When it comes to electric skateboards, a few brand names stick out (like hearing “Tony Hawk” at a skate park): Boosted, HaloBoard, Airwheel, etc. While these eSk8 brands produce premium products, a lot of underdogs with equally premium products are shoved to the wayside simply because they aren’t household names.
Let’s take a look at 4 electric skateboards made by lesser-known brands (who proved that their eSk8s can easily “hang with the big boys”).
1. BLITZART Tornado 38″ Electric Longboard
As is common in this industry, it has a brushless hub motor; these motors have been proven to be more effective (and energy efficient) than traditional belt drive motors.
Surprisingly, the deck is made of 8-ply Maplewood and a layer of bamboo on both the bottom and top of the deck. This board is undeniably sturdy as a result of that; BLITZART truly had customers in mind when they made this “unbreakable” board. Naturally, with those many layers, you’re going to have a built-tough board – as a result, the Tornado can carry people up to 300lbs. It also comes equipped with a 36V Lithium-ion battery pack (which is safely fastened and protected and away from impact during any accidental collisions). When you’re riding, expect to travel up to 17mph and travel for as far as 10 miles on one charge.
If that price seems a bit high to you, keep in mind that riding 10 miles on one charge is impressive. Not as impressive as riding 15 miles, but still impressive.
2. BENCHWHEEL Penny Board
In simple terms, BenchWheel is a Chinese manufacturer that uses off-the-shelf parts for their products. So the BenchWheel is almost a “Frankenstein’s monster” eSk8. However, BenchWheel selected complementary components and parts that make their BenchWheel a serious contender in this market. Here’s why:
What stands out the most is that it weighs slightly less than 11 lbs.! It can clearly be easily carried by anyone, even toddlers. As if that weren’t enough, the battery (when depleted) needs only 1-2 hours to fully charge. This isn’t something to take lightly, as more popular (and more expensive) brands’ batteries need 2-5 hours to fully charge.
The Penny Board clocks in at 15 mph total and can take you 7 miles. While 7 miles may not seem like a lot at first, know that the Penny Board has an unspeakable single 1000W motor (which is surrounded by a solid aluminum case which is extremely hard to dent or break). This is a powerful motor that should not be underestimated, as it can travel up steep hills and inclines with relatively little effort.
Now, BenchWheel made a wise decision when making the deck for the Penny Board. By using 7 layers of maple and 2 layers of fiberglass, both of which are high-durable materials, this board will undoubtedly to withstand the heaviest amount of abuse (mistakes are bound to happen) you can throw at it. It’s also a phenomenal choice for heavier-set people. The Penny Board is, in so many words, extremely sturdy and won’t easily break.
3. Alouette Electric Skateboard
You’ll be hard-pressed to find a lot of information about the Alouette eSk8 – if you’ve ever heard of Alouette in the first place. ShenZhen Alouette Intelligent Technology Co.Ltd is “a combination of the manufacturing industry elite, University team of experts and domestic leading industrial design and hardware professionals.” Sounds pretty cool, right?
Alouette has been in business since 2010 and in that time have made a variety of electric transportation vehicles: skateboards (L2-90DM, L5-83DM, L7-83DM et al), hoverboards (N18, R5, N5, N4S, et al), Segways (S1) and scooters (T2, T1, T3, T4, et al).
Clearly, Alouette knows what they’re doing when it comes to this industry. With this tremendous expert-class knowledge about electric vehicles, why isn’t Alouette a household name? I wish I knew. For now, though, let’s take a look at just one eSk8 and see how it stacks up against the other “big dog” brands and their boards.
The L5-83DM deck is made of 1 layer of bamboo and 6 layers of maple. If you know anything about boards (or wood), you know that these two materials are among the most endurable and strongest out there.
It has not only one top speed, but two! The first riding mode/speed can take you up to 12mph, and their second mode (with the faster top speed) gets you up to a blazing-fast 18mph. This is the average top speed for many eSk8 products on the market today. This is a popular decision made by the “big boys” and their thousand-dollar decks.
So the Alouette has held its own so far. Let’s look at what really matters when it comes to eSk8boards: the motor and battery.
First off, the battery is a 21.6V Lithium battery. Lithium batteries utilise over 90 amp hours of total “juice”, whereas lead-acid batteries tap into 30-50 amp hours. Think about big bags of chips. Remember how only half the bag is filled with chips and the rest is air? In this case, the “juice” of the battery is the amount of chips, and the bag itself is the battery “container.” Lithium ions, quite simply, have “more chips in the bag” at 400mAh capacity.
Lithium batteries hold all this juice while being only a fraction of the weight and size of regular lead-acid batteries. This perfectly complements the motor, which is a brushless hub motor. Hub motors have proven to be far more efficient than belt motor systems, as they rely less on straps and chains – as well as braking more safely.
4. Munkyboards SK-1200BL 1200W
Let’s get something off the table: Munkyboards’ SK-1200BL has just one motor. This single motor comes packed with 1200 watt power. For a single motor, 1200w is absolutely incredible. More popular brands’ single motors are between 300-800w max. Plus, the motor is extremely quiet while you’re riding it. That alone makes it worth buying this board from a not-so-well-known brand.
What this powerful motor translates to is fast speed; with 2 speed settings (low and high), the lower speed takes you 12mph – and, for speed demons, the SK-1200BL’s high-speed setting is 28mph. The 1200w motor also translates to long distance: depending on your weight and how fast you go, you can expect to travel for as far as 20 staggering miles. This total distance puts it up there with even brand name boards that can travel 20 miles.
It comes equipped with a Lithium-ion battery – and we already know how awesome these are. No product is perfect, though, and a few reviewers have noticed that the electric remote control’s Bluetooth capability would drop in signal occasionally. However, for me the fact that the speed and battery life indicator are on the remote itself is a huge plus.
The wheels are made of rubber, and were designed to be all-terrain – meaning you can ride on grassy fields, your lawn, etc. Which is convenient, considering once you get going, you can expect to blaze up to speeds of 20mph. (Read: Fast)
At 51 lbs., one reviewer said carrying this eSk8 was like carrying a 5-year old toddler. While it is light, there are a lot of boards that are considerably lighter. (But look at this thing! It’s a pure MONSTER.)
I hope you’ve found an eSk8 that’s piqued your interest. It’s always a good idea to do further investigations yourself (either on Amazon or the brands’ website) before buying. I hope you’ve noticed that the boards listed here are drastically less than more popular boards (which are often $200-500 more than these boards). It’s worth considering the fact that, in most cases when shopping, you’re paying for the name brand and not the quality of the product itself. I’ve noticed that eSk8s are no different.