Skateboarding as a phenomenon has been around for a while. With the advent of technology, a lot of traditional urban adventure/performance-based sports are going through changes. The skateboard has always been a board with wheels that is dependent on the skills of the person. Of course, no one can replace the thrill of acing the board. But what if you could go faster? Derive more thrill and adrenaline-pumping action!
The electric skateboard is the next step in the evolution of skateboarding. If you’re already a skateboarder, you may have honed your skills on your board. The times are moving and the logical step is to upgrade. You see others moving ahead with electric bikes and electric scooters. The regular skateboard may feel outdated and you need a new challenge.
But what if you already own a skateboard and spent precious money buying the perfect one for yourself. Investing in a new electric skateboard can be pretty heavy on the wallet. So why not invest in a cheaper solution? A DIY Electric Skateboard kit for your existing board is just what you need. All you need is a skateboard or a longboard, the kit, and some good old fashioned willpower to make it all happen.
E-board kits have options for customization and personalization, which may have not been possible earlier. The E-kits come with whatever you need and it can be assembled with a few tools by following the instruction manual and/or online tutorials.
Electric rechargeable batteries and motor technology are a joy for anyone – commuters, adventure seekers, sports enthusiasts, and hobbyists. There is a growing community of thrill-seekers looking to harness the high performing battery-driven skateboards. The fun part of e-skateboards? You can go faster and stop when you want (which can be activated with a push of a button). The market has quite a few variants that have multiple offerings. We will take a look to see which ones are the best for you.
The Best Electric Skateboard Kits –
1. WowGo Electric Skateboard Kit
Based in China, this company is known for producing electric skateboards in the budget range. Located in Shenzhen, the founders started the company from their living room to make it a global player in the budget electric skateboard segment. The kit includes most of the parts (except the deck) and is bundled in with the necessary tools needed for the assembly process. The kit is easy to assemble one with fewer hassles versus other kits in the market. It has a few extra accessories such as a red tail light, grip tape, and a hook to hang up your board when it is not in use.
The top speed is about 23.6 mph. The Samsung battery has which is about 144Wh and has an approximate range of 10 – 12 miles depending on usage. The kit has alternate battery options that give the option of greater range as the Panasonic and Sanyo batteries can increase the range from 12-14 miles to 15-19 miles respectively. These battery sizes are bigger than the standard Samsung one. The average charge time is about two to three hours. The prices vary from 400$ to 600$ depending on the battery choices.
2. Promotor Kit for Electric Skateboard
Priced at a low scale, this is possibly the cheapest version of a kit in this list. Created in the US, this kit is perfect for those who want to dabble with electronic kit upgrades for their existing boards. The wheels are made from high elastic PU material. This makes the kit stronger and durable, adding a little more life. It runs on a brushless motor that churns out 550W in each motor.
The kit is a fairly basic one, it has two sets of wheels that need to be fixed on an existing board. The motors provide a fantastic amount of speed and power for longboarding, however stopping can be tricky business. The motor may lock up when braking hard so it is advisable to lightly tap the brakes. It features a 90 MM dual hub motor wheel, equipped with 550W motors that are resting on 7-inch trucks.
3. Ownboard Dual Belt Motor Kit
The extremely popular Ownboard kit includes a motor installed on the trucks, front wheels, an extra belt, an extra kegel pulley, and screws + nuts. The kit can speed up to 24 miles an hour which is phenomenally fast! The battery is one of the best features of this kit, it is a 6.4 Ah battery that gives a range of about 18 miles rather than the expected 12 miles. This is a huge difference that will be highly beneficial to those who will be daily users.
It is fairly easy to install, takes a short amount of time as the components and the cables are sturdier, easy to manage, and organize! The lid of the motor is built well and has better protection than its competitors. The battery has a charge time of about 2 hours, although a ninety-minute charge is enough, the extra thirty minutes puts in the little bit extra range.
The kit comes with a remote – which is ergonomically designed and fits well in the hand. The feel of the remote is natural in the hand as the buttons are placed higher up for ease of use. The remote could’ve been designed to suit the hand better but the lack of it isn’t as noticeable.
The kit is designed for experienced skaters and tackling uphill roads. The best part of the skateboard is the regenerative braking which means that every single time you hit the brakes, the battery is recharged more!
4. Unlimited Electric Skateboard kit DIY
One of the pioneers of the Electric Skateboard. They introduced the world’s first skateboard and got funded on a Kickstarter for thousands of dollars. The original base model was refined to create 3 variant kits. Based in Barcelona, Spain, the company seeks to allow everyone to retain their originality in terms of the skateboard they own whilst switching to the realm of Electronic skateboarding. The solution that they were looking to offer is a simple plug and play model. This unique approach created by the product technicians was to remove the hassle of over-complicated assembly. The powertrain kit allows for converting any regular longboard or skateboard into an e-board in minutes.
There are three riding modes that can be customized via a mobile app. The electronics and the motor are weatherproofed and are capable of handling puddles however heavy rain can be a bit of a problem. There are multiple variants of the kits where there is a version with a single drivetrain, one with a single drivetrain and two batteries, and lastly a dual-motor version with two batteries. Depending on the kit purchased, the e-board can have a top speed of 23 mph to 26 mph. The range also varies, with the lowest variant producing a range of 7 miles and the highest producing 13 miles.
5. Revel Electric Skateboard Kit
Revel is a technology-based company that is based and founded in the US in the year 2017. They’re a company that principally focuses on sustainable urban transportation. The kit is a bolt-on electric skateboard which includes a lithium-ion battery that is swappable and is bundled in with a charging adapter and a charging dock. There is a remote charging cable, a shock pad, and a skate tool all thrown in for good measure.
The Lithium-Ion battery in the kit comes with a standard range of 6-10 miles and has the option of an extended range of 10-15 miles. Of course, this will be dependent on the mode used. A longer-range means lesser power and vice versa. The unique feature that sets it apart from the rest of the competitors is the swappable battery option. This means an added range as it can be swapped with a fresh battery.
The entire charge time for one battery ranges between 2-3 hours, and along with a regenerative braking feature, the battery can be pushed a lot more than usual. The remote allows for simultaneous pairing with two kits which means it can control four wheels at one go! This can be an experience that may have been unthinkable a few years ago – a four-wheel drive experience!
6. Focket Electric ESC Kit
Made of high-quality material, the chips and the components offer stable performance. The mainboard of this device is solidly designed that can lengthen its life. The device is equipped with a remote control that is perfect for a more controlled riding experience.
This is a powerful device with a max speed of 35 mph churned out from its 430W motor. The device has a 12V battery that gives a decent range of 8-10 miles and requires about 1-2hours for a charge. It can withstand a load of up to 240 lbs.
Factors while choosing an Electric Skateboard Kit –
This is the most important factor when deciding on which one to buy. It can be easy to be swayed by a fancy looking kit only to learn that it is an absolute pain to assemble. Of course, the simplest ones are the plug and play versions. Although some people prefer the challenge of assembling and the added mess of calculations and mess that comes with it. But the end result is a reliable skateboard for the long term.
This can easily be overlooked when thinking of a kit. This is the determining factor on how much adrenaline-pumping fun your skateboard is going to be. If you’re someone who lives in hilly terrain and gets a less powerful motor for the e-board then you’re stuck with lesser ability to climb the terrain. It would be wiser to get a kit that has a powerful motor. Of course, many of these kits come with an Electric Speed Controller and that determines how you tackle these terrains.
This is the heart of the search and should be the final determining factor when making the final purchase. The size, quality and functionality of the battery coupled with the cost and range are the factors to understanding a good battery. Bigger the battery, the higher the range and if you want to ensure that the battery lasts longer than usual, the better the quality, the longer it will last. Watt-hours should be the metric to measure the capacity of a good battery. At times, many manufacturers’ don’t share details of the size and instead choose to share the range of voltage of the battery.
If the battery is removable or swappable, that’s a bonus since it means that you can replace the battery with a spare while charging the used up one. This also means you can get an additional range on your day out with your board. The additional benefit of a removable battery is that it allows for easy carry on flights. Rather than having to worry about getting stuck at the airport, just remove the battery and put it in the checked-in baggage. It also allows for added security so that no one can steal it. The only downside is that the battery must be less than 160Wh
Be sure to check the ergonomic and usability of the remote supplied with the kit. If it is a badly designed remote, enjoying the ride may become difficult. The Electric Speed Controller or the ESC is important too. This is the computational unit that regulates the speed and drive of the motor. Acceleration and braking are what is controlled by this unit.
The space between the wheel and the deck is important. If it is touching, then there can be scratches and makes for an inconvenient ride. Not to mention the possible damage to the kit.
After-Sales service and customer support is the last point to consider as it is possible that the parts may be defective or broken. This can make a big difference in the final assembly process in case some bits are a pain to be fixed. Generally, reliable brands would have better customer support, so it is always recommended to go with those brands.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)
Generally electric skateboards aren’t waterproofed. Some of the kits have an IP rating and can be used in wet conditions however if it is a puddle then it is manageable versus heavy rain conditions. It makes sense to ride carefully in these conditions as it can lead to an injury. Most water-related issues aren’t covered by many brands so be careful to do so.
One would think the obvious answer is people who are trained or are into urban adventure sports, but the reality is anyone can use an electric skateboard. Since it has a handheld remote, one can control the speed and braking of the board. This means that the user is in full control! The only thing is a little practice in terms of maneuvering the skateboard with the movement of your body and hips.
Most e-boards have a warranty for a year or more. The life of a battery is dependent on its user and how well he or she maintains the device.
In case you’re using it and the battery runs out, the board can still be used as a regular one.
Boards can handle limited weight usually in the range of 220-240 lbs. Longboards tend to be able to handle weights up to 330 lbs
Electric Skateboards are here to stay and it will be interesting to see what new developments are made in this segment. Be sure to keep the factors in mind when choosing the e-board of your choice. Determine your purchase choice basis your requirement, if you like speed and powerhead for the ones with powerful batteries and motor, if you like range then pick one that has a swappable battery and if you feel like going easy on your pocket, pick one of the lower end products that are perfect for first-timers.