In the late 1970s, an innovation on skateboards took place with Motoboard mass-producing a gasoline-powered model. However, it was banned in some areas because it produced a lot of pollution and was pretty disturbing in terms of sound. Today, more innovations have taken place and electric skateboards are now back in the limelight. This kind of skateboard is electric powered and started when several companies raised funds through Kickstarter.
Similar to the 1970s, there are places where electric skateboards are banned. In New York, they aren’t allowed on streets and public roads. In the United Kingdom, meetings are being held discussing the environmental effects of using electric skateboards, and electric vehicles in general. Even though those electronically-powered vehicles are relatively safer to the environment, there is still hesitation on allowing some vehicles, specifically skateboards, on public roads as it may lead to more accidents. In the Netherlands, any electric skateboard is prohibited on public roads.
There are different kinds of electric skateboards and one kind is the electric longboard. A longboard is generally 36 inches long and has larger wheels compared to the ordinary skateboard. Because of its size, it can carry a heavier weight and it can do more tricks. Longboarding has also been considered as a sport and several events have taken place driving more people to try it.
If you are just a beginner wanting to know how to ride a skateboard, then you can try riding a longboard since it is easier and much more flexible and strong. However, you cannot just jump in and buy the first electric skateboard you see. Here is a list of the things you should know and look for when buying an electric skateboard.
The first thing to consider is the electric motor. There are several questions to ask when looking at the motor: what is the size? What is the motor wattage? 1 motor or 2 motors? Hub motors or gear/pulley motors? While these questions are a handful, these are the basic things that spell the difference between your electric skateboard’s performance.
Generally, motors that have more power weigh more and also occupy more space on the underside of your skateboard. However, there is a new kind of motor: brushless motors which are lighter and whose performance is not compromised. Also, higher wattage does not always equate to high performance. For sure, a higher wattage will produce more speed and torque but the motor should also work together with other parts of the skateboard like the wheels, gears, and the controller.
When it comes to figuring out how many motors your skateboard should have, you should still keep in mind that the motor is not the only part of the skateboard. Having two motors is useless if it does not work well to increase performance and capacity of the skateboard. Besides, there are a lot of skateboards that only have one motor and they still perform impeccably. If you are considering buying two motors, make sure that they are both brushless so they do not affect the smoothness of riding. As mentioned earlier, brushless motors are lightweight and efficient. Using this kind of motor when you want to have two motors maximizes your skateboard’s capacity.
Moreover, there are two kinds of motors – hub drive motors and gear/pulley motors. The former does not have much acceleration and you can use this when you just want to casually go from one place to another. Needless to say that this is not suitable for competing and using in sports. On the other hand, the latter is more appropriate for hill climbing and extreme sports. The gear/pulley motors also provide rapid acceleration. However, a hub-powered motor gives more of a longboard feel.
There is also what you call belt drive. The belt-drive is somewhat rugged because it drags when you ride it. In this case, if you prefer to have more sense of riding an actual longboard (or when you want to feel that you aren’t riding an electric one), then buy a board that has a hub drive motor instead.
There are two kinds of batteries commonly placed on an electric skateboard. Lead-acid batteries are cheaper, but lithion-ion batteries have a higher charge and therefore have longer life. Lithion-ion batteries are also lighter than the other one. However, if your priority is to spend less than usual, then you can just use lead-acid batteries.
Different skateboards have different weights and this is because they are made up of different parts. But the other side of considering weight is the weight you will be bringing when you aren’t using your skateboard or longboard. If you plan to carry your board as you go around or as you commute, then a high-performance skateboard (usually this is heavier) is not necessary. If you plan on just using it to stroll or for leisure, then a light skateboard would be the best option for you.
Make sure that you choose the right wheels for your skateboard. The kind of wheel depends on the place you would use it on. Hard wheels are for slides and smooth surfaces. Large and soft wheels can be used on them too. In general, large and soft wheels are smoother to ride. If you plan to use your skateboard off-road, then tires are the ones you should pick. Tires are all-terrain rubber wheels. They will give you the stability you need and they can endure bumpy roads. However, the best electric skateboard is one where you could switch from all-terrain wheel to street wheels in just a few minutes.
To add to that, when choosing wheels, you can also look into the dual-wheel drive. This means that two wheels receive power from the motor. It can either use the front or rear axle when the vehicle has to move forward. This is the usual standard of skateboards as they are used on roads.
You may have all the high-performance parts, but the question is, can your budget pay for it? Also, an expensive electric skateboard does not necessarily mean that your board is great. When buying a skateboard, make sure that its performance and parts are worth the money you spend for it because the price range for this can start from cheap to expensive. The price doesn’t just also depend on the parts. They also depend on where it is made and who made it. If you are buying one made from China, chances are that it is one of the cheapest in the market. If you are buying one from the States, they are probably more expensive.
The brand of the skateboard is also important because well-established names in the skateboard and longboard industry have higher prices because they are proven experts. To help you decide which brand to get (if you aren’t price-sensitive), look at reviews online and ask testimonies from people who have used those brands.
6: Additional Features
Since you are already looking at the price, you should also look into the additional features that come with your electric skateboard. It would be helpful if the model you are buying has built-in LED lights because they will help you navigate even at night. it is also helpful if it has a handheld remote control that went with it because it will give you the added convenience and you don’t have to stop riding your board when you want some features to operate.
Moreover, some skateboards have anti-lock braking, Bluetooth smart app, boosted range, and ABS technology. While these are not entirely necessary, if you are willing to spend more for your electric skateboard, then no one is stopping you from getting these features.
Warranty is important because you want to know until when your skateboard is covered. Considering this implies that you think about whether the skateboard’s parts are easily replaceable and how much they cost to have them fixed. You should also look into the kind of customer service the board’s brand is known for. It would be best if based on reviews, the brand has an accommodating customer care. This helps a lot in encouraging other customers to patronize them. Also, customer support assures you that your electric skateboard is in good hands.