As soon as I saw the video, I knew I had to have one. Displayed before me on my screen was a guy carving around in a parking lot at twenty miles an hour on an electric skateboard. It was a beautiful thing.
Years prior Mystery had goaded me into riding a Segway.
"They're SO nerdy."
"Trust me. Once you ride one you won't care."
He was right, but the things were too expensive and too big. Still, I liked the idea of a small electric vehicle for urban transportation. The skateboard was much cheaper and much smaller, so I ordered one.
Since then I've had at least four different boards, which is as much a testament to how much I love them as it is to their biggest weakness: they break easily. Still, I keep buying new ones or buying parts for the old ones.
So what's so great about an electric skateboard?
You control the board with a pistol grip controller that governs the acceleration and regenerative braking. It's pretty easy, even if you've never ridden a skateboard before. In fact, it's a lot easier than a regular skateboard because you always have both feet on the deck.
The only downsides of the electric skateboard are that they break fairly easily, and go slowly up hills. The brand I recommend, E-Glide, has a good warranty, though, and you still go up hills faster than you would if you were walking.
There are two companies who make these boards: Altered, previously known as Exkate, and E-Glide. Altered has cool wireless controllers, but the boards are made in China and the customer support is really bad. E-Glide, on the other hand, is pretty focused on high quality, and the owner is a great guy who really truly cares about the boards he's selling.
I visited their workshop last year and got to see some of the stuff they're working on. These guys are true innovators.
I personally ride an E-Glide 42. I'd prefer a smaller board, maybe a 36", but the 42" is the smallest one you can get with the big battery pack. Make sure to buy the Goodyear tires; they're expensive, but worth every penny for the smooth ride.
Check out the boards at E-Glide or Altered (not linking to them because they have lied to me before and I don't vouch for them).
And last, here's a cool video of both brands:
If you like electric skateboards you just have to get your hands on an Evolve board. Very high quality, great battery life and the best carving fun imagineable!
I like the post. My first board was good but weighed about 50 pound my latest board is uses a light brushless motor and lithium battery and weighs only 19 pounds. epicskateboards.com.au
I rode Tynan's board around quite a lot while he was here in KY, and he's not kidding about the fun factor. I used to skateboard to all my classes, I wakeboard, snowboard, surf, etc. and I can honestly say that this is very reminiscent to all these things, minus any physical strain (i.e. covering long distances, showing up for class sweaty and breathing hard).
Besides the battery, however, these things (or at least Tynan's) are heavy as hell (50 lbs or so) and no easy to move around (i.e. no handle, grip, etc.)
Also, he's not kidding around about the better wheels being worth the extra money. I didn't ride on the cheaper wheels, but from my experienc with skateboards and regular longboard wheels, the smoothness of the ride is like night and day.
Great post Tye!
I like the standard non powered sector 9 long board. They are way easier to ride than a standard skateboard because of the larger wheels, the better bearings and the ease or maneuvering.
They are only around $150
What do you do with the skateboard when you're running errands and reach the store? Isn't it 50+ pounds? Do you bring it with you inside or lock it up outside?
Thanks for this, I was actually going to request a post about these, as I remember you mentioning them before and they do sound awesome
Now i want one...
I don't walk much anymore. I run. If you were to follow me around all week, you'd probably interpret the rush to mean that I'm the most tardy person on planet earth. But that's not why I run, except today when I almost missed my flight.
I run because it's better than walking. I didn't stop to think about this until recently, but once I did I became fairly well convinced that walking is a waste of time unless I'm intentionally strolling around in the park or something. So now whether I'm on my way to a restaurant or going from the bus station to my RV, I run.
It's great exercise. Most distances I run tend to be between half-a-mile and a mile-and-a-half, which is a nice manageable sprinting distance. Walking such a distance wouldn't get my heart rate up, but flying down the streets, up and down hills and stairs is a good workout. If I have a few runs in a day, my legs will even be a bit sore the next day, whereas they wouldn't have been if I was just walking.
Skateboards are generally divided into two main types; long boards and short boards. In order for you to buy a skateboard you have to first decide what exactly you would be doing on your board. If you just want a skateboard to do some cruising around, or some downhill racing then longboards are for you. If you intend to use the board to learn to do flips and skateboard down ramps and stairs then the shortboards is definitely what you need. Unlike the regular skateboards, the longboards are just as the name explains, a little longer than the regular skateboard. These are mostly used in competitions and for just cruising from one point to the other. These boards are used to do big wide turns. In fact the art of using long boards is called longboarding instead of skateboarding. The other type of skateboard is called a shortboard. Shortboards are used for doing flips and tricks. They are much shorter and lighter than longboards. Whichever you choose have fun skateboarding.