Author: Stephen Stehr-So – Dept Head ESK8 GARAGE: It’s difficult to describe the feeling of snowboarding. I remember my first time snowboarding on the slopes. I had been an avid skier for almost 7 years, and although I had also been longboarding for 5 year I had never really considered snowboarding. 2 years ago, my friend and I headed up to Cypress Mountain here in Vancouver to try it out. I borrowed my brother’s equipment, and we got on the bunny hill. At first, I fell over again and again, catching edge after edge. But I persevered, and eventually got the hang of it. And once I did, I was hooked.
Since then, I’ve always been searching for a way to experience the thrill of snowboarding during the summer months! Longboarding is always thrilling, but the 4 wheel configuration never really captured the freedom of movement on the mountain. And even the Onewheel, touted as the closest thing to snowboarding, didn’t really portray the essence of the snowsport.
Enter: The SUMMERBOARD. Pretty much some motorized casters attached to the bottom of a skateboard, it looks like the child of a dolly and a downhill board. I was a little skeptical at first.It seemed a little reckless to have your motors able to freely rotate! But my curiosity got the better of me, and when the board arrived at the shop my interest grew.
First hopping on to the board, it feels very foreign. The casters stick out slightly. This means you can rock back and forth between the outside set of wheels. This is quite disorienting at first, as I felt unstable rocking in between them. But as I practiced more, I realized this is the secret sauce of the board! Being able to switch between which wheels you rest on gives you the freedom to carve on both sides, emulating the heel side and toe side action of a snowboard with shocking similarity.
And since the casters can spin freely in 360 degrees of rotation, you always have power no matter which edge you’re riding on. After about 1 hour of practicing, I was able to slide on both my heel and toe sides with ease. Interestingly, after putting the board away for the night and hopping back on to my skateboard, it really felt as though I should be able to slide my rear foot back and forth! This was also echoed by my coworker, who likened it to getting in the car after being on rides at an amusement park; the vehicle feeling as though you are still riding the attractions.
A few weeks back my family and I traveled to Hemlock Valley, visiting Sasquatch Mountain Resort. While my family all skied, I rode my snowboard. The snow was velvety powder, flowing under my board like a thick cushion. It was some of the best powder I’d ever ridden on. Stark contrast to my first trip up to the mountain this season. Up on Cypress Mountain, the temperature was too high for snow, and the rain pelted down, coating the mountain in slippery ice. Cruising on the SUMMERBOARD in the beautiful sun, it felt like the mountain experience was distilled into a more manageable and approachable package. In fact, it also works extremely well as a trainer for those winter sessions.
As I practice more, my enjoyment and excitement is only growing. Snowboarding invaded my thoughts and made me crave the mountain more than anything. And now I may have found the next best thing, with concrete instead of powder, and exhilaration just the same.
SUMMERBOARD E-SNOWBOARD FAQ
How Difficult is it to learn?
The new wider Powerball design on the Summerboard drastically reduced the learning curve for new riders. Typically someone that has average athletic ability and has snowboarding experience will learn to carve on both edges in less than 30 minutes.
It is best compared to learning a self-balancing unicycle or a bike. Because the first 5 minutes feel very foreign – much like the first time you learned to ride a bike. But it is fascinating how just 15-20 minutes of riding drastically improves your skills.
Learn FAST with Oneboarding Training Series
Summerboard has built an onboarding video training series you can see here that breaks down the skills required to ride the Summerboard into bite size segments. Each challenge takes 10-20 minutes to complete. If you go through each video in sequence, then you will learn to shred much faster.
One Battery Challenge
When you receive your Summerboard, charge the battery and the remote control to full charge. Then go to a flat area like an elementary playground or basketball courts. You want flat, smooth and no traffic. Bring food and drinks, and commit to not leaving until the battery is empty. You will be shredding before the first battery cycle is dead!
Can I use the Summerboard for commuting?
When you receive your Yes!! The Summerboard is an excellent commuter option, and nothing is better than walking through your front door of the office stoked from a shred session. Here’s a review from a rider in NYC that uses the Summerboard for commuting:
Is there a weight limit to the Summerboard?
When you receive your The heaviest rider we have witnessed shredding Summerboard is 6’5″ tall and weighs 310lbs. However, we have pulled three riders on one board, which combined weighed more than 500 lbs!
Can you ride Offroad?
The Summerboard can ride over grass or packed dirt, but is not designed for riding exclusively offroad. However, linking paths and riding through sections of dirt and grass are super fun!
How long does the battery last?
Summerboard batteries are swappable, giving you ulimited range! We measured our battery ranges using a 160lb rider going 15mph on flat ground. Riding range is dependent on a number of factors, including rider weight, speed, head winds and incline. Lowering any of these factors (especially speed) will increase your range. At maximum efficiency, each SBX battery can go 10-12 miles. On your first day learning, one SBX battery will likely last you all day since you will be just getting your bearings and going slower.
How long does it take to charge the battery.
The standard charger will charge the SBX in 4 hours. The super charger will charge the SBX in 2.5 hours from completely dead to a full charge.
What is the maximum speed?
The maximum speed is based on your weight and battery charge. Even the heaviest riders will reach 23mph, but lighter riders will reach 25mph+. The speed is unlimited on a downhill slope, and many riders have reached 40+mph. However, you can go as slow as you like – and ride at your own pace!
Is Summerboard waterproof?
The maximum speed is The Summerboard is highly water resistant, just don’t submerse the board in water. However it is important to note that parts like wheel bearings are not waterproof, and therefore must be maintained if you’re riding through water (just like any skateboard).
Can Summerboard go over cracks?
Yes, the Summerboard handles cracks well. You can ride straight over anything that is 2cm or less in height (about one inch). You will have to dodge or jump over deeper cracks or debris taller than one inch. Here’s a fun video we did with our older model riding over wood logs:
Does it climb hills?
Yes, you can now snowboard UP hills! We tested our SBX model on the steepest hills in Orange County (Laguna Beach) and the SBX climbed every hill we could find. These hills were around 20% grade. Any city street in the USA built after 1975 is limited to 15% grade.
Summerboard Canadian Support
Step 1: Create a support ticket by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Step 2: Describe any issue you may be experiencing and attach a video if possible
Step 3: Summerboard support reviews the issue and video content
Step 4: Summerboard provides detailed instructions on how to resolve issue. 99.7% of support issues are resolved in minutes with easy to follow instructions. If replacement parts are needed, then Summerboard support will ship out parts for replacement.
Can I travel my Summerboard?
Always Remove Battery From Board BEFORE You Leave For The Airport. Airlines allow for the transport of spare batteries, which is defines every Summerboard battery. However, the Summerboard is a very new product so the TSA might not be familiar with our product. Therefore, it is best practice to remove the battery from the board before getting to TSA security so they know that the battery and the board are truly separate pieces.
Always Carry On Your Batteries & Remote Control. All Summerboard batteries (including the remote control since it has a battery inside) must be carried on in your carry-on luggage with you inside the cabin of the plane. DO NOT ever put the battery or remote control inside checked luggage – or else TSA will confiscate your battery and possibly your luggage as well.
Show The Battery Sticker To TSA At Security Checkpoint. Our battery stickers note the watt hours located in each battery, and this is how TSA judges if the battery is allowable on the flight. The TSA Guidelines Here note that batteries are allowed that are under the 160 watt-hour maximum. Just in case your specific TSA agent is un-informed, we have included links below from the TSA website that show each battery is allowable under their guidelines. This information is also included on the battery sticker.
CLICK HERE FOR SBX TSA Guidelines: TSA Guidelines on SBX Battery (110 Watt Hours)