Move over hoverboards, there is a new contender for the coolest gadget around. If you are an avid skateboarder, chances are you would have joked about wishing you had an electric skateboard when it came time to skate up the hills or even along a long, flat road. Turns out that this is actually a thing! The electric skateboard exists, and it is everything that you could have hoped for and more. There will be a very big chance that this will be the year of the skateboard, so you better start adding it onto your must-have list!
In excitement for the year of the electric skateboard, we have answered all your questions about the newest toy for kids and adults alike.
What Is an Electric Skateboard?
The electric skateboard is exactly as the name suggests – an electric skateboard. They are designed and shaped exactly the same as an ordinary skateboard, and unless you were told otherwise, you would be forgiven for thinking that it was just a run of the mill board. The deck is the same, the wheels are the same (on some models) and the overall look and feel are the same. The only difference – runs on electricity rather than foot power.
There are two main variations of the electric skateboard – the standard (everyday) board, and the more serious and robust off-road board. The standard board has the same wheels as a normal skateboard and is designed for use on roads, sidewalks and other easy, flat surfaces. They are designed and marketed as a simple transportation device, to get from one place to another. The off-road variation has much larger wheels and resembles a mini monster truck. These are able to ride over uneven terrain, thick grass, dirt and even hard sand. These off-road ones are used as more of a thrill sport and tend to attract the more adventurous and daring riders.
How Do They Work?
The electric skateboard is propelled by an electric motor, and the power is controlled by a remote control which the rider will hold in their hands. Steering is exactly the same as with an ordinary skateboard – the direction and turns are determined by the lean of the rider. The motor only affects the forward movement of the board. The appeal of an electric skateboard is simple – they propel themselves so the rider does not need to exert any energy or use their feet to move forwards.
The remote control fits comfortably in your hand and controls the speed of the board. The controls are single button push, so does not take much thought process, so you can focus on the riding experience.
What are their Main Features?
- They can be charged anywhere you charge your phone or laptop.
- They can be carried on public transport or in your backpack.
- They are insanely quiet considering it is externally powered.
- They have the amazing power and feeling of downhill cruising, even when there is a slight uphill slope.
What Are Their Limitations?
Adding a heavy motor onto a skateboard is not without its limitations. Electric skateboards are a fair bit heavier than their manual counterpart, weighing anywhere between 9 lbs and 20 lbs depending on the model. They also require to be charged, and the battery does not last forever. Typically, these skateboards use an 800-watt battery which will take you between 9-12 miles on a single charge. This is not bad and is a good run, however, you will need to keep in mind that it will probably need a charge in-between rides. You cannot do the same tricks on them as you can the ordinary skateboard – you can go to a skate park and do nifty turns, however, ollies and jumping tricks are not advised simply due to the fact that there are a battery and motor attached to it which you do not want to damage. They are more designed for cruising or simple riding on beaches and dirt tracks (if you have the off-road board).
The safety of an electric skateboard really depends on the rider and how it is used. They do hold an element of risk of course, but not much more than riding a bike or an ordinary skateboard. The key is to use the device within your abilities so don’t go too fast too quickly, and wear safety equipment. Chances are you will fall off at least once, but if you are wearing suitable protective clothing and a helmet, then the chance of you hurting yourself is greatly minimized.
And if you are worried about the motors catching fire like the infamous hoverboards, then you should know that the reason for these fires is an overcharged lithium ion battery. The batteries on an electric skateboard are much simpler than those on a hoverboard – usually a couple of circuit boards, a motor, and a small battery. Read the instructions regarding charging time, and just like any large electronic equipment, do not leave to charge unattended.
The Year of the Electric Skateboard
This really is the year of the best of the electric skateboard. As consumers, we are getting a real taste of adventure and are no longer satisfied with the same old things that our parents and grandparents used. We want a little bit of attitude in our products, a little bit of “Back to the Future”. An electric skateboard is essentially an ultra-futuristic take on a skateboard – a staple item in the American household. They have not drastically changed the trusty skateboard – simply added onto it in order to make it appealing to the younger and fussier generation.
There are so many benefits and great reasons to purchase an electric skateboard, as shown here. They are great for all terrain, they can ride up hills, and most importantly they are fun! The skateboard is always going to be cool. It will never go out of fashion. When people ride hoverboards they look strange and attract stares – no one thinks twice when they see someone on a skateboard. We are ready for the electric skateboard to take the world by storm. We are ready for skateboard 2.0