them the fun and mobility of electric power with less fuss. The clamp-on e-drive is even designed to work with folding skateboards, making electric transportation more portable than ever.
If ultralight electric skateboards like the Stary and Bolt don't make the prospect of electrifying your deck more attractive, maybe a simple pop-and-play e-drive that attaches and detaches with a few bolt twists will do it.
Instead of screwing into the board or onto the trucks, like the Mellow and Kickr drives, the Sk8-Booster grabs the board's edges with its sliding clamps and tightens into place with four bolts. Since there's no removing of standard skateboard hardware or adding of permanent/semi-permanent mounting hardware, it's easy to switch between e-board and regular skateboard at will.
The Sk8-Booster's 300-watt motor delivers power directly to the ground via the roller. The greater e-drive module also includes a 24V lithium battery pack, an electronic speed control and a belt transmission between motor and roller. The user controls it via the included handheld remote.
Sk8-Booster inventor Thomas Hong estimates a 15.5-mph (25-km/h) top speed and maximum range around 9.5 miles (15 km). The system relies on an electronic brake for stopping, and the battery takes between three and four hours to charge.
While the Sk8-Booster works with virtually any skateboard, it's been designed specifically to complement Hong's folding skateboard tech, which we've seen in the past on the SNAP aluminum board. The e-drive slides on the center deck, between the folding ends, creating a compact folding electric board that can fit in a backpack. That set-up definitely looks like a more natural take on the electric folder than the flat, plastic Caseboard or Movpak backpack board.
The Sk8-Booster weighs 6.6 lb (3 kg) and measures 8 x 6.5 x 2 in (20 x 17 x 5 cm). It's designed for riders up to 209 lb (95 kg).
Hong is currently working to raise funding on Kickstarter, where pledgers can secure a full Sk8-Booster unit for US$750. Lesser pledges secure rewards like a folding skateboard or T-shirt.
Don't expect the footage below to be the most insane action you've ever watched, but the short promo demonstrates how a Sk8-Boosted board rolls effortlessly over the sidewalk and through the park.