SWAGTRON’s visit to the Braille Skateboarding House
On Friday, the day I landed the first ever hoverboard railslide I was lucky to be invited to come hang out at the Braille Skateboarding House in San Leandra, CA during their first ever summer skate camp. I brought along some friends from Sk8 Kamp and we had a grand ol’ time trying out some of their obstacles with different rideables ranging from the folding SwagCycle e bike to several of SWAGTRON’s Voyager Electric Skateboard products.
Gabe seemed to be really into the SwagCycle, so without any delay he hit the parking lot on that thing for quite some time.
I enjoyed moving around some of the ramps and obstacles in the Braille House to try and land some new interesting tricks. I got some backside air transfers on the 2′ launch ramps against the wall then started playing around with the boxes and the rails looking for trick ideas. Some of the Braille skate campers were testing out trick ideas such as having a harness for both feet to allow for ‘jumping’ over ollieing. This allows kids to try tricks they normally can’t. Which is what I love about places like the Braille Skateboarding House. Creativity with skateboarding never ceases to amaze me, but now I have all these other devices to add into the mix. It will never get boring and we’ll never run out of skateable, rideable things to try.
Skateboarding at an adult age seems even more bizarre when you add electric skateboarding and then electric unicycles and hoverboards into the mix. I feel this is a lot like what Warren Miller would call ‘snowriding’. He’s a well known ski/snow film director who for years promote all types of winter sports. I remember watching ‘snowriders 2′ and thinking, “skiier / snowboarding, who cares hit the jump!”. Years later, we have the x-games and for things like rideables, I feel the same way. If you can skate, you can probably hoverboard. An electric skateboard is transportation and an e bike, well that’s just pure fun in the sun, especially at the SoCal beaches like Newport and Huntington Beach.
So after discussing what tools I would need to add rails to my hoverboard, rather than wasting precious time at the Braille House, I decided to NOT initially put rails on the hoverboard. As I saw a large chunk of wax laying around, I suggested to Gabe that I try waxing the bottom of the T6 hoverboard first, before we modify it. I also waxed the yellow rail and that was all it took.
I was able to land a railslide off the box to the rail. It felt a lot like a skateboard railslide from a balance perspective.
Now this is really only possible because the T6 has 10″ air-filled tires and rugged wheels that are good for 1’ step drops without unbalancing and also the 400 lbs. weight limitation really kicks in as I weigh about 175-180 pounds. When I landed on the rail, it would have been a significant amount of force that smaller hoverboards would likely break from. Please, don’t try this with a non-off-road hoverboard! I would recommend not trying this at home, as this was done in a professional skateboarding facility with trained professionals. I feel that this would not work on regular hoverboards and would ONLY try railslides with the T6 All Terrain Hoverboard and with protective gear all around, if at all. Remember this thing has two 400 watt motors, equal to 800 watts of power!
Also, because I USE RAILS on my anti-hero deck, I can do neat things like turn from railslide to 50/50. This is hard to fathom, but very easy with rails, very hard with no rails, try to get into a hurricane or feeble from a sitting boardslide with no rails.
This all led up to this happening at Braille.
I took the skateboard platforms with metal edges and moved them in such a configuration that I could ride the hoverboard with the right height and just enough speed, while making a bit of an interesting line out of it, to slide the rail. Now there was a longer rail and I’m tempted to try it next time… we’ll see if that happens, but for now I was comfortable with being the first one to do this railslide on an off-road T6 hoverboard. The air filled tires really make this hoverboard fun to ride, it feels like BMX bike tires on both of your feet. After a few weeks of practice, you can start to feel a lot more ‘second nature’ on the hoverboards. Even this morning when I took my car to get an oil change, I was able to hoverboard 2 miles to eat breakfast without breaking a sweat. Had I been skating or walking? I would have been drenched in this Southern California summer heat. So all hail the T6 for not laziness, but effective transportation during those ‘last mile’ moments when the car is unavailable or parked.
Here’s what the T6 off-road hoverboard looks like in action: