A lot of the energy going into crafting the perfect electric skateboard at present is aimed at making the electrical components as inconspicuous as possible. Cramming batteries inside the deck, reducing controllers down into discrete handheld devices and now even hiding motors inside the wheels have all become part of the game. The Stary electric skateboard has gone down the hub motor route, and it’s the latest to lay claim to weighing less than the others, an important characteristic when we’re talking about last-mile transport.
The electric skateboard arms race has been heating up in the last few years, with companies like the San Francisco-based Boosted Boards leading the charge. Boosted’s first models were billed as the world’s lightest electric vehicles at 12-15 lb (5.5-6.8 kg), but they have since been surpassed by the Marbel at 10.3 lb (4.7 kg) and the recently crowdfunded Bolt at 8.8 lb (4 kg).
The team behind Stary has managed to shave off just a little more weight, wheeling out an electric skateboard that tips the scales at just 8.6 lb (3.9 kg). Weight is of course not the only factor to consider when shopping for one of these, but can be the difference between casually tucking it under the arm and lugging it around like a big bag of cement, just see our review of the monstrous 70 lb (31.4 kg) Epic Dominator Pro.
Stary features a composite deck made from fiber glass, bamboo and Canadian maple with a lithium polymer battery inside. The company says it takes two hours for a full charge which affords it a range of 10 miles (16 km). This puts it on par with competitors like the Marbel board, also at at 10 miles, and out ahead of Boosted’s latest models at 7 and 8 miles (11.2 and 12.9 km).
Rather than the belt drives that we see on most electric skateboards, Stary has opted to build motors and planetary gearing into the wheels for a power output of 1,350 W and 5.1 Nm of torque. This is the same approach taken by the makers of the Monolith electric skateboard, which boasts a top speed of 24 mph (39 km/h). The Stary lags behind a little on this front, with a claimed top speed of 18.6 mph (30 km/h).
Hiding the motors inside the wheels makes the Stary look more like a regular skateboard, but it also serves a practical purpose, too. The belt drives that power the many other electric boards we’ve looked at are generally attached to bulky motors on the underside of the deck. These make carrying the thing just a little more awkward, and also bring the risk of getting caught on obstacles.
The board is controlled with a small handheld remote weighing just an ounce (28 g), which features an OLED screen that displays battery level of the board. Sliding a thumb trigger forward will engage the motors and set the board in motion, while pulling back will trigger the regenerative braking.
With the electric skateboard currently the subject of a Kickstarter campaign, Stary is cruising along nicely toward its US$100,000 goal, with more than $70,000 already pledged at the time of writing. The company hopes to begin shipping in November 2015 if all goes to plan.
You can check out the pitch video below.