The Golf Board is the most innovative addition to golf since the graphite shaft, bringing modern technology to a traditional game. Read more
This project was successfully funded on September 9, 2013.
About this project
GolfBoard will change the way you experience the game of golf. The easy to ride electric board makes getting from one shot to the next just as fun as hitting a great drive or approach shot. The GolfBoard speeds up the game, is easy and intuitive to operate, has less impact on a course than a golf cart, and allows golfers to surf the golf course in a way that feels similar to snowboarding or surfing.
We believe GolfBoards can change the face of golf forever, and we are now ready to make our first production run. We would like to offer the GolfBoard to the Kickstarter community first, and become part of this awesome network. We will be investing all the profits of the first production run into hard tooling, allowing us to manufacture the GolfBoard in high volume at an efficient cost.
Bag Mount+ Stability Handle
This system allows riders to use the Golf Board just like a standard pull/push golf cart, but there is a twist……You get to ride this one! The bag mount/stability handle provides ample storage space for golf gear, snacks, and refreshments. The Golf Board’s low center of gravity means you'll never have to worry about your board/bag tipping over. The stability handle gives inexperienced rider’s confidence.
Throw your golf bag over your shoulder and hop on. Conventional golf carts sacrifice exercise for convenience, but carrying your bag transforms golf into a low impact, full body workout.
Free Ride Using a Single Universal Adjustable Club
A single club with an adjustable head angle is becoming a popular alternative to a traditional set of clubs especially on courses in popular vacation areas. The GolfBoard supports this new movement; one hand for the wireless Bluetooth remote, the other for your trusty club.
The golf industry is ready for the excitement that GolfBoards bring to players of all ages. GolfBoards capture everyone's attention from complete strangers at the practice green to club pros. We've created a product that intrigues and excites not only golfers, but attracts new-comers to the new way to play.
Ready for the Next Generation
There is a generational shift occurring in the golf industry. An increase of talented young professionals like Ricky Fowler and Rory McIlroy are drawing a younger generation of players to the sport. The golf industry is looking for a way accommodate this new generation of players. The answer, Golf Board.
Bring Performance to Your Game
The Golf Board was designed to provide the user with the ultimate golf experience. Like today's golf clubs using advanced materials and technology; the Golf Board will get you from the tee to green with incredible efficiency and enjoyment. The unique power-train provides reliable performance and an unprecedented range.
We first started building 4 wheel drive electric mountain boards (skateboards with large off-road tires) because the only electric boards available were Chinese made electric skateboards that were underpowered, of poor quality and were only one wheel drive. Living in a place where there are hills and not every road is paved, we needed a board that could handle more extreme conditions. This led us to design our own boards, boards which would be reliable, easy to control, and be packed with 4 wheel drive performance.
Initially we modified MBS mountain boards by developing custom motor mounts with a high performance electric airplane motor driving each of the 4 wheels. We would then mount batteries and controllers either on top of the decks, or attach them beneath the decks in pelican style boxes. After showing these boards off in our local area and posting pictures and videos online, we started to see people around the world copying our original designs, and pushing the limits of what an electric skateboard could be. These boards were a lot of fun and they were extremely high performance machines. The fastest board we completed went 54 mph! (GPS verified).
These early prototypes lacked reliability and were expensive to build. They were prone to many of the same problems that we had with our early Chinese built electric skateboards. It would be a lucky day if we would get through a ride without burning up motors or controllers. After tinkering with these boards for a few years and riding in all types of conditions, the golf course was rated as the ultimate place to ride by our group of friends.
Golf courses were like natural skate parks groomed to perfection so naturally, we started using them to play golf. It didn’t take long before we decided to get serious about making a product specifically for use on a golf course. Some of our friends like Don Wildman and Laird Hamilton who had been riding our early boards were excited to be a part of it. We knew from day 1 that if we were going to make a consumer based product, it had to be as reliable as a golf cart, it had to be user friendly, and it had to be robust with safety features. We started working with professional engineers to supplement our skills to design the ultimate golf course machine.
The GolfBoard had to go through several iterations of design before we settled on a final design with everything that we wanted to bring to market. We found that there were no off-the-shelf components that would work for us, so we started from scratch in designing everything from the ground up. While we did this we had to make sure every part was designed to be compatible with high volume manufacturing techniques.
Motor/Gearbox/4WD – We found that 4WD was an absolute must have. Our early boards used chains and individual motors which were very troublesome as the chains and belts were a maintenance nightmare. Instead, we developed a sealed gearbox which provides reliable and efficient functionality round after round. We worked with our engineers to design a live axle system which allowed a single brushed motor to deliver power to 2 wheels. Going down to 2 brushed motors also simplified the system. Using proven industrial grade brushed motors and gearboxes also played into our “reliable as a golf cart” motto.
Steering Damper– Stability is one of the greatest barriers for allowing new riders to feel comfortable on boards. We developed a proprietary system in our truck design which includes bi-directional rotary dampers. These dampers are one of the biggest breakthroughs of the Golf Board. They add incredible stability to the board while still allowing the user to turn sharply. It is virtually impossible to speed wobble, and it gives users a platform to stand on that feels stable, steady and solid.
Wheel/Rim/Tire – We wanted to design a wheel system that would be very easy to change tires and tubes if needed. We developed custom rims that allow you to keep the wheel on the machine for tire and tube changes, you simply loosen 4 allen head socket bolts and the rims separate exposing the tube and tire.
Deck – We found that the larger the deck, the more stable it feels and the more leverage you have for easy turning. We developed a deck that is 15” wide where your feet are placed and is turned up on the edges. This provides good leverage on turning and resembles much more the feel of a surfboard.
Suspension – One of our biggest challenges was to find a way to put the batteries and controllers in the center of the deck while maintaining flexibility in the board (the suspension of any board design). We finally settled on a design which provides an incredibly fluid riding experience while maintaining the compartment for storing the power electronics. The proprietary spring deck provides flexibility and shock absorption.
Remote- Originally we used RC car remote controls running 2.4GHZ technology, we eventually developed a custom Bluetooth receiver and used the Wii nun-chuck remote for board control; what were currently using for control input. The Wii based remotes work well, but there were a few features missing that are essential to have on a consumer ready board (high/low switch and battery meter). We have designed working remote and receiver electronics which are now being packaged into an ergonomic housing. We expect the first batch of these remotes to be complete at the time our campaign is funded.
Motor Controllers –We tried numerous motor controllers and settled on a robust German designed controller which had all the features we wanted. The controllers are rated for industrial applications and are significantly over-rated for this application.
Standup Handlebar/Bag Holder – With the standup handlebar virtually anyone can ride and balance on the board as it helps to steer while providing forward and backward stability during acceleration and deceleration. It also has storage for all your golf essentials. We have designed our own system, but are also in discussion with a major international golf pull cart manufacturer.
The Golf Board uses automotive grade lithium ion batteries contained within the low profile deck compartment. The battery pack is optimized for energy density, thermal management, and safety. A minimum range of 18 holes per charge, even in hilly terrain, means you can play a full day of golf without worrying about the next time you have to charge.
Traction and Stability
The patent pending 4 wheel-drive posit traction system allows the GolfBoard to ensuring maximum traction and eliminating tire marks in even waterlogged conditions. The 3.5’’ wide and 9’’ tall turf tires are sourced directly from the golf industry where they are commonly used on the front of large riding mowers. The steering system employs a patent pending damper system making turning the board smooth and effortless while completely eliminating “speed wobbles” experienced on conventional electric skateboards.
Power, Braking, and Control
The handheld controller allows the user to smoothly accelerate, decelerate, and reverse direction. The controller is specially designed to allow for intuitive, gentle, smooth acceleration and braking.
Mike Radenbaugh: Co-founder/Technical Director
Mike Radenbaugh started a successful custom electric bike company, Rad Power Bikes in 2007 and has since experimented and studied battery technology. Radenbaugh received a B.S. in Industrial Design and Operation Management at Humboldt State University and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Transportation Technology and Policy at University of California Davis. Radenbaugh’s EV experiments push the limits of current technology with projects such as a high speed electric go-kart that accelerates faster than a racecar and a jet powered electric kayak with a wireless remote. He provides hands-on experience valuable in the development of the GolfBoard power-train.
When not building powerful electric bikes, or working with the GolfBoard engineering and design team, Radenbaugh spends his time mountain biking and testing pre-production boards out on the golf course, throwing back to his days as a notable junior golfer.
Paul Anthony Tomaso, Sr.: Chief Scientist and Engineer
Mr. Tomaso has been hired as the Company’s chief scientist and engineer. Mr. Tomaso manages all of the Company’s scientific, technological, and engineering activities, including the design and engineering of systems and the preparation of plans. Mr. Tomaso brings over 30 years of experience and expertise in pneumatics, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, software engineering, 3D virtual prototyping, monolithic hybrid design, thick-film hybrid design, laser-technology design and development, and robotic technology design and development, including work on the Space Shuttle, B1 Bomber, and Tomahawk Cruise Missile. Mr. Anthony has won national and international industry trade association new product of the year awards, and has international standing as an innovator of high-efficiency, high-speed, low-cost manufacturing solutions. He is credited with the development of revolutionary, disruptive technologies for the blow-molding industry, cooperage industry, laser industry, and architectural tile production industry that replaced traditional manufacturing methods and spawned new products. Mr Tomaso has been active in the renewable energy industry for the past 6 years, fully electrically and mechanically designing some of the largest solar arrays in the United States, and most recently has developed ground breaking commercial fuel cell technologies which will soon be deployed in large commercial applications on the East coast.
Star Faraon: Co-founder/Design Consultant/Board member
Star Faraon is an EV enthusiast and entrepreneur. Faraon’s passion is to create clean and quiet electric vehicles that incorporate a connection with the fluidity of nature. In 2005, Star began taking classes in electric vehicle conversion, inspiring him to turn everything with wheels into the electric form. His first conversion was a 1949 tractor which is still working at a local community farm today. Since then, he has worked with electric motorcycles, and built prototypes for high-powered electric mountain boards, skateboards, go-karts, and bicycles.
Faraon’s lifetime vision has been to encourage the masses to experience power and propulsion through clean and quiet mobility. Propelling people into the electric revolution keeps him excited about a new lifestyle that serves both people and planet.
Blayz Yampolsky: Co-Founder
Blayz Yampolsky began mountain boarding in 2006, and developed some of our early electric board prototypes. With a rich background in racing remote control cars, planes, and helicopters, Yampolsky contributes hands on experience with optimizing the performance of lightweight electric vehicle technology.
When not focused on developing the GolfBoard, Blayz is an avid remote control helicopter pilot and motocross rider.
Paul Hodge: Co-Founder/Board Member/Operations
Paul Hodge has spent over 22 years launching a variety of small to mid-sized businesses including a computer manufacturing business in Seattle, a manufacturing business which designed and built industrial automation equipment, a national home automation distribution company, a charitable foundation to help at risk youth and a manufacturing business that designed and produced industrial laser systems. More recently Paul founded an investment leasing company and formed Solar Nation, one of the nations premier commercial/utility solar EPC companies in the U.S.
Laird Hamilton: Big Wave Surfing Legend
GolfBoard Design Consultant/Company Spokesperson
Laird Hamilton is the co-inventor of tow-in surfing, innovator of early stand up paddle boarding and health and fitness advocate. Surfing historians regard the legendary surfer as the “All time best of the best” at big wave surfing as he regularly surfs waves up to 70 feet high moving at speeds up to 50mph. Hamilton’s countless surfing accomplishments include his career defining drop into Tahiti’s extremely dangerous Teahupo’o break 13 years ago. Laird has been an avid GolfBoarder since day 1, and has been working with the team to develop the perfect turf riding machine. Laird is married to Gabrielle Reece a retired American professional volleyball player, sports announcer, fashion model and actress. They split their time between Malibu and Kauai with their 2 children.
Don Wildman “The Wildman”:
Founder of Bally Total Fitness, Fitness Icon
GolfBoard Product Adviser/Company Spokesperson/Board member
Coined by Esquire magazine as the “Worlds Fittest 75-year-old Man”, five years later, Don Wildman is still challenging the world of fitness. In the late 50s Wildman founded, what became, Bally Total Fitness, the largest national chain of fitness clubs in America. When Wildman isn’t busy training top pro-athletes and celebrities with his signature circuit training, he’s defying the aging process and inspiring seniors and athletes through his physical accomplishments including: winning the Huntsman World Senior Games in St. George, Utah, nine time competitor in the Ironman Triathlon, completed the three-thousand-mile Race Across America bike race, the Aspen downhill ski race and the New York and L.A. marathons and making history by winning all three of the Chicago Yacht Club's famed Mackinac races in one season. Accompanied by Laird Hamilton, Wildman paddled the entire chain of the Hawaiian Islands to raise money for autism research. Wildman currently splits his time between his homes in Malibu, Salt Lake City and Kauai. His passion for action sports and fitness keeps him ready for the next adventure.
We've designed the GolfBoard from the ground up to be ready for high volume production. We have assessed manufacturing readiness at each stage of the project.
Milestone One: Materials Selection – Material development decisions are tested and evaluated for long-term plans of basic mass manufacturing implications, material supply issues and costs. Our focus is to ensure the product covers key engineering and load data requirements while key design parameters are met. Special needs considerations for tooling, facilities, material handling and skills required were all evaluated simultaneously.
Milestone Two: Technology Development – At this point we worked on and developed a manufacturing process, but there were significant engineering/design changes still occurring. The preliminary design of critical components have been completed, producibility of key technologies are complete. Prototypes have been demonstrated on subsystems in a production related environment. Detailed cost analysis is complete, and long lead and key supply chain elements have been identified.
Milestone Three: Engineering and Manufacturing Development – Production tooling and test equipment design and development has been initiated. Detailed system design is complete and sufficiently stable to enter low rate production. The supply chain is known and stable, and low rate production has been carried out to build small fleet of GolfBoards successfully which are being used and ground tested as partially demonstrated in the videos.
Milestone Three is complete; when the kickstarter campaign is complete we will move onto Milestone Four and Five.
Milestone Four: Production, tooling, and deployment –Tooling, which is modeled and drawings are complete, needs to be manufactured to allow for high rate production. This step will take 60 days, putting us into mid november
Milestone Five: Operations and Support – Upon completion of tooling, full rate production will begin. Key supply chain materials will be ordered while the tooling is being manufactured. We expect finished production units to come off the production line in December, just in time for Christmas.
Risks and challenges
Risks and Challenges
Anyone that follows the development of electric vehicle start-up companies knows that problems with batteries, and electronics, can push out project deadlines. To ensure that the golf board will reach our backers front doors on time we have partnered with some of the best domestic suppliers of batteries and power-train components.
As with any prototype, taking it to mass manufacturing has its challenges. We have worked with large-scale domestic manufacturers to create most of the prototype parts since the project began. It is these very same manufacturers who are ready to develop our hard tooling and product manufacturing plan. We have already surpassed many small start-ups because every part of our design has been through a manufacturability analysis addressed in our timeline.
All hard tooling has been designed and demonstrated by large ISO certified manufacturing companies primarily on the east coast. We will be using three different companies for different custom components on the GolfBoard, any of the three have the capabilities to produce all of the components, but working with 3 separate entities insures that we have redundancy and also insures competitive pricing between our partners.
We are proud to say that the Golf Board is and will be manufactured and assembled almost entirely in the U.S.A.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Great! The motors/gearboxes, battery compartment, and electronics are completed sealed from the elements. Normal use in puddles, or wet course conditions falls under warranty, but completely submerging the board will void warranty. The GolfBoard is designed to "surf the earth". Carving turns in the ocean should be reserved for your surfboard.
Yes and Yes. When riding the GolfBoard you have full control to go either forward or reverse depending on which direction you apply the throttle. You can pull up to a sand trap (If your golf game is like most of our team) hit your ball, hop back on your GolfBoard and ride backwards away from the trap. Very easy and user friendly.
There is also a switch on every board for goofy or regular riders. This allows you to let your friends (who naturally stand the other direction on the board) to take your GolfBoard for a spin.
Pennies! But it all depends on your local cost of electricity. The average cost of electricty in the U.S. is around $0.10 per kWh. The battery on the GolfBoard is approximately 900 watt hours so it will cost 9 cents for a FULL recharge!
Pledge $5 or more
You will be added to our email list, and receive exclusive Kickstarter updates. Thanks for supporting GolfBoard!Estimated delivery:
Pledge $25 or more
BIG WAVE SURFER LAIRD HAMILTON'S GOLF WORKOUT PROGRAM-
“Golf is a game that requires core strength, balance, flexibility, coordination, and timing. When you improve these skills, you improve your game. The Golf Board workout is a comprehensive functional training routine that will fully prepare your body for the specific physical demands of Golf. Do our functional golf workout just 2 to 3 days per week, and in just 30 days you will see, feel and experience the performance improvements.” Laird HamiltonEstimated delivery:
Pledge $25 or more
GOLF BOARD TEST RIDE-
18 Hole test drive at Golf Board's local course Aspen Lakes Golf Course in Sisters, Oregon (Near Bend, OR). Airfare, accommodations and green fees not included.Estimated delivery:
Pledge $35 or more
T-SHIRT- You will receive a custom printed organic cotton "GolfBoard" t-shirt with "Surf the Earth" logo on the back. This quality organic cotton shirt is extra soft! Please tell us your preferred size. US domestic shipping is included. For international, please add $10.Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Pledge $50 or more
HAT- You will receive a custom printed "GolfBoard" New era stretch fit cotton baseball hat. This is a premium hat. S/M-L/XL. Stretch fit headband fits a wide range of sizes. Please tell us your preferred size. Represent your new favorite way to play! US domestic shipping is included. For international, please add $10Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Pledge $250 or more
9 backers Limited (41 left of 50)
LAUNCH PARTY- Join Laird Hamilton, Don Wildman, and the Golf Board crew in Malibu at the beach for an exclusive Golf Board launch party in Fall 2013.(Exact dates to be announced). Mingle with the founders and advisors of Golf Board. Will include food, drinks, and beach fun. Bring your Golf Board or pick it up at the party and play a round at the Malibu Golf Club with co-Golf Boarders!
Travel, accommodations, green fees not included)Estimated delivery:
Pledge $3,350 or more
16 backers Limited (4 left of 20)
EARLY BIRD SPECIAL-
You will receive one of the first 20 production boards. Thanks for the support!
Golf Board with wireless remote, battery charger, removable Standup Handle Bar/Bag Mount, Drink Holder, Ball Holder and optional foot straps. First production delivery in order of pledge received.Estimated delivery:Only ships to: United States
Pledge $3,350 or more
1 backer Limited (19 left of 20)
*NEW* LAIRD EDITION STREET/OFF-ROAD BOARD- The dependable and powerful GolfBoard chassis programmed for street and general purpose off-road riding. This package includes 2 sets of tires and will be supplied without fenders or GolfBoard handle/bag mount.
1 SET of All-terrain knobby tires for dirt, gravel, and general off-road use.
1 SET of Street-slick tires for excellent control and handling on paved surfaces.
1 Ticket to the GolfBoard launch party ($250 value and get a chance to meet Laird and team)
GolfBoardEstimated delivery:Only ships to: United States
Pledge $3,450 or more
0 backers Limited (500 left of 500)
With wireless remote, battery charger, removable Standup Handle Bar/Bag Mount, Drink Holder, Ball Holder and optional foot straps. Delivery in order of pledge received. All GolfBoard pre-orders come with a Free ticket to the Launch Party ($250 value)Estimated delivery:Only ships to: United States
Pledge $3,600 or more
"THE WILDMAN" CUSTOM GOLFBOARD- Custom painted camo GolfBoard with Wildman Renegade Golf Logo. Also includes free ticket to the launch party ($250 value)Estimated delivery:Only ships to: United States
Pledge $3,600 or more
LAIRD GRAPHICS CUSTOM GOLF BOARD-
custom black paint job with Laird graphics.Estimated delivery:Only ships to: United States
3 backers Limited (7 left of 10)
GolfBoard's Ultimate Malibu weekend – Includes a GolfBoard delivered by Don Wildman and Laird Hamilton, a round of golf at the Malibu Country Club with Don and Laird. Followed by a Stand Up Paddle-Board session and workout with The Wildman himself.Estimated delivery:
- (17 days)