Assemblywoman Kristin Olsen shows off sweet skills to sell skateboard bill

03/11/2014 11:00 PM

03/12/2014 6:25 AM

Kicking off her high heels, Assemblywoman Kristin Olsen, R-Riverbank, demonstrated her skills on an electrically motorized skateboard Tuesday in support of AB 2054, a bill that would legalize the boards for street use. After a wobbly first run, a barefoot Olsen led a crowd in rides up and down 11th Street across from the Capitol, looking confident enough to give interviews while skating backward.

Early versions of motorized skateboards were prohibited by the vehicle code in 1977 because of concerns over loud and bulky gas motors. Olsen is seeking to allow new electric prototypes, which she said are silent and environmentally friendly, to operate where bicycles are allowed.

“It’s a great, viable transportation option for those short commutes,” Olsen said.

She also promoted the job-creating possibilities of companies that make the electrically motorized skateboards, introducing the founders of ZBoard, a startup that manufactures its boards in Riverbank, to share their story.

“It just doesn’t make any sense to allow an industry to build in California, but not to grow roots here,” Olsen said.

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