Guest Post by Daniel from e-skateboarder.com |
The electric skateboarding market has exploded in popularity in recent years. New companies appear every day to offer new and innovative e-skateboard models.
This variation is great, but it might make it difficult for some riders to find the right board. The electric skateboard community is always a helpful tool as you search for the perfect device.
Social media platforms like YouTube and Reddit have made it easier than ever for riders to get advice from seasoned veterans in the community.
But a solid stream of advice from other riders can only go so far. At the end of the day, finding the right board is a process of research and introspection. Balancing price, performance, and technical specs together is no easy task. This guide will help introduce you to some of the most important things to consider as you begin picking the best electric skateboard.
Define your budget
Determining a budget is one of the first things you should do when looking for a new skateboard. It’s no secret that electric skateboards can be extremely pricey. Some models can run into an upwards of $2,000, especially if you’re buying from some of the most respected brands in the industry.
But you can still get a quality skateboard for far less than $2,000. Many e-skater blogs regularly publish guides on how to shop on a budget. Before you dive deeper into the market, you should clearly define a budget and decide what you’re willing to spend. When it comes to electric skateboards, you get what you pay for. The highest quality boards will often come with a hefty price.
Figure out what you need
Once you’ve figured out what you want to spend, it’s important to decide the capabilities you need from your board. The best way to do this is to figure out exactly how you plan to use your device.
This shouldn’t be too difficult to figure out. What type of surfaces do you anticipate regularly riding over? Riding off-road obviously requires different specs than just riding inside the city.
One big consideration when it comes to riding terrains and surfaces is the type of wheels used by your device. Big rubber wheels are best for all-terrain and rough concrete riding habits. You can get away with smaller wheels if you plan to avoid rougher and off-road terrains.
Distance and Range
Riding distance is a pretty straightforward concern. If you plan on riding your e-skateboard for long distances consistently, you’ll want a strong battery. This is especially important for commuters. Battery capacity directly correlates with the range of your device. The weight of your board and a few other technical components also impact your total range.
Some riders might not need an extended range built into their device. Additionally, you can use a faster charger to help make up for limited battery capacity.
The biggest factor in the top speed of an e-skateboard is generally its motor. A board’s top speed should be clearly listed on its website. Note that some boards may sacrifice stability to increase its top speed. It’s best to look for an electric longboard that offers a solid top speed but a flexy deck with wheels capable of reducing shakiness and instability.
Like we explained above, the strength of a battery directly impacts the range that a board can offer. Bigger batteries provide a more extended range, but they also drive up the cost of your board. Batteries are measured in Watt-Hours, or Wh.
One additional concern when it comes to battery size is that batteries that are too big might not be allowed on airplanes. The FDA federally prohibits the air travel of batteries exceeding 160 Wh. Batteries larger than 100 Wh will need to be cleared with your airline before travel.
The term “drive train” refers to the type of motor system used in an electric skateboard. There are three main types of motors used in e-boards in 2020: hub, belt drive, and direct drive. Belt drive systems are extremely powerful, generating a high amount of torque and friction. These motors are often able to hit the highest top speeds among e-board drive trains. But they’re also the loudest. You also can’t kick-start most belt drive skateboards.
Hub motors are quieter and more stable than belt drives, but they provide less torque and power. Hub motors are often also less customizable than belt drive systems. Belt drives allow riders to switch between different types of wheels, while hub motors don’t.
Direct drive systems are still pretty new to the scene. They function similarly to belt drive motor systems, but many riders complain that direct drive motors ride closely to the ground. This can cause trouble if debris is kicked up into the enclosed system.
Riders sometimes underestimate how important customer service should be as they consider buying a board. Reviews online should give you a good idea of the type of service a company offers.
A great and responsive customer service team can really make a difference as your board suffers from wear-and-tear, malfunction, or other issues. A solid customer service team can help fix your e-board quickly and effectively, particularly if you have an extended warranty. On the other hand, bad customer service could force you to pay out-of-pocket for repairs.
Weight – Portability
The portability of your board matters a lot, especially if you’re a commuter or someone who carries their board around a lot. Several factors contribute to the gross weight of a board, which you should be able to find clearly listed on a device’s website.
There are many lightweight boards available on the e-skateboard market. You can also cut down on the impact of weight by using a backpack, shepard’s hook, or other carrying tool for your skateboard.
The main thing to remember when it comes to wheels is that bigger wheels are better equipped for riding off-road or on shaky terrains.
There are too many types of wheels to cover in this short guide. A number of resources online, like this one, should give you a better idea of the kinds of options that are available for wheels.
If you’re looking to shift terrain type and wheel size, consider a belt drive motor system. Devices with relatively large trucks should be better at accommodating multiple wheel types.
Your electric skateboard shopping process starts first with figuring out what you need. Once you have a firm grasp on your goals for a board, several of the tips above should help you refine your search to find the perfect board. Shop around, do the research, and read all available resources before deciding on the perfect board.
Big thanks to Daniel and e-skateboarder.com for writing this post and sharing it on Snowboarding Profiles. If you’re into or looking to get into e-skateboarding, e-skateboarder.com is an awesome resource, that looks like it covers everything you’d ever need to know!