What happened to the Dirtsurfer? Alternatives?

Lightweight / Folding / Portable EVs - seats optional
VapEngineer   100 µW

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What happened to the Dirtsurfer? Alternatives?

Post by VapEngineer » May 10 2013 3:00pm

I have wanted a dirtsurfer for probably 6 years, since high school. I never wanted to spend the money. Now I am willing to, and I dream of adding an in wheel brush-less electric motor plus batteries and speed controller. I cannot find a single way of purchasing the board anymore. They are all gone! any ideas? I see the MXB board, that thing looks awesome, but for $3K ? id rather build my own.

I like the dirtsurfer concept the most because of the huge wheels and best mimicking of snowboarding. I'm not a good skateboarder at all...I'm sure i could learn the mountain board if i have to.

If I cannot find an alternative board, then I'd like to build my own electric mountain board. or purchase one if a good product exists already at a reasonable price.

Please help, any info on products on the market, conversion kits for MBs, or anything else.

Thank you

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Re: What happened to the Dirtsurfer? Alternatives?

Post by EBJ » May 10 2013 5:25pm

That MXB things looks awesome.
You may be hard-pressed to build something of a similar quality for 3K...actually it looks to be 2.7K on their website.
Might just wanna consider saving up for one of those.


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Re: What happened to the Dirtsurfer? Alternatives?

Post by revolutioncomplex » May 11 2013 4:45am

I was disappointed by the demise of the Dirtsurfer too. I have been toying with the idea of building one from scratch. Although I was planning on designing one to be for road use only; also with a brushless power plant. Using aluminum and carbon fiber should bring the weight down from ~35 lbs to ~20 lbs.

In addition to designing one more like a high-performance road bike and less like a mountain bike, there are some other issues. The other motorized Dirtsurfers had the heavy batteries housed in a back pack. It is inconvenient but it allows the board to stay nimble. Larger wheels could help with stability for on-road applications too.

I would be willing to collaborate with someone to build one around a couple different motor options; potentially even something as powerful as the Hubzilla.

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Re: What happened to the Dirtsurfer? Alternatives?

Post by Alastor » May 11 2013 5:21am

Nice idea but i think it need more work in order to be fun.36v is just not good for the trails and that kind of staff.

Brilliant design anyhow and i think its creator will improve it :) so it can deliver the fun it is supposed to.

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Re: What happened to the Dirtsurfer? Alternatives?

Post by VapEngineer » May 13 2013 1:24pm

I dont intend on it being used for off road trail blazing, nor incredibly high speeds on roads. I'd primarily use it on sidewalks and on campus. I also would love to have it to take through the grass at summer camp to get me around quick and effortlessly. So Im not seeking incredible power or speed, but sufficient for me needs.

I like the design of the Surfari more for building one from scratch, but I do not have the equipment to build one myself.

So, nobody knows where I can buy a traditional dirt surfer any more (new or used) ? where would I look?

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Re: What happened to the Dirtsurfer? Alternatives?

Post by sk8norcal » May 13 2013 2:45pm

where r u located,
ask on these forums,
poeple might want to sell their used ones
http://www.wingsurferforum.co.uk
www.powerkiteforum
http://www.extremekites.com.au
http://www.surfingdirt.com
also, i think there is a way to do a nation wide search on craigslist.
google search "dirtsurfer for sale"...

here's a list of past 2 wheel designs,
http://wackyboards.blogspot.com/search/ ... 0wheels%29

i think the dirtsurfer got that cool factor for an electric ride,
but i see several negatives for ur use,
bad low speed maneuverablity, start and stop looks awkward,
also read that you have to kick mongo...

i had an idea to have a dirtsurfer front and mountainboard rear hybrid.
sort of like this,
http://wackyboards.blogspot.com/2009/07 ... board.html

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Re: What happened to the Dirtsurfer? Alternatives?

Post by VapEngineer » May 14 2013 11:24am

I live in the USA, NE Ohio. I would be interested in buying one used (Or New). I have a fairly out there idea. Has anyone put the steering front wheel from a dirt surfer on the back? and made the front wheel solid and un-steering. I'm not talking about literally going backwards on a dirt surfer, because the steering mechanism is clearly one way. but what if it was located at the back? that way that awkward metal arm that reaches in front of the lead tire for the vertical hinge of the front steering wheel could all be eliminated.

To me this would be more like snowboarding, in that you kick your rear foot out to point you in the right direction. It surely would be incredibly strange to learn to ride, but I think it should work all the same. Ideas?


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Re: What happened to the Dirtsurfer? Alternatives?

Post by VapEngineer » May 22 2013 8:42am

Yea you are right. that rear steering design would not work. I forgot that if steering from the rear it would have to react opposite of the way it would in the front, and that's not the way the design I described and thought of, would work.

Can anyone tell me of any other alternative bicycle wheel boards? or no hands transportation.

I would like an electric mountain board but the products on the market are a bit steeply priced. $800 to $1500...

is it really financially worth it to build my own? Like perhaps buying the drive wheel trucks but supplying my own motor, batter, speed controller, etc.

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Re: What happened to the Dirtsurfer? Alternatives?

Post by sk8norcal » May 22 2013 4:23pm

my wackyboard link i posted earlier has pretty much all 2 wheel (air tire) designs that's been done.

this link has all eboards with 2/3 wheels or 4 tilting wheels
http://wackyboards.blogspot.com/search/ ... 02%2F3%2FT

i don't like the current Chinese off road board out there,
deck too high off the ground.

I think ur better off using a regular mountainboard like what most people do.

edit,
here's an interesting one,
http://wackyboards.blogspot.com/2009/07 ... blade.html

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Re: What happened to the Dirtsurfer? Alternatives?

Post by VapEngineer » May 23 2013 12:27pm

Thanks sk8norcal, your links have been very interesting.

I like all of these designs. It is now clear to me that the most obvious simple compromise would be a board with 3 wheels, or any combination really, where one of them is a spoked bicycle tire, something small as possible that I can get an in-hub electric motor replacement for. This seems the cleanest way.

I dont care much what it looks like, but i want it to have at least one bicycle tire for that reason.

any other suggestions?

Craig

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Re: What happened to the Dirtsurfer? Alternatives?

Post by sk8norcal » May 23 2013 1:00pm

my suggestion is not to have a bicycle wheel.. :wink:
but if you must have one, i like my previous idea, dirtsurfer front / mountain board truck or flexboardz rear.


i have seen these hubmotor for e-mountainboards.
http://wackyboards.blogspot.com/2012/09 ... motor.html

Image

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Re: What happened to the Dirtsurfer? Alternatives?

Post by VapEngineer » May 30 2013 12:51pm

sk8norcal that in hub motor dirtsurfer wheel is Awesome, where can I buy some of those? There are many applications in my life where I want an electric hands free personal transportation. I want one.

I have basically NO experience skate boarding tho. Should I give that a try again? I'm great at snow boarding, wake boarding, wind surfing, water sports, roller skating, just never got into skate boarding.

I'd like in hub motors for two of the wheels and ideally wireless controller, but thats not necessary.

are there any electric mountain boards on the market you suggest are good?

anyone?

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Re: What happened to the Dirtsurfer? Alternatives?

Post by sk8norcal » May 30 2013 4:27pm

that hub motor is for a mountainboard (i don't know who sells that)

here's a 10" geared trikke motor.
http://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewto ... ke#p744992

there are other 10", 12", and 16" hub motor
google search and u will see them.

there is a member that sells a 4wd moutainboard,
for $3K i believe...
http://endless-sphere.com/forums/viewto ... 35&t=30925

i said before, i never tried a dirtsurfer.
but as a long time skater, a dirtsurfer looks more dangerous than a longboard or moutainboard.
(actually anything with strap binding makes me nervous)

a longboard is not for everyone, if u never skateboard and picking it up at an older age, it might be a bad idea.
depends a lot on ur fitness and coordination.
and you will fall and take a slam, especially as a beginner, its part of skateboarding.

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Re: What happened to the Dirtsurfer? Alternatives?

Post by frankus_ » Jun 04 2013 8:13pm

I'm working on a Dirt Surfer conversion right now. I was able to pick up what I think is a GP-16 unit on eBay for $375.

(I had also emailed someone at DirtSurfer International, who replied that they still have some in stock in Ontario but at $550 plus shipping.)

I've only been able to ride it a few times down gentle slopes. It's definitely awkward at low speeds but once you hit a brisk walking pace it becomes amazingly smooth and stable. I can't wait to be able to ride it on flat ground and up hills.

I now have an ebike hub laced into a 16" wheel, and have ordered some 16x1.95 slicks. I'm also looking at moving the brake to the front wheel (I think the steering system can handle braking torque fine but I'm worried about what motoring torque would do).

My current plan is to do the same weight-sensing control that Justin and I built for our Maker Faire skateboard/mountainboard projects, but I need to figure out the best type of sensor and placement (along with a suitable controller, battery and charger).

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Re: What happened to the Dirtsurfer? Alternatives?

Post by sk8norcal » Jun 05 2013 2:07am

Hi Frank, good meeting u at Makers.
yeah, not sure if fwd or rwd is better.
if u check the links I posted above, people have done both f and r.

are u riding with or without binding?
I also read that you have to push mongo on a dirtsurfer, is that true?

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Re: What happened to the Dirtsurfer? Alternatives?

Post by frankus_ » Jun 05 2013 11:37am

sk8norcal wrote: are u riding with or without binding?
I also read that you have to push mongo on a dirtsurfer, is that true?
I'm using the bindings, and it feels like they're necessary at least until you get up to a stable speed. And so far I haven't tried kicking it. I've been grabbing onto a signpost, stepping onto the board, and giving myself a little push.

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Re: What happened to the Dirtsurfer? Alternatives?

Post by VapEngineer » Jun 06 2013 9:55am

I love the dirt surfer idea. I love its big wheesl. and steering method. I believe my main regular use of this electric board would be to walk / run my German short-haired Pointer around the neighborhood. i do not want him to pull me. at 80lbs fully grown i don't want to teach him to pull. anyways, i figure occasionally ill need to make a fairly tight turns at the corners of the block. staying on the sidewalk.

So, does a dirt surfer have that turning capability? is it easy to make relatively tight turns at relativity slow speeds? I'm starting to lean towards getting an electric mountain board / electric skate board (with big MB tires). They don't always have the best turning radius either. so which is better? I understand the mountain board can be ridden at any speeds, vs the dirt surfer working better at high speeds.

does anyone else want a hands free device for walking / running their dog? GSP are notoriously full of energy and need to be worked out. Its good for my health, but some days i dont want to put all that effort in, if i can just ride an electric mountain board that seems perfect for me.

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Re: What happened to the Dirtsurfer? Alternatives?

Post by wilhel » Dec 28 2013 3:48pm

We still have some dirtsurfers left brand new 16" GP Check this link
http://www.xtrememotions.ca/store/produ ... =41&page=1

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Re: What happened to the Dirtsurfer? Alternatives?

Post by bduvall » Jun 30 2014 9:59pm

Unfortunately the Dirtsurfer as a company died around 2007. I was fortunate enough to serve as CEO of Dirtsurfer USA for about a year in 2006. During that time we were able to bring in 100 new dirtsurfers including the new Flexideck models and offer to the US market at lower price points that when they first entered the US in 2002. In early 2007 the company was sold to a group of Canadian investors and Jeremy Bresciani took over as managing partner. They gave it a good run but couldn't get any traction in the market either. There just weren't enough interested buyers to support this new sport.
Here's what I found during my term as CEO... riders age 6 to 18 were mostly interested in skateboarding because they're cheap, small, light, balance easily at very slow / no speeds and they mostly wanted to learn how to do tricks. From 10 to about 24 riders became more interested in speed, distance and so gravitated toward long boards. In trying to demo the product all across the US and teach young men how to ride... nobody would dare step onto the thing for fear of looking foolish if they couldn't get the hang of it right away. I could only get guys to "try it" in one-on-one private lessons with nobody watching.
It turns out the average age of a US Dirtsurfer rider was 42 years old. That's right... us old guys were the main buyers and riders... looking for that sweet long carve feel of big wave surfing or bombing a snow covered slope at high speeds. The Dirtsurfer was built for speed and all-terrain. The faster you went the more stable it became. It was super easy to learn to ride. I could teach anyone to ride in just 15 minutes. Within a day, you'd be bombing hills as fast as you dared. My top speed was 52 miles per hour coming down Windy Gap Mountain in Virginia. What a rush. Yes I still ride.
Unfortunately, you can only get used Dirtsurfers in the US as Graeme Attey the inventor is not longer producing them. This is especially sad to me because just before he sold the business, he had designed a new model that was lighter and more maneuverable. That model never made it the US.

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Re: What happened to the Dirtsurfer? Alternatives?

Post by psychotiller » Jun 30 2014 10:31pm

I had one for awhile and got to ride a couple of times with Cahn Mitchell, Believe once in Iowa at a MTB race and once in Colorado at Snowmass (Nationals) I watched him break his leg trying to spin off a table top. Really wish I could find one again...
Sleepy Hollow Iowa.jpg
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Re: What happened to the Dirtsurfer? Alternatives?

Post by rutierut » Jul 01 2014 4:46am

The are resuming production in canada shortly

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Re: What happened to the Dirtsurfer? Alternatives?

Post by kfong » Jul 01 2014 7:46am

They show up on eBay occasionally, that's how I picked up mine. The carving aspect and large wheels is what intrigued me about it. Putting an mp3 hub on it.

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Re: What happened to the Dirtsurfer? Alternatives?

Post by psychotiller » Jul 01 2014 9:34am

rutierut wrote:The are resuming production in canada shortly
Awesome!
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