How to Choose the Right Electric Skateboard

How to Choose the Right Electric Skateboard

Written by Kenneth Sawyer, In Gadgets, Published On
October 13, 2023
, 335 Views

Experiencing the thrill of cruising down the street on a motorized skateboard is exhilarating. The rise in popularity of electric skateboards as a preferred mode of personal transportation can be attributed to their seamless speed, comfortable ride, and eco-friendly nature. However, the multitude of options available today can make selecting the best electronic skateboard a daunting task. Fear not! This blog post will guide you through all the necessary information to help you pick your next e-board.

Choose the Right Electric Skateboard

Evaluate Your Objectives & Financial Plan

It’s crucial to assess your objectives and financial plan when buying an electric skateboard:

  • Identify your objectives: What’s your purpose for wanting an electric skateboard? Is it for leisurely rides, commuting, performing tricks, or racing? Your objectives will dictate the specifications and features you should focus on. Consider factors like usual riding terrain, speeds, loads, and range requirements. Opt for a board that aligns with your intended uses and riding style.
  • Establish a budget limit: The cost of electric skateboards can greatly differ. Determine a maximum amount you’re willing to spend on your board, taking into account extra expenses such as safety gear, accessories, or replacement parts. This will keep your choices within your means and avoid exceeding your budget. As your riding skills advance, you can always upgrade components or invest in a pricier board. Start with what suits your current budget.

Comprehend the Various Kinds of Electric Skateboards

Electric Skateboard Users
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There are multiple kinds of electric skateboards. Grasping these options can assist you in selecting the ideal board for your needs and riding style.

  1. Hub Motor Electric Skateboards: Also known as full-wheel electric skateboards, these utilize electric hub motors embedded in each wheel’s center, making them more compact and lighter than other electric skateboard types.
  2. Belt Drive Electric Skateboards: These skateboards feature a motor mounted atop the deck, driving a belt that rotates the wheels. This design is more efficient than hub motors but adds weight and bulk to the skateboard.
  3. Direct-Drive Electric Skateboards: These skateboards have the motor directly attached to the wheels, providing the rider with greater control over speed and braking. However, direct-drive motors are generally heavier and bulkier than other electric skateboards.

Consider Dimensions & Weight

Electric skateboards usually come in smaller sizes for easy portability and larger sizes for enhanced stability at high speeds. Choose a size that fits your height and riding style. Moreover, each electric skateboard deck and component setup has a maximum recommended weight limit. Adhere to these limits for safety reasons and to prevent damage. Riders who weigh more will need to select boards designed for higher weight capacities.

Ensure Safety Features are Present

When selecting an electric skateboard, it’s crucial to ensure it has safety features:

  • Broad pneumatic tires: Broad tires, particularly soft pneumatic ones, offer enhanced stability on rough, uneven surfaces. They have superior ground grip for improved control, braking, and maneuvering.
  • Braking mechanism: Multiple brake points (front and back) facilitate faster stopping during emergencies. Disc brakes deliver more regulated braking power than drum brakes. Regenerative braking employs electric motors to aid in slowing and halting the board.
  • Insulated parts: Insulated wires, casings, and bearings avert short circuits when riding through wet conditions or over puddles. They help maintain the motors, electronics, and electrical systems in good condition.
  • Overheat safeguard: Safety measures like temperature sensors and throttles that decrease power or completely cut it off when components overheat to prevent fires and other damages.
  • Anti-slip material: Non-slip, textured surfaces on the deck, footpads, and other areas where feet touch the board stop feet from sliding during acceleration, braking, and turning.

Consider Durability & Quality

Electric Skateboard Users
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When selecting an electric skateboard, it’s crucial to take into account the board’s durability and quality. A robust board will endure longer and resist more wear and tear, and a high-quality board will deliver a smooth ride and excellent performance.

There are several factors to consider when evaluating the durability of an electric skateboard: the deck, trucks, wheels, and bearings.

Deck

  • Opt for a design that matches your riding style. Cruising decks are extremely wide and stable, skate decks are slimmer and more flexible, and all-terrain decks are sturdy. Choose one that suits your usual riding conditions.
  • Employ top-quality, impact-resistant materials. Carbon, bamboo, composite wood, and kevlar fiber decks best withstand impacts. Lighter materials prevent stress cracks but won’t protect the deck from shattering on hard landings. Seek reinforced beam/stringer construction for added durability.
  • Inspect for tight, seamless construction with no delamination. Glue joints should be smooth and robust with no visible separate laminate layers peeling off. This signifies superior-quality adhesive and construction. Loose lamination compromises deck integrity.

Trucks

  • Opt for high-strength truck designs for additional durability. Cast/forged trucks outlast pressed sheet metal without warping. Robust freeride/downhill truck versions withstand larger impacts. Standard trucks are suitable for cruising but lack impact resistance.
  • Inspect for rust-free construction and durable bushings. Rust indicates that the metal composition or finishing lacks corrosion resistance. 70-95A durometer bushings withstand larger impacts than softer versions.

Wheels

  • Consider softer, broader wheel options for rougher riding. 78-101A durometer, especially from reputable brands, prevent flats on rough terrain better than hard wheels. Broader wheels withstand larger impacts and more torque.
  • Inspect for reinforced wheel cores to prevent breakdown. Fiber-reinforced polymer/FRP or Kevlar/carbon fiber liners within the wheel provide extra strength without much additional weight. The core helps the wheel stay intact after impacts.

Bearings

Durable, industrial-grade bearings complete the setup. High-speed, high-load bearings can handle high torque forces. Keep in mind that high power means little tolerance for substandard or under-specified components. Opt for the best quality versions of each component for maximum durability where it matters most.

Assessing Battery Performance & Longevity

Electric Skateboard Users
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When selecting an electric skateboard, the battery’s performance is a crucial aspect to examine.

Here are some key points to assess about battery longevity and output:

  • Capacity – The range of a single charge is directly proportional to the milliamp-hour (mAh) capacity. Electric skateboards typically have capacities ranging from 3000-8000 mAh. A higher capacity translates to more distance per charge but also adds to the weight, cost, and recharge duration. Determine the optimal capacity that aligns with your regular riding requirements.
  • Cell Type – Lithium-ion cells are prevalent and offer high performance. Suitable choices for e-boards encompass lithium-ion polymer (LiPo), lithium-ion phosphate (Li-ion), or lithium nickel manganese cobalt oxide (NMC). These options deliver high energy density relative to their size/weight when compared to lead acid batteries.
  • Voltage – Standard voltages include 36V, 48V, and 60V. An increased voltage results in quicker top speed and acceleration. However, it necessitates a stronger controller and motors to manage the additional voltage, thereby escalating cost, complexity, and electrical load. Opt for the maximum voltage that meets your needs for an ideal balance between performance and control.
  • Continuous Output – The continuous output or constant discharge rating (CDR) signifies the power the battery can consistently supply over time. A superior CDR implies the battery can withstand larger loads without overheating or damage. Aim for a minimum of 30-50A of continuous output for most electric skateboard configurations. Outputs exceeding 60A offer more scope for high-performance riding.
  • Peak Output – The peak or burst output denotes the highest power a battery can supply momentarily. A greater peak output enables quicker acceleration and reaching higher top speeds. Most e-board batteries will possess a peak output at least twice the continuous rating, if not more. Align peak output with your preferred performance level.
  • Charge Time – Evaluate the recharge duration against your usual riding time. Fast charging options within 3-6 hours are handy but shorten battery life. Slower charging within 8-24 hours is gentler on the battery but less convenient if you have restricted time for riding and charging each day/use. Opt for a balance that accommodates your schedule and requirements.

Consider Feedback From Other Electric Skateboard Users

Electric Skateboard Users
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Perusing feedback from other electric skateboard users is an excellent strategy to select a new board.

Here are some guidelines for locating and assessing reviews:

  • Explore online review platforms and YouTube. Websites such as ElectricSkateboardSpecs, Endless-Sphere, and Reddit forums specialize in e-board evaluations. Numerous riders also share their experiences on personal YouTube channels. Search for reviews of specific boards you’re considering.
  • Seek reviewers with a history of using different boards. The more seasoned a reviewer is, the more valuable their perspective on a new board’s advantages and disadvantages will be. They can more accurately assess quality enhancements or deficiencies compared to other models they’ve used. Novice reviewers might excessively praise a mediocre board simply due to their enthusiasm as a new rider.
  • Examine reviews from diverse types of riders. Gather viewpoints from both leisurely cruising riders and high-performance/racing aficionados. Different riding experiences will highlight different features as benefits or identify what’s missing for their requirements. Balanced views take into account all potential uses and proficiency levels.
  • Search for comprehensive, well-argued reviews. Peruse reviews that delve deeper than cursory first impressions or emotional responses. Well-articulated reviews discuss explicit details about performance, range, durability, quality, and any issues identified through prolonged use. Technical specifications, real-world outcomes, and quality assessments offer valuable information for deciding if a board will meet your needs.
  • Look for mentions of crucial factors for you. Observe if reviews frequently mention aspects like dependability, splash/water resistance (if riding in damp conditions), stability at high speeds, range per charge, capability to handle rough/off-road riding, etc. The more positive references to attributes that are significant to you, the more likely the board will satisfy your primary needs and preferences. The absence of such mentions could suggest the board may fall short in important areas.
  • Take into account both highly positive and mixed reviews. Some reviewers may excessively praise a board as ‘fantastic’ while others express more valid complaints or criticize mediocre quality/performance. The truth is likely somewhere in between. Highly positive reviews indicate exceptional appeal, while more mixed reviews offer a balanced view on both strengths and weaknesses to consider for your needs. Look for mentions of any issues that could be deal-breakers for your intended use.
  • Look for recommendations and comparisons. Reviews that compare a board to others in the same category or recommend it over other models for certain types of riding provide useful insights. A lack of comparisons could imply the reviewer has not tested enough similar boards to accurately judge its quality and position within the market.

Bear these points in mind when perusing reviews, and you’ll be able to identify the right electric skateboard for you.

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