The thrill of riding a skateboard, but with fewer gnarly wipeouts.
San Jose, California-based company Elos has debuted a compact, stable, and easy-to-learn skateboard built specifically for beginner and urban commuters in mind.
Called the Elos Skateboard, the item features a deck that’s wide and more stable with a low centre of gravity. The big soft wheels, meanwhile, provide a smooth ride while giving users the ability to do sharp turns with just a slight push.
“Think driving a Mini Cooper vs. a school bus. With the shorter wheelbase, and wider track distance. Elos can turn on a dime while maintaining stability and balance,” said Winston Wang, engineering lecturer at San Jose State University, and Elos CTO.
And despite the compact platform, experienced riders can even do tricks such as tic-tac, carving, and flipping the board.
Elos, which stands for Effortless Lifestyle of Skateboarding, also aims to shorten commute times. To do so, the company designed their board to be ultraportable, able to fit in a backpack, docked on a table, or simply be carried around.
Making it even more commuter-friendly is its lack of a conventional grip tape, which can ruin clothes and wear out non-skater shoes. In lieu of the material, Elos has a foot anchor to increase traction.
And for added safety, the board’s trucks have built-in reflectors to make the rider more visible at night.
As of writing, the Elos Skateboard is currently crowdfunding on Kickstarter, where they’ve already achieved 900 percent of their funding goal. With the money they’ve raised, the company hopes to change transportation, as well as make skateboarding more inclusive to non-skateboarders.
“The concept for Elos dates back to 2006, when a group of friends came together with a dream to re-imagine skateboards as a mode of urban transportation,” said Tom Wang, CEO of Elos.
“Over the years we developed numerous skateboards aiming for ease of learning and effortless cruising. With this latest design, we have a board that not only lets beginners pick up skateboarding in as little as five minutes but also one that gives legendary handling for riders to carve.
“We call it the Mini Cooper of skateboards.”
We recently spoke to Winston Wang to learn more about their work at Elos. Take a look:
What inspired you to create a more user-friendly skateboard for non-skateboarders?
“It’s simple. We wanted to share the fun with friends and family. Most of them were new to skateboarding. We couldn’t find a skateboard designed for non-skateboarders which offered the portability needed for our on-the-go urban lifestyle. Thus we had to roll up our sleeves to make it happen.”
Could you quickly take us through the design process of creating Elos?
“It actually started about 10 years ago. I went through countless designs across the full spectrum of shortboards, longboards, or anything that made sense to test. I made boards for my friends and families as special gifts. I taught them how to ride one on one, so I know which are the safest and easiest for beginners to learn.
“I traveled everywhere with my prototypes. From time to time, I’d lose my board and I had to create a new one. And each time, I’d keep the good parts of the design and improve on the shortcomings.
“Not counting the boards that are sitting in my garage, there are at least five proto-Elos concepts somewhere in the world that are lost. Each of them has some unique features that none of the skateboards out there would have.”
You started the company in 2003. What’s the journey been like? What’s changed since?
“The concept of Elos started in 2003. It was exclusively made for friends and family to show them how much I love and care for them. In 2016, many were asking about the design thus we (my friends and I) decided to share it with the world. We registered the company in 2016 which allowed us to offer Elos to more people to enjoy.
“We maintain our heritage by steadily improving our designs and handmaking every Elos ourselves. What’s changed is that with more Elos riders in the world, we can now offer to combine world-class material into every new Elos we build.”
What’s your vision for Elos? And where do you see the company a few years from now?
“Make Elos more accessible for more people to enjoy. To integrate into your lifestyle, Elos will be rolling out different models, and different modules to tailor to your needs.
“In the future, I see the culture of Elos becoming a community, where we welcome everyone to try new things, and with our solution, they can explore possibilities and bring back stories to share with the Elos family.”