You’re in the market for an electric skateboard, like a couple million other people, and want to know how to spot a good deal. With such a strong demand for these hot little items, it’s hard to see a quality item sometimes when you’re bombarded with advertising hype and general noise.
This rundown on the top five tips we have to share with you for selecting the best electric skateboard will help eliminate the fluff and garbage. This way you can make a choice based on your needs, not the needs of the marketing companies.
So what is your reason for deciding to buy an electric skateboard? Once you clearly understand your needs, the following tips will make complete sense, and you’ll make the best choice for you. Some considerations to make will be mainly around:
- Power and battery life
- Engine type
- Method of control
- The look and feel, and
- The price
How good is the battery?
When selecting the best electric skateboard to meet your needs, the battery is going to be a primary consideration. Battery life and recharging will most likely be at the top of your list. You won’t want a unit that runs flat within 4 or 5 miles of use, nor will you want one that takes 12 hours to recharge.
Depending upon the area you plan to use your electric skateboard in, when selecting the best electric skateboard for you, have a look at the specifications around power to the engine and the subsequent drain on the battery. The battery life will be impacted by a number of things, including but not limited to:
- The type of battery technology used in the manufacture
- The weight being carried by the skateboard, and
- The demands placed on the battery through the terrain and the style of use.
Over the past few years, the technology behind lithium batteries has evolved considerably, dramatically reducing the size and weight of the batteries, and improving their lifespan, recharge times, output, and safety.
A smaller and lighter battery gives you a better ability to maneuver the board with greater ease, and they have also become much more portable.
What’s under the board?
The engines used in most electric skateboards today range between 400 Watts and 2000 Watts. Keeping in mind the need for power and the impact on battery life, a 400 Watt engine will provide sufficient power for flat areas, but don't expect this to perform as well in hilly areas.
If you are planning to use your electric skateboard in areas where there are hills, even modest hills, you may need to consider the power in the equation when selecting the best electric skateboard.
Moving closer to the 2000 Watt end of the range, you will find that you have an engine that will cope very nicely with steep slopes and power through these with the capability to increase in acceleration.
The more power the engine uses, the less runtime you will get out of your battery in most cases.
Who’s got the remote?
Using a handheld remote control may be a little strange for some, but they are really quite simple to get a grasp of in a short space of time. Choose an electric skateboard that gives you a diagnostic of the battery life on the remote control. This is a very common feature, but you don’t want to pick one of the odd units that do not provide this.
I would suggest that you try the remote before you buy, where possible, as some of the controls can seem a little pedantic and respond much quicker than you may be expecting. This is also a familiarity thing, but you don’t want to find out after you have left the store that the remote does not sit comfortably in your hand.
A good option to look for, and a very inexpensive aspect of the remote, is a lanyard, or a means to attach a lanyard (like the hole in the handle as you can see in the image below). If you lose a grip of the remote control for any reason, you want to make sure that you are not going to damage this expensive piece of kit by dropping it.
I’ve yet to find a wired remote on an electric skateboard that is worth talking about, as the best electric skateboards I have found so far, all have very good quality wireless remote controls.
Keep them wheels turning!
Arguably, the best composition for your wheels is polyurethane, as they allow for a smoother ride and better control. Selecting a suitable diameter is also a critical aspect, with most wheels somewhere between 3 to 3.5 inches in diameter.
The diameter of the wheels will alter the riding experience, and also potentially have an impact on the life of the engine, so make sure you get the feel for this before you make a significant investment.
Increasing the diameter of the wheels will also increase the top speed of the unit, but that comes at the cost of the torque, so get ready for reduced acceleration. Reducing the diameter of the wheels will increase your torque, but it will also add to a less comfortable ride, and may also impact on stability.
Another thing to consider when selecting the best electric skateboard is the type of use in relation to the type of wheels; on road or off-road? One downside to off-road wheels is that they aren’t as visually as appealing as the standard on road wheels. But if your intention is to go off-road, then looking pretty is the least of your concerns; you’ll want rugged durability.
What’s the damage?
When it comes to price there can be quite a jump from the lower end of the scale to the top shelf models, but, you get what you pay for. A lot like the Watts, the price can range from $400.00 up to and beyond $2,000.00.
Have a look at our post “Five Best Electric Skateboards” to find out more about selecting the best electric skateboard for you.