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WHY AN ELECTRIC SKATEBOARD

Jun. 21,2017



WHY AN ELECTRIC SKATEBOARD?

To answer that question with one word: fun! Sure, you can use an electric board as your normal mode of transportation; they’re popping up all over large college campuses, and urban commuters are using the boards more and more often, particularly in tech havens like Silicon Valley (as you might expect). Taking your board to work or school doesn’t mean it’s any less fun to ride, though.


And a growing number of electric skateboards tout their speed (some will do well over 20 miles per hour), rapid acceleration, multiple riding modes, and durability when put through their full paces or taken off-road. Those aren’t features meant for commuters; they’re designed for fun – and even extreme – riding.


Generally speaking, almost all of the boards you can buy work pretty much the same way. An electric motor powers it, and it’s controlled by a handheld remote (some can be controlled by a smartphone), there are brakes to slow your travel, and you steer just as you would with an old-school board, with your body (and feet, if necessary).


The other attributes of electric skateboard models vary considerably, as you would guess by the fact that prices for these babies can run anywhere from a few hundred dollars to a few thousand. Here are some of the most important considerations we’ve taken into account when ranking the best.


One major key to a board’s usefulness is its range. If you only have a ten minute commute to work, you shouldn’t have a problem with the distance any models will be able to cover it on a single charge. If you plan on heading out for a full afternoon of joyriding, though, the last thing you’ll want to be faced with is a long walk back home with your board under your arm. And if that is a possibility, the weight of the skateboard is something else to consider.

We’ve also looked at the type of remote control each board utilizes. It may seem like a small thing – until you’re out on the road and realize that having to use your thumb to control your speed is a lot more difficult than using your trigger finger. Some models even let you use your smartphone as a remote, while most have apps that allow you to program their operations.


Other features which may be important to you include two-wheel drive (with a separate motor powering each rear wheel) which can improve traction and power but makes turning more difficult and drains the battery more quickly; hub drive (instead of belt drive) for less noise; and extras like LED lights for night riding and waterproof or water-resistant components for all-weather trips.

Ready to take these reviews out for a spin? Get your helmet and pads on and let’s get started.



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