This Electric Longboard Collapses for Air Travel

How do you manage to get an electric off-road longboard past TSA and onto an international flight? Simple — make it a collapsible longboard that fits into a carry-on bag.

The mechanical and electrical feats accomplished by [transistor-man] may not be the most impressive parts of this hack. We’re pretty impressed by the build, starting as it did with the big knobby tires and front truck from an unused mountain board and the hub motor from a hoverboard, turning this into a trike. The incredible shrinking chassis comes courtesy of a couple of stout drawer slides and cam locks to keep it locked in place; collapsed, the board fits in a carry on bag. Expanded, it runs like a dream, as the video below shows.

But we think the really interesting part of this hack is the social engineering [transistor-man] did to ensure that the authorities wouldn’t ground his creation for electrical reasons. It seems current rules limit how big a battery can be and how many of them can be brought on a flight, so there was a lot of battery finagling before his creation could fly.

Electric longboards look like a real kick, whether they be all-aluminum or all-plastic, or even all-LEGO. This one, which went from concept to complete a week and a half before the flight, really raises the bar.

26 thoughts on “This Electric Longboard Collapses for Air Travel

  1. For getting this past TSA without a Q&A session in the office and a cavity search, he deserves a Hack a Day prize for that alone…

    But TSA aside – nice idea. Carbon fiber top panels would make this even nicer and shave off a few grams.

  2. He mentions to check the legality of electric skateboards, but traveled to Germany with it.. AFAIK, he committed 5 or 6 potentially serious “crimes”: operate a vehicle without insurance, without operating license, without registration, without appropriate drivers license, without helmet and there is probably some sort of tax problem :D

    They are currently working on legislation to change this situation and enable riding these things legally, but the wheels of government move slowly..

          1. For those who understan german: https://www.electric-skateboard.de/elektro-skateboard-erlaubt-die-rechtslage-zum-motorisierten-skateboard/
            For the rest: It is not allowed to ride a motorized vehicle that goes faster than 6km/h on the pavement. So you have to ride it on the street. But then you need a certificate which includes a license plate and insurance as well as a apropriate driving license. It would also require fenders, reflectors backlight and a bike bell (no kidding that’s German law)
            So in short: Don’t ride an electric skateboard in public places when in Germany, Switzerland or Austria (more or less same rules there)

    1. If you take the battery pack as carry-on, tell them ahead of time exactly what it is and run it through the XRay I imagine they can tell the difference between a LiPo pack and a bomb? I know from reading the esk8 forums there was at least one guy who successfully took his e-longboard on flights using this strategy. But I don’t know if there is an upper limit for the amount of “power” you can carry on.

      1. > run it through the XRay I imagine they can tell the difference between a LiPo pack and a bomb?

        Not with my pack of 10 AH LiFePO4 Headway cells with a BMS that included running a lead to the junction between each cell.
        XRayed, sniffed, held gingerly and they were still upset. They weren’t even aware that the rules at the time prohibited Li cells from being in the hold; they had to be carry-on (so a fault could be detected while in flight – much earlier than if it was in the hold). With the tests good, the supervisor questioned me, watching me intently listening to the way I spoke, not the meaning of the words (which were beyond them), and was no longer concerned. The original agent held me until I started explaining the properties of LiFePO4 vs. other Li cell chemistries, then they couldn’t get rid of me fast enough.

  3. I like this, a real “Hack” of rack-mount collapsible slide-rails. I’d like to view the linked video on how it works, but unfortunately Vimeo is permanently BANNED where I live currently (Indonesia).

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