SISTERS, Ore.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--As thrilling as hitting a 300-yard drive or scoring under par can be, it takes years to accomplish these in the game of golf. Oregon-based company SolBoards, Inc wanted to find a way to attract and retain newcomers to the sport, so they created GolfBoard to amplify the golfing experience.
GolfBoard is an electric-powered longboard allowing riders to travel across the course at the same speed of a golf cart and experience the terrain like a surfboard. GolfBoard made its debut this weekend as a “new way to experience golf by Surfing the Earth” on popular fundraising website, Kickstarter.
Big wave surfer Laird Hamilton and Bally Total Fitness founder Don Wildman make up part of the GolfBoard team.
Hamilton found a way to attract non-surfers to the water through stand-up paddle boarding and believes the same idea can apply to the golf industry. “[GolfBoard] is definitely going to draw people that would never go to a golf course…and I think that is something that golf needs,” Hamilton said.
Ted Mattila, PGA Head Golf Professional for Buckingham Golf & Country Club in Kelseyville, Calif., has been trying to find ways to attract golfers. “I visited a local elementary school and got a golf club in 200 kids hands in half a day, and 80% of them had never played golf before,” Mattila said. “How we can get them addicted to the game of golf? You have to look outside the box.”
The four-wheel drive lithium-powered longboard caters to experienced riders and newcomers. GolfBoard’s removable stand-up handle bar/golf bag holder offers the inexperienced rider a balance point, a secured mount to attach a golf bag and an added bonus of having a drink and ball holder. Experienced riders can “Surf the Earth” on the golf course terrain like a surfer or snowboarder experiences waves and snow.
GolfBoard’s two-week Kickstarter campaign ends Sept. 9, 2013 (http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/765640644/surf-the-earth-with-the-golfboard). GolfBoard hopes to obtain enough pre-orders to financially commit to a move to mass manufacturing. The company intends to produce 500 boards this year, and follow up the Kickstarter program with a direct golf course sales model which will offer fleet sales and leasing programs directly to golf courses in the U.S.
GolfBoard intro video featuring Laird Hamilton: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d2HW11-EjwQ