ZBoard made one of the best electric skateboards of 2016. Beyond the ZBoard 2 Blue’s functional design, the company’s patented control system let it ditch the standard handheld remote and instead utilize front and back footpads for acceleration and braking. Sure, at 17 pounds and $1,300, it’s a bit heavier and pricier than many of its competitors, but its impressive 16-mile range means you’ll rarely need to carry it around.
Well, ZBoard’s back with a new and improved board that’s been beta tested by a handful of backers who first supported the company through its 2015 Ingiegogo campaign. Among the improvements are safer batteries, 50-percent brighter lights, a more powerful motor, and a range of speed modes.
There’s been a lot of concern about the safety of lithium batteries over the past few years, so ZBoard has implemented two safety modes — Temp Warning Mode and Over Temperature Mode — which alert the rider when the board is reaching its temperature limit before reducing and then cutting throttle to let the board cool down.
ZBoard has also doubled its board’s power since the Indiegogo campaign, recently adding a 1,000W “hall-sensed brushless outrunner” motor with better heat dispersion so it can run harder.
But the biggest addition ZBoard made was to include four speed modes so people with different experience levels can still enjoy the ride. At the bottom end, beginner mode has a top speed of 6 miles per hour with slow acceleration and slow braking. At the top end, ludicrous mode has a top speed of 20mph with extreme acceleration and extreme braking. Normal and expert modes fall somewhere in between.
“Originally we thought that multiple speed modes were a ‘nice to have,’ not a ‘must have’ because the ZBoard 1 had just one mode and was well received,” Ben Forman, ZBoard CEO, told Digital Trends at CES. “It turned out the ZBoard 2 is so much more powerful that beginner’s wanted soft, calm accel and decel curves, and a capped speed, while experienced riders really want to rip.”