Peter Treadway grew up working on cars in his parents’ garage. As a teen, he made a name for himself as an extreme-sports fanatic — a passion he carried with him through college. It’s hardly surprising then that he combined his passion for all things mechanical with his talent for design and invented an assortment of “personal mobility” products, including the Blink E-Skateboard.
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Treadway and his Acton Global cofounder Janelle Wang both studied industrial design in school, and he even specialized in transportation for his master’s degree. You can see the fruits of their talents and labor — and even take them around the block — when you hop on a Blink E-Skateboard. It’s an intriguing mixture of an old-school product and up-to-the-minute technology, a clear melding of design-based minds with a knack for adventure.
“Acton is the leading smart, personal transportation company,” says the team on their website, adding that their goal “is to make transportation so fun and intuitive that it feels like a part of your body.”
Of course, “transportation” might not be the first word that comes into your head when you think about skateboards, but the Blink boards will definitely get you from A to B at a clip, with no pushing required over hills.
“The pro mode has very high acceleration,” the Acton team explains. “We recommend starting with the slower modes first to get accustomed to the board.” They also recommend a full complement of safety gear in case you and your board part ways unexpectedly.
You operate the Blink skateboard with a remote control, and when you connect it to the accompanying Acton app via Bluetooth, you’ll be given the option of adjusting its power and other settings. Want to impress everyone with some cool tricks? Sorry, not with the Blink — it’s designed for transit, not flair. In fact, the board’s designers warn that attempting stunts on it will likely damage its engineering components.
The Blink “S2” model has a dual-hub system and three different riding modes, the highest of which allows you to get up to 18 mph. That’s pretty fast when you’re not inside a vehicle! You can tease a full 14 miles out of a charge, too, so you can really “go the distance.” The skateboard also has a regenerative braking system (much like some electric cars), so when you brake, all that kinetic energy is stored in the battery.
Want more speed? Take a look at the upcoming Blink “Qu4tro.” Acton has been prototyping this model recently, but it’s on track to start shipping later this month. The price tag is steep ($1,699), but you’re sure to get a lot of bang for your buck.
The Qu4tro has a four-hub system and can take you a whopping 22 miles on a single charge. Plus, it can reach a top speed of 23 mph.
While the Qu4tro may be as top-of-the-line as it gets, Acton does offer a more budget-friendly model with the Blink “Lite”. It has a single-hub system and a range of just five miles, but you’ll still be able to travel at a respectable 10 mph.
Safety LED Lighting is standard on all Blink skateboards, which is an especially important feature when you’re traveling at a decent speed. Just be prepared for pedestrians to shout out questions about your ride!