Hunter Board is a 34 mph electrical skateboard with a singular suspension system
Electrical skateboards might be extremely enjoyable to journey, however they are usually much less fashionable than scooters and bikes as a result of most individuals lack the arrogance to zip round at excessive speeds in an upright place with out holding on to one thing. And when the highway situations are unhealthy, using an electrical skateboard can shortly go from enjoyable to harmful.
Hunter Boards, based mostly in Lisbon, Portugal, thinks it could have an answer to get extra folks eager about electrical skateboards. The corporate claims to have constructed a singular suspension system that may enhance stability, reduce vibrations, and scale back a rider’s danger of falling and hurting themselves.
“That is for everybody who loves electrical skateboards and doesn’t need a highway in poor situation to smash its journey,” Hunter CEO Pedro Andrade instructed The Verge. “With a suspension system, not solely is the rider’s danger of falling diminished (much less vibration which results in extra stability), however for the primary time, paths that was once unrideable attributable to holes, particles, or obstacles, change into an choice.”
Most skateboards get their bounce from their wooden decks, usually fabricated from maple (although some are composites that embody plexiglass, fiberglass, and different synthetic supplies). Hunter Board eschews versatile decks for an all-aluminum one which packs a battery beneath. The entire thing weighs 9kg (19lbs) and may journey at speeds of as much as 55 km / h (34 mph), Hunter says — which is sort of loopy quick. By comparability, most electrical skateboards crap out at round 24 mph. Any sooner and, effectively, you’re taking your life into your own hands. The regenerative braking might assist make these speeds extra manageable, however we’d should try it out to know for positive.
That is the place the suspension system is useful. With a inflexible deck, all of the bounce and suppleness comes from the board’s spring-loaded vans. It additionally helps allow tight turns — Hunter claims it’s potential to make 25-degree turns, or sufficient to do a full circle in a one-lane highway — and with 53mm (2 inches) of wheel journey, you’ll be able to remember to get lots of cushion. The suspension is preloaded and adjustable, and Hunter will modify the suspension system to your weight earlier than delivery it out. Gone are the times of swapping wheels in your electrical skateboard to match the terrain, Andrade says.
“Versatile decks can take in some influence kind holes and particles, however they’re miles away from a suspension system constructed particularly for board automobiles,” Andrade mentioned.
The three,600W twin hub motors allow hill climbing energy of as much as 30 levels. The swappable battery will get about 38km (24 miles) of vary per cost — which is fairly commonplace for a contemporary electrical skateboard. And the distant (which Hunter has but to disclose) is supposedly “revolutionary” and can include sufficient battery for 50 rides.
The aluminum design and industrial-looking suspension have Hunter evaluating its boards to the Tesla Cybertruck. And though that’s only a advertising gimmick, it’s sort of laborious to disagree. Naturally, the Hunter Board might be cheaper than the Cybertruck, however at $1,949, you’re nonetheless paying loads for all these facilities. (Hunter is partnering with financing firm Splitit to permit clients to pay in month-to-month installments.)
That mentioned, it’s nonetheless a really precarious time to launch an electrical skateboard firm. Provide chains are a large number, tariffs are making delivery merchandise abroad costly, manufacturing is perilous, and the pandemic is including a layer of complexity on high of every part. Boosted, as soon as the reining king of electrical skateboards, went belly up earlier this year. Inboard additionally went out of enterprise after making an attempt to pivot to scooters. Different corporations have emerged with their very own killer-looking boards — however there’s a way that electrical skateboards are a troublesome enterprise to develop.
Andrade says his group has been engaged on and designing the Hunter Board for the final three years, and the plan was all the time to launch in late 2020. “What the pandemic has completed is make clear the well being/financial-related benefits of proudly owning a micro-mobility car as an alternative of renting one or utilizing public transportation,” he mentioned. “There’s no higher time than the current to make it occur. The pandemic requires adaptability, agility, and persistence, however that’s exactly the character of startups.”
Andrade says he’s studied Boosted and Inboard’s respective trajectories to be able to keep away from making the identical errors. For a begin, product growth and manufacturing are all completed in-house within the firm’s manufacturing facility in Portugal, the place they make over 90 % of the Hunter Board’s components.
“By proudly owning the manufacturing facility the place our merchandise are made, we will additionally apply suggestions a lot faster and innovate sooner,” he mentioned. “Vertical integration is the important thing for us to proceed constructing superior high quality merchandise that maintain us forward of the curve. Apart from that, the truth that we’re based mostly in Europe permits us to undertake a impartial place within the US-China commerce struggle.”
Andrade isn’t an old-school skater just like the three Australian brothers who based electrical skateboard company Dot Board last year. However he has all the time cherished skateboards and needed to construct an electrical one which was excellent for commuting.
Hunter Board will begin gathering emails of shoppers eager about becoming a member of the waitlist on September twenty sixth. On that date, the corporate will begin by promoting a restricted version of fifty models of the Hunter Board. After they promote out, they’ll begin accumulating $100 reservations for the 2021 manufacturing run — the discharge date for which continues to be TBD. “Tesla’s enterprise mannequin is one in all our greatest inspirations,” Andrade says.