Electric skateboards are incredibly fun to ride, but don't always offer the smoothest or safest ride if the surface they're speeding over is rough, pockmarked, or covered in debris. Which pretty much describes New York roads and pavements. The team behind the Hunter Board thinks it has the solution: an all-aluminum, water-resistant, battery-packing board with custom-designed suspension instead of rigid trucks, and tire-like wheels. That combination means better board handling, which in turn means you've got more chance of staying on it. It also means a $1,949 price tag.
Co-founder and CEO, Pedro Andrade, likens the board to Tesla's Cybertruck, and tells Input the company is also taking inspiration from the world's most valuable car company by securing pre-orders ahead of each production run. The company will begin taking orders on September 26 (you can join the waitlist here), and will initially make 50 "founder's series" units. Thereafter, it'll take orders for its 2021 production run. Securing your place in the first-come-first-serve line for 2021 requires laying down $100.
By the numbers — Like a Tesla, a Hunter Board is a carefully designed, luxury product. Sticking to aluminum means the weight is kept down to 19 lbs, and helps enable the — frankly, insane — Revel scooter-rivaling top-speed of 34 mph. In addition to the 3,600 W motor and there's also regenerative braking, a range of up to 24 miles, and the ability to swap out the 333-Wh battery like you would the battery on a GoPro.
If the price wasn't a hint that this isn't a toy, those specs ought to be. You're going to want a helmet, and maybe a motorcycle-style one rather than a skate or bike one. You're also going to want to work your way through the five ride modes (Eco, Calm, Sport, Rain, and Custom) rather than heading straight for the full-fat Sport one, lest you have to be surgically removed from a lamppost.
Bouncy and maneuverable — Of course, it's the ride quality we're really interested in. Most skateboards (electric or regular, long or short) get what little shock-absorbing capability they have from having a flexible deck with rigid everything else. The Hunter Board takes the opposite approach. The aluminum board has no give at all, so all the cushioning comes from the wheels and the suspension, which offer just over 2 inches (53mm) of travel.
Those spring-loaded trucks also enable tight turns. The official figure from Hunter is 25-degree turns, or in easier-to-imagine terms, "Enough for you to do a full circle in a one-lane road." Agility at low speeds and fewer speed wobbles when red-lining it? Umm, yes please.
The "lightsaber" remote, meanwhile, is rechargeable and should be good for up to 50 rides. Hunter hasn't revealed what it looks like yet, but says the cylindrical design and intuitive button layout will let riders cycle between modes and also customize the board's "acceleration and braking curve, max power, braking power, and much more."
When can you get it? — Hunter Boards is taking orders up until September 26, with the shipping of its first units due to start thereafter. Instead of outsourcing the manufacturing to a third-party, Andrade tells Input the company does everything in-house at its factory in Lisbon, Portugal, and ships everywhere except North Korea.
Managing the whole production process makes getting spares easy, too. There's a two-year warranty against any manufacturing defects, so Andrade says "if something breaks, we'll send spare parts for free if the warranty is still valid." And if you're out of warranty, the company will gladly sell you the necessary parts to get back up and rolling again.
Smoother operator — Slick design and suspension aside, the main selling point of the Hunter Board is its stability and the ability to use it in places a regular electric skateboard might struggle, or simply be too treacherous. That's the sort of flexibility that's traditionally only been possible on electric boards like the OneWheel.
"For the first time, potholes, poor roads, and other minor obstacles stop being an inconvenience for riders and become just another part of the journey," Andrade says. "For us, not falling means much more than safety. Above all, it means going further and faster through paths that used to be unrideable."
We're pricing motorcycle helmets and checking the status of our life insurance in anticipation.