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:
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...
Yesterday I spent all day putting my new solar panel on the RV. Two weeks ago I got the panel in the mail and I called Crestview RV (a local RV place in Austin) to get it installed. They said it would be about $200, but that they were backed up and it would have to be left there for two weeks. I told them I couldn't go without it that long, so he made an appointment for two weeks later and said to come first thing in the morning.
Those of you who know me know that I hate waking up early.
Still, I want my solar power so I woke up early yesterday and my fantastic sister, Kelsey, drove me 15 miles to bring it in. When I got there they told me they were backed up and I would need to leave it there for two weeks. Forget it. I'll do it myself.
I am taking a class called "Strategic Thinking in Action" on the global electric car industry with others sloan fellows: Adi Kurnadi, Fadi, Peter Blake, Antonio Sansigreand Kunal Yadav. The class is co-taught by Robert Burgelman and Sven Beiker.
It is fascinating to see how the choices made right now by automakers and other industry payers will impact the transportation industry down the road. High rank ranking executives from GM, Tesla, SoCal Edison and others came to discuss their views on the future of the electric car industry.
My key takeaways so far are:
Now a bit of daydreaming: Think about the day Tesla, Uber, PG&E and Google will join hands to market a car that drives itself to your location when requested, takes you where you need, recharge it's battery at the nearest available plug after you left and bills you based on the miles traveled each month. Smog free cities with lower the ambient noise level, smaller roads and no parking space....