Living: Outboards for Skateboards

Leave it to California to take its own skateboard—that simple, sometimes dangerous and remarkably maneuverable device—and improve it. Improve it? Well make it part of the highway culture, anyway. With a 1¼-h.p. motor attached at the rear, a hand-held throttle that can act as a kind of brake and a 12-oz. gas tank, the new Motoboards, as they're called, can move a rider at up to 50 m.p.h. and cruise at 20 m.p.h. for about half an hour. They are already selling well both in the U.S. and abroad. "The beauty of this thing, says Jim Rugroden, 28, who invented the...

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