Footpads vs. Hand Controller

1. Footpads are more fun to ride.
2. Footpads are more intuitive to learn.
3. Hand remotes are a headache.
4. Footpads let you ride with both hands free.
5. Footpads let you have a hand free while carrying the board.
6. With footpads you'll never have to worry about wireless interference.

      The ZBoard's patented footpad-based control scheme allows you to simply lean forward to go, up to a top speed of 20mph, and lean back to stop and kick in regenerative braking. Many features in electric skateboards matter but only one will affect the experience every single time you ride it: the control.


      Not sure how our footpads work? Check out our video above.


      1) All boardsports are hands-free. Electric skateboards should be too.

      Boardsports are all about balance, footwork, and flow. They're about getting in tune with the riding surface (whether it's water or pavement), choosing your line, feeling your way in and out of carves, and putting a big grin on your face! They are not about moving your finger to press a button. In our opinion the ZBoard's hands-free control scheme provides the purest riding experience in electric skateboards.


      What do we mean by this? Here's an example: when you coming out of a corner and want to keep your speed or accelerate, you can extend your knees, pushing down on the board. This is similar to pumping in and out of turns in surfing or snowboarding. This is far more intuitive than tapping or adjusting your finger when you want to gain speed. Once you feel the flow, you'll never go back.

      Plain and simple: footpads are more fun.


      2) Footpads are more intuitive to learn.

      This may be an opinion, but it's based in some sound logic. When an electric skateboard begins accelerating it will immediately cause the rider's center of gravity to shift to towards the rear of the board. If your stance is not ready for this you can lose your balance and fall off the back, while the board shoots out from under you. The ZBoard's design prevents this because you have to have some of your weight forward in order to engage the throttle. Thus, when the acceleration comes, you'll already be in a good stance to cruise


      3) Footpads let you grab your board and go. No headaches.

      Unplug your ZBoard. Go ride. It's that simple. You'll never have to say:

      "Hey, have you seen my skateboard controller?"

      This one seems small, but it's major. We've ridden almost every hand-controlled competitor and we're constantly losing the remotes. Your hand controller board will come with a long charging cable but the remote will have its own separate cable, likely a 3ft micro-USB, and it's unlikely that you'll be charging them in the same place at the same time.

      Another inherent flaw with a hand controller is that smaller is generally better (so you can shove it in your pocket when you're not using it), but smaller also means it's easier to lose.

      Some other issues we've run into when testing competitors' controllers:

      "Ah #$@&%*! my controller isn't charged"
      "Is that my remote or yours?"
      "Hold on I need to wait for my controller to sync with my board."
      "Shoot my controller won't sync with my board."
      "Have you seen the charge cable to my remote?"

      Get a ZBoard and you'll never say any of these.


      4) Footpads let you use both hands while riding.

      Picking up three large pizzas? On a ZBoard you have both hands free, making it a breeze. Trying it with a remote-controlled and only one free hand? Good luck. How about a run to the corner store to get two bags of groceries? ZBoard there and you're good to go. Want to juggle fire? The Z makes it possible.

      Ok so we know its unlikely you'll be juggling fire any time soon but the ZBoard is actually extremely practical - check out another example below. 

      A video posted by Freefly (@freeflysystems) on


      Some of our riders use the ZBoard in tandem with professional camera stabilization systems, which require two hands. This is how we shoot a lot of our own videos.


      5) Footpads let you have a hand free when carrying.

      Every day you'll arrive at locations where you can't ride any further. Maybe it's a door, a subway turnstile, elevator, etc. Pick up your ZBoard by one of the handles and you'll still have your other hand free to open a door, scan your subway pass, or to press a button on an elevator.

      There is no need to shuffle a remote in and out of your pocket while constantly turning both the remote and the board off and on. And if you do have a remote-controlled board and you jam the controller into your pocket without turning it off first, make sure not to shove it in a way where the trigger is pressed down! When you get to your destination on a ZBoard, simply pick it up and head in. The ZBoard turns off on its own after a few minutes.

      6) Footpads aren't liable to have connectivity dropouts due to wireless interference.

      A wireless hand controller is only as good as the connection it makes with the board itself. If there are lots of wireless devices in the vicinity or power lines overhead the chances for connection dropouts increase and danger can ensue. Imagine cruising at 20mph, pressing the brake, and nothing happening (!). One hand controller based company's riders even have a map with locations worldwide where the controller's connection drops out consistently. Hacking is also a concern.

      The ZBoard 2's footpads are wired directly into the onboard computer, so you never have to worry about wireless interference.


      Are footpads the ZBoard's only advantage?

      Footpads are a significant one, but every element of the ZBoard was designed with the perfect ride in mind. Check out more of the ZBoard's features here.