Falerone, Italy: Linky is the first foldable electric longboard that fits in a bag, without sacrificing performance. The Italy-based start-up, who just launched on Kickstarter, developed a patented folding mechanism that first reduces, then folds the board in half. With backgrounds in automotive mechanics and power train systems, they’ve used auto-quality materials and batteries to make a board that is also powerful, sturdy and safe.
“One of the biggest challenges for us was to make the board light as well as resistant,” says Paolo Pipponzi, CEO and mechanical engineer with work experience on the product engineering team at Ducati. “We worked really hard on the folding mechanism, which is custom tooled using highly resistant polymers from the automotive industry; combined with carbon fiber and bamboo for the deck, Linky’s got just the right balance of flex vs. rigidity for fast, sporty riding, but it weighs less than almost all the electric longboards on the market.”
Linky weighs 4.9 kilos (10.8 pounds). With a 15km (9 mile) range, the top speed is 30 km/h (18 mph), and it’s been tested to resist up to 160 kilos (352 pounds). The battery charges to 85% of its capacity in just 30 minutes. The board is controlled by an ergonomic remote.
But on top of this performance, which compares nicely to other boards, Linky folds, making it a great option for traveling skateboard enthusiasts, or for travelers and commuters in general. Linky’s founders wanted to make something that could give them greater freedom from the timetables and routes of public transportation, both at home and when exploring the world, for a better experience of cities. They made sure Linky is safe to carry on an airplane: it’s been engineered to respect IATA regulations for batteries.
If you associate Italy with fast motors, you may also associate it with handmade and good-looking. Linky’s got that too. A big part of their project is the development of a family of Italian designer backpacks that let you carry Linky – and other stuff – around, freeing up your hands and making Linky more portable and discreet than other longboards, foldable bikes or scooters. Working with a manufacturer in Le Marche who makes bags for luxury brands, there’s a sleek daily knapsack that fits your laptop and essentials, a bare-bones commuter bag, and a carry-on sized duffel, all in matching tones of bamboo, jeans and eco-suede.
Linky is a start-up from Falerone, a small hill-town in the Le Marche region of Italy, and is made up of 4 founders, average age 28. Entirely self-funded until now, they’ve recently won €20,000 in a local business plan competition. If their Kickstarter is successful (they’re aiming for €100,000) they intend to set up production locally, and make Linky using artisanal methods, entirely in Italy. The board, which ships with one of the custom bags mentioned above, retails for €1099, though early bird units are available for as low as €799. The first units will ship by the end of 2016.