Looking like something out of “Back to the Future,” electric skateboards are taking neighborhoods across the country by storm. Innovations in self-balancing and battery life have made this futuristic toy more affordable than ever. So whether you are looking for a fun new physical activity for yourself or a show-stopping gift for under the Christmas tree, an inexpensive electric skateboard may be just the ticket.
With so many different options with all kinds of features, there is a bit of a learning curve involved in buying your first electric skateboard. That’s why we put together the following guide. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know before shopping for one of your own.
Buying an Electric Skateboard
Even a cheap electric skateboard can be of great use compared to a regular board. The extra power means that you have the ability and the freedom to go further and even to tackle climbs. It is why so many users can feel an electric design can be a good upgrade, but they might not be sure how to choose such a skateboard.
The deck is made using different materials. While each chosen material has its strengths and weaknesses, it is often up to the user to find the right solution individually. For example, many users prefer the wooden decks to the detriment of plastic and carbon alternatives.
Made with designs that account for up to 7 layers of wood, the modern electronic skateboard deck can be seen as stiffer in many cases. But it also needs to be sturdy, especially since many users are tempted to take their boards on roads that are far from perfect due to the ever-increasing range.
The battery is crucially important for an electronic skateboard. Depending on the motor’s power and speed, the battery powers the board for a number of miles. Batteries are also important when it comes to the day by day use of the board. It is why you want a solution that charges in a reasonable amount of time.
The charging time is vastly different from battery to battery. Smaller batteries are usually fully charged in two hours. Larger batteries can even take up to 4 hours to fully charge. It is why you need to choose the product which is right for you. If you only ride recreationally, a small battery can be the way to go. If you need to reach a daily target, such as commuting, it might be worth investing in a larger battery design.
At the same time, all batteries have a charging cycle. The lower-end batteries can be guaranteed for 500 charging cycles. An average battery can be guaranteed for 1.500 charging cycles. After this point, many batteries start to lose power.
The type of terrain you tackle can have an impact on the battery as well. If you need an off-road solution, you will need the extra power to deal with the uneven terrains. But at the same time, some technologies can help even in this situation. For example, the technology based on charging while braking is one of the most recommended solutions to prolong the board’s range.
There are many wheels that are used in electric skateboards. They are sure to wear out over time, but their performance is essential. Road solutions can use standard wheels, which can be replaced when the time comes. Off-road solutions use air wheels to add a level of comfort and support for the difficult terrains.
Many manufacturers offer the possibility of even changing the profile of the wheels on the same board. Seen especially on the designs which are made to tackle off-road surfaces, the air wheels can often be replaced with regular wheels for the city streets. If you need such a board, it is usually recommended to purchase additional wheels to cater to all the surfaces you plan to ride on.
Motor and Speed
The top speed, the minimum speed, the cruising speed, and the design of the motor are always evolving. A brushless design is highly recommended when it comes to the ultimate durability. At the same time, a motor that comes with adjustable speeds is recommended for all users and needs. The lower speeds are great when just starting out. Higher speeds above the 22mph mark are often recommended for the thrill-seeking user. At the same time, it is also important to consider the risks you take with higher speeds. The simplest way to avoid them is to simply go through the learning curve and practice on the lower speed settings, which are available in most modern controllers.
The range of the skateboard is influenced by the battery life and on your weight. The heavier you are, the more the board needs to work to keep going. Furthermore, some of the best boards are simply made for the ultimate freedom, and they offer maximum range to the detriment of other characteristics, such as good torque, which is required to climb hills. Furthermore, it is also recommended to work with designs which are made for the streets and areas you live in. For example, if you live in an area with hills, your priority should be a board that can handle those hills and not necessarily the longest range.
The charging time of the electric skateboard seems to be a problem for the modern user. With technologies such as fast charging on smartphones, you might also look for a solution that charges faster. But you will need at least two hours of charging time with most designs. Interestingly, since they can come with large batteries, modern skateboards can also come with USB charging. So you can use the board to charge your mobile phone when out of the house.
Hill climb difficulty is measured in percentages. These percentages are normally indicated by the manufacturer. The total capacity of a leading board can be up to 15% climbs. But most solutions should be able to tackle these types of climbs if they come with powerful motors.
Hill climbs can also be more demanding on the motor. It is why battery life can suffer as well. The range of the boards is measured in perfect conditions, which do not include climbs or difficult terrains in many cases.
Depending on the size and on the materials, the modern electric skateboard can handle various weights. It is why those made for kids or the youth are the designs that can handle less weight. Adult boards should be able to carry all people, regardless of the materials used on the decks.
Furthermore, it is quite important to see which of these recommendations you need to follow. Users report taking advantage of skateboards with a lower weight capacity as they might still work in some cases. However, using a board for a higher load might lead to you losing your warranty.
Top Tips for Electric Skateboards
Before riding for the first time, it is recommended to fully read the user’s manual your board comes with. It is here that you find information on the maximum weight capacity or on recommended charging time. You can also find crucial information that might keep you from damaging the motor, such as how to clean your wheels after every outing properly. But it is also important to know that you can find great solutions when it comes to proper long-term maintenance, which can involve essential tips on how to use your T tool, which often comes included in the pack. Other information might refer to spare parts such as spare wheels, which might need to be changed in the future.
Choosing the best cheap electric skateboard is not easy if you have never used one. But their practicality is hard to match, and their performance is often what needs to be at the core of an informed decision. Furthermore, it is highly recommended to choose a design which you like, as this topic is often overlooked. The last thing you want is not even to use your board as you don’t like it.
It is why if you like wooden boards with various designs from your classic skateboard, you should choose a good electrical alternative with wooden materials such as maple. If you are a true modernist, plastic and carbon alternatives are comparable as well.
But essentially, the heart of the board lies in the motor and the battery. It is why powerful and adjustable solutions are highly recommended. It is also recommended to choose the options covered by good warranty policies that make your life easier in the future. With plenty of great designs to consider, the choice is down to what you really plan to use the board for. Speed, range, and maneuverability differ from board to board, and this is why you want to evaluate your expectations before making a decision.