The Flowboard, designed by Mike Simonian and Peter Schouten, takes skateboarding to the next level by adding ten extra wheels and reimagining the trucks/suspension. 14 wheels + one board + two axles = a very unique riding experience.
Flowboards are built on a familiar looking skateboard deck, but incorporate curved arches instead of the traditional skateboard axle. Decks for the Flowboard come in three different sizes: 32”, 36” and 42”. Each curved bar holds seven wheels – which result into something that is more like surfing or riding a snowboard. With the rounded axle base of the Flowboard, riders can execute more extreme turning angles without meeting resistance. The catch phrase for the Flowboard describes the experience pretty accurately: “Surf Without Waves, Ride Without Snow.”
Although there are a number of companies that offer “cross-training” boards, the Flowboard seems to be the only design that offers it all, allowing riders to most directly replicate the experience of riding on snow or water. One caveat: if you’re not a real boarder of any sort, and/or have weak ankles, this little device may not be for you. But in my opinion it’s almost as cool as the Snakeboard that came out in the late 1980s. Or, maybe I’ll just stick to interesting computer mods like the skateboard computer.
The boards themselves have been around since the mid-1990s, when the two friends started to develop their ideas in California. Integral to the Flowboard is the “Deep Carve System” or DCS, which is the patented name for the Flowboard’s unique wheel design. Most avid skateboarders agree that the 32” inch deck most clearly replicates what we know of as skateboarding, while the 36” deck is more similar to a snowboarding experience. Because of the curved axle this board will provide a unique experience for skatepark and pool riding.
If you’re looking for a board to go bombing down big hills I’d probably still stick with the old longboard style, unless you’re feeling truly adventurous. If you’ve got the balance and want to push the envelope of what you can do, then by all means. I, however, have meager skateboarding skills — and don’t like falling flat on my ass, so I’ll avoid this product for now, and leave it to the true pros. Maybe I’ll try out one of the self-balancing Segway Boards.