Tampa Bay, FL-based Marbel has taken to Kickstarter to begin a production run of what it promises is the “most advanced skateboard ever built.” With 24 days remaining, the company has already surpassed its goal of raising $90,000 with $137,201 of crowd funding to date. 25 backers have already locked up a board with a pledge of over $999 with another 75 people having pledged over $1099 eagerly awaiting their boards which are expected in October and November respectively. An additional 24 people have signed on with funding over $1199 in order to receive their boards from the second production run in January of next year.
Electric Skateboard: Carbon Fiber and Kevlar
The board is really something to behold as it looks no different then a regular skateboard. The video along with the obligatory hipster can be seen here. The battery setup is very similar to a Tesla Model S and the board is essentially made of batteries wrapped in a proprietary sheath of Carbon Fiber and Kevlar. The unibody design also makes for fewer parts and of course, the Marbel is waterproof.
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The nose and tail of the board are the only parts not carbon fiber or kevlar. They are made of urethane rubber,which happens to be the same material that the wheels are made. The company calls them “bumpers” as they protect both the front and back of the board in the event of the inevitable impacts riders will experience. The underside of the board’s tail also has an additional bumper.
The board promises a range of 10 miles and the company is quick to point out that these are “real world miles” and not simply logged in a lab. The company states that many of their product testers that are still rocking prototypes are getting over 10 miles per charge. At 9.9 pounds, it’s a snap to put the board under one arm as you carry it to standard wall outlet for charging that takes 90 minutes to achieve.
The board can achieve 20 miles per hour and that includes ascending inclines of up to 15 degrees. 20 MPH is quite the clip and the speed of the board is controlled by a wireless hand-held controller. In addition to the controller or in lieu of the controller, the board can be controlled by a smartphone.
The downloadable app is being called the “Dashboard” and allows users to customize the board including limiting the top speed for the feint of heart. Additionally, the app shows the range of the board overlaid on Google Maps based on the charge remaining.
Unlike the electric Segway which was largely a bust, the Marbel board looks like a badass that could revolutionize urban travel.