Like the RYNO One Wheel Motorcycle, the electric, weight-sensing ZBoard won't drop mandibles with its gravity-defying tricks or blow off toupees with its unearthly speeds. But it will make for a simple, significantly less nerdy way (greetings, makers of Segway) to commute short distances without requiring a shower or heavy dousing of Sex Panther Cologne upon reaching one's final destination.
Were I to have moderately adept balancing and proprioception skills, riding the ZBoard would be as simple as leaning forward on its deck's front sensory foot pad to go, and leaning back on the other end's pad to stop. Pad design allows the mechanisms to evaluate a rider's weight/force application, and send the information to a micro-controller, which then speeds up or slows down the 400W electric motor attached to the board's underside. Acceleration and deceleration vary entirely accordingly to one's ability to exhibit bodily control. Again, had I any bodily control, the ZBoard would zip me safely from home to up to 5 miles from home at a max speed of 15 mph.
ZBoards can battle small to mid-range uphill slopes--think commercial parking garage inclines--and their regenerative braking system also provides for stopping on downhills. Though riding in the rain and through puddles is deterred, the board will navigate wet pavement without losing traction. Other specs:
- Range: 5 miles for the Classic, 10 miles for the Pro model
- Deck length: 40"
- Deck width: 9.5"
- Weight: 37 pounds Classic, 30 pounds Pro
- Battery charge time: 5 hours
- Battery life: 250 charges Classic (sealed lead acid battery), 500+ charges Pro (lithium ion battery)
ZBoard, a resoundingly successful Kickstarter project, has been in pre-order stages for months to this point, but the anticipated July 2012 ship date (pushed forward from June) is fast approaching. Introductory prices of $499 for the Classic model, and $749 for the granddaddy pimp pinstripe suit and floor length fur coat version, are still in effect, but will increase once shipment begins.