6 Important Factors to Consider When Buying an Electric Board
Over the past several years, electric skateboards, bikes, and scooters have become all the rage. Technology has advanced so far and we now finally have motors that are powerful and compact enough to fit in a small housing on a skateboard, as well as batteries with enough capacity to push you for a few dozen kilometers. The great thing about electric-powered skateboards is that you can use them as conventional boards if you decide to. They allow you to commute and ride for as much as you want by foot, then get assistance from the motor once you get tired of kicking and pushing.
But electric skateboards are significantly more expensive than conventional ones. This may be why buying one can feel intimidating to a lot of people, simply because there are too many models and not enough information on what makes an electric skateboard good and worth its price. A good starting point would be buying a skateboard from a reputable brand that already has a proven track record in the world of electric boards, such as Boosted, Evolve, Swagtron or ExWay skateboards. But whether you decide to go with a board manufactured by Boosted, Evolve or ExWay, there are a few boxes you should tick before investing your money on a particular model.
The wheels of the electric skateboard will define the overall quality of your board. There are two types of wheels – generic and clone wheels. Generic wheels are those that are made from the same brand as your electric board, whereas clone wheels are manufactured by a third party part manufacturers. Most of the time, clone wheels are inferior in quality to generic wheels, and will generally be made of urethane that hasn’t been properly cured. This will reduce the mileage you get out of them, and they will flake, chip, and eventually disintegrate. Generic wheels are more expensive, but you get better mileage, speed, and a longer lifespan.
The mileage and speed of your electric board will heavily depend on the battery cell quality and it’s important that the board you buy has specified the type and brand of battery it uses. Luckily, understanding the differences in electric skateboard battery quality is as easy as understanding the difference between a Duracell compared to a more generic brand. Electric board manufacturers and retailers who use top quality batteries in their boards will clearly disclose the brand, specifications, and other relevant information. The main reason why low-quality batteries should be avoided is that they’ll negatively impact the motor and its operation.
The reality of the truth is that there probably isn’t a single electric board that’s completely immune to connectivity issues, no matter how occasional or minor they are. However, you should still pay a lot of attention to this factor and check out customer reviews by people who own the same board that you’re considering. Join forums and relevant communities where you can ask questions and talk to people who own the product. Keep in mind that you might see mixed reviews, so always make a judgment based on what you feel is best for you.
Portability and Weight
Figure out your commute route. Are you someone who has to travel from point A to point B without taking a break? Or will your route include stepping off the board and using public transport, forcing you to carry the board by hand? It’s situations like these where you have to consider the portability and weight of the board, as they must fit your lifestyle, else you’ll have a difficult time. There are some big boards that are lightweight and small boards that weigh more, so size is not the common denominator. Take a look at the specification sheet of the model you’re considering to learn more on how much it weighs. Most electric boards can weigh anywhere from 5kg to 15kg.
Since it consists of many electrical parts, water resistance is something that you need to consider highly. It’s quite the surprise that many electric boards don’t have any environmental sealing whatsoever. You may – Why would I need a water-resistant board? I just won’t ride in the rain or through puddles. But the reality is – you’ll probably find yourself in a situation where water is around you and you won’t be able to avoid it – think sprinklers. While a little water probably won’t kill your board, it can cause speed and connectivity issues, which is why water resistance is a must-have for any electric skateboard.
Last but not least, you want to buy an electric board that’s covered with a warranty of at least a year or two. Obviously, the longer the warranty, the better. Manufacturers that offer a warranty on their boards means they’re standing behind their product and its quality.