Eric Zhao
Jiaqi Wang



The world's first rideable instrument.

In the spring of 2022, we set out to create a longboard that’s never been made before.

Longboard dancers step and spin on their decks in a way that looks effortless, but with confidence that sings with every move they make.

So why can’t longboards actually sing with every move?

An opportunity arises - to create an immersive, multisensory interface to bring longboard dancing into unexplored territory. A musical longboard broadens the future of experimental music, adding new potential to opening up a genre of producer-skaters who would put on one hell of a live performance.


April-May 2022
Sept-Dec 2022


Physical Prototyping
Physical Computing
Journey Mapping
User Research
Sound Design


Arduino / ESP32
Ableton Live
Fusion 360
3D Printing

How Jambo Works

Jambo measures how it’s being ridden through board-embedded IoT sensors...

...converts those inputs via a microcontroller into MIDI signals...

... and when connected wirelessly to an audio device, turns dancing into music.

Concept Video


The Starting Point

Jambo started with the question of how longboard dancing could be augmented. We came up with several concepts that could either:

1) Create behavior changes towards dancing, or
2) Augment self-expression in dancing.

Our ideas included a longboard that dynamically chose music based on a dancer’s style, a rhythm game-styled method to teach beginner dancers new moves, and a board that could generate music based both a dancer’s movements and the board’s movements.

Since longboard dancing is organic and freestyle, we chose to augment self-expression in dancing to play towards its unique traits.

Finally, we wanted Jambo to be easy to use for newcomers to dancing, but remain a powerful tool for even the most experienced dancers - an accessible yet boundless instrument of creativity.

Intersections of Users

As a MIDI instrument in a longboard, Jambo is at a unique intersection between longboard dancers and music producers.

This dual audience would result in users from both backgrounds bringing in expertise from their “worlds”, where skillsets can be combined to co-create new styles of expression.

Due to the “low-floor, high-ceiling” model that underpins Jambo’s inclusive software for both beginners and pros, riders would quickly pick up new ways to create music on their boards.

This user journey map shows a potential to expand upon the Jambo experience once someone is proficient: collaborative jam sessions with multiple riders.

Making Process

We created a working proof-of-concept using an ESP32 board and handmade pressure sensors over the span of 3 weeks. Here’s a photo dump of the things we did, from testing out sensors, building them ourselves, and wiring up our longboard.