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Electric skateboards, along with hoverboards and electric scooters, are revolutionizing the way we move. E-skates in particular, have given new life to the dear old skateboard, making it a solid contender between the different means of transport.
Electric skateboards: what are they?
As the name might suggest, an electric skateboard (or e-skate) is a skateboard equipped with an electric motor and a battery, controllable via remote control (or smartphone via Bluetooth). Classic skateboards have a fascinating history. Born in California in the 50s and 60s as a means of training for surfers, they gave birth to a real sport, as well as a culture and a dedicated lifestyle.
In recent years, someone thought of upgrading it with an electric engine and use it not only for sports and entertainment but also for daily mobility. With the new focus on the environment and the inconvenience created by traffic, it is not surprising that more and more people are looking for efficient and intelligent ways to move around. Electric skateboards have become increasingly widespread, especially in major metropolises.
Whether for fun or utility, the advantages of using an electric skateboard are easy to understand. First of all, going on an e-skate is much easier than going on a traditional skateboard. You just have to familiarize yourself with the new controls for the engine and that’s it.
It is also ideal for medium to short distances: it is comfortable, safe and 100% eco-friendly, resistant to rain, huge time and money saver compared to other means of transport and, is faster than a traditional skateboard.
Differences between a skateboard, longboard and penny board
Although we use the term skateboard, there are two other types of boards. There is the longboard, that sports a longer deck with a different shape. The wheels are also larger. Given these features, longboards are easier to handle and more suitable for beginners. They are also recommended for longer distances.
On the other hand, we have penny boards: they are much smaller and shorter than a skateboard. Sometimes they are called cruisers: small, light and manageable skateboards made specifically for travel.
How to choose the best electric skateboard
The electric skateboard market is constantly evolving. The most performing models have a price that often exceeds $1,000, but it is now possible to buy a solid device at a reasonable price. But, in order to choose the best skateboard for you, you will have to consider a number of factors.
Type of use
The first question you will have to ask yourself is how and for what purpose you intend to use the skateboard. For fun? As a daily transport. to school/work? What kind of roads you will be traveling on? All these questions will allow you to identify the characteristics you need to look for in the product. Similarly, if you are a beginner, you may want to consider a model more suitable for novices.
Battery life is a fundamental criterion to consider when buying: the bigger and more powerful the battery, the more miles you can travel. Li-ion rechargeable batteries are generally the most performing and the most common. In addition, some skates have the possibility to replace the battery (and thus double the range in an instant).
On average, the best high-end electric skateboards guarantee an hour of autonomy and a travel distance of about 12.5 miles on a single charge. Of course, these values differ according to other factors such as weight and height of the rider, wind, and road (uphill, downhill, etc.). Recharging times are usually around 2 hours.
Keep in mind that some brands state the autonomy in minutes and others in miles.
An essential element for the performance of an electric skateboard is the power of the motor. If you travel on flat roads, a power of 250-260 Watts is sufficient (it should manage a slope of 15° and a weight of about 265 pounds).
Now regarding speed, it starts at a minimum of 12mi/h, with the maximum speed set for safety at around 20mi/h. The best electric skateboards can reach 30mi/h (but they are recommended only for experts). Keep in mind that going uphill is extremely taxing for an e-skate!
If you plan to use your e-skate in the rain, you will need to make sure it is water resistant. Of course, more premium (and durable) materials will make the price go up.
Wheels hardness is also another factor to take under consideration. The wheels are made out of polyurethane (PU) and their hardness is measured using the Shore A scale, varying from 75A to 104A. A wheel with a value ranging from 78A to 90A is considered soft, medium ones have a hardness that ranges from 90A to 98A, and the hard ones exceed 99A. Soft or medium wheels are recommended for those who plan to use the skate mainly for transport., hard for those who want to practice freestyle and travel on difficult terrain.
The best electric skateboards
Among the best budget electric skateboards, we find the RazorX longboard (Check on Amazon.com), a known brand specialized in the production of electric scooters. Considering the price, RazorX has a basic performance which is perfect for those with basic needs, or those who want to try out an e-skate for fun and casual use.
The RazorX has an autonomy of 40 minutes and a maximum speed of 10mi/h, that’s 3 times the average speed of a person walking on foot. It supports a maximum weight of 220 pounds and mounts a 125W motor. It has an average weight of 12 pounds and the board is made of bamboo and has a length of 37.5 inches.
Among the best medium to high-end electric skateboards, we find the Teamgee H5 (Check on Amazon.com), defined by the manufacturer as the thinnest e-skate. In fact, it has a thickness of just 0.5in, which makes it very flexible and light (12.5 pounds). The battery pack is also thin and almost invisible.
Performance is amazing. This electric skate mounts two 380 Watt motors and has a maximum speed of 21mi/h, with an autonomy of about 11mi which is great once you consider the power and that recharging time is only 2 hours!). It can also handle a maximum slope of 20° making this a real means of transport.
The Teamgee H5 also sports a regenerative braking system that allows you to recover energy when braking. In addition, it is water-resistant (IP54) and very solid: the board is made of 10 layers of maple and one of fiberglass. Overall, it gives the idea of a solid vehicle.
Maxfind Max 2 Dual Motors
Compared to previous models, this one makes a big leap forward in terms of performance and power. As the name suggests, this skate has two motors of 1000 Watt each.
The maximum speed is 22mi/h and the autonomy around 16mi, and it can climb a slope of up to 35°. The battery is the same one used in a Tesla, and this also can recover power when braking. Not bad, considering the price (Check on Amazon.com). The Maxfind Max 2 is also water-resistant (IP65). The maximum supported weight is set to 265 pounds, 44 more than most e-skates.
One of the best electric skateboards out there is the Koowheel longboard (Check on Amazon.com). The Chinese brand specializes in electric scooters, hover shoes and electric skates. This is a fully-fledged “professional” skateboard.
The performance is amazing: the maximum speed is set to 25mi/h and the range distance varies from 12 to 15mi. The maximum slope is 25°. This longboard mounts 2×350W motors and comes with a very practical wrist remote control. In addition, it is solid and durable (made of 7 layers of Canadian maple). It also offers you the possibility to replace the battery.
The Inboard M1 is according to us the best electric skateboard on the market. It is also smart and can be controlled via the appropriate app. The design speaks volumes and makes this a truly high-tech and modern gadget. It even has LED lights that are very useful in case of poor visibility.
This skate has a maximum power of 1600 Watts. It can reach a maximum speed of 22mi/h and has a declared range of about 7mi. The autonomy could have been better although the charging times are very good (approximately 90 minutes). The maximum inclination it can handle is 17°. This is a durable and water-resistant product (IP54). And like other models before it also sports a regenerative braking system.
Overall, it is the ideal option for all types of roads/terrain and for all types of riders, from novice to veteran.