Electric Skateboard Powerboard Review
This is really just my opinion. The best one comes down to what you want.
My first Electric Skateboard Experience. I was at a friends house and he showed me his friends Exkate x24 and I just fell in love with it. Upon first glance it looked like a large downhill luge board. I figured it would go around 10 miles per hour and take for ever to get up to speed. I also thought that on an uphill climb it would be really slow. I was wrong in all cases. These board really go. As a matter of fact if you are not careful you can get thrown off the board by its fast acceleration. These are not little toys.
My qualifications for these reviews is basically growing up around the California board culture. I have been riding skateboards since 1976. Being a Los Angeles Native it really just is a part of this culture. I also have no endorsements or get any payment for this. It's just a hobby. I have ridden almost all the major brands of Electric boards out there.
I have skated Marina Del Rey skatepark. Big O, Skatercross and a few others. These boards are all great in their own ways and have pros and cons.
As a general rule you get what you pay for. Trade offs for strength are usually coupled with heavy weight and hardware. A really light board usually has less power, range and top end speed but not always read on. Freedom of a wireless controller may sacrifice safety. When your throttle gets interference you can take a fall at relatively high speeds, 20 miles per hour plus. One time years back my friends Exkate controller started controlling my Exkate electric skateboard and that was not fun. Im reviewing boards with continuous motor power ratings of around 400 watts or more because anything less will yield insufficient power in my opinion and human power can be over 150 watts for a good amount of continuous output anyway so why buy a board that has the same power as you.
Braking is usually really good on almost all the boards. One thing about regular skateboarding is there are no real brakes other than your feet. With Electric skateboards you have really good brakes. A major plus in my opinion.
The motors on these boards are pretty strong and last a long time its really the electronic brains that are hard to source/replace and usually the first to go bad. In my almost nine years experience with powerboarding what has alway kept me from riding is the controller. If a company folds you could get the Curtis 1208 for $150 at best and you also need a controller programmer for a whopping $200. For that money you could just about buy a whole new board for a hundred more the throttles are usually 5k ohm potentiometers which are cheap pots available at most electronics stores but you have to know how wire stuff up to fix them.
It may be wise to get a better charger. A typical issue is the charger goes bad and then the batteries fry then they fry the electronic circuit board motor controller. This has happened to me twice now in 9 years. I end up having to do a full over haul. New batteries, new controller and then I might as well just replace all the wiring at that point because the board is already apart. The lead acid batteries like to be charged constantly. They also like to be replaced every two years. I have some good sources for them if you want you can email me through ebay. Also, Radio Shack will recycle your used batteries for free. Just put them in a plastic bag and drop them off.
Electric Skateboarding Benefits
The greatest thing electric boarding has helped me with is being able to practice switch stance for kiteboarding and to help strengthen my legs for earths power yoga.
The cost fuel ratio is about 1200 miles per gallon in my calculations. Remember in most city's the grid still burns the fuel just not in the city it is way off in some remote area usually. You can get solar chargers for these as well but they are costly and may not be practical unless you own your own home.
Another unmentioned benefit is if you are married and your wife frequently takes you on very long Mall visits you can break away from the "car hostage" crisis and head home on your board after the agreed upon time limit mine is about an hour and half. After that I can go..... Sheesh you have no idea that alone is a good enough reason to buy an electric skateboard.
Metro-Board electric skateboard review
My latest boarding endeavor is the metro-board electric skateboard. Metro-board represents the latest in cutting edge power boarding technology and puts the skateboard back into powerboarding. This is my statement not their slogan. I can easily kickturn this board without strain which makes for really easy city riding. It really rides and feels like a skateboard.
It is a 450 watt continuous motor 900 peak with plenty of power. The board goes faster than I need it to go and though they say 16 miles per hour top speed I have clocked over 25 mph on downhills because unlike the other boards this board allows you to coast, ( a major advantage for stealthiness and saving/charging batteries ) The board has about the same torque as any other board but at less than half the weight.
Today it went head to head with an e-glide and it was impressive. Less than half the weight but the same torque and almost same top end as the e-glide.
To me the weight of a skateboard is critical because I use the board for commuting. The boards wireless remote control is very stable, so far it has had no interference. The board is very precision made and comes with lights both front and back and a horn as well for safety a major plus.
At top speeds the brakes work very well which is when you really need them. Braking at the lower end speeds 7 mph or less the brakes work well but in an emergency, braking curve is a bit long so I just use my foot to stop at those speeds or in emergency situations.
The board is user programmable in its power intensity and also very important, the owner is very approachable and easy to contact with questions. Reaching customer service is essential in this arena. My rule is if I cant reach a real person when I call within ten minutes or so I don't buy the board.
Going to a mall and carrying a fifty pound board was hell for me and basically made me only ride for fun and that was not the reason I got a powerboard.
With the Metro-board motorized skateboard I had no issue going to an outdoor mall and carrying the metro-board electric skateboard for blocks because it weighs around 22 lbs.
The metro-board so far is my favorite for daily use. It is very light, it has a turn radius of about twelve feet or three feet if you can kickturn and I can actually carry it with relative ease.
My board has the "premium" 78 a durometer wheels that absorb shock a lot better than standard skateboard wheels they feel more like rubber than plastic wheels you usually see on standard boards. Another really cool thing is the fact that Metro-board will build on your deck. Mine is a full custom deck. Its a pool style bullet shape, a cross between a Dewey Webber longboard for the tail and Early 1980 Powell Caballero Dragon Spoon shape for the nose with the nimh batteries that will take you about 12 miles per charge. The skateboad only weighs 22 lbs. or for you metric minds about ten kilos.
The Exkate x24 (now "Altered" Skateboards) Electric Skateboard review.
The exkate electric skateboard had a lot of torque and a great top speed of 20 miles per hour. I could not believe the power density and stabilty of this board. It handled well and was really stable at top speed. It had a range of a realistic 10 miles every day riding and could pull me up signal hill in Long Beach. For those of you in the know it is very steep. They have done downhill skateboard and luge races on it for years.
The only major draw back was the weight of the board. I think it weighs just over 50 pounds! So you really cant use it in a situation where you would end up carrying it in a mall for a long distance or something to that effect and a slightly large turn radius. I cant turn the gen one on a residential street easily. Sometimes I would get off and have to scoot the board left or right with my foot and get back on to do a simple u turn. The wheels are hard urethane so you really feel the bumps. All in all a really fun board and I am grateful to Louie who started this great experience in board culture.
Electroboard Electric Skateboard review
The Electroboard. This thing was a beast!!! Really strong. Super torque but unavailable. One of the major drawbacks of electric skateboarding is that you really shouldn't beat the boards up because of the electronics and the weight can snap axles.
This didn't apply as much to the Electroboard. The one I had came ready for off road 18 miles per hour riding! Jumping curbs, even going down stairs was o.k. It had dual posi traction via a worm gear and a car style rear end direct drive transmission. I beat this thing up for 3 years till it needed overhauling. It lasted me an extra 3 years thanks to another company that cares about their riders David at e-glide a really great guy.
Im not going to talk up the electroboard too much because it had it's flaws. For one the thing didn't turn well at all on residential streets I had to get off and turn the board around with my hands by picking it up.For it's strength you paid in weight and it is no longer available. It had another major flaw. Service. When Electroboard was around to pick up the phone it was ok. However, the board would sit for months in non operation as a result of very spotty attendance from the electroboard electric skateboard shop. The company folded and I was lucky enough to have met the guys at e-glide to help me keep it operational for a few more years. In the end, with these boards you really should try to get extra parts for them. An extra controller, gun and drive belts or gears if possible. Batteries are not an issue as voltman can get most Sealed Lead Acid Batteries and Battery Space can supply everything else.
The motors on these boards are pretty strong and last a long time its really the electronic brains are hard to source/replace and usually the first to go bad in my almost nine years experience with powerboarding. If a company folds you could get the Curtis 1208 for $150 at best and you also need a controller programmer for a whopping $200 and for that you could just about buy a whole new board for a hundred more the throttles are usually 5k ohm potentiometers which are cheap pots available at most electronics stores but you have to know how to wire stuff up to fix them. In my opinion this is a major issue in buying from a non local company. For $500 to $700 the board should last at least ten years before you need to replace the whole thing excluding batteries wheels etc... Those you will be replacing like brakes on a car about once every year and a half or two years if you are lucky.
E-glide Electric Skateboard Review
Now this is a real company that has stood the test of time. The board is very similar to the exkate but a bit more reliable due to different electronics and a hard wired gun throttle-braking device. The "brain" or motor controller is similar to a 1208 series Curtis controller but E-glide uses a proprietary English made controller instead. This review will be continued further in detail once I have had more time on my e-glide electric skateboard.
For now I will say this. I am impressed. Super reliable so far. Great customer service and that really is major plus. Service and sustainability of the board is a key issue because these are not cheap once a company goes under your are left with an unusable board, you really cant push these boards because they are too high for one and way too heavy plus the motor usually has drag unless it is lit up with electrical power.
The board is controlled by a stable wired gun potentiometer. So it has a gradual accelerator with graduated braking. Top speed is 20 miles per hour and a range of about 12 miles, though I have clocked way higher speeds on downhill runs.
0 to 20 mph hour is not a puffed up sales statement. These boards really have the amps and torque necessary to push you to 20 miles per hour in 4 seconds.
The new rubber wheels E-glide offers soften the ride quite a bit which is big plus and you don't have to worry about pebbles making you skid to a halt because the board just plows right over anything I have come across on the road.
One of the major drawbacks of the Exkate x24 was the wheels were very hard urethane and at higher speeds the road vibration was pretty bad. Not so much of an issue with the e-glide that has the new Goodyear rubber wheels.
Nice and smooth, so on this review I would say spend the extra money and buy the E-glide 42 Special with rubber wheels because the stock ones are pretty hard urethane. Also, consider the dc 36 if weight is an issue and distance is not.
E-glide 42 special is my top pick for the e-glides
Cons: really in this case the weight of the board is an issue for a commuter because it can be really cumbersome to carry it on a Subway or down an out door mall road like the Grove in Los Angeles or the Promenade in Santa Monica CA, in which you are not allowed to ride in. They have a prototype Lithium powered board but the reliability has not been confirmed over time yet so Dave at E-glide will not give the green light on it. This really is a plus in my opinion. Better to do it right or not at all seems to be E-glides motto and in the end reliability is key for safety and customer satisfaction. Good job.
To wrap it up.
Truth is I am torn between the e-glide for the super smooth stable ride and excellent braking all around and the Metro-board for its commuter friendly weight high torque motor and other safety features. If I had to choose Metroboard wins because it has just about the same speed and top end but at less than half the weight. Don't get me wrong I like both of them and they both have their strengths and weaknesses. If you found this review useful please vote a yes at the bottom of the page.
Steven Earth Metz