Pretty soon, conventional skateboards might go the way of the dinosaur, well, for commuting and transport that is. Innovative tech is being used to turn what may have been a slower, tiring form of getting around and turning it into a zippy, high-tech way to get from A to B. We’ve seen some pretty good electric skateboards up until now, but Sapphire’s new Hoverboard may be the next step forward for the market.
Sapphire Boards, based out of Anaheim, California, has developed a particularly sleek and user-friendly board called the 01 Hoverboard; but what makes the Hoverboard different from anything else? The way it’s controlled, in short. The rider’s input is completely controlled through weight distribution and control, so think of this as a combination between a Segway and an electric skateboard.
Weight sensors distributed through the board’s surface pick up subtle adjustments in bodyweight and will respond accordingly – giving the rider intuitive control of the board without any need for remotes or stance changes.
There’s even a Sapphire Mobile app that can be paired with the board to adjust and optimise ride settings or set parental controls. Any updates to the board’s firmware can be downloaded through the app store and applied to the board through its Bluetooth connectivity. Simply download the update, pair the device with the board, and you’re good to go.
“South Africa has incredibly high potential to adopt e-boards, especially in its beautiful coastal areas and within surfing culture,” explains Sapphire founder, Andrew Richardson. “We believe that Sapphire can cater to this emerging market better than our competitors who utilize a handheld remote. Conventional remote controlled boards are incongruent with the riding experience of board sports. Furthermore, a remote adds liability; the user needs to always be mindful to have it charged and not to lose it or break it, because without it their board would be non-functional.”
As for the basics, the board features the following:
- Top Speed: 22 mp/h (roughly 35km/h)
- Range: 20km
- Weight: Approximately 7.5kgs
- IP64 Waterproof rating
- Maximum load: 130kgs
- Deck material: Maple-fiber Ply Composite
- Battery: 158 Wh Lithium Polymer
- 6-month Warranty
Check out their website to get more info on their Hoverboard (price is R14, 999, but R14, 500 for the first 50 customers) and is available exclusively through online orders.