Electric snowboard nullifies gravity to motor over the flatlands
Cyrusher has been going a bit bonkers this year, releasing one electric power toy after another to collectively explore virtually every imaginable patch of Earth's surface. With winter fast-approaching in the Northern Hemisphere, it's turned its attention to snow, launching what it calls the world's first electric snowboard. And while we've seen other rides that use that name loosely, the Cyrusher Ripple looks to be the first to truly live up to it – a wood-core camber board, complete with bindings, that just happens to lay down 3,000 watts of motor power while tearing through snowy landscapes at speeds over 30 mph.
While electric skateboards and surfboards have really grown into their own, we've come to expect nothing but disappointment in the electric snowboard category. Typically anything billed as such is really something else entirely, sometimes a mini snowmobile, other times an all-terrain powerboard that can handle some snow, maybe a powered trailer or tractor, and oftentimes just a snowboard-inspired electric skateboard not meant for real snow at all. We did like this student-built contraption, but it lacked the all-out adrenaline-oozing potential any "electric snowboard" should have.
We're not sure the all-new Ripple Cyrusher announced this month will be the fast, amazing powder-in-your-face experience that would-be electric snowboarders have been patiently awaiting for years, but it's certainly the most convincing e-snowboard design we've ever seen, bringing hope where hope seemed lost long ago.
Cyrusher begins with something that actually looks like a standard snowboard built for resort and/or backcountry riding. The 5.1-ft (156-cm) Ripple features a mix of fiberglass, carbon and composite around a wood core. Cyrusher says it has a camber profile, a slightly concave base that should give the board confident edge hold and control. We doubt camber's springy pop will prove much of an asset as part of a 33-lb (15-kg) tail-heavy electric snow-wheeler, but snowboarding has seen crazier stunts than e-jumps and tricks, so who knows.
What separates the Ripple from every other actual snowboard in this universe and beyond is the 3,000-W electric drive that drops clean through the rear of the board by way of an ultra-knobby tire. We'd think a track drive could seat the board flatter for a more natural feel, but Cyrusher goes with a wheel shod in a wide, high-traction tire meant to claw and shed snow.
To eat up jarring bumps and chatter, Cyrusher cushions the single rear wheel with a dual-sided independent suspension. The system can be adjusted to raise or lower the wheel, so riders can set the board high or low according to weight, preference and the riding conditions ahead.
Under power from the 12.6-Ah low-temperature-resistant Molicel battery pack that carries along in a backpack, the e-drive delivers speeds up to 31 mph (50 km/h) or a maximum estimated range between 9 and 12 miles (15 and 20 km). The rider controls it with a handheld throttle.
Cyrusher suggests the Ripple could be used for exploring backcountry trails, but we feel like its real advantage is in bringing snowboard-style fun to the flatlands. The cold, snowy plains of the US, Canada, Europe and beyond could get a lot more fun with an option that's much lighter and easier to transport than a snowmobile.
A 156-cm snowboard might seem on the short side to experienced adult snowboarders, but Cyrusher says the Ripple can support riders up to 250 lb (113 kg) with a recommended height between 5.2 and 6.2 feet (1.6 to 1.9 m).
Cyrusher's special Christmas pricing starts at US$2,199 for the Ripple board and a single battery pack and rises to $3,299 for a package with the board, bindings and two battery packs. The Ripple is available for preorder now but will likely be late for the holidays, as the first shipments are planned "on or before" January 1, 2024. The special prices will phase out in a week, increasing by $300 to standard MSRPs.
Cyrusher hasn't done itself any favors with the video below, the only Ripple content we could scrounge up on its YouTube. It demoes the Ripple rather timidly over absolutely chunky, bony snow that looks to be barely hanging on before full-blown spring thaw. Its US HQ is in northern Utah so hopefully it'll get some better content up soon.