4 Things To Consider When Buying Electric Skateboards / longboards
Electric Skateboards / longboards are one of the most inspiring and exhilarating ways to commute or enjoy your free time. They are also pretty good for the environment since they do not produce any emissions. If you are looking to buy an electric longboard, here are some factors you will need to consider so you can purchase the best possible board.
I’m going to stress that buying electric skateboards is a process that involves considering what you need in a board and where you’ll be riding – What are your needs? Future e-board customers usually ask questions like: “What is the best electric skateboard?” or “What’s the fastest electric longboard?” and lastly “What electric longboard / skateboard has the longest battery range?”
Just because an e-board is quick or can ride a far distance doesn’t mean an electric longboard is the best for your needs. The better approach would be to remove any generalizations out of the equation and consider that the best electric longboard for your needs may actually be outside of your budget (or potentially below it) – and that’s okay!
After all, you’ll just be saving up for a bit longer in order to get something that is perfect for you versus something that you’ll end up abandoning for an eventual upgrade. I used this approach when I purchased my first electric longboard back in 2017 and in my five years of riding, I have never had to upgrade my electric longboard.
This goes to show that there is a bit of logic to the madness of my approach! There are four key categories that I like to look at when it comes to deciding what electric longboard is best for my particular needs. They include environment, performance, quality, and patience.
One huge element that seems to be an oversight when looking to purchase an electric longboard is the rider’s environment. You need to ask yourself “What is the environment I will be riding in?”
This seems like something basic and something you already would consider but it’ll be a huge factor in your final decisions as far as what electric longboard you will want to get. I’ve outlined a few questions to ask yourself in regards to the environment and have also detailed their importance.
1 – Are you wanting to go off-road and onto rocky trails with your electric longboard?
If so, you’ll strictly be looking into all-terrain or off-road electric longboards. Off-road electric longboards are usually belt-drive, as they’ll provide more torque in comparison to hub drive or direct drive boards. They also have bigger wheels, that make the all-terrain ride a smoother experience.
If you’re just commuting in the city, then you can purchase and hub and direct drive board – these boards are usually cheaper and the ride is much quieter than a belt-drive board, which can get pretty loud when riding.
2 in 1 electric skateboards give you the best of both worlds, as you’ll be able to switch from all-terrain board to street board, by changing out the wheels. These boards are usually belt-drive boards and give the rider the ability to customize the board with the wheels of their choice and also change the pulleys or specific wheels, with the goal of producing more torque or a higher top speed.
2 – Are there many steep roads, hills, or mountains that you will encounter regularly while riding?
This will help you determine how much charge you’ll want your battery to retain and the overall performance or distance your board will be able to go. It’ll also help determine if regenerative braking will be of any use to you as most electric longboards offer that feature.
A battery with a low capacity is not your friend in an environment with many hills. If you live in a hilly area – the higher the capacity of the battery, the more range you’ll retain after climbing a hill.
A high output battery is also good in this scenario, as your board will accelerate faster and climb the hill in a shorter amount of time. I recommend a 44.4 Volt battery or higher. 36 Volt batteries don’t cut it, if you’re commuting in an area with a lot of hills.
3 – Are you able to ride your electric longboard all year round or seasonally?
If you live in a region with lots of rain or snow in the fall and winter (as I do) then you won’t be riding all year round and will have your electric longboard tucked away for nearly half the year. That being said you may want to look for an electric longboard and wheels that will perform well in cold and wet weather.
Checking the boards IP rating is something you’ll want to do if you’re riding in wet conditions. The higher the IP rating, the better the board is for riding in water.
4 – How far would you like to travel with your electric longboard during your rides?
This is another touch on the ideal battery for your electric longboard. You will narrow down your search even further simply by determining the distances you’d realistically travel or the maximum distance you would like to go. You may realize that you only plan to ride recreationally, close to home, and on a seasonal basis.
Therefore you won’t need a battery pack that will take you 40 or 50km from your home. Buy an electric longboard with a fairly standard battery pack or a swappable option and cut added costs of a larger battery pack. a 36 Volt battery with a lower capacity is perfect in this scenario.
This can be one of the best ways to help reduce your budget, but if you plan to ride long distances you should be prepared to have a large budget to cover the costs of the battery on your electric longboard. Look for a battery with a higher capacity, in this case. The higher the “Ah” number, the better.
5 – What are the overall trail, path, road, and bike lane conditions in your city?
Are you going to be riding on paths and bike lanes with your electric longboard? Depending on the conditions of your route you may want to look for an electric longboard with swappable wheel style options or bigger wheels for a smoother ride.
Some cities have horrible roads with endless potholes, cracks, bumps, and rough areas that can make riding uncomfortable. Other cities have well-paved roads and easy to access bike lanes that don’t require large or pneumatic wheels.
This is commonly the first aspect a rider looks at (beyond price) when trying to find the perfect electric longboard. If there is one thing I can tell you from my years of riding it would be that you do not need an electric longboard that overperforms.
Everyone wants the Ferrari but no one absolutely needs one, so keep that in mind when you are looking at performance. Ask yourself these core questions when it comes to performance and product specifications to help further narrow your search.
- How fast do you want to ride at top speed with this electric longboard?
- How far do you plan to go with this electric longboard?
- What type, style, and quality of parts would you like the electric longboard to have?
- What average incline capability do you require?
Top speed seems to be the first thing I hear from someone about their new electric longboard. “Man, my new board goes 60mph!” or “That board is a beast!” are fair and accurate comments to make. The question still remains though “Do I need to go 60kph?” and “Do I want a board I’m not prepared to handle?” The answer for me was no.
That’s why I still have an electric longboard that caps out at roughly 40-45 kph. For my use and for my environment I did not need a board that can ride on the highway and keeps up with cars. I don’t really race my electric longboard and when I do it’s purely for fun at an electric longboard event like Derby Days (which takes place in Redmond, WA).
I also didn’t want to ride off-road but I did need something with good incline abilities and that could ride up hills with ease. I needed more torque and I new that I could influence the torque on my belt-drive board by changing the pulley size. Installing a larger pulley help me accelerate quicker and get up the hill quicker.
Having a high top speed is not something I need and if it was, I know I could use a smaller pulley to get better top-end performance and a higher top speed.
My electric longboard is purely for recreational purposes and as such, I bought a board suitable just for that. Owning a belt-drive board gives me the ability the customize my board with the wheels and pulleys I want and that’s important to me.
One major factor in choosing the e-board that is right for you would be the quality, build, as well as the brand or company’s reputation and customer service. You may be willing to compromise quality or customer service for an electric longboard that would be significantly cheaper, but you usually get what you pay for.
There are a ton of brands out there putting profits above their customer’s satisfaction – these companies usually aren’t going to be there to help you when you have a problem with your board. Quality is key and that is why I recommend looking at brands that are reputable and have shown signs of success in the quality of production.
Customer service shouldn’t be overlooked! Even the most well-made boards and reputable electric longboard companies have boards that run into issues. Your electric longboard (much like any electronic device) will eventually fail on you, at some point.
The important part is knowing that you will be able to somehow have it repaired with ease. When I bought my electric longboard I knew that I was paying a premium and I was okay doing that knowing that not only was the brand reputable but they also had amazing customer service. My electric longboard ran into a few issues. It had a 1-year warranty and all of the issues were taken care of by the company.
Find out information about the company beforehand, check their reviews and even try giving them a call. Are you talking to a person in your area on the other line or a third-party customer service agent outsourced by a big company? Or is there even a phone number for the company?
The company ended up fixing all the issues with my board. I’ve luckily not had a problem with the electric longboard since the last time I had it repaired but I can assure you the price I paid was well worth the amount of service, parts, free shipping, and repairing I had done to my electric longboard.
Although my electric longboard wasn’t necessarily the best in build or had the best specifications, it was good to have peace of mind in regards to repairing or replacing parts.
You’re probably scratching your head in regards to this one but patience is another big factor. It determines how long you are willing to wait in order to buy your electric longboard.
- Do you want your electric longboard right away?
- Are you willing to wait a while?
- How much of a budget do you have versus how much of a budget do you need?
If you aren’t in a hurry to get your electric longboard then you are at a bit of an advantage and you can be more selective and do some research, before taking the plunge. There seem to be more and more start-ups coming onto the scene and offering potential customers the chance to pre-order one of their newly designed boards.
However, you also need to be wary if you go down this road. There have been many new e-board and electric longboard companies that launched and have failed either before launching or shortly after.
Taking a pre-order from an unknown company is not recommended in my books because you never know how long the company will stay in business and once they’re gone, so is your warranty. But if you’ve done your homework or the company is reputable then go for it!
Budget and patience go hand in hand when it comes to buying an electric longboard. Most people want to get their hands on an electric longboard right away and some have to play a waiting game due to a lack of budget.
Do not let your lack of budget cause you to buy a lesser electric longboard just so you can get riding sooner. Most people outline their budget then start looking for their electric longboard. In reality, it should be the complete opposite. You should look up the electric longboards and find the one(s) that best suit your needs then build your budget around the options you’ve narrowed down on.
If your budget climbed while shopping around, then Shaboardz has the option for customers to finance their new ride, through Paybright! You can simply choose the Paybright or “Make Payments” option at checkout and then you’ll be lead to the Paybright website to apply for financing. Find out more about financing options with Paybright.
I hope that you have found this article on things to consider when buying an electric longboard to be helpful and informative. If you are looking for a new way to commute to and from work or school, consider purchasing an electric longboard! If you like feel free to browse the collection of electric longboards Shaboardz has available in their online store.