1. 4-Wheel Drive Builds
In the past, two belt, or hub motors has been the standard, but now we are starting to see manufacturers packing 4 motors into their builds. We have to say that we are very excited for this new age of eskate “hot-rodding” and absolutely envision a consumer-grade electric longboard that breaks 35 mph on the horizon soon. With more motors, boards will be heavier and have more moving parts, so reliability will also be a concern, but the first manufacturer to build a dependable 4-wheel drive eskate will be sitting on a goldmine.
2. Budget All-Terrain Boards
Major manufacturers are starting to take a bite out of a market that used to be dominated by independent builders. As a result, we are starting to see the first budget all-terrain eskates emerging in the market. AT eskates have several advantages over traditional skateboards, but are also typically bulkier and heavier. AT wheels improve rideability on tough terrain and absorb a lot of the rumble and vibration that comes with high-speed riding. AT longboard skateboards are also a blast to take on grass or dirt trails and really broaden the possibilities for what you can skate. We firmly expect other manufacturers to follow suit with the AT trend in 2019.
3. New Top Speeds
OK, this one is kind of a given. As we see new tech emerge, these planks of wood are going to get faster and faster. Just as motorcycle manufacturers had a “speed war” in the 90’s, so too will eskate manufacturers. In the last year we have seen major manufacturers working hard to squeeze every last watt of power out of their motors, and even more boutique boards that can do over 30 mph. It’s clear to see that a speed war has already started. The question on everyone’s mind is, “Where we will be at the end of 2019?”
4. Smaller/Lighter Alternatives
Speed and power is nice, but how about some usability for smaller folks, or people who have to bring their boards onto busses and trains as part of their commute? Finding a board that is easy to stow a plane is nearly impossible, nevermind if you are a smaller person looking for a board that is easy to lift up and walk around with. Hopefully 2019 will bring us new innovations in space and weight-saving tech that will help make boards smaller, easier-to-manage, and more storable for us commuters.
5. Safety Specific to ESkaters
Most of us are tired of buying Triple 8 rollerblade wrist guards designed for kids at Target. Now that eskating is becoming popular and is an activity enjoyed by adults with money, we should see safety equipment specifically designed for the high-speed falls and the cosmetic requirements of a more adult audience. Just look at the plethora of awesome safety equipment available at any motorcycle retailer. There is no reason why eskaters can’t be safe while also not looking like a bad G.I. Joe villain or someone riding bikes with their 8-year-old child.