If it moves, give it an electric power assist seems to be the trend right now. After e-cars, e-buses, e-vans, e-planes, e-bikes, e-scooters, e-snowboards, e-skates and presumably many others we can’t remember (has anyone created e-trekking poles yet?).
Now we have e-skis. And they don’t even need snow.
Hang on, doesn’t that just make the fancy, oversized e-skates? The French company that created them doesn’t think so. SKWHEEL reckons that the SKWHEEL-ONE – which it claims is the world’s first true electric ski – will give you an authentic skiing experience on dry land, with speeds of up to 50mph (on private land; there’s a speed limiter for elsewhere).
The SKWHEEL-ONE is currently being crowdfunding on Indiegogo and has already reached 148% of its goal. Preorders are available now and the company predicts that the SKWHEEL-ONE will go into production in April with deliveries starting by June.
Each of the skis is powered by a four-wheel drive system with 600 watts per motor, for 2,400 watts of total power combined. They can tackle urban asphalt, mountain trails or sandy beaches. A single charge will last 18 miles, but if you want to ski for longer the Lithium-ion batteries are easily swappable. Depleted batteries can be recharged in only two hours.
There are four different speeds and electronic braking controlled by what’s best described as a handheld remote with an LED screen. Mechanical braking is also built in for reliable emergency stops and controlled, stable deceleration. They even have front and rear lights.
The handle-shaped remote control also has a telescopic handle you can plug into the skis so that you can pull them along like a wheelie suitcase.
With a composite and carbon fiber chassis for flexibility and strength, the SKWHEEL-ONE weighs 27.5lb.
According to SKWHEEL, the product’s innovative swivel 175mm inflatable tires deliver authentic glide and the ability to carve with precision and fluidity on any surface, accurately mimicking what it feels like to ski on snow (although we await the reviews from actual skiers to see how far that claim holds true – though they’re probably going to be great fun however authentic the experience).
A snowboard-inspired binding system ensures an excellent foothold for total control and can be worn with regular shoes.
Available from SKWHEEL’s own website the launch price is a discounted $1,842 (US) / €1,700 (Europe).
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