We all enjoy the heat of the sun, particularly when it’s about to set. Laying on the grass in the park, playing with pets, or performing our favourite sport. Thus, what else can you do with a perfectly sunny day? Some may root for the usual activities like basketball, walking with friends, and some may try extreme sports. Probably, wondering what kind? The answer is longboarding, where you can play around and add some dance moves while you’re on the move. Read on to know more about this incredible sport and mode of transportation if you are a beginner who wants to try it. We have gathered some helpful tips in selecting an electric longboard for you.
In the 1940s, An American technician built the first longboard made up of several wood slabs bonded together, named Preston Nichols. He came to the idea out of his boredom one afternoon thinking to surf but not on the water, eventually called sidewalk surfing. It has the same principle as a skateboard and a measurement of 80-120 centimeters. It became popularized during the 50s and dimmed its light in the 60s. The glory of longboards came into the limelight in 1972 when Cadillac Wheel Company reinvented how longboards work. The riding of longboards will never be the same, and continuously innovate its specs for the market to enjoy.
Some individuals tried to DIY their longboard to make it a gas-powered one as the demand progresses over the years. The authorities are against it because of its high speed that can vary from 25 mph and above, where it can fly up to 20 miles that are too risky for the user. With tons of safety hazards for the public and the dangers it may bring to the one who is riding it, the local government decided to ban the public from using a gas-powered longboard. It is the reason why it paves the way to create an electric longboard that is set to standards.
Reason for buying
Most newbies get overwhelmed with information about what are the things they need to look for when picking a longboard. It can result in getting the wrong one and regretting the decision they made of purchasing one based on compulsive buying. To prevent this from happening, you should be able to ask yourself these questions:
- Why would I buy a longboard?
- What longboard am I going to get?
- How do I pick one that’s right?
Before buying at the nearest skate store, answering these easy but useful questions will make your mind clearer. It is a known fact that it is a bit costly to get an electric longboard from the conventional one, which is why you need to be realistic and get all the testing done and input from individuals who already have the same board you are looking for. One tip you should bear in mind is to measure yourself on the longboard so that you know the feeling or if it’s the one that suits you.
It is a known fact that an electric longboard is a bit pricey, with its advanced technology, the motor that can last for several hours and a travel time that can lessen your commute is definitely worth it. To give you a sense of how much you will be spending on purchasing one here’s three categories:
- Low budget – the range is typically about $100 below, they may have several options on the market, but the quality is jeopardized. You can buy a low-budget longboard at Amazon, where it might look good, but performance will suffer from cheap bearings and wheels.
- Mid budget – Starts at $100 up to $200, it is a reasonable budget enough to get a solid board on the market. You must search and be resourceful to find a great deal.
- High budget – $200 and the above, the sky’s the limit. You will no longer have any difficulty in choosing one since you have no restriction on how much you will be spending.
The basic fundamental of longboarding is to know what type of style you want to hone. There are three techniques you can choose from to be able to enjoy the ride:
- Downhill – it is the most popular choice for the adrenaline junky on longboards. With a speed of 40 mph and above, it is perfect to use on a steep hill. It is why it is not recommended for beginners to try. To be able to do this, you are required to be familiar with how to maneuver your legs, knees, and feet on the board and have to have extensive skills to operate the board with high speed. If you fail to do so, it could be dangerous that may result in serious injury. Protection is a must! Wear a helmet and a full bodysuit when doing a downhill ride.
- Freeride – Similar to downhill but at a slow pace. The speed in this ride is drastically reduced by making some slides and carving.
- Cruising – The minimum speed when cruising is around 6mph, if you’re the laid back type, this style would be great for you. It is a mellow cruise where you can enjoy riding at a slow pace in the park and feeling the cool breeze of the afternoon.
- Freestyle – It is the expressive ride among the rest where you can do some cool steps like you’re literally dancing while rolling. A lot of carving and freestyle moves that you can do, but unfortunately this is not applicable for electric longboards due to their weight.
Companies are trying to incorporate raw material composed of different wood available, while some aim for a sleeker look with a jet black finish.
Finding the purpose of buying an electric one is essential but having enough information about the parts of an electric longboard is a plus! You have the chance to get into specifics of how it operates. Knowing each of the functions will help you recognize if something happens on the road, you will know instantly what the problem is and how to address it. Listed down below are the basic components:
- Ball bearings
- Grip tape
It is a platform that is typically made out of wood that goes with a measurement of around 30 to 60 inches. When choosing a deck, there are three things you should look for which is its length, width, and shape. It is vital to know what suits your body built enough to move and maneuver the board. The length may vary from the standard size of 30 inches, longboard has three categories when it comes to its size: longboard, mini-board, and all-terrain.
- Longboard – as mentioned earlier, it has variations of deck length 30-40 inches or 76-101 cm. Most longboards have a wheel diameter of 80-100mm that can distribute your weight evenly when you’re riding it. Users are fond of its fast maneuvers, and the company has more options. The only downside, however, is that the wheel does not tolerate bumpy and uneven surfaces when used on the road.
- Mini board – It is the smaller variant of the longboard that resembles a skateboard in a small way. With a wheel diameter of 70-90 mm and a deck length of 28-32 inches or 71-81 cm. It is the perfect size for a commuter who works in the office and may fit them inside a locker. But, if you’re a big person and you tend to choose this type, you have limited space to control the board.
- All-terrain board – This cool type of longboard can take any off-road challenges whether you be riding on a bumpy road or uneven surfaces. The great thing about the all-terrain longboard is that it can withstand a high-speed track. It has a deck length of 38-42 inches or 97-107 cm and a wheel diameter of 120-180mm. However, its heavyweight may hinder you from taking it on your daily commute.
Also, the longboard deck has a wide variety of materials that you can get to choose from. Listed below are the most common material used in the market:
- Maple – its reliable characteristic makes the board sturdy. Where it can endure higher speed than using an ordinary board. It was popular in creating longboard deck way back in the 90s.
- Bamboo – the most flexible wood in the world, making its way to the top in longboard materials. Its ability to bend and not break are the ones that caught the eye of the manufacturer.
- Carbon fiber – the latest material that is commonly used for electric longboards. It may be strong but is more likely to be damaged because it is more breakable than wood.
When deciding on the best electric longboard to fit your preferences, there is a range of qualities to consider. These qualities include weight, type of motor, speed, and several other specifications. You can also check for the best electric longboards on MyProScooter as they give some helpful insight on the top choices depending on what kind of deck you’re aiming for. The detailed review will not only save you time but help you pick the best one as well.
Electric longboard has trucks that connect the board and the wheels. You might want to take some time in choosing a truck because it’s important to know which is the right one. Listed below are the most popular ones:
- Paris clone
- Type A
- Generic Truck for Belt and AT
- Meepo’s Shredder Trucks
- Backfire’s Caliber II Clone
If you’re the type that is dedicated to building his/her electric longboard, you might want to consider other types of trucks that you can use in DIY-ing:
- Belt Drive
- Hub Drive
- Direct drive
- Gear Drive
A crucial component that is necessary to make and giving force to the board to make it move. A part of a longboard is having a motor that makes it fast on the road. There are two types of longboard motor: hub motor and belt motor.
- Hub motor – If you don’t have enough budget to purchase an electric longboard, you can always find an affordable one, the only disclaimer in acquiring one is it may sacrifice the performance. There are a ton of benefits in using a hub motor that is easy to maintain does not look bulky, and the advantage of cruising quietly on the road. They are built directly into the wheels so they produce less torque but typically give you more range.
- Belt motor – The exact opposite of a hub motor is the belt motor. It is a bit complex and is quite expensive as it produces more torque that gives your longboard the power to move faster which is perfect for daredevil users. The disadvantage of using this motor is its noise and typically gives you a little less range compared to hub motors.
This goes hand-in-hand with the mechanical components where it sparks the whole thing started. It is good for you to have basic knowledge of how these components work.
- · Li-ion (lithium-ion)
- · LiPo (Lithium Polymer)
- · LiFePo batteries
Electronic speed controller
What does the Electronic Speed Controller or ESC do? It is responsible for the amount of power you want from your battery, which converts the battery’s DC power to the motor’s AC power. Taking the signal coming from the remote so that you’ll be able to control the speed of the motor. It can be categorized in different amps depending on how you’re going to use it. Ideally, the recommended amperage is about 50 amps when constructing an electric longboard, adequate to drive a person on a hill.
The main role of a remote controller is for you to be able to accelerate the speed whenever you want or stop at any moment. A throttle that has buttons that are easy to pull and slide when you’re riding. It sends signals to the electronic speed control to make the battery give the amount of power you desired.
Bluetooth transmitter and receiver
The universal use of Bluetooth is to transfer the signal without having tons of wires needed. The principle of the Bluetooth receiver allows the remote control to relay the command you’re putting in. Let’s say, for example, you pull the button of the remote controller to make the longboard faster, the Bluetooth receiver picks up the instruction and sends the signal to the ECS.
To make your longboard have a complete look, you might want to add these accessories:
- nose guard
- extra battery
- slide gloves
- land paddle
Where to buy
Since the demand for longboarding increased over the years, you have to be resourceful in looking for information where you can purchase electric longboards. Don’t settle for something you just heard or believe in hearsay. Go out and see for yourself with these outlets:
- Check your local skate shop – The convenient way to buy them is to go to your nearest skate shop in the neighborhood. This gives you the advantage of actually seeing and experiencing how the brand works. Also, it saves you money in paying for shipping costs.
- Go directly to the manufacturer – Being bold in getting what you want is beneficial for you. Going straight to the companies that make electric longboards has a lot of advantages. You will get the chance to see all the products fresh from the factory. Aside from that, some companies offer a warranty and freebies when you purchase within their premises.
- Buy them online – The quickest way to buy an electric longboard is to go online and purchase it right away. However, this won’t guarantee you a well-equipped product and may have some malfunctions, to begin with. The most sites that you can search is a wholesale shop, eBay, the Facebook marketplace to order online.
- Getting lucky with garage sales – If you’re feeling lucky, you might want to try checking some garage sales and find treasures in someone’s trash. Though it may have a low probability to get a working electric longboard, who knows? You may get a good steal for a low price, or even free.
If you’re getting bored of the usual routine, trying new things is good for you. It will give you the adrenaline rush and make you feel more alive, which is why buying an electric longboard is definitely perfect for you. You may be overwhelmed or have no idea what to buy but hope the tips mentioned above gave you enough insight on what to look for.