clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

California makes electric skateboards street legal

A bill focused on electric skateboards was signed by Governor Jerry Brown on Sunday that will make it legal beginning in January to ride a skateboard in places where it is legal to ride bicycles, according to the Wall Street Journal. The legislation reverses an outdated 1977 ban that restricted more primitive gas-powered boards, pioneered by Motoboard. The bill extends to other motorized contraptions that contribute zero emissions.

California is the birthplace of skate culture depicted in the 2001 documentary Dogtown and Z-Boys, which led to the growth of the multimillion-dollar skateboard industry. The legislation is a landmark decision that opens doors to electric skateboard manufacturers like Boosted and ZBoard, which are both California-based companies. Prices for a ZBoard start at $600, but as the electric skateboard goes mainstream, it's possible that the costs will drop — riding electric skateboards on the state's public streets is technically illegal. The bill still allows local community official to ban electric skateboards at their discretion.

In Back to the Future II, McFly escaped on a hover board in the year 2015 — and as we watch the race to execute hover boards develop, this law change puts us one deck closer to the future of "skate or fly."

Verge Video Vault: The future of rideables