The Case Against Cheap Electric Skateboards – You Get What You Pay For

Cheap Electric Skateboards

Every month, a wave of future e-skaters punch “cheap electric skateboards” into Google in the hopes of uncovering a killer deal that will have them riding uphill into the sunset with a full wallet to boot. We hope they’re wearing helmets because if they add-to-cart and click-to-purchase they’ll come rolling back down that literal and proverbial hill.

Simply put, it doesn’t pay to follow the cheapskate when it comes to an e-skate, so before you make the mistake please heed our advice – you must go with quality. Let’s find out why.

5 Reasons Why You Need to Choose a Premium Electric Skateboard Over the Low Budget Alternative

1. Cheap Electric Skateboards Don’t Have the Range

One of the reasons people buy an electric skateboard, is for the commuting range. If it can’t go the distance, what’s the point? Let’s take a look at the top electric skateboards on the market for commuting, by revisiting the specs for their range:

  • Lectric LS – up to 18 miles (29 km)
  • Inboard M1 – up to 10 miles (16.1 km) easy swap battery
  • Evolve GTX Street – up to 31 miles (50 km)
  • Boosted Gen 2 Dual+ w/extended battery – up to 12 miles (19 km)

On the flip side, electric skateboards that run in, under, and around the $200 price range max out at 7-miles. These include the Razor RipStik (7 miles), Maverix USA (5-7 miles), Alouette Catwalk (6.2 miles), and Dynacraft Surge (6 miles). We’re just quoting actual specs here folks. Cheap electric skateboards simply can’t go the distance when compared to the premium models list above.

2. They Don’t Have the Speed

Another reason people want an electric skateboard, is because they feel the need for speed, without the sweat. Unless you want a gang of geriatric scooters running circles around you in the local Walmart parking lot (where you can buy cheap electric skateboards) we suggest that you take a look at the impressive speed specs for the premium boards below.

  • Lectric LS – up to 23 mph (37 kph)
  • Inboard M1 – up to 22 mph (35 kph)
  • Evolve Electric Bamboo / Carbon Series – up to  24 mph (38 kph)
  • Boosted Gen 2 Dual+ – up to 22 mph (35 kph)
  • OneWheel – up to 15 mph (24 kph)

What about the top speeds for the same cheap models referenced above? The average speed there averages exactly 8.68 mph, falling right in line with the top speeds of those geriatric scooters. Unless you eat dinner at every day at 4 PM, you’ll want to go with a premium e-skate.

3. They Can’t Manage the Climb

Another supposed big benefit of electric skateboarding, is the ability to ride uphill without tearing a calf muscle. Once again we see a stark difference between low budget and high quality set-ups. For example, the Boosted DUAL+ 2nd Generation and the Evolve GT, can manage a mind blowing a 25% gradient. The Lectric LS and Mellow Electric boast a max grade of 20%, while the Inboard M1 offers an impressive 18% climb.

And what about low cost e-skates? Don’t ask. Seriously, don’t ask. OK, fine. Let’s just say that the owner’s manuals for two of the most popular cheap electric boards sum it up best:

“Use only on flat, dry surfaces. Avoid inclines and areas with heavy debris.”(owner’s manual 1)

 

“Avoid hills and inclines; ride on flat, level and smooth surfaces only.”

(owner’s manual 2)

Unless you plan on using your electric skateboard exclusively within shopping malls and airport runways, you’ll want to go premium.

4. They Don’t Provide the Safety

When riding an electric skateboard, you want to know that you’re standing on high quality materials that will not breakdown suddenly, or come to a screeching halt when faced with the smallest pebble or twig.

Premium boards such as the Evolve Bamboo GTX 2 in 1 All-Terrain and Street can take on whatever comes across your path. Then there is the Boosted DUAL+ that has one of the most powerful regenerative braking systems around, allowing you to come to a quick stop with confidence, even while turning or going down a hill. Another board with an amazing regenerative braking system that boasts another important safety feature (for night riders) is the Inboard M1, the only electric skateboard with built-in LED headlights and taillights. Then there is the Mellow Drive system, a set-up that provides a new level of safety in that it customizes the riding experience to YOU. By connecting to the Mellow Drive App, you can optimize your e-skating by analyzing features such as mileage, top speed, range and mode.

Without a doubt, cheap electric skateboard manufacturers simply cannot afford to provide for the all-important safety features addressed above.

5. It Will Cost You More in the Long Run

All of the above leads to an inevitable conclusion. When you choose a low budget option over a higher quality alternative, you will eventually find out that it doesn’t offer the range, speed, ability to climb, and safety/durability that makes electric skateboarding make sense. You’ll end up making repeat purchases to replace a malfunctioning board, and make incremental upgrades (a $200 board, followed by a $300 board, and so forth), which in the end costs you much more than if you made a wise investment in the first place.

Unless you’re buying an electric skateboard for a child under 50 kg in weight (where going cheap may make more sense) it is best to think longterm. You’ll be glad you did one year (and beyond) from now.


We know you have more questions about your electric skateboard investment, so be sure to contact us or come on by our local Vancouver BC skate shop at your convenience. We’ll be here to guide you in the right direction.

Note: Going premium has become more affordable than ever, now that we have the new Lectric LS Dual Motor Electric Skateboard in stock. 

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