The King of Wackyboards

The Morfboard is supposed to make working out and exercising more fun. One board with a bunch of attachments you can swap in and out to configure it as a balance board, one of those bouncy boards, some sort of random piece of thing that you attach bungie cords, and of course, the reason you’re seeing on this site, a skateboard. You can use it as skateboard, and you can also use it for skateboard yoga. Yes, that is a thing. MorfBoards appear to be very well designed and constructed, but I’m curious how stiff those truck circle mounts are. This concept makes sense if your apartment is one of those Japanese capsule motels but otherwise I’m not so sure. That does not stop me from coveting the MorfBoard, for then I would truly be a king. If you want one too, head on over to Kickstarter.

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Insta-Ledge is a system of portable, skateable ledges in modular lengths of 4 feet. Sure, you could go skate somewhere else, but Instaledge definitely has some potential benefits. Suppose there’s a great spot you’d like to skate without actually destroying some artfully built ledge. Say it was covered with ceramic tiles, (or skate stoppers) you could still skate it, potentially without drawing the wrath of security. OK, most likely not. It could still help you in situations where skate stoppers were just too burly to overcome. Some might argue that it’s a bit like using copers, or Z-roller trucks. What’s the point if you can’t skate the actual terrain? I don’t really have an argument to counter that. Insta-Ledge is at the very least, a very smart solution to a problem that might not exist. Why do organizations use skate stoppers? In the promo video there’s a spot where the ledge has had uniform notches gauged into it at regular intervals, clearly after the fact, and designed to do what? Keep skateboarders from ruining the look of the steps? Too late. Is it for insurance liability reasons or to prevent damage to architecture? Just to keep people from having fun. Insta-Ledge is supposed to be up on Kickstarter soon. No word on pricing. UPDATE: Project is live on Kickstarter Looks like it starts at $100 for a 4 foot section.

– Thanks to Boy for the tip.

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NeoLev Back to the Future Hoverboards

It’s basically a desk toy, the new millennial equivalent of a Newton Cradle. I saw Neolev hover boards a couple years ago during their first Kickstarter campaign, but I skipped the posting about them because at the time the board part of the toy was just a rectangle that didn’t look anything like a skateboard. Neolev has a new Back to the Future licensing agreement and another Kickstarter. Now your desk toy can look like Marty McFly’s hoverboard, or any one of hoverboards used by Biff’s gang. The boards look cool, and the hovering works, but you’ll need a track to make it work, just like the Lexus version of an actual ridable hoverboard. (Liquid nitrogen is optional.) Neolev’s expensive toys are cool, but the novelty is going to wear out quickly. Back and forth. Back and forth. I’m surprised Tech-Deck hasn’t just licensed the designs as fingerboards.

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Eliminate the scourge of kicking

Yeah, yeah, electric skateboard. Big deal. The thing that makes Kickr different, aside from front wheel drive, is the ability to add the drive unit to almost any skateboard, and the fact that you control speed via your foot and a pressure sensitive switch. There’s even a “cruise control” setting which is kind of amazing. Having a foot controller may be nice for streamlining, but could lead to some situations where shifting your balance has unintended consequences. Take your foot off the sensor and you’re rolling unassisted. Parts of it look pretty polished. Others, not so much, mainly the griptape covered friction drive wheel and the dangly cords. They met their original goal on Kickstarter, but it look s like they’ve hit some sort of speed bump (I slay me!) in production. You can’t actually order the Kickr online, you can only ask to be notified when they are accepting payments again. As my 9 year old son said after looking over my shoulder at this: “It’s kind of dumb, but also kind of cool.”

– Thanks to Matthijs for the tip

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Laser Unicorns: Kung Fury

Check out this trailer for a short film called Kung Fury. There’s a little skateboard action in the beginning that sets the tone for this flick really quick. It was a kickstarter project and now it’s in production. The only bad thing I can say about Kung Fury is that it’s only going to be around 30 minutes long when completed. It should be a full length feature!

– Thanks to MC for the tip.

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Hoverboards are real*

Hoverboards are real, or at least more real now. We’ve seen hoaxes, models, and experiments, but this latest incarnation of the dream of the future is the closest thing to a Back to the Future reality. Before you get too excited, it costs $10,000 (!) and it requires a special surface to ride on in order for the magnetic field to keep the board floating 1 inch off the ground. That, and lots of extra batteries, because where the technology stands today, the ride only lasts a few minutes. That 10K price tag is ridiculous, but they aren’t really marketing it as a consumer product. They just want to generate money and interest to further develop the technology, and not just specifically for hoverboarding. Hovering stuff? That’s cool, but everybody recognizes the hoverboard as the modern equivalent of the Jetsons flying car, in terms of where is my ____ of the future? It was an inspired decision to build a miniramp, however slight the transition.

[Source: SploidNew York Times]

– Thanks to Jack H. for the tip.

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Yet another student design project turned into a Kickstarter. Bjorn van den Hout’s Chargeboard uses two dynamos in the rear axle to generate electricity and store it in the battery box attached to the bottom of the board. The battery box doubles as an iPhone dock with speakers, while the usb port can be used to charge a phone or other device. Goofy lifestyle shots aside, I actually think this is a good idea for those who use their skateboards primarily for transportation, campus cruisers, even campers and the like. However, there are two glaring problems with this. Chargeboard could use removable covers for the speakers, or the first pebble that kicks up or pudddle you run through is going to wreak havoc. Also, How to account for different size phones without a janky adapter that would be prone to rattling loose? I’d really like to see this concept adapted to a bike, although I’m sure it has been already.

[Source: Daily Mail]

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Bourbon Barrel Boards

Upcycle, recycle, bicycle. Yet another Kickstarter for a skateboard project, this time to make skateboards out of used bourbon barrels. It seems moderately cool at first and I was kind of on board until I watched the video. I must have been in a bad mood, because listening to these guys made me want to punch them in the face. I’m not a violent person, and I’m sure they are nice people, so I apologize to the folks at Hepcat, which unfortunately has nothing to do with the excellent band Hepcat. The company is not primarily a skateboard brand, they just want to make lifestyle products out of upcycled material, an idea that has been recycled a lot lately. Yes, this is backlash. I am one sour (mash) old man today. Silly and overpriced, but I bet they smell good.

– Thanks to MC for the tip.

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A Secret History of the Ollie

Craig Snyder has been working on this book for 7 years, and it seems to be growing. As of now it clocks in at around 850 pages and more than 1000 images. If funded successfully (by Kickstarter) it should be published in November of 2014. Incredibly, this is only volume one, focussing on the 70’s. If successful, volume 20 will cover the 80’s and beyond. In case you’re wondering about the authenticity, there are some big names behind the incentives, including face to face time with Paul Schmitt, Mike McGill, and some guy named Alan “Ollie” Gelfand that you might have heard of… Check out for more info, or you can watch the Kickstarter video (features skateboarding but ironically no ollies) after the jump.

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