So - You're thinking of buying a Streetboard (aka Snakeboard) online through eBay, eh? - Make sure you read this important article first...!
Especially if your buying the board as a present for someone else....
WARNING: Ripstiks, Casterboards, Waveboards, Vigorboards are NOT the real Streetboards (Snakeboards)!
There are many eBay sellers (and online shops) falsely advertising these Ripstiks / Casterboards / Waveboards / Vigorboards as Streetboards or Snakeboards on the internet. Some even copy & paste the marketing text directly from the real streetboarding websites.
First of all, you should understand that whilst there is a slight similarity between the two boards (in that they both move in a snake-like manner along the ground) they are completely different products and cannot perform the same tasks as each other.
- The streetboard (also more commonly known as the 'snakeboard') was invented (and patented) in 1989.
The expiration of this patent a few years back, opened the floodgates to allow Ripstiks (and many other contraptions which use the same science to gain speed) be put into production.
This has caused much confusion when it comes to people who go to buy snakeboards online. They search Google or eBay for snakeboards, and they get swamped with hundreds of cheap Ripstiks being advertised as snakeboards.
- Below you will see images of, and find out more information about the real - original streetboards.
Streetboards (formerly known as 'snakeboards') are a board that consists of two PIVOTING footplates, joined by a central deck / crossbar. They have trucks similar to that of a skateboard, and have FOUR wheels. Streetboards / snakeboards are nearly always ridden with footstraps / bindings attached, however the boards and bindings are usually sold seperately.
The rider uses their upper body, in conjunction with turning their feet in & out, to propell themselves forwards in a snake-like motion (hence the originall name of 'snakeboard'). They can ride around all day carving around the streets, doing tricks such as grinds / spins / flips / combos, and can even propell themselves up steep hills - All without ever taking their feet off of the board. (Ripstiks / Casteboards / Waveboards have TWO wheels, one under each foot, and the crossbar has a flex/pivot-point in the middle which allows the feet to rock back & forth. when the foot rocks forward, the wheel turns in the opposite direction.)
Streetboards / snakeboards can be ridden everywhere - Vert ramps, street, skateparks, miniramps, etc. It is an extreme sport, and riders are doing all sorts of crazy tricks; 900 Rodeo flips, 1080 spins, backflips onto handrails, misty flips down stairs, huge kinked handrails, you name it.
Here are a few streetboarding / snakeboarding videos to see the difference:
- Nick Robson (Doomsday Australia) - Streetboarding / Snakeboarding in Australia
- Learn How to Ride a Streetboard / Snakeboard - Demonstration Video - by Doomsday Australia
- Florian Surre (Doomsday Australia Rider) - Streetboard Tricks in Europe
(Riders of Ripstiks / Waveboards / Casterboards CANNOT do any of these tricks! All they can do is wiggle around, drop in ramps, and do a few little ollies/board shove-its, etc. Yet I have seen some sellers copy & paste text off of streetboard websites, saying that ripstik riders can do rodeo flips, huge grind, etc.... False advertising right there.)
The Streetboard / Snakeboard was invented in South Africa in 1989 by a couple of young inventors who wanted to recreate the feeling of surfing on land. They patented their design (self propelled board using nonholonomic locomotion), and started the company Snakeboard®.
(Ripstiks / Casterboards / Waveboards are a RIPOFF of the streetboard / snakeboard design, and were only released AFTER the original Snakeboard patent expired)
The oldschool boards from Snakeboard® had a very distinctive design; Two footplates with kicks for nose/tailslides, joined by a narrow upwards-curved plastic crossbar. They were generally made from Zytel® ST801 Nylon - A very hard and durable plastic. The boards were nearly unbreakable, and many people today still have their original Snakeboards lying around in their cupboards / garages. However the boards were very wobbly, and doing boardslides on the narrow plastic crossbar was very hard and dangerous.
Board design progressed over the years, the companies ditched the narrow plastic crossbars, and started experimenting with snowboard/skateboard style boards. Using compressed plywood, they created boards with wide crossbars for better stability on handrails, and for enabling better balance on tricks such as smith grinds, etc. They also lowered the boards closer to the ground for better balance by re-designing the pivot system used. The trucks were then re-designed for optimum performance on grinds, and the result is the modern day snakeboard / streetboard design which is used by many companies around the world.
The sports name was changed from 'Snakeboarding' to 'Streetboarding', as it was very confusing having one company 'Snakeboard®' producing boards, and other companies also producing them. It still confuses people today, with many people still calling them snakeboards. The result has been people simply referring to them as 'snakeboards / streetboards' to cover both bases.