Are you in the market for a new electric skateboard? Are you looking for suggestions how to keep your electric skateboard in great shape? Well, this blog is for you! Whether you're a new rider or someone with lots of experience, we hope you'll find the tips below insightful.
This blog post was submitted to us by Ty, our Meepo Ambassador. TY is a well-known PEV enthusiasts and photographer based in NYC. He first started riding an electric skateboard back in 2019 and since then fell in love with eskating. He currently rides a Meepo Hurricane.
So with no further ado, here are 8 must know tips before you buy an electric skateboard:
1) Style of board & use case
It goes without saying that skateboards have lots of varieties. Short board, with or without kicktail; longboard, 2-in-1 board. As a beginner that is thinking about getting into riding electric skateboards, the question is what do you value the most? Is it the comfort? Is it the range? Is it the power? Or is it the portability? There will be trade-offs for each board. A 2- in-1 board will have the most versatile compatibilities to different wheels and accessories, but it is the least portable board.
For example, if you plan on using an electric skateboard as a supplement to your daily commute on the public transit system, a short board such as the Meepo Mini 2S is the best option. It is super compact, yet offers enough range for all those last-mile commutes. But then, due to the form factor of the board, it is not ideal for comfort or stability at higher speeds.
For most beginning riders, the Meepo Shuffle S is the best choice. It has insane high value for a powerful hub drive longboard. And it comes with Meepo’s own version of Donut Wheel 105mm to provide a higher top speed and better comfort, while it is still compatible with the 90mm street drive train for better torque and a more traditional skateboard feel.
On the other hand, a 2-in-1 board such as the Meepo Hurricane will allow you to ride from point A to point B and completely skip public transit. A 2-in-1 board is what I call: a “buy once and be set for years” solution. It will allow you to run street wheels, as well as Pneumatic wheels ranging from 150mm to 200mm, for maximum comfort. As a new rider, a 2-in-1 board such as the Meepo Hurricane is more than enough, and the rider can grow on it.
However, going straight towards a 2-in-1 board can be costly, as a decent quality one usually ranges from 1500 to 2000 USD, which is a hefty investment up in the front. This is when the longboard-style electric skateboard comes in handy. Although you can’t use Pneumatic tires on them, alternative options such as the cloud wheels, and boosted 105s will offer decent comfort already. Depending on the budget, Meepo V4s and the Meepo Voyager will be the ones you will pick from.
The Voyager on the other hand, which is around 1000 USD, also offers insane high value for a powerful belt drive longboard. With the Voyager, you will have the options to put all kinds of aftermarket wheels, as well as play around with gear ratio to have better torque or higher top speed.
2) Drive Train Style & truck type
There are 3 types of drive trains that are mainstream. Hub drive, Belt Drive, Gear Drive. Hub Drive, which is the cheapest among the 3, offers the least flexibility but is the quietest out of the three. The motor is the wheel, but there’s a “sleeve” of PU covering them so that they require a specific style of sleeves to be put on. And they offer less comfort compared to the other 2 which are able to run full-size normal wheels. Hub drive usually produces less torque as well. But with hub drive, the board will look more like a traditional longboard, and they are whisper quiet when running. Hub drive boards are best suited for places that aren't friendly towards noises or just motorized vehicles. And since they are the cheapest to produce, it is the most budget-friendly option as well.
The belt drive offers the most flexibility. There are 2 pulleys to form the entire drive train, one is the motor pulley, and one is the wheel pulley. You will be able to run all kinds of wheels, as long as there’s a pulley made for them, and you are also open to all types of different pulley teeth count to change the gear ratio. A higher gear ratio will provide more torque, but less top speed; A lower gear ratio will provide more top speed, but less torque. Depending on your preference and area, you will have the freedom to play with it, simply by changing different size wheels and pulleys. The main downside of belt drive is the belts, they could snap if there’s a sharp object being picked up by the wheel or motor magnetic field, thus it is recommended to carry extra belts when riding.
Gear Drive, which is the most expensive to make, is similar to belt drive. But instead of having a belt passing the power to the wheel, it uses gears, just like cars. Gear Drive offers better flexibility than hub drive, but less than belt drive. As the gears are enclosed in the gearbox and sealed, they are less likely to require any kind of maintenance. However, you won’t be able to change the gear ratio freely. Gear drive suits best for people that want to do off-roading, or don’t plan on changing the board setup frequently. So if you don’t want to perform frequent maintenance on the board, then this is the type of drive for you.
First are the safety gears: A helmet is a must, preferably a full-face helmet. TSG PASS, New Older, and Predator are the most popular ones. Half-face helmets are fine for casual slow riding as well, but the ones with MIPS technology will protect your head better when things go south.
Other than a helmet, gloves and guards are recommended, skateboard elbow guards and knee guards are enough, as long as they have a hard surface that allows you to slide, instead of grabbing onto the pavement. For gloves, I always recommend Flatland3D gloves, they have been around for years and are specifically designed for electric skateboard riding. 1 Protect also produce decent gloves as well.
If you want to store the board standing up, an amazon basics guitar stand is the best thing, I personally have 4 right now all being used to hold boards.
Other accessories are recommended such as Riptide Krank Barrel bushings, shredlights, break-free helmet lights, handheld flashlight, and Allen Key set.
It is always good to be ready so that in case things happened, you are prepared.
4) Regular Checking
Electric Skateboards will require regular maintenance, mainly checking. I usually recommend riders to check all the screws and bolts, as well as decks before each ride, or at least weekly. I usually wipe the board down every night if I took it out, and do a quick visual check on all the screws, and bolts. This will eliminate most possibilities of the board breaking when riding.
5) How to make my board last longer
The first thing you can do is balance the battery. Every week or 2 weeks, you can leave the board plugged in for an extra 30min to 1 hour after it is fully charged.
The next thing you can do is NOT to ride in wet conditions. Water is the biggest enemy of metal, as well as electronics. Even though your board has a sealing gasket that will prevent water damage to a certain extent, but the exposed metals such as screws and nuts aren’t protected. If get caught in the rain, either wait it out or just play the risk. But remember, always dry the board using a paper towel immediately afterward.
6) Travelling with your board?
This is hard, as most airlines aren’t friendly with skateboards, and big battery packs.
Please check with your country’s regulations as well as airline guidelines. Generally speaking, don’t think about it, for flights. When traveling by train or car, of course, bring your board! It will be the best way to explore new areas for sure.
7) When should I consider an upgrade from your current board?
It totally depends, but just like mentioned in the first question, make sure you know what you want. If the power of the board is not enough for you, that means you are constantly going at full speed, pushing the limit of the board. If you are unsatisfied with the comfort, or portability, you should know which style to go for, if you read the first tip above.
8) How to link up with other riders in the area?
The easiest way is to get on a Facebook Group and find your local group. If not, just create one yourself, and let others know. It won’t cost you a dime to start talking to a random rider you see on the street. And trust me, group rides are extremely fun. With a local community, you will be able to get help asap as well, and some tips from other riders that are specifically for the area you are in. Those come in very handy.