• Adam Smith Institute

    Adam Smith Institute place holder
  • Philosophy & Logic

    Philosophy and Logic
  • Cambridge

  • Children’s SF

    Children's Science Fiction
  • Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 422 other subscribers

The Zboard is described as the Segway of skateboarding

The Zboard is a motorized skateboard equipped with motion sensors that detect your body movements and translate them into directions for the skateboard.  Lean forward and it accelerates; lean backward and it brakes.  Similarly appropriate leaning steers it to the left or right.  The basic model (at about $650) goes up to 18mph with a range of 5 miles.  The battery charges in 5-6 hours, and drives a 400W motor.  The board measures 40 inches by 10.5 inches, and is quite heavy at 35 lbs.  It looks pretty awesomely cool.

I’ve ridden Segways many times.  They are a popular feature used to traverse Nice’s Promenade, or to explore its Old Town.  I was surprised how intuitive they are.  It took me about 8 seconds to acquire the knack of riding one.  I became sufficiently adept that they let me ride it a few times with the speed restrictor disabled so I could fairly zip along on the thing.  I’ve several times taken friends with me, and all report how easy they are to ride.  The Segway is very heavy, though, and very expensive at several thousand dollars each.

Watching the BBC guy riding the Zboard has tempted me to try it.  It looks both easy and intuitive, and if you do come off, there isn’t far to fall.  It might encounter the same problem the Segway does in the UK, namely an anally-retentive Department of Transport that classifies it as a motor vehicle than can only be ridden on roads, competing for space with buses and lorries.  Obviously both devices are for pavements (aka sidewalks) and would put their riders at great risk of their lives among motor vehicles.  A group of MPs is trying to have the classification changed, but our bureaucrats are ineffably stupid as well as wilful.


2 Responses

  1. Just as we need separation of powers, we need separation of transport. Pavements are plagued by young kids riding their bikes oblivious of the danger they pose to pedestrians, as well as people who are old enough to know better but just don’t care. Add to the mix growing numbers of people zipping about on motorised granny carts who consider it your obligation to jump out of their way, and you’re almost better off walking in the road. Where I grew up in Germany there were cycle lanes. Keep pavements for pedestrians!

  2. Beware the skate board………….’ if you do come off there isn’t far to fall ‘. Unfortunately the distance we fall when we get older doesn’t result in the bounce that youngsters have, we suffer more of a crack i.e. A & E here I come.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: