KRANX Powerstik

Use a simple Black & Decker to scoot along for miles—or install drywall, your choice.

For years, Tony Ward has pursued an unusual dream. It involves a skateboard, a cordless drill, and a revolutionary form of transportation.

Revolutionary, but also totally ridiculous. Ward is the inventor of the KRANX Powerstik, a conversion kit that propels a skateboard on the power of a Black & Decker (or swap in your favorite brand). This isn’t just a funny little side project for him, either. Ward’s been scooting around his Vancouver-area ‘hood so much on this thing a newspaper actually reportedyou’ve likely seen a curious [sight] in the last couple years—a man bombing around local roads on a skateboard using a cordless drill as a motor.”


Ward’s a longtime skater who just happened to come up with the weird idea in 2013—and not, as you might think, while installing drywall. “I am the type of guy who’s always thinking about product or design-type ideas, good or bad,” he emails. He decided he wanted an electric skateboard while jogging (not sure if there’s a connection there), but not one that actually required him to buy a new board.

“I chuckled to myself midway in my jog having visualized already just powering one wheel with a drive shaft-type transmission,” he says. “I even thought of how to do it: powering the right front wheel.”

The current model, which Ward made with the help of machinist Jon Kroeker, requires special wheels but has a drill assembly that’s easily detachable for skaters who want to look normal. Depending on the power tool’s capability, it can speed along at up to 14 mph on three miles of flat ground, making the rider look like he or she is beating a hasty get-away from a Home Depot robbery. The Powerstik right now costs $225, though if you had ordered early on Kickstarter, it would’ve been cheaper and shipped with “awesome” stickers, to boot.

Note the past tense. Ward’s baby fell about $11,000 short of reaching a $15,000 funding goal. He promises the kit will be available for purchase in a few weeks, nevertheless. And don’t worry: If you ever get bored with the board (as if!), take comfort in the fact you’ll still have a functional drill to occupy your time.

“Believe it or not, I have actually used my drill for something other than ‘Powerstikin,’ namely as a drill,” Ward says. “I’ve built my outdoor shelter with it, a picnic shelter, and fence just to name a few. Not bad for my ‘skateboard motor!’”

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Mayor Ryshonda Harper Beechem at her desk in Pelahatchie, Mississippi.
    Life

    The Strange Case of a Black Mayor's 75% Pay Cut in Mississippi

    In Pelahatchie, a small Mississippi city, the town’s first black mayor struggles to exert control.

  2. Shared bikes await their riders in Dallas.
    POV

    What Cities Need to Understand About Bikeshare Now

    Public or private? Docked or dockless? E-bike or e-scooter? It’s complicated. But bikesharing is now big business, and cities need to understand how these emerging systems operate—and who operates them.

  3. Transportation

    Why New York City Stopped Building Subways

    Nearly 80 years ago, a construction standstill derailed the subway’s progress, leading to its present crisis. This is the story, decade by decade.

  4. A mobile home park.
    Equity

    The Case for Preserving Mobile Homes

    Preservationist and landscape architect Eduard Krakhmalnikov thinks these places are overlooked in the national conversation on affordable housing.

  5. New luxury condo towers rise on 'Billionaire's Row' in Manhattan.
    Life

    What Manhattan's Land Is Worth

    A new study traces the astonishing increase in the value of Manhattan’s land since 1950.