New Transporation Design Form: A Three-Wheeled Electric Off-Road Skateboard

It’s rare that we see designers invent an entirely new form of personal transportation, with most new scooters, say, being variations on an existing theme. (Hoverboards were an admittedly fresh design, but they have the unfortunate tendency to burst into flames.) The Ireland-based design team behind the YX One, however, has combined design elements harvested from an unlikely mash-up of three activities: Skateboarding, rodeo riding and windsurfing.

The YX One borrows the stand-sideways position of skateboarding, the one-hand-to-hold, one-hand-to-balance practice of rodeo riding, and the lean-and-pull-to-turn method from windsurfing. Then they added off-road tires in a reverse-trike configuration, and here’s the result:

Some of the thinking that led to the form:

Why the YX One uses a connected control handle:

When the rider is turning, at speed over a certain “G”-force, body weight on the board alone is insufficient. Greaterdownward force is needed to make the board tilt and turn ina more precise and controlled manner.

When the rider ‘pulls’ on the handle, much like wind surfing, it ‘forces’ his or her weight down towards the board, instead of the rider out toward ground!

Rider balance: much like a rodeo, the rider uses one arm to stay on board and the other to provide balance and stability at speed.

Jumping: especially landing, you need to be sure the board is staying with you, with the connected control handle, the rider and the board stay as one.

Disk Brake: The powerful disk brake is a unique feature of the YX ONE. Disk braking works most effectively when directly connected, Bluetooth connections are prone to problems, that put riders at risk.

Manoeuvrability: when not riding, the connected control handle allows you to easily manoeuvre the board, in urban or tight spaces, making it easier to rotate, pivot or lift it, or just to walk it alongside you, like a dog on a lead!

If I was a younger man and/or didn’t need to carry tools, I’d seriously consider one of these for zipping around on our farm. The YX One has got a lighter footprint than an ATV or side-by-side, and it’s a fraction of the price. Sadly, without any way to safely carry a chainsaw or whatever else on it, it’s out of range for me. But if you’re keen on one, it’s been successfully funded on IndieGogo, and there’s still 19 days left to pledge.

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