Author: Nate Gell
It’s been a massive year for electric skateboarding. We have seen a ton of new eboards released from almost every major player in the eskate industry, new brands popping up, a lot of innovation, electric skateboard events and competitions and a massive influx of new riders which is awesome to see!
It’s been amazing to watch the progress. But let’s turn our attention to the future of electric skateboarding and take a look at some trends we can expect to see in 2020.
Electric Skateboard Laws
Currently, there are only a handful of countries or cities that permit the use of an electric skateboard on public roads and paths. But I’m feeling hopeful the coming year and the legalities surrounding eboarding.
As more and more governments aim to ‘smarten-up’ their cities, they will look toward viable solutions for transport options that will decongest the roads and create a cleaner environment for the entire community.
The most obvious is public trains and buses. They provide a lot of people the means to get around and also become a revenue stream for the city. A major downside to this is the initial investment and infrastructure planning and timeline required to implement these. Looking further, the next best options are light personal electric vehicles (LPEV). These include electric skateboards, electric scooters and electric bicycles.
The legalisation of these electric vehicles will greatly reduce the number of cars on the road, clean up our air, improve the mental health of the community and promote a ‘forward-thinking’ city. The issues that decision-making bodies are facing are the uncertainty of the products and the lack of data regarding the use of these vehicles. The good news, however, is that there are a handful of electric skateboard, scooter and bicycle companies who are working with law-makers on coming up with the best outcome for everybody.
The best thing we can do as riders is to always ride responsibly, wear protective gear, display lights/reflectors and show a level of respect to other pedestrians that illustrates the eskate community as a respectful and responsible group of people.
What do I mean by modular?
It’s having the ability to swap and change components of a product. For example, traditional electric skateboards are considered modular because you can easily take off the wheels and replace them with others. Just like you can do with the trucks, bushings, bearings and grip tape. You can have a completely different riding experience with a few small changes. We have seen a little of this already with belt-drive systems being able to swap wheels. And there are options where you can swap drive systems between hub or belt-drive. But I think it will go deeper.
We will start to see more quick-swap battery systems and replaceable PU sleeve types for hub motors like larger wheel sizes and all-terrain sleeves.
So far, the eskate industry is populated by early-adopters and enthusiasts of the technology. So, they don’t mind the bulkiness that comes with riding an electric skateboard if it means they get to roll around on a powerful board. But as electric vehicles become more mainstream, the needs and demands of the everyday consumer start to come into play.
They are the kind of buyers who don’t care for the wattage output or whether it is 10s4p. They just want to know how fast can it go, how far can it go and does it look cool? This is where unibody decks come into play. These new consumers will be willing to give up a small amount of performance if it means they can get it in a sleek and compact package.
Electric Skateboard Accessories
So far the only practical on-board electric skateboard accessory we have seen are lights. We’re starting to see some electric skateboard manufacturers provide USB outlets on their battery packs, which is a clear invitation for some USB accessory innovation. There have been some amazing safety gear being produced by the community and new brands are popping up to manufacture and provide them to eskaters. This is one to really watch because it’s going to be exciting to see what is created in this space.
Electric Skateboard Retailers
Almost all electric skateboard purchases are made by customers going directly to the manufacturer via their website. Some skate shops sell eboards, but it’s only a small percentage.
And there are some third-party online eskate websites and shops that offer electric skateboards and accessories. But what we’ll start seeing in the future, especially after the legalisation, is dedicated electric vehicle retailers where customers can go in and demo the boards before making their purchase. These retailers will also be certified repair agents so customers can easily get their eboards fixed if something fails.
If you don’t already consider electric skateboards to be hitting the mainstream right now, then you’ll surely agree by the end of 2020. You can expect to start seeing more of these zippy vehicles on your way to work and on college campuses.
This article is a guest blog post written by Nate Gell, Founder of eSkate Hub. Check out his website on eskatehub.com