When I was a kid, I used to go everywhere on a board. To be honest, I wasn’t really that good. I could balance and cruise around, and pop up some ollies every now and then, but most of the time I used my skateboard as a way to get places. I’m not exactly sure when and why I stopped, but while I was at college, bike become, and has remained ever since, my main form of transport.
Fast forward a few years I was walking down the street and I saw a guy on a longboard passing me by. At first I didn’t notice anything weird, but soon I realized that the guy never put his foot down, not even once. And it got even weirder as I watched him leisurely gliding a mile down the road – UPHILL. After that day I just wanted to get my hands on one of those electric motor powered boards.
Best Electric Skateboards - My PicksThese are my favorite electric skateboards that are affordable, but also good quality
What is an electric skateboard?
Put simply, just as the name implies, electric skateboard is a skateboard powered by electric motor and batteries. In reality it is much more than that. It is probably the lightest way to travel fast, speed up hills and break slowly and gently. If you have never ridden a skateboard you might think that electric boards are some kind of dangerous gizmos that move at breakneck speed and are used for performing crazy electrically charged kick flips and other trick, but that is not the case. The electric longboards are a mode of transportation before anything else. Regular folks, with nine-to-five jobs are using e-skateboards as the part of their daily commute, as a last mile solution or for short urban commutes.
Besides deck and wheels, which are the part of every board that moves, electric skateboards include some specific parts.
The battery pack: The two most popular battery types in production electric skateboards are SLA (Sealed Lead Acid) and Lithium Ion. SLA batteries are bigger, heavier, less efficient and less durable than Li Ion batteries, but they are initially cheaper. On the other hand, while the upfront cost of Li Ion batteries is higher, they deliver higher-quality performance in a safer, longer-lasting package. As the battery technology advances, lithium ion batteries will become cheaper, which will make lightweight, high-performance e-boards more affordable in time to come.
The electric motor: The two main types of electric motors used on skateboards are hub motor and belt driven motor. Hub motors are built into the wheels and they provide direct drive to the wheel. The belt drive, also known as satellite configuration is the setup where power from the motor is transferred to the wheels via pulleys and belts. The power of motors is labeled in Watts, more Watts mean more power.
The remote control: The electric longboards and skateboards are controlled by a handheld remote control. There are many different types of remote controls to make your motorized board move: thumb wheel, thumb joystick, index finger trigger or thumb slider RC controls. Some models can even be controlled by your smartphone.
How to Choose the Best Electric Skateboard
With so many manufacturers and new startups emerging, and so many different designs available, it is very difficult to choose the right skate for you. There are so many things to consider: speed, range, weight, one motor or two, hub motors or gear and pulley system, remote control type, deck etc. Besides, brands are trying to differentiate themselves by constantly adding attractive features and trying to make their skateboard the fastest, providing the biggest range, lightest, best for conquering hills or off road driving, or just the most unusual one (onewheel)
To make it easier for you we did an overview of top e-skateboards so far in 2017 available on the market, categorized by price, so you can explore the best options that fit into your budget. If you are looking for something more extreme, check out our off-road skateboards/longboards top picks.
Cheap Electric Skateboard - My Top 5Here are my top 5 picks of electric skateboards under $500:
|Image||Product Name||Max Speed||Range||Weight||Reviews||Price|
|Acton Blink Lite||10 mph||5 miles||7.7 lbs||$|
|Swagtron SwagBoard NG1||11 mph||10 miles||9.5 lbs||$|
|Liftboard Single Motor||16 mph||13 miles||14.8 lbs||$|
|Acton Blink 2||16 mph||6 miles||8.8 lbs||$|
|Atom Electric H.4||18 mph||6miles||13 lbs||$|
Top 5 high-end options
These boards are the best of the best. They are the first-class products by the leading brands. But, with prime quality comes the price, so all of these models cost $1000+ If you can fork out the money, congratulations, you will be a proud owner of one of the all-star players in the electric skateboard game. You’ll reach amazing speeds and experience hell of a ride on an adrenaline-inducing performance board.
Boosted Board 2
Boosted Board 2 Dual+ is THE board. It’s the top of the line 2000W electric skateboard, that can go up to 22mph and on it you can easily take on 25% grade hills. Last year the company announced the second generation of their flagship skateboard. Booster kept the original design of their 1st generation and improved it by fixing small imperfections to make it smoother, safer and overall more durable ride. The 2nd generation is equipped by upgraded trucks, wheels, motors and a removable battery. Thanks to the new trucks there is a noticeable improvement in handling and the board feels much more responsive while carving, even at higher speeds. A bamboo deck is extremely flexible, and this gives your feet a feeling of connection with the ground that adds a sort of cognitive understanding of the ride. One huge upgrade compared to the original Boosted Board is that the components on the exterior and around the battery are water resistant.
Evolve Carbon Street GT
The successor of F1 inspired Evolve Carbon the GT model is raising the bar. The twin sensored brushless motors, with max output of 3000w, turn this longboard into a mean machine that can reach the speed up to 26 mph. Low profile carbon fiber deck allows for fantastic control and stability when riding. This beast that eats concrete or tarmac is one of the most expensive e-skateboards, but considering it is a high quality, high performance electric vehicle (not a toy), than the price makes sense.
Just like their competitors, the Marbel has also come up with the upgraded version of their original model. Ultra portable, weighing only 10lbs, it still has enough power to go 25 mph, and take you up to 16 miles per charge. The batteries and all of the electronics are completely integrated into the carbon fiber composite deck. Advertised as “smarter, lighter, faster”, this board is trying to rise like a Phoenix from ashes of failure of 1.0 version and the reputation for terrible customer service. So far, it seems they’ve got it.
Mellow Drive is an electric drive that you can fit onto any skateboard/longboard deck you want, but they also offer the option to buy the powertrain already mounted on the Mellow Board that you can choose yourself from the selection from quality deck. There are two options to choose from: Mellow Board with single drive and Mellow Board 4×4 with two drives. This board has regenerative breaking that doesn’t switch off brakes when the battery is fully charged. It has a range of 9 miles and a maximum speed of 25 mph, which is amazing for an electric skateboard. In fact, it has a longer range than some of the higher tier boards. You can double the range by carrying spare battery pack with you because it’s easily swappable via simple click-in mechanism.
Inboard M1 is a beautiful, sleek, high-tech beast of an electric board. It is packed with supreme features and smart solutions, such as built-in LEDs and interchangeable battery. The M1 is powered by the two hub motors built into the rear wheels, which allows the wheels to spin freely when the motor is not engaged, so even when the battery dies you can still ride it just like normal skateboard. This board can reach up to 24 mph, but only with soon to be released firmware upgrade. Apparently the boards that are actually shipped top out at 20mph. The range is not so bad 7-10 miles, and it can be extended by swapping batteries. The deck is stiff, designed for a stable ride even at high speeds. All in all, it’s a solid ride built for sporty riders who want a polished, high-performance machine, that can also be a viable commuting vehicle as well.
Bonus Ride: Onewheel+
Not sure if we can call this odd device a skateboard, but it’s right up there on the fun scale. Probably even higher. It is basically a self-balancing board with a go-kart tire in the middle, but despite of what it looks like, Onewheel actually requires nearly zero effort to ride. It easily handles potholes and curbs, and it can even go off road. This year, Future Motion, the company behind this unique design, has released the new and improved version, dubbed Onewheel+. The improvements are mainly seen in quieter and smoother-performing motor, the top speed which is now 19 mph, 4 mph faster than the original version and the better customization of the ride through the app.
Top 5 electric skateboards under $1000
If paying over $1000 for an electric drive plank is unthinkable for you, there is no reason to give up on this super fun big boy toy/awesome transportation device completely. There are some pretty reasonable options that you’ll enjoy riding, especially if you don’t mind making some compromises. Let’s be fair, not all of us are driving exclusive sports cars, some of us have to settle for a minivan. OK, these rides do not actually compare to a minivan, they are way more fun!
The Chinese brand Yuneec is more known for making drones, but they have manage to establish themselves in the world of e-boarding thanks to their solid and very affordable electric longboards. The E-GO 2 is the latest addition to the family. This board features an eight layered composite wood deck to make it flexible and durable and two riding and speed modes. It also has a kick tail for better handling. The top speed is not too impressive 12mph, but E-GO 2 makes up for it with its notable range of 18 miles. The small 400W motor makes it feel slow, and steep hills are a real struggle. With the low cost for a decent quality, this is a great starter board for people looking to get into electric skateboarding. And for those that will appreciate its remarkable range.
Maxfind Dual Motor
Dual motors, Lithium-Ion battery, top speed of 17mph, and all of that under 1K. Sounds too good to be true! Well, apparently it isn’t, thanks to the Chinese company Maxfind Electronics. They have manufactured an e-board that is intended to present an alternative to Boosted Board. We certainly won’t compare the two, since they come from two different worlds, but we will say that Maxfind is a pretty good e-skateboard considering the cost. It is lightweight, only 12 lbs, but that doesn’t make it less strong. The 8 ply maple deck offers all the sturdiness and durability you would expect from a quality electric skateboard. There are two deck designs to choose from, one is with a cutout handle for easy carrying. It is one of the fastest electric skateboards in its class, with the top speed of 17mph, although this depends on the weight of the rider and the terrain. Two hub motors with combined power of 360W are powered by Samsung Li-Ion battery that needs only 60 minutes to fully charge. The feature that truly sets this board apart from the others is its tiny remote control than you can easily slip into your pocket when you are not using it.
Falcon Board 1200W Electric Longboard (Magneto, Luuov, Melonboard)
The demand for electric skateboards has exploded in the past couple of years. But since not all of us have $2000 for Boosted Board, many started looking for more affordable alternatives. Some people tried to meet market demand by importing cheap e-boards from China and rebranding them with minimal to no changes. That’s how we got the same board under different names: Magneto, Falcon, Backfire, Luuov, Melon Board and so on. But if you look closely you will realize that it is basically the same design, with the same electronic, with maybe different wheels (like Melon Board). If you look at the specs they are also more or less the same: 1200W brushless motor, 8 Ah Lithium battery, with the top speed of around 18 mph and range of around 18 miles.
Now, I’m not saying that it is a bad electric skateboard. With the low cost for a decent quality, it is a great starter board for people looking to get into electric skateboarding. I know people that bought some of this skateboards that are pretty happy about it. If you don’t mind purchasing a Chinese clone, and you are aware of what you are getting yourself into, go for it. You may end up with a pretty good board, and if you are willing to do some DIY and some tweaking, a great e-board for a great price.
Benchwheel Dual 1800w
Here is another alternative for those that love the Boosted Board, but think $2K is too much for a motorized board. Benchweel e-skateboard with dual motors and 1800W of power is only about half of the price of the Boosted Dual+. This skateboard looks very similar to the Boosted, almost like a clone, and some people do not appreciate it. On the other hand, if the skateboard is good, what difference does it make if it comes from a well-known brand, or some unknown company in China? Actually, there is a difference – the price. So, is Benchweel 1800W any good?
When you look at the specs, it looks pretty solid: two high powered brushless motors, top speed of 20mph, 12 miles range, LiFePo4 battery pack. The deck is 3 base layers of bamboo and 2 layers of fiberglass, which makes this board light, but also durable. The battery, all the electronics and motors are completely enclosed. There are two modes on the remote Leisure and Sport mode. The top speed is same for both modes, but if you’re in the Sport mode you will take off super-fast and climb the hills of 25 degrees no problem. There are two models, B2 and C2, with different decks. All in all, this is a pretty awesome board, considering its price.
Genesis Hellfire Electric Longboard
At the first sight Genesis Hellfire looks like a bargain, especially at the current discounted price. It has dual hub motors with output power of 800W, and it goes quite fast. The top speed is 20mph, but apparently there is a way to unlock a secret turbo mode (more on that in the full review). The advertised range is 20 miles but according to the people that own Hellfire, it doesn’t go nearly as much, the actual range is 10 miles TOP. Battery is removable, it is 36V, 4.3Ah Lithium-Ion battery, and you can buy a spare one from about $150, which is very nice, as it allows you to go twice the distance. It charges very fast, it takes just under 3 hours to fully charge the battery. The board is a bit heavy, about 16.5 pounds, which makes it awkward to carry around. The remote is pretty small, it fits in the palm of your hand and quite simple, it allows you to go in the reverse, and brakes almost instantly, so you have to be careful. What to expect from Genesis Hellfire? High speed, short range and affordable price.
Top 5 cheap electric skateboards under $500
Let’s be honest, for under $500, you cannot expect much. But despite of what you might think, there are some pretty decent models you can look at if you are looking for cheap electric skateboards.
Dubbed as the World’s Lightest Electric Skateboard, BLINK Lite looks pretty much like a toy. It weighs only 7.7 lbs, so even a child can carry it, and Canadian maple wood deck is only about 27 inches long. But despite of how it looks like this board can be tons of fun even for adults. It goes up to 10 mph, the range is up to a 5 miles, which makes it a perfect board for learning to ride an electric skateboard for someone who has never ridden a skateboard or a longboard before. BLINK Lite is manufactured by Acton, a company devoted to creating innovative, smart personal transportation. The board is beautifully designed and made out of quality parts, with two LED strips, one on each side. But despite the small size, BLINK Lite is stable enough and comfortable enough to ride. The weight capacity is 180 lbs, which is pretty strong. It is propelled by a single 450W hub motor, which means you can use it just like a regular skateboard when the battery dies out. Speaking of the battery, it is enough to travel 5 miles, even more if you ride mostly on flat road.
Swagtron SwagBoard NG-1
Swagtron SwagBoard, one of the favorite e-boards of Pokémon Go players, is the most affordable electric skateboard on our list. What you get for small bucks is pretty impressive: top speed of 11 mph, 30-55 minutes of ride time per charge, built-in cruise control in the remote and two handle holes. The brakes are really harsh, and can throw you off the board if you are not careful. It is also awful at going uphill, but thanks to the hub motor, you can help it out with a kick. The deck is 7-ply Canadian maple wood, which has a nice flex and can hold up to 175lbs. The battery is 24V Li-On Fe, its UL2272 certified, so it won’t explode in flames. Their customer service is awesome, and that’s something you do not get from the cheap Chinese boards.
LiftBoard Single Motor (Belt Driven)
OK, I need to be honest with you: this board is on the list because it’s a cheaper version of the LiftBoard Dual, which I had the opportunity to try and liked it. The single motor version has 900 Watt Belt Driven Motor, which gives it enough power for to haul an average adult person. Unlike BLINK Lite or the SwagBoard, this electric skateboard looks like a full-size adult longboard, and not a toy. The range you can get out of the one full charge is about 13 miles in advanced mode and it can get up to advertised 16 miles in beginner mode. The full recharge from 0 to 100% takes over 4 hours. The details give away how cheap this board is: the grip tape is not the best quality, the board is completely flat and the users have reported connectivity issues. The price is barely under five hundred, and for about $100 more you can get the dual motor version, so decide for yourself.
Another one of the smaller electric skateboards, the BLINK. It is not the longboard style like most of the electric skateboards, it is closer in size to the traditional skateboards. Thanks to its size it is very light and very maneuverable. The top speed is about 16 mph, which feel pretty fast on a board this light and small. The first generation of the BLINK board was shipped with the belt drive motor, which is now replaced by the single hub motor. That solved the problem of rubber belts breaking often. The quality of the BLINK V2 is significantly improved compared to V1. The parts are of higher quality, the design is much cleaner and the weight is reduced to about 7.8 lbs. What sets this board apart from others, especially cheaper boards is the app that bridges a connection from your smartphone to your board. The app offers various features to improve your riding experience, such as changing the board’s performance modes, check on battery lives, etc. Overall the second generation of BLINK is very well-built compared to the first.
Atom Electric H.4 by Atom Longboards
Atom is a company known for its longboards, so they’ve decided that the next logical step would be to board the electric drive train (the worst pun in history, I know). The Atom electric H.4 skateboard is ideal for small to medium-sized riders looking for a fun yet affordable way to ride around town or add a little bit of power into their commute. It looks reminiscent to the traditional skateboards with its Canadian maple kick-tail deck shape and thanks to the hub motor you can ride it like a traditional skate even with the power is off. It is lightweight, only 8lbs, so you can carry it around or take it on the bus with you. Here are the specs: average range of 5 miles, max speed 9.3 mph, weight capacity 165 lbs, 400W single hub motor, 25V Li-Ion battery that fully charges in 2 hours. To put it in the words of the manufacturer: “This is one of our more modest electric boards, and is better suited for smaller riders, or as an “electric assist”. I guess the older kids would love it.
To Buy an E-Board or to Make One Yourself
People usually decide to try to build their own motorized board because they think they could get more for their money. But just like with anything else, cheap usually means low quality, so if you want to build something you will be proud of and enjoy riding, you should invest in proper parts. Choosing the right parts though can be a complicated process and lots of research is usually required. Building your own e-board also requires some technical knowledge and skill. DIY electric skateboard kits can help you, but it’s often much more complicated than simply screwing the wheels to the deck.
Buying production skateboard is faster and more convenient, building one yourself is an exciting journey and gives you complete freedom of customization. I’ve read somewhere that there is not the right answer to the question of “to build or to buy,” there’s only what is right for you. To help you decide, we have already written an article on DIY electric skateboards that covers the subject a little more in-depth.
A Brief History of Powered Boards
The idea of a motorized skateboard is nothing new. The first powered skateboard, called Motorboard, was created in the summer of 1975. It was powered by the gas engine that was extremely loud and caused a lot of pollution. That is the reason why the Motoboard, and similar skateboards, were banned in the mid-1970s in California, and until recently that law affected the electric skateboards as well. So, not really a great legacy from the pioneers of motorizing boards.
But the dream of building electrically powered board did not die. In late 1990’s, while wireless and lithium battery technology were still in their infancy, Louie Finkle (aka Electric Louie) invented and patented the wireless electric skateboard, with an original brushed motor design. However, the Finkle’s electric skateboard was very expensive at the time, so it hadn’t quite caught on. It was not until the late 2000’s that technological advancements made the mass producing of electric skateboards more economically feasible, allowing anyone the opportunity to purchase an affordable board.
Electric Skateboard vs. Electric Longboard – What’s the Difference?
The difference between regular skateboards and longboards is in their shape and size, and the reason for it is that they were built for different purposes. The skateboard was more of a recreational toy, used in skate parks for tricks or anywhere with a few rails to grind on or stairs to do a kick flip down. The longboard were designed for riding on long roads and for smoother turning. Now, longboards are used for cruising through the town or carving downhill on long stretches.
When you add batteries and an electric motor, you get something that is not so suited for more challenging moves. I’m not saying you can’t do tricks, ‘cause people do them on some motorized skateboards, just that it’s not their primary purpose. Electric longboards are mainly designed for riding around, commuting or just getting from point A to B and have fun while doing it. Just make sure you are riding safely.
Because of their design electric boards are closer to longboards than to traditional skateboards. But there are so many different models, you just have to decide what you will be using your e-board for: just for fun, for daily commutes or running errands around town.
Hope you’ve found some useful information in this article! Full reviews of our e-board picks are coming soon. If you think something is missing, or you would like to ask about anything considering this article, find us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or Instagram, we are happy to chat any time.