What Is An Electric Skateboard? Things You Need To Know!
Electric skateboards are gaining popularity because of their style, speed, and usability. Pushing the board against the ground to get it moving is a thing of the past.
These electric skateboards give you the same thrill minus the hassle. They allow you to ride down the city or up the hills without putting in loads of effort.
In this post, we will discuss: what is an electric skateboard, how it works, and everything there is to know about this new technology.
What is an Electric Skateboard?
Electric skateboards, also known as e-skate, are simply skateboards with motors inside the wheels and a removable battery in the deck.
Most electric skateboards feature a sleek and aerodynamic design which allows them to move faster than regular skateboards. They are made of fiberglass and metal parts that make them sturdy.
The main difference between electric boards and regular skateboards is acceleration and braking. On electric boards, you don't have to push against the ground to move forward, as the electric motor in the wheels does that. Instead, you can put both your feet on the board and enjoy the smooth ride.
Using the remote control connected with your board, you can manage the speed, and the e-skate will slow down itself.
The more expensive boards even have LED headlights and taillights to be seen in the dark for a safe ride. The decks of these boards are made from wood or plastic, and they vary in stiffness and flexibility.
Different boards work better on specific surfaces. For example, the stiffer boards ride better on flat ground, while the flexible ones are ideal for bumpy rides. But, no matter the trail, electric skateboards are practical and extremely fun to ride.
See also: Top 11+ Best Electric Skateboard Reviews in 2021
Parts of an Electric Skateboard
To fully understand what an electric skateboard is, you need to familiarize yourself with its components. The parts in an electric skateboard can be divided into three categories:
The basic components of an e-skateboard include:
The deck of an electric skateboard is the board that you stand on while riding it. It is typically made out of layers of hardwood pressed together. Some decks have a layer of fiberglass or carbon for added strength.
Sometimes manufacturers make decks entirely out of fiberglass that are lighter and stronger than the wooden ones. The underside of the board is usually painted or printed.
The trucks are the central part of the boards that can make or break your riding experience. They are made out of metal, and they come in different shapes and sizes.
They transfer the weight of your body from the deck onto the wheels and enable the skateboard to make turns.
The trucks are made of different parts, including the hanger, bushings, base plate, and axle. The wider trucks make the board more stable, while the narrower ones are more responsive.
Wheels are the essence of your skateboard. They transfer your weight from the trucks to the ground.
Wheels are usually made of polyurethane and come in different shapes and sizes. The width, diameter, and other wheel features determine how fast or smoothly your skateboard will move.
Wheels with a larger diameter move faster, but they accelerate slower. As they move quickly over cracks, they are ideal for bumpy tracks.
Smaller diameters accelerate faster but are better for slow rides. They keep the board close to the ground and are suited for smoother tracks.
The wheels are mounted on the axle with ball bearings. They are made out of steel or silicon nitride. They are the most fragile parts of the board and allow the wheels to roll.
Hence, maintaining the ball bearings on your skateboard is very important. You need to clean and lubricate them to maintain their performance and durability, so they don't need to be replaced too often.
Griptape is the adhesive sheet you stick on the upper side of the skateboard for a better grip. It has the texture of sandpaper to provide friction between your shoes and the board.
The grip tape plays a significant role in acceleration, braking, and taking turns while on the board. The friction helps transfer the movements from your feet to the deck that guides the wheels.
Grip Tapes come in different colors and designs, and you can even make one on your own by fixing sand on the deck using a foxing spray.
The electric parts of the e-skate include:
The electric motor is fitted beside the axle or inside the wheels of the e-skateboards. It is super powerful and is controlled by a microprocessor.
There are two main types of motors:
The hub motor is incorporated inside the hub of a wheel and moves it automatically. It is quieter than the belt motor, which makes it a better option for many areas.
The hub motor also has holes in the motor casing to avoid heating up. However, this makes the motor less water-resistant, so you will have to avoid water puddles.
The belt motor is a classic motor used in electric skateboards. This motor drives the motor pulley that is connected to the wheel pulley.
Since this type of motor is more exposed to the air, it stays cool and doesn't need holes in the case. This makes the belt motor water-resistant and more reliable for long rides.
There are many different types of remote controls to make your electric skateboard move. For example, you have to slide a wheel forward and backward on some remotes while you move a joystick on others. Some even have a trigger that you have to pull to accelerate and leave for braking.
The best remote controls are easy to use to avoid accidents caused by sudden movements like braking. Some designs are also waterproof that ensures the longevity of the remote.
The battery stores and provides the energy your electric skateboard needs to move. Most electric skateboards have lithium-ion batteries.
The battery is the single most heavy part of the skateboard and comes in a variety of shapes and capacities.
Electronic Speed Controller (ESC)
The ESC is an electronic circuit that controls and regulates the speed of the motor. It is connected to all major parts of the skateboard, including the battery, motor, and Bluetooth receiver.
When you accelerate the skateboard, the ESC takes information from the Bluetooth receiver to regulate the energy supply to the electric motor. So, it works more like the brain of the skateboard.
Bluetooth Transmitter and Receiver
Information is transferred via Bluetooth from the controller to the Bluetooth receiver. By allowing wireless communication, Bluetooth eliminates the need for wired controls and the hassle that comes with it.
Other Parts and Attachments
Some of the minor parts of an electric skateboard are:
The more advanced e-skates have LED headlights and taillights that make them safer and easier to ride at any time of the day. You can also attach LED lights to your boards if you usually go out in the evening or at night.
You can purchase a nose guard and tail guards for your skateboard to protect it from damage. These guards are made of plastic and come in different shapes, colors, and sizes.
Wheel guards or mudguards protect electric skateboards from mud and dirt. They are more important for boards that are not waterproof, where water might reach the motor.
How Does an Electric Skateboard Work?
Now that you know what is an electric skateboard and its components, here's an overview of how they work.
Electric skateboards work in ways similar to regular skateboards, except you don't have to push them forward using your feet. Instead, the handheld remote controls the speed and brake while you are on the board.
The battery that provides energy to the motor is right under the deck. So the motor is either next to the axles or inside the wheels.
The board turns with the shifting of the weight to one side. The e-skates can serve as an alternative to local transport.
Advantages of Electric Skateboards
Here are some uses of electric skateboards that sets them apart from regular skateboards.
Even though normal skateboards can go long distances, nothing compares to the swift travel that electric skateboards provide. So whether you are riding to school/office or just for fun, the best electric skateboards will help you reach places in no time.
To ride up a hill, the skater needs enough power that will overcome gravity. Pushing a skateboard up a hill is hard, but electric skateboards make it easier and more fun.
The newer versions replace leg work with high wattage motors that allow you to travel uphill without much effort.
Long Distance Traveling
While you can travel long distances on regular skateboards, it takes repeated kicks to accelerate and keep the board moving. However, that is not the case with electric skateboards, as they come with a motor to run them.
So e-skates are ideal for long-distance traveling without you breaking in a sweat. Plus, you can always control the speed accurately and reach wherever you want, on time.
Can We Use Electric Skateboards as Normal Skateboards?
Now that you know what is electric skateboard, the next question that might come to your mind is whether it's a two-in-one board, i.e., electric plus normal.
Well, it depends on the electric skateboard system you are using if it's suitable to ride it like an unpowered skateboard. You can ride some skateboards like normal ones, but others can end up with damaged motors if you try.
However, an electric skateboard will automatically turn into a regular one once its battery dies. You can then thrust it forward with your feet to reach your destination.
Electric skateboards are motorized versions of regular skateboards. They are gaining popularity due to their attractive technology that makes skating easier and so much fun.
They take away all the fatigue from skateboarding which makes the whole skating experience more pleasant.