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Photograph by Chayce Lanphear

Electric Longboards Are Having a Moment in Denver

Knights Of The Air (KOTA) longboards struck a balance between a smooth ride and a high-quality motor. And their new boards are so popular it's been tough to keep them in stock.

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When electric longboards first debuted several years ago, Mike Maloney was skeptical. The founder of Denver’s Knights Of The Air (KOTA) Longboards had staked his reputation on building boards that were as stylish as they were rideable. An electric motor on the bottom of the deck, he feared, would diminish the board’s meticulous design and the quality of its ride. In November 2017, Maloney proved himself wrong. Just before Thanksgiving, KOTA launched its first electric board, the Spitfire Mk V ($1,299), a sleek, smooth ride that Maloney has struggled to keep in stock ever since. The Spitfire—the result of eight months of product development at KOTA’s Ruby Hill factory—has a top speed between 22 and 25 mph, can cruise up to 17 miles on one charge, and features a wireless hand-held remote with which riders control their speeds. (You can also simply shut off the motor and roll old-school.) Female riders have been enjoying the boards at KOTA’s Longboarding Betties club in Ruby Hill Park since late May and will continue to meet twice a month through the summer. And all adults, including those in possession of Y chromosomes, can try the decks at Ruby Hill’s Levitt Pavilion concert series. KOTA is partnering with local breweries to host pre- and post-show pop-up demonstrations at its nearby shop. Just save the beer for after the demo; nothing good comes from drinking and riding.

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