“It’s the closest thing to shredding that I’ve ever experienced…it really does feel like you are snowboarding.”
–Hannah Teter professional snowboarder and 3 time Olympian
Snowboarding is an exhilarating sport designed to provide a hefty adrenaline rush for riders. But what happens when the snows recede? Where do snowboarders go to get the rush they so richly crave when the summer season arrives? Well, an LA based company may have found the solution: The eSnowboard by Leif Tech. This electric skateboard is a unique blending of both the electric skateboard and snowboard. With the eSnowboard, enthusiasts can enjoy the ‘feel’ of snowboarding while coasting down paved city streets at a top speed of 23 mph. If you think this board is unique, you’re definitely right. LeifTech currently holds 5 different US Technologies for Transportation patents for its hybrid eboard.
According to Leif Tech Co-Founder and CTO, Daniel Seagren, Leif Tech has sold over $3,000,000.00 worth of their eSnowboards, with boarding enthusiasts from over 60 countries have ordered this innovative, high performance board.
What sets the Leif Tech eSnowboard apart from your traditional, electric skateboard are the two center caster wheels. These two caster wheels sit in between the four outer wheels.This is the unique secret behind their boards design which gives the rider the feel that they’re actually riding a traditional snowboard down the slopes. So, basically the rider is travelling on the two center drive wheels, while using the four outer wheels for balance, sliding and carving. It’s the eSnowboards omni-directional design lets you tackle the pavement in 360 degrees due to its powered 360 degree drive wheels. The outer edge wheels and trucks can be adjusted vertically if need be, but the inner drive wheels cannot.
Control is achieved by way of an ergonomically designed, handheld Bluetooth remote. The remote itself is quite simple to use, with propulsion and braking controlled by the acceleration wheel. Your eSnowboard comes with 3 riding modes: The Miyagi Mode, Shred Mode and F1 Mode. The Miyagi Mode is the easiest mode, the Shred Mode is the default ‘snowboarding’ mode, and the F1 Mode represents maximum acceleration, and should only be attempted by experienced eSnowboarders.
The Leif Tech eSnowboard offers you 2 ways to brake. The first is the slide and stop using the outer wheels, and the second is to use their regenerative braking system. This regenerative braking system works the very same way as in traditional eboards. Once you press the brake button on your handheld controller, the act of braking proceeds to add charge to the battery. It also comes with two well made, comfortable, adjustable grips which function to keep your feet solidly in place as your shred, slide and carve your way down the pavement enjoying a full, 360 degrees of motion. One thing though, it is recommended by some users that you do not use the grips when you first begin to learn how to ride the Leiftech, as you may fall and having your feet in the grips as you fall can not only damage the board, but increase the risk of injury to you. Leif Tech recognizes this and has produced a video to help you avert such occurrences.
As mentioned, the Leif Tech can hit a top speed of 23 miles per hour. However, it’s good to keep in mind the overall design of this board, and that you’re basically riding on the two center drive wheels, so make certain that you only do so on smooth surfaces. Your range depends on your Lithium ion battery, as the 96 watt LT2X provides enough power for a 10 mile ride, and the 144 watt LT3X can give you a 15 mile ride. The fact that these are swappable batteries means that you can have close to an unlimited ride range. The moment your current battery slows, just swap it out for a charged one, with the swap out time being around 30 seconds. That being said, checking your battery life status is pretty simple as they’ve integrated their battery indicators on top of the deck, so just a quick glance down and you’ll know when it’s time to swap them out.
The eSnowboard is far from being a lightweight, with a tough, strong deck manufactured by Never Summer Snowboards, this board weighs in at around 20 pounds, so it may be a good idea to purchase a skateboard tote bag to make transport easier in case the batteries die. Designed to be water resistant, you’ll be able to shred your way through rainy day puddles with ease. This is due to their decision to place the boards electronics atop the deck. As long as you keep your board cleaned and well maintained, you shouldn’t experience any difficulties here. Not only is it water resistant, but the Leif eSnowboard has no problem letting your carve and shred your way through lightweight debris.
As for customer support, you’ll find that Leif Tech takes it’s electric snowboard seriously and has not only provided excellent customer support, but also a user friendly forum which their professionals are present 24/7 to answer any questions you may have. The Leif Tech community of fellow riders is also known for their devotion to the board and are always willing to assist a new rider. Leif Tech also offers you a nice selection of helpful accessories designed to enhance your eSnowboard experience. These include items such as:
- Remote control
- Battery charger
- LED wheels
- Drive Wheels and Axles
- Helmets and visors
Riders who are already avid snowboarders have little difficulty jumping on their eSnowboard and starting to shred. However, what about newbies who want to ride the eSnowboard but have no actual snowboarding experience? Well, if that fits you, you’re in luck. Their website offers new riders an extensive selection of tutorials in everything from your first day’s unboxing the eSnowboard, learning the basics, skill development and muscle training. By studying these videos you’ll be ready to experience an entire new world of sliding, shredding, and carving!
As for the actual purchasing of your Leif Tech eSnowboard, they do their best to make it a personal experience. Once ready to order, they guide you through the process which includes measuring your height, stance width, possible riding styles, as well as selecting your initial battery and board color. This may sound like overkill to some who are just used to purchasing a board online with a click of the mouse, but Leif Tech wants you to get the best possible experience from your eSnowboard.
These Leif Tech boards are purposefully built to be modular, so if you own eSnowboard Version 1, you can simply purchase the necessary equipment from their site, and you’ll have Version 2 without purchasing a new board. Your purchase includes your LeifTech eSnowboard, a wireless remote control, remote charging cable, battery, Leif wall charger, user manual, and 2 foot holds or grips.
Weight: 18-20 pounds ( that is very light! )
Weight Capacity: 350 pounds
Miles per charge: 10-15 miles (depending on model)
Maximum Speed: 23 miles per hour
Battery Type: Lithium Ion
Charging Time: 1.5 hours
As you can probably guess by now, this sweet hybrid doesn’t come cheap. In fact, it can set you back over $1600 US dollars. As the buyer gets to build their own eSnowboard, the final price will vary. For example, a Leif Tech eSnowboard Pacifica with a 96 watt, LT2X battery might run you $1,649, a Leif Tech Atlantic with a 144 watt, LT3X battery can cost you $1,729. Their Leif Youth eSnowboard starts at $1,547.