The 10 Best Electric Skateboards
Benefits Of An Electric Skateboard
An electric skateboard works like a standard skateboard in many ways; it has four wheels, a board, and lets the user steer by shifting their weight. Unlike a standard skateboard, they are powered by an electric motor and often come with a remote control that lets the rider manage the speed and brakes.
Most electric skateboards reach between 15 and 25 miles per hour, with a rare few going even faster. This speed capability elevates them from a hobbyist item to a legitimate form of transportation. Plus, since the rider doesn't have to exert any energy to move the board, they can comfortably ride this type of skateboard for an extended period without getting tired. In fact, some boards boast batteries that can run for up to 100 uninterrupted minutes.
Electric skateboards have gained a following in the off-roading community, too. Many manufacturers have come out with models featuring large, wide wheels with deep treads that can grip rocky terrain, allowing the rider to execute tricks. Riders who need to go up a lot of hills should look for a motor with a high wattage for better acceleration. Those who need to pick up and carry their board might want a fiberglass model since these are light while still durable.
New riders, or nervous parents buying their child their first board, should look for one that sits low to the ground. This helps the rider feel more stable and gives them a lower center of gravity. Novice riders might opt for polyurethane wheels since these offer the smoothest ride. Polyurethane wheels are also quiet, so parents who don't want to be bothered by the constant squeaking of a skateboard on their driveway prefer them.
The History Of The Motorized Skateboard
The first motor based skateboard was actually gasoline-powered. It was called the Motoboard and became available in 1975. The Motoboard wouldn't have been possible without the creation of two other inventions from the 1970s: polyurethane wheels and small industrial two-stroke engines.
Prior to polyurethane, steel wheels and composite skate wheels were the standard for skateboards, but these weren't fit to handle the unpredictable terrain of sidewalks or any arena outside of a skatepark. The Motoboard was featured in top publications like Time Magazine and Playboy, but it was eventually banned because it created too much pollution and was very loud.
In the 1990s, a man named Loui Finkle invented the first true electric skateboard. This was also the first model to feature a wireless remote control. The board proved to be too expensive for its target market and didn't sell many units. In 2004, two brothers named Dan and Matt Quinn collaborated with Finkle, and added battery-powered motors to the board, small enough for the item, while still providing plenty of torque.
The use of electric skateboards in public places has been much debated among legislators since they were created. In 2014, Modesto assembly woman Kirsten Olsen submitted a bill that would make electric skateboards street legal so long as they did not run on gasoline. In 2015, Governor Jerry Brown signed the bill, which made electric skateboards legal in any places where bicycles can go. The bill does, however, still allow communities to set their own local laws regarding electric skateboards.
Accessories That Boost Your Ride
People who ride their skateboard at night, whether or not they use an electric version, should put lights on their board. But for electric skateboard riders, adding lights is even more important. Since their board can reach speeds of 20 to 25 miles per hour, they can come upon items in the dark much faster. LED light stickers or strips are great, low-weight options that won't add much bulk to the board. For added safety, riders should wear reflective clothing or hats at night.
Grip tape will make riding any skateboard much safer. This tape feels like sand paper and creates added friction between one's feet and their board, so they're less likely to slip off. Grip tape can be found in a clear variety that won't cover up the design of the skateboard, or with decorative patterns.
It's also easy to cut into any shape or design the rider wants. Since electric skateboards are real forms of transportation, like cars, they should have small bumpers. In the skateboard world, these bumpers are called nose guards, and they're small pieces of rubber that fit onto the ends of a board.
Riders who need to carry their board with them all day, storing it when they go indoors and on public transportation, should look for a skate backpack. These have space for regular items like books, wallets, and phones, but they also have a dedicated compartment for a skateboard. Riders who love to do tricks should add rails to their skateboard. Rails attach to the underside of a board and protect the graphics when the rider grinds and performs other popular skate tricks.