When it comes to entry-level boards, the current norm is a 10s2p priced above $400. The Apsuboard V5 however, is a 14s2p board that is priced below $400. So, you get 8 more battery cells than your typical budget board for less price. Pretty sweet deal, yeah?
Apsuboard is a decent budget brand that has been around for quite a while too. So, is there anything that’s holding this board back from being the best budget board out there right now? Turns out, there is.
Apsuboard V5 Review
Let’s run through the specs and parts really quick, as usual.
Skate parts – Deck, Trucks, Wheels
The Apsuboard V5 uses a stiff and flat deck, composed of 7 ply maple and 1 ply bamboo. This thing has almost zero flex to it and has no concave.
The trucks, wheels, and enclosures are all off-the-shelf generic parts that are very commonly seen.
For the electronic parts, it uses a LingYi Electronic Speed Controller (ESC) and pairs it with one of the LingYi ESC remotes. For those who still don’t know what to expect on LingYi ESC, we will talk more about that later.
The star of the day – the battery pack – is using 20R cells. Again, this is a 14s2p pack and hence this gives a total pack size of 201.6wh.
The Apsuboard V5 uses dual hubs, rated at 300W each.
This board has a marketed range of 12.5miles (20km), which we hit; and a marketed top speed of 28mph(46kmh) but we only hit 26mph(42kmh). While not the marketed numbers, this still ranks pretty highly amongst the entry-level boards.
Now, let’s jump right into the performance of the 14s2p battery. According to Apsuboard, their rationale for going with a 14s instead of the more common 10s battery, is to give the board more torque. A higher serial in a battery pack means higher voltage, equaling higher torque.
It makes sense, but what doesn’t make a lot of sense is pairing it with a pair of modest 300W motors, considering the best budget boards are pairing motors up to 560W on these batteries. On the contrary, you could say that all the high serial battery does, in this case, is compensate for the weaker motors, so that the V5 can stay on par with boards from the flagship budget brands.
And that’s how we feel riding the V5. The torque and power didn’t blow our minds, sadly, but it was as strong as any entry or mid-level board that uses better-rated motors.
The second benefit of going with a 14s battery is that the voltage sag is significantly less. Unlike 10s batteries, a 14s on the V5 performs just as well when the charge is low as when it’s full. Very little drop in power and speed.
Now that we have talked about the performance, it’s time to talk about the riding experience.
This is where the board performs as expected, given the parts it uses. Besides having the awesome push-to-turn-on feature, using this generation of LingYi ESC gives the board smooth acceleration and smooth yet strong braking. As always, the acceleration and braking each have 4 modes that can be set independently of each other.
The generic trucks are average, they don’t feel very responsive and have poor rebound to center, so carving on this board wasn’t the most fun.
Regular 90mm wheels, dual hub motors, and a stiff deck means there is nothing to stop the board from vibrating like crazy when riding over rough roads. You already know that this is a common problem for hub motors, a problem that the Cloudwheels Donut is designed to solve. Lacking any concave on the board also means that it is difficult to know where our feet are at without looking, and that adds another layer of discomfort.
Verdict of Apsuboard V5
So, let’s tally up the score. The Apsuboard V5 went with a generic deck, trucks and wheels, which gives a riding experience that is at best considered average. The speed control is good, as expected from a current-gen LingYi ESC. The range and torque are above average amongst entry-level boards… and the most awesome thing about the Apsuboard V5 is the price – $369.
While the Apsuboard V5 likely isn’t the best budget board for everyone (most of us value a polished ride feel above all else); for someone who absolutely can’t stand voltage sags and perhaps is on the heavier side, I frankly don’t know of any other option for $369.
If you are interested in buying an Apsuboard, be sure to check out our affiliate discount link here and use code: “CN15″ during checkout to get $15 off!
It will help you get a small monetary discount and helps us out too. On top of that, you’ll be tagged as an Electric Skateboard HQ customer and probably be treated better. Cheers!