Thinking of buying an electric skateboard? With personal transportation and first mile/last mile transportation solutions one of the fastest-growing markets, it’s no surprise that more and more people are considering buying an electric skateboard. But is buying an electric skateboard right for you?
Here are some questions to consider if you want to buy an electric skateboard and some tips of what to look for when you’re buying an electric skateboard online:
- Do you have board sport experience?
If yes, riding will be easier for you and both longboards and shortboards will be a good choice. If no, choose a longboard electric skateboard and consider models marketed towards beginners. Meepo Board makes a board that is also lower to the ground to give beginners more stability. Both people who have experience with board sports and those with no experience can learn to ride an electric skateboard. As with any sports, there are boards more suitable for beginners vs. experienced riders.
Experienced riders can choose either a longboard or shortboard, while those new to board sports should start with a longboard electric skateboard.
- What is your total riding weight?
How much do you weigh? How much do you weigh with your backpack/ gear? This is your total riding weight. Choose an electric skateboard that is able to carry your total riding weight. If you are at the upper limit of a board’s range, consider buying a more powerful board. Choosing a board with more power improves braking capabilities and riders who are heavier or those in very hilly areas as well should go for power as a safety measure.
Check the weight limit of boards. If you and your gear are close to the weight limit consider a more powerful board.
- What parts are in an electric skateboard? How are they important to your experience?
Choosing a board you will get to select from:
Wheels – The larger they are, the easier they go over obstacles. Some electric skateboard companies make larger wheeled boards as ATV boards or for commuting. Typically wheels are 90-100 mm with AWD or ATW wheels around 6”.
Deck – Electric skateboard decks are constructed with the same materials as skateboards, but designed for electric skateboard parts and skating. A deck can be a longboard or a shortboard. It has a makeup, which is usually some combination of Maple, bamboo, or fiberglass to provide flex and stability. A concave (bent on the edges) helps novice riders hold on easier and experienced riders ride with less effort.
Grip Tape – The top of the board is covered with grip tape. This is what keeps your feet on the board. For the best skateboarding experience – electric or otherwise, wear shoes designed to be worn on the grip tape. Skateboard shoes are designed to work with grip tape, both to grip and slide when needed. Some skaters manage without special shoes at all while others won’t skate without them.
Remote – Press the button and this makes your electric skateboard go. Pull it back to brake and watch your board come to a halt. This is where you give commands to the skateboard. Remotes come in all kinds of styles, with attached lights, a digital display, a simple remote – whatever remote you buy. The only requirement is that it be compatible with the ESC built into your board.
ESC – Electronic Speed Controller – Attached to the board, the electronic speed controller receives messages from the remote and relays them to the motors.
Motor – Whether a hub motor or belt motor, this is what makes the skateboard go. Electric skateboards can have hub motors, located in the wheels, or a belt motor, located outside of the wheel, but connecting to the axle. Electric skateboard power is measured in watts and each skateboard has a rating for safe climbing of inclines. This is the power of the motor and varies by board.
Brakes – Buyers of electric skateboards often forget how important brakes can be. The brakes on electric skateboards are activated by the remote. Electric skateboards use regenerative braking, which puts the skateboard motors into reverse mode and collects the energy from the friction created during braking. As a rider of electric skateboards, your brakes’ needs depend on where you live and ride. Skateboards come with a rating of grade – if you are in a very hilly area choosing a skateboard with a 35% grade vs. 20% grade can really matter.
If you’re going to be an electric skateboarder, understanding the role of each part can help you pick the board you need.
- Watch YouTube
Get real reviews on electric skateboards are the touch of your fingertips. Watch vs matches, drag races, speed tests, tricks, drones, and more when you search “electric skateboard” on YouTube. Once you decide which skateboards you want to purchase, it’s tempting to watch drag races, then choose the fastest, but speed isn’t the only factor. Watch a few videos of each board, learn more about electric skateboarding, and join your local electric skateboarding club. Choose a board based on the normal riding conditions you will experience, not how fast they can go in a drag race. If you are a beginner at electric skateboarding, it will take some practice to get your board up to full speed.
Electric skateboarding fans make the coolest videos! That said, choose boards that meet your needs rather than look cool or win races.
Now that you have learned which boards suit you and watched them all on YouTube, it’s time to make a decision. Will you become an electric skateboarder? If yes, be a savvy boarder and make informed buying decisions to not only get a great deal but to get a board that’s perfect for you and your needs.