A few years ago, you may have been tempted to call electric personal transport devices a fad. So-called hoverboards gave the entire sector a bad reputation, leading to many people writing them off entirely. But that was premature.
At IFA 2019, Walnut, the electric skateboard manufacturer, showcased their latest device, the Spectra X. The company has been releasing high-quality electric skateboards for a few years now, with a couple of iterations under their collective belt.
The Spectra X is the latest device in their quest to make electric skateboards fun, useful, and convenient. At first glance, it even looks more like a traditional skateboard than you’d expect. The top of the board is covered in the usual grip, but with light green streaks running along its length. It’s hard to put your finger on why, but these streaks make the board stand out, and identify it as a tech device.
There are four large wheels; two at the front and two at the rear. There’s no getting around the fact that the underside of the board does look like an electronic unit though, rather than a customizable board. It’s here that you’ll find the replaceable, rechargeable Samsung battery. The battery pack will last around 10km and takes between 30 and 60 minutes to recharge.
If that doesn’t sound like quite enough for your travels, the board does come with two battery packs so you can swap them out if you need. You can also buy additional battery packs too. The Spectra X has a top speed of 30km/h. As this is an outdoor device, it is IP66 rated so that it won’t suffer in the rain.
Unsurprisingly, the Spectra X does weigh more than your traditional skateboard. The board clocks in at 7.5kg, which isn’t exactly light. That said, you aren’t likely to need to carry it far, as you should be able to use it for most, if not all, of your journey. The wheel size and placement means that you immediately feel stable as soon as you step onto the board.
There are three ways to control it; body weight, Bluetooth remote control, and a smartphone app. The most familiar will be through bodyweight; leaning towards the front of the board increases the speed. If you want to slow down a little just lean back into the center. This works for the rear of the board too if you want to go backward. The Bluetooth remote and smartphone app simplify things also, meaning that you can easily navigate the world around you without stress.
The Walnut Spectra X is available to preorder for $599. There is also the Spectra X Premium edition which includes all the same features but adds GPS tracking into the mix too. The Spectra X Premium is also available to preorder for $699.