Someday, someone’s going to find the sweet spot for personal mobility transporters. Until then, we all have our favorites out of the current crop. The Solowheel, so far, has been the apple of my eye. If you enjoy the feeling of surfing while carving through city roads, however, the RoamBoard could end up as your choice ride.
Made by LiquidRoam, it looks like a hybrid between kick scooters and electric skateboards. Unlike rides in those two categories, though, this can be used to perform carving and turning motions at high speeds, making for a fast and stable transporter that could ably replace a bicycle for short commutes.
The standard RoamBoard uses two pieces of 9-ply maple wood for the deck (connected with a torsion spring assembly for turning without leaning), with small grain sand coating for traction. A 450-watt DC motor and a 36-volt battery pack team up to get it moving at speeds of up to 15 mph. You manage the ride through a two-inch tethered controller that features a thumb throttle and a three-level charge indicator.
All the electronics are set up above the board (yep, that helmet-like thing in the center), which allows the board plane to be at the axle level, allowing the rider’s carve push to go into the wheels (as opposed to tipping the board over). Other notable details include articulated front and rear steering, Drive Wheel Clutch for downhill coasting, a hydraulic disk brake system, custom-machined aluminum wheels (with compression washers), and 1.96-inch pneumatic tires.
While the RoamBoard is available now ($2,475 for the standard model and $2,875 for the bamboo deck with custom finish), LiquidRoam is currently working on making it street-legal as a motorized scooter. The future version will incorporate headlights, taillights, turn signals and other components that can make it a legal transport machine.