When you think “electronic skateboard,” I'll bet you imagine Casey Neistat riding through New York City atop a $1,000-plus Boosted board, the preferred plank of celebrity YouTubers everywhere. But what if I told you that a comparable e-board is hitting Indiegogo today for $549 that doesn't require a handheld remote control? It's called the StarkBoard from Berlin-based Stark Mobility, and it can be had for as little as $449 through early-bird pricing.
Oh, and it's dope.
But first, before you pledge a pile of cash to an unknown company, let me get something out of the way: the last time I rode an electric skateboard was a few years ago when Boosted first launched. It was also just a prototype. I've never been a regular skater, though I’ll occasionally ride a longboard in the summer. I'm also 50 years old, which is why I roped in some 16-year-old skaters to help test the StarkBoard. Here's their enthusiastic summary after giving two prototypes a ride for about two hours in Amsterdam over the weekend:
Thomas V.: “Dope!”
Ivo R.: “Really original.”
Jannik S.: "A super cool e-board because it doesn't require a remote control."
I can assure you in my old-man vernacular that it was indeed, fun. Pip pip and all that. Thomas was up and riding comfortably within about two minutes, quickly pushing the board to its top speed of 18 mph. I never felt comfortable riding it that hard, but I was able to feel comfortably in control of the board after about five minutes. Ivo was more cautious. Even after 15 minutes, he said he was still gaining confidence using his body as the controller, though he was up and riding almost immediately.