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Electronic skateboards could soon be legal in California
Olsens legislation heads to governor
electronic skateboards
Assembly Republican Leader Kristin Olsen ( R Riverbank) takes an electronic skateboard for a spin around the west steps of the Capitol building in Sacramento during a demo day she hosted in April. - photo by Journal file photo

Legislation authored by Assembly Republican Leader Kristin Olsen (R – Riverbank) aimed at legalizing the use of electronic skateboards will come before Gov. Jerry Brown in upcoming weeks after Assembly Bill 604 passed the Senate on July 9.

“This legislation has been carefully crafted over the past two years to ensure the safety of riders and to provide communities the flexibility to regulate boards to meet their needs,” said Olsen.

The ban of electronic skateboards was instated in 1977 to prevent the noise and air pollution that was caused by the skateboards which were predominantly gas powered at the time. AB 604 would permit electrically-motorized skateboard riders over the age of 13 to operate within bicycle ways in California and authorize local governments to adopt rules and regulations regarding the boards. 

“State government should be nurturing innovation like electric skateboards in California. My legislation will update our outdated laws to give Californians an environmentally-friendly transportation option, and encourage the growth of an industry to create new jobs.”

Olsen discovered electronic skateboards during a tour in her home district where she came across Intuitive Motion, a Riverbank based company run by two University of Southern California graduates who created the board as their senior engineering design project.

"As they began selling these boards all over the world they discovered that right here in their home of California, the state of innovation, they are actually prohibited by law," explained Olsen in April.

This discovery prompted Olsen to invest in updating the law to reflect the significant technological advancements that have occurred since the ban was put in place decades ago. Intuitive Motion, who created the Z-Board, has taken steps to be an addition to the local economy by employing several local individuals to manufacture the boards which are created using locally sourced sheet metal components from Ceres.

"We’re really excited about some of the longer term significance of the bill because as this fast growing industry develops, which it already has exponentially in the past two to three years, it’s nice to have a frame work to work within as far as where and how you can ride as these boards become integrated into society,” said Z-Board co-founder Geoff Larson at a skateboard demo day hosted by Olsen at the Capitol in April.

AB 604 passed the Senate on a 32 to 1 vote on July 9, and will head to the Governor’s desk in the coming weeks.