Elos is an equal-opportunity skateboard: while it’s stable and therefore easy for beginners to learn on, it still offers experienced boarders enough of a challenge to keep them interested and make the ride fun.

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While that might sound easy enough to achieve, this board comes years in the making and went through numerous prototypes before its design struck just the right balance. “The story of Elos did not start with a business plan,” the company explains on its website. “It was just one pair of hands [company founder Tom Wang] crafting fun new skateboards designed for friends and families so they would have an easier time learning and riding together.”

It’s interesting that the final design ended up being a return to basics. Previous versions included high-tech bells and whistles, but the lightweight (it clocks in at just under four-and-a-half pounds) shortboard turned out to be the winner. “An early prototype was fabricated with exotic materials that could transform its shape mid-ride to increase performance,” the designers explain. “Another incorporated embedded electronic systems to increase rider safety. While those may return in the future, Elos was designed to make life easier.”

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Now it’s a hit among casual riders, skateboard aficionados, and those commuters who want to avoid driving a car to catch the train or bus, filling in those beginning and end-of-trip transportation gaps. And of course, it gives riders a bit of a workout as an added bonus — not to mention a solid boost in street cred.

Elos is a full-blooded American product. Each one of its seven layers was crafted from native hard rock maple to make the board both sturdy and durable as well as aesthetically pleasing. The boards are made and assembled in California.

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The unusual shape of the board gives you more surface area to stand on, and you’ll appreciate the bit of cushioning from bumps and rocks that’s provided to you by its 72-millmilleter dual durometer wheels. We personally love the board’s carrying handles and the way you can hang it on a rail by its wheels if you stop for an ice cream or a coffee en route. Storage is easier all around, in fact, as the Elos can also be stowed in your backpack — so long as you can fit a 15-inch laptop in it.

Planning to go farther afield? No worries. The designers worked hard to make sure that the Elos would comply with the carry-on rules for most airlines, so you can catch your flight and get to straight to exploring your destination when you arrive, no rental car required. Think how much more you’ll see as you sail by (anyone else thinking GoPro?).

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While we’ve already established that the Elos is a lightweight board, it does have some restrictions when it comes to the size of the user. The company has tested the board with people who weigh up to 260 pounds without a problem, but it still recommends a safe weight limit of 220 pounds. Anyone who’s a U.S. size 11 men’s shoe or smaller should have plenty of standing room on the board, but again, the company has successfully tested bigger feet on it.