18 Feb How to Choose the Right Electric Longboard or Skateboard
As electric longboards and skateboards become a more popular means of transportation, more variations are developed.
These days, not all e-boards are made equally either. Some have different components and are more or less better at certain types of riding.
So how does one actually choose the right electric longboard or skateboard for themself?
This buyer’s guide was written precisely to answer that question.
We’re going to share a host of information with you, from what aspects of the board to focus on as well as whether you should invest in an electric longboard or skateboard. Crucially, we’re also going to help you figure out which type of rider you are, first.
Let’s not waste time: here is what you need to consider primarily when shopping for an electric board.
What kind of e-skater are you?
First and foremost, ask yourself this question.
“What do you like about riding electric boards?”
By asking yourself this question, you should be getting a better idea of the following:
- What it is you’ll be doing with the board.
- What you need from the board.
- What is possible with the board you’re eyeing.
Once you know what you can do and need, then you can start choosing the best electric longboard or skateboard for yourself.
If you’ve already ridden regular, analog boards, fantastic. There are only a few extra things to consider when going electric.
Things to pay attention to: range, battery life, maneuverability, portability
For the working person, a workhorse board is needed.
Above all else, those who use an electric board to commute will need something reliable and well-rounded. That means having decent range, good battery life, and enough power to get you up those hills. Bonus points if your board is small or easily storable – no one wants to trip over someone’s board in the office.
Commuters don’t necessarily need a fast board either. Since you’ll most likely be using your electric longboard or skateboard in the city, you won’t be hitting high speeds. Better to have a board that is maneuverable so that you can avoid traffic and pedestrians.
Those who are just getting started with electric longboarding i.e. beginners will probably fall under this category as well. Like commuters, novices will need something versatile, to begin with.
Things to pay attention to: maximum maneuverability, control, durability, speed
E-skaters love to carve – it’s a great way to accelerate and is super fun. Once you nail it, you’ll probably start doing it constantly.
Many believe that e-boards are better at it than their analog predecessors. Electric skateboards do a fine job at carving but longboards are usually considered the better option, given their longer decks.
When carving with your electric longboard, you must absolutely prioritize maneuverability over everything else. Make sure your board is responsive and that you completely understand how to use it.
Also, be sure that your board is durable enough to handle the constant and sometimes sharp turning. Pay particular attention to the trucks, which will take the brunt of the stress during carves.
Things to pay attention to: portability, range, battery life, durability
As e-boards become more and more advanced, they also become more and more convenient to travel with. In fact, there’s never been a better time to travel with your electric board we say!
Portability is crucial when it comes to travel as you’ll regularly need to pack away your board and even potentially fly with it. Whilst electric skateboards might seem to be the natural choice – because of their smaller size – electric longboards can also be good candidates. Foldable electric longboards, like Linky, are arguably the ultimate choice for those who want to travel with a board.
Those who plan on flying with their board will want to be aware of battery size. Most airlines do not allow removable batteries over 160 watts/hour on the plane, in the cabin, or checked-in. You can of course take a spare battery with you and absolutely should consider it to maximize riding range.
Things to pay attention to: power, maximum speed, battery life, control
The final evolved form of most electric skaters: the adrenaline junkies who charge down the hills as fast as possible without a second thought. Do these daredevils have no fear???
Thanks to their increased stability, electric longboards are usually best for speed runs. Having a larger battery and a more powerful motor will help you achieve maximum velocity.
It should go without saying as well that speedsters will need to invest in all the proper safety gear and longboard accessories.
Beginner electric longboarders should not consider high-speed boards at first. The average top speed for an electric longboard is around 28 miles/hour and, frankly, anything faster than that feels like you’re being shot out of cannon. Know how to ride first and then think about going fast.
Things to pay attention to: maneuverability, maximum control, durability, portability
Naysayers be damned – it’s totally possible to thrash on an e-board despite the extra weight! You just need to know what you’re doing.
Those wanting to trash will most likely end up with an electric skateboard rather than a longboard. Whilst it is possible to do some tricks on an electric longboard, it’ll be hard to do much more than dance on the deck. Electric skateboards are just the better choice.
You’ll want to make sure that your electric skateboard is as light and agile as possible. It’s ok to sacrifice battery capacity – and shed some weight in the process – since you’ll mostly be riding in shorter bursts rather than long distances. Bonus points if the board material is also tough (look into carbon fiber) and the controller is intuitive.
Things to pay attention to: maximum durability, power, control
Yes, it is totally possible to turn your electric longboard into an all-terrain machine and many people prefer the dirt over the pavement.
What does it take to go off-roading with your e-board?
It’s all in the wheels, baby. All-terrain electric longboards need much larger, more rugged rubber wheels to cope with the hard terrain. Luckily, most e-boards allow you to swap out wheels and the all-terrain variety are easily purchased separately.
Beyond the wheels, having a board with a firm, yet flexible desk helps cope with the elements as does a little waterproofing.
You’ll also want to make sure the board has enough torque to handle the random inclines. It doesn’t need to be fast, but it does need to be powerful.
Electric skateboards vs electric longboards
When it comes to battery-powered boards, electric longboards are far more common. This is mostly because they’re better suited for cruising. In their case, the addition of a drive system and the battery isn’t really a dealbreaker – they only enhance the experience.
Longboards are built for pleasure riding. A longer, more flexible deck provides a lot more stability and comfort while riding, and larger wheels handle bumpy terrain more easily. Longboards, especially electric longboards, can go really, really fast as well.
Consequently, longboards can also be less agile and are not great when it comes to tricks. Some people still manage to do a cool trick on their longboard but the grand majority of riders can’t do anything more complex than carving.
Electric skateboards are less common, probably because sticking a heavy battery on one defeats their ultimate purpose: to be light and glide through the air.
That being said, electric skateboards do still exist and they are still fun to ride. They tend to be a bit longer and could even be described as a “shortboard”. One could even manage to do tricks on an electric skateboard if they set their mind to it.
The biggest positive of an electric skateboard is its compact size. Some riders actually prefer to use them to get around town in fact. Usually, they will install larger, softer wheels – like a longboard – because they’re better for cruising.
So if you know what kind of rider you are, ask yourself if a skateboard, longboard, or shortboard would better suit your style. Commuters, carvers, and speedsters should stick to buying an electric longboard while tricksters and ultralights will gravitate towards an electric skateboard. Travelers and off-roaders could get away with either depending on the situation.
What to look for when buying an electric longboard or skateboard
Let’s drill down into the details and look more closely at the individual aspects of an electric board. As we learn more about what makes a good electric longboard or skateboard, then we can really start to hone in on which is the right one.
Range and battery life
Both electric longboards and electric skateboards average around 12-20 miles on a single charge. For most types of riders, this is enough.
It is of course possible to purchase an e-board with a larger battery and more range; a lot more. Some longboard brands, like Lacroix, have models that come with a ridiculous 2000 watt battery. To put that in context, the average is 200! With a battery that big, a board can easily hit 100 miles on a single charge.
But having a larger battery might not necessarily be a good thing. For one thing, a larger battery will mean a heavier longboard. A normal longboard is around 10-15 pounds; the aforementioned behemoth from Lacroix can be upwards of 50 pounds. With a heavy board like that, traveling will be more difficult for sure.
Don’t even think about trying to bring a longboard with a larger than average battery on a plane either. Chances are, security will confiscate it.
If you’re looking to add a little range to your board, you’re probably better off bringing an extra battery or two in your backpack. This way is more convenient. Just make sure the electric longboard you want to buy features replaceable batteries.
E-boards can take a real beating on the streets and (especially) on the trails. Trucks, wheels, belts, and chassis get worn out and can break depending on the board and the rider. God forbid someone comes down hard on it and snaps the deck :’(
When choosing an electric longboard or skateboard, you’ll want to make sure that the board is made of good materials. Boards made with bamboo, carbon fiber, and high-quality plastics are usually a good sign. Cheaper brands will obviously skimp on using materials like these.
Do a little research beforehand and make sure you’re not investing in something that will break after a few rides. Read electric longboard reviews and see if anyone has had any glaring problems. If the board is bad, usually it will be obvious from people’s comments.
Power and speed
Most electric longboards and skateboards top out at around 20-28 miles/hour. And in all honesty, new riders shouldn’t look for anything that goes faster than that. Beyond 30 miles/hour, boards become more difficult to control and serious injuries are more likely.
More important than speed is power. Power means you can conquer hills more easily and deal with variegated terrain, but not necessarily go faster. Power mostly comes from a combination of torque and the type of motor your board has. If they’re top quality, your board won’t struggle as much and your ride will overall be smoother.
A good electric longboard for beginners will offer just enough torque and speed to get you to where you’re going. Once you’ve become more experienced, then consider whether or not you actually need more speed from your next model.
Maneuverability and control
When it comes to maneuverability and control, it really comes down to the rider. Whatever electric board you end up buying, the bottom line is you’ll need to feel comfortable on it. If you’re not, the ride just won’t be fun and even accidents can occur.
You’ll want to try out the board for a period of time before committing to keeping it. Feel it out, take it for a spin, make sure that this one is right for you. In this case, it is pretty mandatory that the electric longboard or skateboard company that you buy from has a good return policy. 14 days should be a minimum.
Pay special attention to the controller. You’d be amazed how difficult some are to use. You don’t want to be in a hectic situation either where you need to be in full control but you can’t because you can’t figure the remote out.
Portability is a huge factor for those who are on the go and travel frequently. Being able to quickly grab a board and pack it away easily is hugely convenient. Just ask anyone who’s tried to take their electric longboard on a crowded bus. People glare.
Those wanting maximum portability might instinctively buy an electric skateboard or even a shortboard. After all, they are the lightest and most compact form of electric mobility.
That being said, it is possible to have a portable electric longboard as well, so long as it is foldable or collapsible.
Where can one find such a board? Linky of course!
Linky is the world’s ONLY foldable electric longboard. It packs down to about the size of a pile of textbooks and can fit in most regular-sized backpacks. Perfect for college students, commuters, travelers, and anyone else looking for something storable.
Shameless promotion over.
Let’s be honest: price is a big deal when it comes to choosing an electric skateboard or longboard. One could spend a couple of hundred dollars on a real beater board or thousands on something state of the art. Ideally, you’ll find a happy medium.
Budget electric longboards and skateboards are usually made of subpar materials. They’ll break faster and you won’t get much in the way of customer support. This may not deter a casual rider or someone like a college student but regular riders will need something more reliable
A good e-board – one that will perform well and will last a while – should cost between $500-$1000. You could easily spend more on a board if you wanted more bells and whistles but the above price range is the Goldilocks range: just right.
An oft-overlooked aspect when it comes to choosing an electric longboard or skateboard but one that can make all the difference. Being able to actually TALK to someone who speaks your language is huge.
Imagine this: your board starts to malfunction and the motor won’t start. You find the company email address and send a message, only to wait days until you receive a reply, and in broken English for that matter.
It’s an all too frequent occurrence for those who buy cheap electric longboards from foreign (mostly Chinese) producers.
Buying from a local company comes with a couple of extra assurances: they’ll 1) speak your language 2) should be quicker to respond and 3) faster to ship and receive.
It’s a really satisfying feeling to know that the person on the other end of the line actually understands your problem, even more so when they successfully fix your board. Thankfully, most of Linky’s staff is bilingual in English and Italian. Send us a ciao or hello anytime!
When it comes to picking the right electric longboard or skateboard, you must consider the following:
- What kind of style of riding do I like and which board is best for it?
- Do I want an electric longboard, electric skateboard, or something in between?
- What aspects of the electric board are most important to me? Range? Durability? Speed? Customer support?
- How much am I willing to pay?
Answer the above questions, the best electric board for you should be obvious.
This concludes our electric longboard and skateboard buying guide. If you have any further questions that you’d like to ask or have some good e-board suggestions, please leave a comment below!