Bicycles began their lives with ridiculous archaic designs like the penny-farthing, which makes us laugh and laugh and laugh when we see them today. While skateboards haven’t undergone the same visible Renaissance as the beloved bicycle, they have nonetheless changed immeasurably since the days when Michael J. Fox was grabbing onto the back of cars on his way to Doc Brown’s lab. One of the most recent innovations is the advent of the electric skateboard (e-board), which is designed for the average person who wants a commuter vehicle that’s fast, fun, and more portable than an electric bike.
While the electric skateboard market has yet to really explode, there’s still quite a few options out there for the rider looking to save the environment and get out of the labyrinthine mess that traffic has become. Like any moped, scooter, or even car, you want to pick something reliable with a good range, a decent top speed, a comfortable ride, and any features that can make being strapped to a plank of wood going 25mph a little safer. So you don’t worry your pretty little head over it, we found the 9 best electric skateboards for all riders.
Fiik Street Surfer
Pro: Short wheelbase for better maneuverability
Con: Only 800 watts of power
Off Road: Made with pneumatic tires that give you a higher clearance and more grip than your average urban electric skateboard, the Street Surfer is as good at going through parks as it is as handling flat sidewalks. Made by a pair of Aussies from Queensland, it can chew up sand and grassy knolls with a top speed of 23mph. The stop and go action is handled easily through a trigger mechanism
Evolve Bamboo Street
Pro: Can be converted to an all-terrain model
Con: Rigid body offers limited flex
Low Down: Evolve has perfected the art of the low-profile e-board, managing to strap on a 700 watt brushless motor yet still keeping the body tight to the ground for better control thanks to the low center of gravity. The concave deck of the Bamboo Street gives you enhanced traction standing on it, which minimizes the risk of flying off when you hit the 25mph max speed.
Metroboard Stealth Edition
Pro: 15-20 mile range
Con: Long and awkward to carry
Carve and Commute: Using a brushless 3,000 watt motor that puts many impact wrences to shame, the Stealth is a fresh addition to the impressive Metroboard lineup. The battery is a scant 22mm thick and has an anodized cover to keep it safer during those tough trips in inclement conditions. At 40″ long it’s made for people looking for a little more real estate under foot who also want to get up to 20mph for some quick carving around town.
E-Glide GT Powerboard
Pro: High clearance for board and motor
Con: Very heavy
Dune Buggy: If you’ve ever been sitting in the roll cage of an off-road ATV and thought that it should be made into a skateboard, then the Powerboard is right up your alley. Able to go from zero to its 23mph top speed in just 5 seconds, this is a screaming powerhouse. The rugged aluminum deck is cut to give you a lower center of gravity and survive the worst you can throw at it. Huge pneumatic tires make it more like a fat bike than a skateboard, and it is clearly meant for hitting the beach or the mud rather than the blacktop.
ZBoard 2 Pearl
Pro: 24 mile range
Con: Steep learning curve
Hands Off: With only 500 watts worth of power, it was hard to imagine that the Pearl would prove to be a diamond in the rough, but it managed to shock and awe with its 20mph top speed and pressure sensing foot pads that eliminate the need for a remote. It has a stripped down 18 lbs. weight that gives it the ability to run for an extended period, while the brushless motor also provides for push power should the battery run dry. LED lights at front and back make night riding possible, and relatively safe.
The Marbel Board
Pro: Controlled with smartphone or included remote
Con: Feels unstable during turning/carving
Bold as Brass: Marbel made some big promises when they kickstarted their project in 2014, and they have managed to keep nearly all of them. Even though the board only weighs in at 10 lbs., it can get up to 25mph even on an incline. That speed is often unmatched by other e-boards unless they’re going down a hill or off a cliff. Tough rubber protects the nose and tail, which lets rough riders add a little action without putting the board at risk.
Pro: Can be used as a backup battery for USB devices
Con: Proprietary technology is difficult to repair and expensive to replace
Hidden Wonders: There’s on thing that every other skateboard on this list has in common that the M1 doesn’t: The motor is external. With the M1, the dual drive motors are built into the wheels. The Manta Drive system gives this a traditional look with no bulky bits or bobs on the outside, but still manages to go for 10 miles at 24mph. Rather than a massive battery pack, this has a flat one that slips in unnoticed so the average observer has no idea the power it contains.
Boosted Boards Dual+
Pro: Adjustable top speed accommodates all skill levels
Con: Regenerative brakes can shut down if battery is at full charge
Double Drive: From their modest Kickstarter campaign in 2012, Boosted has risen to the top of the heap in this market. They have other models, but going for the premium Dual+ suited us because it gives you 2k watts worth of power that can get you up a 25% grade and has a 22mph top speed. To top it off, it’s made with a Loaded Vanguard deck and Orangatang wheels, making it excellent for just pushing along.
Pro: Very tight turns thanks to single wheel
Con: Automatic balance is easily disengaged
True Technician: Complete with its own dedicated app, this turns your phone into a universal remote for your skateboard. The unusual “hoverboard” design is meant to adjust for all-terrains and has numerous settings to give you the right movement for your topography. Made by engineering genius Kyle Doerksen, this is a self-balancing innovation that is guaranteed to get you noticed and moving at about 14mph.