Since our update we have:
- Set single day, week, and month long records for production
- Moved our production facility twice (!)
- Trained two additional Assembly Technicians
- Completed a second (and unfortunately, third) rounds of Black Wheel testing and tweaking
- Finalized distribution agreements with additional partners
- Filmed, edited, and uploaded a suite of troubleshooting videos
- Overhauled both our at-home and in-shop maintenance processes
We've had many successes this month but some roadblocks as well, most which we've now overcome. In this update we'll detail the items above and also discuss:
- International Shipping Schedule
- T-Shirts and Carabiners
Increasing Production Output and Efficiency
Production has been moving along smoothly and increasing in pace every week (except for the two weeks we spent moving which we'll discuss below). We've hired and trained two new Assembly Technicians who have been building / testing boards along with contributing to maintenance.
We are now building boards faster than ever before, and with lower failure rates.
International Shipping Schedule
International shipping is completed one region at a time, in order of unit volume: Europe, Australia, Singapore, Asia.
Our European shipment is nearly complete and I expect it to ship out the week of 9/25. Most of these boards are now already built and boxed, and freight will be finalized as soon the remainder are assembled.
European Option to Delay Shipment:
The ZBoard comes with a six month warranty that starts from the day you receive it. We recognize that certain Northern Hemisphere customers may be interested in receiving their board at a later date, and having their warranty start at a later date. Your board will ship with the latest hardware and firmware at that time.
If you are a European customer and want your board shipped in the Spring, please email us at email@example.com with the subject "Spring Shipment Request."
The Australia and Singapore shipments will go out in the weeks after the Europe shipment. We'll have exact timelines soon.
If you are a customer in Europe, Australia, or Singapore and you either do not have a website order number (either 4 or 5 digits) or you want to change your shipping address, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll get it sorted.
For Asian customers, we are still in the final phases of working through details with our distributor, we'll be emailing you with logistical details soon.
Moving Production Warehouses
In August there was scheduled remediation at our facility to sandblast paint on all walls and install a new roof and siding. This forced us to change our hours and temporarily move production to another building on the same site, then back to our leased space once it was completed. In a lot of ways this was frustrating (to move when we're in the middle of our peak output) but it also allowed us a clean slate to organize and optimize the assembly process for improved reliability and output. We re-did the way our receiving, production, maintenance, and shipping stations were laid out which has been positive.
Above: The roof was removed from our warehouse, so we were forced to move.
Above: We've now moved back into a warehouse we worked in previously, and have customized it for Z2 production.
Delay on Black Wheels
When announced, we expected our Black Wheels to begin shipping at the end of August. These shipments were delayed due to a design flaw and an extended country-wide manufacturing slow down in China.
Before announcing the Black Wheels, the prototypes we were using in our announcement videos were not perfect but they were very close. The spacing of the inside edge of the drive wheels was slightly off, causing them to potentially rub and squeak.
The next round of prototypes had a similar wheel spacing issue, forcing us to go through an additional, unexpected 3rd round of samples, and adding 2-3 weeks to the delivery schedule.
The full shipment of Black Wheels is now currently in air transit and scheduled to arrive within the week.
Above: The potential for rubbing and squeaking if a wheel is not exactly the correct size.
Above: A diagram sent to our supplier giving a high-level explanation of the issue
After this additional round of prototyping was complete the wheels now look, measure, and ride great.
Delay on Bearings
The same government inspection issue that held up the Black Wheels has also slowed the production of our latest order of custom ABEC-9 sealed bearings (each set of Black Wheels comes with eight bearings).
These are now also currently in air transit, and will be included with all Black Wheel sets.
New Troubleshooting Guides and Videos
We've revamped our maintenance process including both how we track progress at the shop (including updating customers) and how we walk customers through at home troubleshooting and fixes. We've now developed a questionnaire to diagnose issues and at-home troubleshooting guides for Belt Issues, Motor Issues, Footpad Issues, and Charging Issues. Also, we've uploaded a suite of general maintenance videos here.
T-Shirts and Carabiner Skate Tools
We know we've been (very) slow on these and we apologize - we just felt strongly that we needed to apply all of our bandwidth to production and maintenance. Now that those are up and running smoothly we'd like to get our apparel and accessories out to everyone who has been waiting.
This week we'll be reaching out to each of you with the custom carts from our website to verify your shipping address and shirt sizing. We'll be reaching out to Carabiner pre-orderers as well.
If you already have a T-Shirt or Carabiner on pre-order we will be reaching out to you via email, do not purchase the items below unless you want additional units.
If you're interested in a T-Shirt, you can pre-order one here for $25 (free shipping). It will ship in approximately 3 weeks.
If you are interested in a Carabiner Skate Tool, you can pre-order one here for $12 (free shipping). It will also ship in approximately 3 weeks. We love these carabiners and use them in our shop every day.
From the Founders
Thanks as always for your patience and support. For those of you who have received your board we love seeing your pictures and videos and always share them with the team. For those of you still waiting we recognize that the delays have been a major headache. We're proud of the board we're shipping you and can't wait for you to ride it. Thanks again for your incredible patience and support.
Ben, Geoff, and the ZBoard Team
Patrick with his Z in Lake Travis
Cumbee finding some new lines in Sunset Beach, FL
Dogs love ZBoards too!
Zion training the next generation of ZBoarders in Brooklyn
Louis with the Z in Washington DC
Lucas enjoying the sights in Vancouver
Tyrone taking a break in San Francisco
Rob riding in Palo Alto