Image: Screenshot from SKWHEEL website

SKWHEEL Electric Skis Turn Urban Streets Into Ski Trails — No Snow Required

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Is this the future of urban skiing? To be honest, I didn’t know urban skiing was a thing, except maybe for those living in very snowy locations, but according to a French startup, the future of urban skiing lies with its product, a pair of 4-wheel drive electric skis, called SKWHEEL.

Image: Screenshot from SKWHEEL website

The SKWHEEL features a 600W electric motor in each of its 4 wheels, which have the potential to boost the ‘skier’ to speeds of up to 50 mph, although the company says that they initially will be speed limited at the factory to about 15.5 mph. When coupled with a pair of 300Wh lithium batteries, the SKWHEEL is said to be able to cover up to 18.6 miles (30 km), and the batteries can be fast-charged in about two hours.

Now, to be fair, even if the SKWHEEL was designed to be “electric skis,” they pretty much appear to be essentially high-end electric rollerblades, although with some significant differences. First, they go on over your shoes, not instead of shoes, and second, the front wheels swivel for steering, and third, they have built-in lights for visibility, and fourth, they have a mechanical brake built into them. Other than that, you know, they’re kind of the same maybe sort of. However, I can see how the ski comparison applies when they are being ridden (skiied?).

The company is launching the SKWHEEL through an Indiegogo campaign, which is offering backers a pair for a pledge of $1,843, which it claims is a 29% discount off of the eventual full price of $2,601. The campaign is still live for another 9 days or so, and the company expects to be able to ship the first ones to backers in June of 2024 (however, many crowdfunded campaigns have very ambitious ship times, so backers can often wait long periods — or forever, in some cases — before they receive their products, so buyer beware).

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Derek Markham

Derek lives in southwestern New Mexico and digs bicycles, simple living, fungi, organic gardening, sustainable lifestyle design, bouldering, and permaculture. He loves fresh roasted chiles, peanut butter on everything, and buckets of coffee.

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