We’ve all been there. You’re running late for work, your office is the other side of a giant frozen lake, and all you’ve got to get there is a regular skateboard, a battery pack, a few dozen carbide metal studs, and a handy engineering degree.
What do you do? Well, the obvious answer would be to hammer together something like the amazing electric Mellow e-Iceboard, built by a team of engineers in Germany. Capable of speeding across frozen vistas at up to 40 kilometers per hour, it’s the only way to travel over ice in style.
“Ice skating was originally used as easy transportation way back when, in Spreewald, East Germany, [which is sometimes] known as ‘Little Venice.'” Mellow Boards team member Steven Uy told Digital Trends.
Mellow Boards first burst onto the scene in 2015 as a firm that created a successful Kickstarter campaign to manufacture snap-on battery packs for skateboards. Earlier this year, a backer of the original Kickstarter campaign came up with an idea to make a cool concept even cooler by adding extra grip to the skateboard to let it travel on ice.
Jump forward a short time, and the Mellow Boards team had hacked together the world’s first electric-powered spikewheel iceboard racer.
But surely there’s no way to make the idea even better? Think again — because the team next hopes to turn it into a competitive sport.
“E-skate ice racing is like a street race, with the added complexity of the ice making a damn fine line between a drift and a hurtling crash,” Uy said. “Forty kilometers an hour seems slow in a car, but it’s nerve-racking when standing on a thin board without bindings on the ice.
As seen in Red Bull’s Crashed Ice competitions, what makes ice dangerous also makes it — mostly — safe. A board like the Mellow has enough torque, even at high speeds, to shred ice easily, making racing and maneuvering a matter of finesse, not brute motor force.
Whether we’re all glued to TVs showing ice skateboarding competitions a few years from now remains to be seen, but this is definitely one of the greatest (and most heart-pumping) new concepts we’ve seen in a while. Although we’d rather let you try it out before we have a go!