Back in 1979, Gary Numan and his Tubeway Army recorded Are ‘Friends’ Electric? While the song is close to 40 years old, you have to admit, it still sounds pretty fresh. Gary basically was a one hit wonder in North America with Cars, but ‘Friends’ topped the charts in the UK. Right now, one of the fastest growing areas within skateboarding is electric skateboards. There are some who decry this fact. There are retailers who are ignoring this fact. Sadly, ignorance is not bliss. There future is partially electric. Concrete Wave was the first skateboard magazine to feature electric skateboards and we are looking at an 8 page insert for our March issue.On December 2, the folks at Inboard appeared on Shark Tank. The segment is fascinating to watch. This marks the third time a skate company headed by someone I know personally has wound up on the program. First Hamboard, then Shark Wheel. At the start of the presentation, one of the Shark’s (Robert H) says “it’s a toy” followed up by “no one is going to commute to work with a skateboard.” Sure, for folks like me and you, it’s a cringeworthy moment, but all in all, you can’t help but be drawn into the pitch. Inboard came onto the show with a valuation of almost $19 million.Electric skateboards range in price from 3 to 10 times what a traditional skateboard sells for To put it in a different way, a skateboard like the Inboard retailing for $1600 seems unreal to most shops. It gets even more incredulous to know that Inboard has $5.6 million in pre-orders. This is huge for skateboarding…er, I mean, the “urban transportation market.”Over the past 20 years, the industry along with skaters had to adjust to the fact that other types of boards crept into the market. As I predicted, we have a totally different landscape than we did a decade ago. So, consider the electric skateboard market as another landscape changer. There are some who will scoff at the use of electric power. I don’t care. If it gets more people riding, then the end justifies the means. If you’re a skater who accepts that all types of riding has merit, then our friends in the electric side should be welcomed on board. PS: Just because you wind up on Shark Tank, doesn’t mean the dollars roll in. Take a peek here:This might explain why Robert was a little gun/shark shy when it came to Inboard. Once bitten, twice shy type of thing.