Curfboard: A New Way to Surf-Skate
Whether you’re a car-free commuter or a crazy wheel-sports enthusiast, you’ll no doubt be excited to meet the Curfboard, a brand-new skateboard truck devised by Munich, Germany-based duo Stephan and Jonas Augustin.
They have designed a board that uses gravity to make adjustments for the terrain, whether it’s a steep downhill slope or a challenging curvy descent, and also accommodates the individual rider’s weight.
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“Due to the patented four-hinge suspension, this surfskate/carving truck is extremely well suited for pumping without pushing the board with your feet… you can drive and even accelerate elegantly through the body movement like surfing or snowboarding, even uphill,” explain the Augustins.
In fact, when prospective buyers asked if it’s possible to push the board with your feet, the Augustins replied, “Yes, but why? Pushing is old-school now!”
Of course even the humble bicycle can arrive with backup power systems these days, so it’s refreshing that the Curfboard harnesses Nature’s energy. Turns out that’s just a new way of going old-school — people power, with no batteries or cables required.
The Curfboard is set closer to the ground than most of the traditional boards you see around, and that’s a key part of its technical success. The designers made sure that stability (no speed wobbles at the front) and precise response were paramount, giving the rider total confidence in the board’s ability to match their demands in every situation. And total confidence is what you need when you’re hurtling down a hill or taking a sharp turn a little faster than you know you should.
We all know that Germany is known for its top-quality design and engineering, and in fact Stephan Augustin was hired by BMW for his knowledge and development of innovative skateboard kinematics in 1997 and worked in the auto-maker’s product design department.
He was able to combine his passion for skateboard design with the skills of his colleagues at the car company and invented the forerunners to the Curfboard. Together with experienced BMW chassis engineer Rudi Mueller, for example, Augustin developed the Streetcarver skateboard for BMW, and it garnered rave reviews from riders. The Streetcarver paved the way for the Curfboard, as it, too, was set low to the ground and made use of gravity to carry out in-ride adjustments.
Augustin is still with BMW, but these days his full-time gig is developing new e-vehicle concepts for the auto giant’s research department. (Perhaps we’ll see e-powered Curfboards yet…) And of course when he’s not at work, he’s eagerly finessing and fine-tuning his own projects.
The Curfboard (the name emerged when the design team combined the words “curve” and “surf,” the two main elements of the board’s style) has passed its funding goal on Kickstarter, and backers can anticipate delivery next summer. Patience, people, patience.
At the moment the company is only selling complete boards, but it says it may offer just the trucks later next year for people who have favorite boards and wheels at home already and want to adapt those with the new technology.