Urban transportation — it can be a vexing problem! Public transportation doesn’t go everywhere, and even if you do live in a bicycle-friendly city, there’s always the off-chance you’ll come back to a locked up bike missing a wheel or two. And, um, let’s not even get started on those “hoverboards” again.
A new company called Kuickwheel is promising a solution. One of their first products is called the Serpent-C, an electric skateboard that’s only 18 inches long and weighs just 6.39 pounds. It’s no cheap skateboard, either, with carbon steel around the electronics and a plank made of Canadian maple and bamboo — all of which is rated IP54, meaning it can survive rainy days.
Using a remote, electric power can be used to either ferry you around effortlessly or help get you up hills. The Serpent-C uses regenerative braking with that electric motor, too, which uses the friction built up during braking to give the battery a little bit of charge. The skateboard can cruise around at 11 miles per hour, although you might need to skateboard the old-fashioned way, depending on how much you need to get around — it only has a range of 6.2 miles.
Still, that range could be more than enough if you’re looking for something to get you from a public transportation stop to work, a park, or a restaurant. Once you get there, you can shove it in a backpack — and even if there’s no room in your backpack, it should be easy enough to take with you and stow away under a table.
Excited? Well, a little caution is due, and we’re not just talking about exploding battery flashbacks with those “hoverboards.” Kuickwheel is launching both the Serpent-C and the larger Serpent-W on Kickstarter, and they’ve already had some of the usual problems with inexperience. Kuickwheel first launched a Kickstarter campaign in July, but had to cancel it after it became clear that they had grossly underestimated the impact of high shipping costs to several countries. The team claims they’ve gotten a better deal on logistics in the weeks since they canceled their original Kickstarter, and here’s hoping that’s true — with 346 backers at the time of writing, they’ve already collected well over three times their goal of $30,000.
It’s still possible to reserve a Serpent-C with a contribution of $179 to the Kickstarter campaign, but that early bird special is almost gone — after that, it’ll be $199. The skateboards are slated to ship in October of this year, so yes, meeting an ambitious target ship date will be the next big Kickstarter test Kuickwheel will be faced with.