ZBoard reveals new, improved electric skateboard

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The ZBoard 2 at CES 2015 (Photo: Eric Mack/Gizmag)

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When it was announced, the ZBoard was claimed to be the first weight-sensing electric skateboard. Riders lean forward on it to accelerate and back to brake. Now, a new version of the board has been announced. The ZBoard 2 is said to be lighter, faster, more powerful and have a longer range.

As with the original ZBoard, of which there were Classic and Pro versions, there are two versions of the ZBoard 2. The ZBoard 2 Blue weighs in at 16 lb (7.3 kg), has a range of 16 mi (26 km) and can be recharged in 1.5 hours. The ZBoard 2 Pearl, meanwhile, weighs 18 lb (8.2 kg), has a range of 24 mi (39 km) and takes 2.5 hours to charge.

Both are powered by a new 500 W brushless motor and have a top speed of 20 mph (32 km/h). ZBoard says that the brushless motor provides a more natural coasting experience for riders and allows the board to be pushed for "many miles" using leg power after the battery has expired.

Much of the weight reduction and increased range is down to using smaller lithium batteries. These are responsible for the faster charge-time of the new boards as well, which was 5-6 hours for the original versions.

The range is also improved due to the ZBoard 2's use of regenerative braking. In addition to bringing the board to a stop, leaning back recharges the battery. ZBoard points out that this makes descending hills both safe for the rider and beneficial to their board's battery life.

Among the other safety features of the ZBoard 2 are the built in LED head and tail lights. A bright white headlight cluster helps riders to see where they are going in the dark, while two red tail light clusters ensure that they can be seen by other road users behind. Riders can choose from three light modes: on, off and blinking.

A ring of LEDs is also used to indicate battery charge. The battery meter LEDs change color to indicate how much battery-life is remaining. Elsewhere, the ZBoard 2 now has a handle on either side allowing for more convenient carrying and new footpads that are said to be larger and more sensitive than those on the original, making the board easier to ride. Waterproof components mean that the ZBoard 2 is splash-proof and can be used on wet surfaces.

A crowdfunding campaign is underway for the ZBoard 2 and at the time of writing it has doubled its US$50,000 Indiegogo target. Backers can currently pledge from $949 to receive a ZBoard 2 Blue and from $1,149 to receive a ZBoard 2 Pearl, assuming all goes to plan with the campaign and production.

The video below is the Indiegogo pitch for the ZBoard 2.

Sources: ZBoard, Indiegogo

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