Urban Transport

Bowboard gives your ride some bounce

The Bowboard scooter
The Bowboard scooter
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The Bowboard features an arced epoxy springboard above an aluminum alloy chassis
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The Bowboard features an arced epoxy springboard above an aluminum alloy chassis
The main features of the Bowboard
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The main features of the Bowboard
Pushing down on the bowed board engages the patented spiral gearing mechanism at the single big wheel to the rear
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Pushing down on the bowed board engages the patented spiral gearing mechanism at the single big wheel to the rear
The handlebars and column can be folded down for transport or storage
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The handlebars and column can be folded down for transport or storage
A typical ride is said to involve giving it a bit of a kick-start before the bouncing commences
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A typical ride is said to involve giving it a bit of a kick-start before the bouncing commences
The Bowboard combines elements of the skateboard, scooter and bicycle
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The Bowboard combines elements of the skateboard, scooter and bicycle
The developers say that once mastered, users can bounce along at cruising speeds of around 12 mph
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The developers say that once mastered, users can bounce along at cruising speeds of around 12 mph
The Bowboard scooter
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The Bowboard scooter
Close up of the spiral mechanism
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Close up of the spiral mechanism

A Florida company has thrown some essence of kick scooter, two cups of skateboard, a dash of bike seasoning, and perhaps even slice of Kangoo- or trampoline-like jump action into the idea mixer and cooked up what looks like one fun ride. When riders step down on its flexible deck, a special drive mechanism propels the Bowboard forward. The developers say that once mastered, users can bounce along at cruising speeds of around 12 mph (20 km/h).

The Bowboard has been years in development, and gone through five prototypes before arriving at the production-ready design you see here. It features an arced epoxy springboard above an aluminum alloy chassis, and pushing down on that board engages the patented spiral gearing mechanism at the single big rear wheel. This converts a downward push into forward motion, though a typical ride is said to involve giving it a bit of a kick-start before the bouncing starts.

There are two oversized longboard wheels at the front. Steering is undertaken using a height-adjustable and fold-down handlebar and column, with a bike-like brake lever used to slow down or stop. The Bowboard is reportedly capable of supporting rider weights up to 170 lb (77 kg), and its creators reckon that after about five minutes of practice, newbies will be speeding away.

A typical ride is said to involve giving it a bit of a kick-start before the bouncing commences
A typical ride is said to involve giving it a bit of a kick-start before the bouncing commences

The strange-looking scooter is currently the subject of a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign, to turn polished prototype into production Bowboard.

An early bird special pledge of US$299 will place your cross next to a black or white Bowboard. If all goes as planned, the first 300 units should be shipped out by this time next year.

It can be seen in use in the pitch video below.

Sources: Bowboard, Kickstarter

5 comments
Dave B13
The bowboard video above appears to load on my phone but never does and never will. I think the problem is that there is no Adobe Flash version for Android since at least as far back as October 2012. Nuts to Adobe & Kickstarter for this pretend loading idiocy.
MrGadget
This looks like a tiring way to propel yourself.
Globetrotter9900
The promotional video is well done. Including the outtakes at the end of the video is stupid and annoying and it destroys the quality of what is an entertaining and interesting video. I tried to reach Bowrider.com to send them a comment but I could not get to them directly. Their web-site only led to their kickstarter campaign.
Griffin
Personally, I prefer Honda's original Kick&Go. It was safer and easier to control.
Dave B13
I love it. but I am outside the weight limit of 70 to 170 lbs and I've no room left for another scooter with a drive variation over the ones I have. Darn. I realy like the spiral drive mechanisim similar to this recumbent bicycle they call it snek (Dutch for snail) http://rowingbike.com/site/EN/