Ryan Silverthorn

Ryan Silverthorn

Surf the turf at Predator

GolfBoards brought on course at Predator Ridge, first of their kind in North Okanagan

There’s a new way to get around on the fairway and a Vernon golf course is one of the first in Western Canada to bring the technology to players.

GolfBoards, a Segway-like machine for players to surf the turf, are now available at Predator Ridge.

“We are dipping our toe in the water,” said Ryan Silverthorn, Predator’s head professional, of the eight new GolfBoards purchased at $6,500 U.S. apiece. “But they’re taking off in a big way.”

Silverthorn is already getting 10 to 15 people a day filling out the required waiver for the GolfBoards, which are available for $35 on the Predator course only.

And the interest only continues to grow as people spot players cruising the course on these new machines.

“There’s lots of looks, everybody stops and is asking questions,” said Silverthorn.

With four wheels, a handle (which your golf bag straps onto) and a skateboard platform, the GolfBoard can get up to speeds of 10 mph and can access areas of the course that a golf cart can’t.

“You can shoot off to your own ball, so it’s faster than walking in that respect,” said Silverthorn, who has drastically improved his time on the course with the GolfBoard.

In fact, speed tests have shown that a typical five-hour round is cut in half for those on a GolfBoard.

Similar to skiing or snowboarding, players use their weight to make the GolfBoards turn, with the added bonus of the handle (which includes a throttle). But they take a little getting used to.

“By the third hole you’ll have it,” said Silverthorn, who can even be seen talking on his cell phone while cruising the course on the GolfBoard.

“It’s so much more fun,” he said, adding that the camaraderie of the game isn’t lost.

“You can still ride side by side and talk to your buddy.”

Laird Hamilton, a world-class surfer, is the board sport innovator, and he rides the GolfBoard without a handle.

The GolfBoards will eventually be available for use on the Ridge course once some proper signage is installed.

“I’ve done the Ridge course on them, they handle them no problem,” said Silverthorn of the steeper elevations.

But the new trend in golf does not replace the golf cart.

“It’s never going to take over carts,” said Silverthorn.

In fact, Predator has just invested in a whole new fleet of 176 custom, flat black carts, with beefed up wheels and dual USB chargers. The resort has also added 13 carts for cottage guests to rent and cruise around in.

“It’s a special year for our 25th anniversary,” said Silverthorn.