No wonder electric skateboards have been a disappointment: They’re often slow and a pain to charge. But worse yet, they require a remote control to accelerate. “Using a remote to skateboard is like trying to play basketball with a cup of coffee in your hand,” says Stark Mobility cofounder Hannes Reichelt. That’s why his team developed the StarkBoard, a game-changing model that boasts hands-free acceleration, a long-lasting battery, and 20 mph speeds. At last, an electric skateboard that’s not just a novelty. [$599; starkmobility.com]
1. LIGHT-YEARS AHEAD
The StarkBoard is the first electric skateboard to include built-in front-facing LED lights, an innovation that’s long overdue. The lights make riding in the dark a cinch—keeping you from having to rely on streetlights to see what’s ahead. The board also has rear-facing red lights, so drivers won’t flatten you.
2. A BETTER BATTERY
Other electric skateboards suffer because their batteries can’t be easily removed—which means having to find an outlet each time they die. The StarkBoard’s detachable battery, however, can be swapped out for a fresh one on the go and gets an impressive 13 miles of riding out of a single charge.
3. IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION
The no-remote-needed control system uses four weight and motion sensors to direct the board. To get going, simply lean in the direction you want to skate and the motors will activate. When the board senses that no one is on it, it’ll come to a stop—so no more chasing a runaway down a hill.
4. THE WHEEL DEAL
Sure, electric skateboards have recently improved in terms of speed. But few can top the StarkBoard at 20 mph. Its power comes from two custom-designed motors built into the rear wheels. The motors are twice as fast as others their size and have enough oomph to get you up a 15 percent incline. —J.R. Sullivan