Acedeck Stella S3 Review – I couldn’t believe it!

Acedeck Stella S3 is one of those rare belt-driven longboards that’s priced under $500. 

Before the Stella S3, the only other belt drive under $500 was the $449 Wowgo 3E, which we considered the best entry-level electric skateboard, and now we are looking to see if this Acedeck Stella S3 is going to take its throne. And judging by the specs, it just might, as Acedeck really put some crazy stuff in it.

Acedeck Stella S3 Specs:

Battery13s2p 374Wh Samsung 40T battery
ControllerAcedeck Customized ESC
Top Speed28 Mph / 45 Kph
Range22 Miles / 35 Km
DeckBamboo and Maple Composite
MotorDual 1500W 6355 Belt drive Motors
Net Weight9.5kg / 20.1lbs

Deck – Canadian Maple And Bamboo Composite:

Starting with the deck, the Acedeck Stella S3 is made of a Canadian Maple and bamboo composite deck with a mild flex and an aggressive concave, which is ideal for foot placement. It has a simple and clean design, going with the grey color scheme that’s universal to most Acedeck lineups. 

ESC – Similar to Hobbywing ESC:

Moving onto the ESC, Acedeck used their own customized ESC, but it felt really similar to the tried and true Hobbywing ESC. This comes with four-speed settings. For those who are not familiar with Hobbywing ESC, it is the most popular electronic speed controller that’s proven to deliver perfectly smooth and intuitive speed control.  It also has a smart turn-on feature, meaning the board powers on automatically when its standard Hobywing remote is turned on.

Battery – 13s2p 374Wh Samsung 40T battery:

And now for the biggest surprise: the battery. It’s a 13s2p battery.  A 13-s battery is above average for a $500 board and would provide the board with a lot of power. But going with 21700 cells with Samsung 40T, too? We were super surprised, and we don’t remember any other $500 having a battery setup as good as this.

This battery pack is marketed to have a range of up to 22 miles (35 km), and in our tests, we managed to reach 17.4 miles (28km) with a 150 lbs (70kg) rider riding fast, which is astonishingly higher than the 10miles or 18km we anticipated from a sub- $500 belt-driven eskate.

Motor – Dual 1500W 6355 Belt drive Motors:

Another big surprise with the Stella S3 is its big motors. These are 6355 motors with a 1500W rating each. And although motor wattage is never the full story, it still means something. The gear ratio is also quite high at 1:2.7, so it is more to a recipe that prioritizes torque over top speed. That being said, these motors are still marketed with a healthy top speed of 28 mph or 45 kph, which is pretty standard for boards at this price, and we managed to come in just under 28mph at 27.3mph or 44 kph.

Trucks and Wheels – 45-degree Reverse Kingpin trucks:

As for the trucks, Acedeck uses a standard casted 45-degree reverse Kingpin truck with double barrel bushings of 100A and 96A, which looks like a combination built with stability in mind.

As for the wheels, these are pretty standard 90mm wheels rated 76A.

The board weighs about 20 lbs or 9.5kg.

Specs Summary of the Acedeck Stella S3:

As you can see, with this 13s2p Samsung 40T battery and these motors, Stella S3 has to completely flop in the riding experience department to not be one of the best, if not the best eskate under $500. So, let’s hit the road and see how the board rides.

Riding Experience of the Acedeck Stella S3:

The Acedeck Stella S3 feels a lot like a Wowgo 3E with a 10% tilt towards stability and a lot more torque. 

And that amazing torque is definitely the highlight of the Stella S3. Since then, a lot of brands have come to the realization that torque—rather than power or top speed—is what really the fun factor for a board. Tynee with its Tynee Mini 3 Pro and Meepo with its Vader and Voyager are all boards that went torque over power, and they are pretty popular for that.

The Stella S3 is one of those boards that rocket off from a standstill at the push of the throttle, you can definitely feel the 13s battery in action. And it wields that torque well, which is not a surprise as it is Hobbywing ESC, after all. Acceleration is strong but smooth, speed controls are intuitive. What’s notable is that braking is equally strong, something that not all boards with Hobbywing ESC are capable of. You can brake to a halt pretty quickly with this board.

The skate parts come together to support the aggressiveness of the board, too. First, the deck is on the stiffer side, and the pronounced concave helps keep our feet snug and secure. 

Next, the trucks are more stable than responsive, too. Sadly, the tradeoff here is that the Stella S3 is less responsive and less fun for carving in comparison to the Wowgo 3E with its flexible deck and responsive trucks. But I digress, these trucks add another layer to the stability.

You know the board is stable when it feels slow to be riding at 28mph or 44kph. And on top of that, you don’t notice the board got to top speed as it felt effortless both on your part and the board’s part.

The very significant road vibration of the board is one obvious flaw, especially when compared to other belt drives with larger wheels or a more flexible deck. Having said that, it is still, without a doubt, far more comfortable than any hub-driven board on difficult terrain. If riding on rough roads is what you do often, consider swapping to bigger wheels, there are tons of good 105 and 120mm in the market right now.

Verdict of Acedeck Stella S3:

We are accustomed to seeing no-name brands attempt to break into the market by making a board with over-the-top specs for its price. Those boards usually have weaker build quality, and most of those brands didn’t last long enough to support their customers. 

However, I believe Acedeck has moved past that point as it established itself with the Nyx lineup, stayed in business long enough to demonstrate that they care about their customers, and built their boards really well. For that reason, I find it funny that they are still aggressively undercutting their rivals on price.

This is how we see Acedeck Stella S3 for $500.
S Tier torque, S Tier battery, A tier stability, B+ in responsiveness, and A in power and build quality. 

If the Stella S3 were priced at $650, it would likely still be the best-value purchase. As such, if you’re looking for an electric skateboard that falls into the entry to mid-tier, there’s not much reason to get anything else. It really is the best electric skateboard we have ever reviewed for under $500.

If you are interested in buying the Acedeck, be sure to check out our affiliate discount link here and use code: “ESKATEHQ” to receive $25 off during checkout.
It will help you get a small monetary discount and help us out too. On top of that, you’ll be tagged as an Electric Skateboard HQ customer and probably be treated better. Cheers!

Tynee Mini 3 SL review – $359 !! Literally the most affordable electric skateboard.

The Tynee Mini 3 SL is outrageous.

In the electric skateboard world, brands have two tried and true methods to make their product successful. Make a board unique, or sell it at a really, really low price. Tynee with the Tynee Mini 3 Pro managed to stand out in the shortboard niche for its outrageously high torque and power, and now, with the Tynee Mini 3 SL, it will try to do the latter, be the lowest price electric shortboard, period. 

Click to read our review of the Tynee Mini 3 Pro.

Just a little context: Since 2018, an entry-level electric skateboard has had a $400 price tag. Then the price crept up to $450, with increased quality, of course. However, last year, 2023, we started seeing brands offering their entry line-up at $399, which this $359 Tynee Mini 3SL one-upped.

The price war is real, and we consumers love it. The best part is the boards aren’t shabby either. Take a look at the specs.

Tynee Mini 3 SL Specs:

Price$359.00​​ (216Wh)$399.00 (281Wh)
Battery10S3P 6Ah 216Wh10S3P 7.8Ah 281Wh
Controller12s Hobbywing ESC
Top Speed30 mph/48 kph
Range17 miles/ 27 km (216Wh)
20 miles/ 32 km (281Wh)
Deck8 Ply Canadian Maple 
Motor2*550W hub motors
Net Weight8.4 kg / 18.5 lbs

Deck – 8 Ply Canadian Maple

Starting with the deck, the Mini SL is made with an 8-ply Canadian maple and is unsurprisingly similar to the Tynee Mini 3 but with a longer kicktail. Its wide concave makes it pleasant to stand on.

The deck uses the same U-shaped concave design popularized by the late-boost Mini. Compared to other models like the Boosted Mini or Exway Wave, the Tynee Mini 3 SL has a wider concave.

ESC and Remote – Hobbywing ESC

Next, moving onto the ESC, Tynee went with the tried and true Hobbywing ESC, which comes with four-speed settings. And like all Hobbywing ESCs, it has a smart turn-on feature, meaning the board powers on automatically when the remote is turned on. It’s paired with the standard Hobbywing remote and a mobile app where you can customize the ride profile. 

Battery – 6Ah 216Wh battery or 7.8Ah 281Wh:

As for the battery, the Mini 3 SL comes with a 6Ah 216Wh battery or a larger 7.8Ah 281Wh battery for an extra $40.

The Mini SL Hub has a marketed range of 17 miles or 27 km using the standard 6AH battery and 20 miles or 32 km with the larger 7.8AH battery. Our unit was the smaller 216Wh version, and in our range test, we only managed to reach 11 miles or 18km with a 154 lbs or 70 kg rider riding fast. This is slightly lesser than the marketed range, as is always the case when we try to push the speed, but even then, 10 miles and 18km is what we were expecting from a $400 board, so we aren’t disappointed here.

In the worst-case scenario, it is a hub board so you can kick-push if you run a full 20 miles. 

Motor – Dual 550W Hub Motors:

The Tynee Mini 3 SL, uses a dual hub motor drive at 550W max power, which is marketed with a top speed of 30 mph ( 48 kph), which is also impressive at that price point. When we took it to the road, we managed to hit 28 mph (45kph), just a hair shy of the marketed top speed. 

Truck and Wheels – Tynee diamond truck 7” 43° RKP:

For the trucks, Tynee uses their Tynee PE truck, which is short of Paris Electric trucks. These were made by Tynee and were said to be designed based on Paris Trucks. Since we reviewed the other Tynee, we are familiar with Tynee PE trucks and know they are decent trucks, but unlike Paris Trucks, which were known for their responsiveness, Tynee’s trucks were designed with stability in mind.

As for the wheels, the Mini 3 SL comes with standard 90mm street wheels. 90mm wheels are pretty standard for electric skateboards; however, if you usually ride on rougher pavement, you might want to spend an extra $80 for the 105mm Donut wheels for a smoother ride.

Specs Summary of the Tynee Mini 3 SL:

As you can see, Tynee Mini 3 SL’s specs are also pretty solid. Much like the Tynee Ultra SL Hub, the range and top speed are both pretty good and is on par with boards that cost $100 more. Besides putting up decent numbers, Tynee spared no expense on the other parts either, going with the industry-standard Hobbywing ESC and a decent pair of trucks.

In short, this board, at least on paper, is a good deal for the price it’s asking. Now, it just needs to be a good ride to complete the package, and that’s what we’ll discuss next.

Riding Experience on the Tynee Mini 3 SL:

All things considered, the Tynee Mini 3 SL is a smooth, comfortable board, a good board for beginners.

First, let’s talk about speed control. To cut costs, a budget board will occasionally go with an older generation LingYi ESC that wasn’t the smoothest in speed control. And no, I am not calling out Exway Ripple or Meepo V3s here. Those two still use the latest generation of LingYi ESC, which is actually good. I am referring to those no-name brands from Amazon. 

Click to read our review of the Exway Ripple.

Click to read our review of the Meepo V3s.

I am glad that Tynee didn’t do that. Tynee Mini 3 SL sticks with the tried and true Hobbywing ESC, which should come as no surprise that the controls are buttery smooth thanks to the trusty Hobbywing ESC. For those who are new to electric skateboarding, Hobbywing ESC always gives very intuitive speed control, and both the acceleration and braking ramps smoothly without any unexpected jolts.

This also means that the Tynee Mini 3 SL is the opposite of a ‘thrilling board.’ The acceleration curves weren’t aggressive enough to give you an adrenaline rush, and the power of the motors wasn’t strong enough to scare you either. If you were hoping that the board might be top of its class for its torque, just like how the Tynee Mini 3 Pro was, then you will be disappointed.

It does have enough power for a mini-board to get an average-weight rider uphill, but that’s just about it. 

The board was clearly designed to be comfortable, not thrilling, and the other thing that helped it to be a comfortable ride was its trucks. As we mentioned in the introduction, the Tynee PE trucks are pretty good trucks that lean toward stability. Going fast on this small board isn’t scary, thanks to both these stable trucks and also the smooth speed control. 

Turning obviously is easy; this is a shortboard, after all. The kicktail on the Tynee Mini 3 SL is also somewhat longer than average, longer than the Tynee Mini 3 and 3 Pro, for instance. Clearly, Tynee expects you to use kick turn more. We also like shortboards with good concave; it just makes the board more responsive to control and allows us to better gauge where our feet are.

So far, we like how Tynee put the Mini 3 SL together; all parts were designed with comfort in mind, except one thing: the hub motors. Hub motors are more battery efficient, quiet, require less maintenance, are more cost-effective, and free rolls better; hence can be kick pushed, They are also “very good” at passing road vibration to your knee. Shortboards with hub motors are especially uncomfortable on rough roads, and also, they also make annoying sounds on rough roads, which is, annoying. 

This gets better if you pay that extra $80 to upgrade to the 105mm wheels, but if you’re just planning on cruising smooth pavements, you should be good to go. 


With a price tag of $400, we typically look for flaws rather than hoping for a board with a big upside. And the Tynee Mini 3 SL is indeed that, a board that’s overall decent and without major flaws.

The slight disappointment here would be that the bigger 10s3p battery didn’t result in a significantly better real-world range but instead ended up only marginally outperforming its $359 price tag. 

With that said, we still find that Tynee Mini 3 SL offers excellent value for money. It is a very easy ride and put together well. You can do much worse for $400, and Tynee Mini 3 SL is amongst the boards that give you the best bang for your buck.

If you are interested in buying the Tynee, be sure to check out our affiliate discount link here and use code: “ESKATEHQ” to receive $5 off during checkout.
It will help you get a small monetary discount and help us out too. On top of that, you’ll be tagged as an Electric Skateboard HQ customer and probably be treated better. Cheers!

Tynee Ultra SL Hub Review – The best $400 eskate, period.

Tynee just released a Student Life series, a pair of affordable electric skateboards, including the longboard Tynee Ultra SL and a mini-board Tynee Mini 3 SL. 

Today, we will be reviewing the Tynee Ultra SL, a hub-driven electric longboard priced at $399, making it among the most affordable electric longboards out there. Competition in the under $500 affordable category is pretty stiff right now, with both Meepo and Wowgo having a few really good boards at this price, so let’s see how well the Tynee Ultra SL fares against them.

Tynee Ultra SL Hub Specifications:

Battery12S 50.4V 6Ah 259.2WH battery
Controller12s Hobbywing ESC
Top Speed28 mph (45 kph)
Range20 miles (32 km)
Deck8 Ply Canadian Maple 
Motor2*550W hub motors
Net Weight8.3 kg / 18.3 lbs

Deck – 8 Ply Canadian Maple:

Starting with the deck, the Ultra SL is made with an 8-ply Canadian maple with a wide concave that’s comfortable to stand on. It has a good amount of flex, which we generally prefer over stiff decks, especially when it comes to hub-driven electric skateboards. The grip tape design is nothing special. As is often the case, Tynee likes to play it simple with a minimalistic monochrome print. 

It’s also pretty nice of them to include a nose and tail protector on each end.

ESC and Remote – 12s Hobbywing ESC:

Moving onto the ESC, Tynee went with the tried and true Hobbywing ESC, which comes with four-speed settings. And like all Hobbywing ESCs, it has a smart turn-on feature, meaning the board powers on automatically when the remote is turned on. It’s paired with the standard Hobbywing remote, and there’s also a mobile app that allows you to customize the ride profile. 

Battery – 12s 50.4v 6ah 259.2wh Battery:

As for the battery, the Ultra SL Hub is equipped with a 12S 50.4V 6Ah 259.2WH battery and has a marketed range of 20 miles (32 km). And in our range test, we managed to cover 11 miles (17km) with a 154 lbs (70 kg) rider riding fast. As is usually the case with the marketed range, you’d need to ride conservatively at a slower pace if you really need to get to the marketed 20-mile range in a single charge.

Although this wasn’t an amazing range, it is on par with what we expected out of a $400 board. For context, the 10-mile (18-km) tested range is what is considered standard from boards from the affordable categories.

And when worse comes to worse, it is a hub board, so you can kick-push if you completely run out of juice. 

Motor – Dual 550w Hub Motors:

The Tynee Ultra SL uses a pair of 550W hub motors, which are marketed with a top speed of 28 mph (45 kph). This is also above average at this price point. When we took it to the road, we actually managed to reach THE 28 mph (45kph) threshold, so it didn’t underperform here.

Truck And Wheels – 7” 43° Reverse Kingpin Trucks And 90mm Street Wheels:

Speaking of trucks, Tynee uses their 7” 43° Reverse kingpin trucks. We are familiar with Tynee PE trucks from reviewing the other Tynee, and we know it is a decent truck that is geared more toward stability.

As for the wheels, the Ultra SL comes with standard 90mm street wheels, providing a smooth ride on various terrains. However, for riders who frequently encounter rough roads, you might want to pay that extra $109 for the 105mm Donut wheels. 

Specs Summary:

As you can see, for less than $400, Tynee Ultra SL Hub has pretty good specs. 

It’s not every day you can find a 12s board for that price. The range and top speed are both pretty impressive and could easily compete with boards that cost $100 more. The bigger battery and big motors are great, but Tynee didn’t skimp on the other parts either, going with the tried and true Hobbywing ESC and a decent pair of trucks.

In short, the board is above-average in value if judged solely by the numbers and the part used. So far, we see no shortcuts taken.

Riding Experience:

Overall, the Tynee Ultra SL is an easy board to ride. It is a comfortable board to ride in all but one aspect.

First, let’s talk about speed control. The acceleration and braking are both super smooth. This should come as no surprise, as you probably already know how Hobbywing ESC consistently gives the board a buttery smooth, intuitive control.

The trucks also contribute to this smoothness. Tynee’s PE trucks strike a pretty good balance between stability and responsiveness. They’re responsive and fun for carving but are undoubtedly geared more towards stability. Testing top speed on these trucks is pretty easy for us, as they remain stable all the way without speed wobbles.

The flexibility of the deck adds a bit to the ride’s smoothness, too. A flexible deck always feels more fun to carve on for us and also helps dampen road vibrations. We hate flat decks. Although this deck doesn’t have an aggressive concave, it has just enough for us.

There’s only one feature of the Tynee Ultra SL that detracts from ride comfort: the hub motors. As with all hub motor boards, riding on rough roads produces annoying noises, and road vibrations are still fairly strong despite the deck’s flexibility. It’s not the worst board in this sense, but it is a problem nonetheless.

These 550W hubs, however, do their job well. They might not have as much torque as a belt-driven board, such as the Wowgo 3E, but they’re certainly powerful enough to get you up any hills. The 12s battery also gives the board an extra edge in power over other 10s hubs, such as the Wowgo 2s max.


Without a doubt, the Tynee Ultra SL really stands out in the $400 board category, thanks to its 12s battery. But while its 12s2p battery is bigger than what you’ll find in most rivals, it doesn’t really add much to the range. Instead, it’s the power where this board really gains an edge.

Now, I’ve got to say, Tynee might have done a bit of a disservice by labeling this as just a student or beginner board. Sure, it’s an easy ride – super comfortable and incredibly smooth – which makes it a great fit for beginners. But, even seasoned eskaters would probably love how they can just turn off their brain and comfortably cruise at top speed on this board.

In short – good value, comfortable ride, Tynee Ultra SL is one of the better budget electric skateboards on the market right now.

If you are interested in buying the Tynee, be sure to check out our affiliate discount link here and use code: “ESKATEHQ” to receive $5 off during checkout.
It will help you get a small monetary discount and help us out too. On top of that, you’ll be tagged as an Electric Skateboard HQ customer and probably be treated better. Cheers!

Backfire Zealot V Review – This is a weird board.

I bet it’s very easy for Backfire to design this board. To get the Zealot V, open up Adobe Photoshop and paste the 40-inch Zealot X, select all, and resize it down to 33 inches and voila, you get the Zealot V.

Jokes aside, today we’ll be reviewing the Backfire Zealot V which is a pretty weird board and safe to say it’s one of my least favorite Backfire boards. But to be fair, the Zealot V does have its ups and downs.

Backfire Zealot V Specs:

Battery42V 6Ah or 216Wh battery Samsung 30Q 18650
Controller10s Hobbywing ESC
Top Speed26 mph (42 kph)
Range11-12.5 miles (18-20 km)
Deck33” (83.8 cm) ABS, Glass Fiber, And Maple Composite
Motor1500W Dual 750W belt drive
Net Weight16.8 lbs (7.6 kg)

Deck- 33” (83.8 cm) ABS, Glass Fiber, And Maple Composite:

The Zealot V boasts a 33” deck made of ABS, glass fiber, and maple composite. While it’s pretty stiff with minimal flex, we were a bit disappointed to find it considerably flat without much concave, which is kind of a bummer for us because we like decks with more concave to it as it helps with foot placement, making it easier to control the board.

But hey, the deck does look pretty sweet. It’s got those sleek icy blue lights along the length of the deck, which always turns heads. And at $599, it’s the cheapest eskate out there if you’re looking for one with deck lights like this.

Check out our review of Backfire Zealot X and Backfire Zealot S2, two other Backfire with board lights.

ESC and Remote – 10s Hobbywing ESC with Backfire remote:

Moving onto the ESC, the Zealot V is equipped with a 10s Hobbywing ESC, offering 4-speed modes which, as always, are smooth and intuitive. This Hobbywing Esc is paired with a standard Backfire remote, and while it’s not the Halo remote from the Zealot X and S2, it’s still comfy and easy to use.

Battery – 42V 6Ah or 216Wh battery Samsung 30Q 18650 cells:

Powered by a 42V 6Ah or 216Wh battery with Samsung 30Q 18650 cells, the Zealot V is marketed at a range of 11-12.5 miles (18-20 km). These cells are pretty popular in eskates as they have high energy density and discharge rates.

But when putting it to the test, with a 155 lbs (70 kg) rider, we only managed to hit 7.5 miles (12 km) which isn’t super impressive to be honest, especially for a board in this price range. We usually expect at least a 10-mile (16 km) kind of range with hard riding on boards over $400. 

The lack of range is, unfortunately, the price to pay for using belt motors as they’re not as efficient as hub motors, meaning they drain the battery pretty quickly. But they do make up for it with a smoother ride as belt drive motors tend to dampen out road vibrations better.

Motor – Dual 750W belt motors 1500W:

The Backfire Zealot V runs on two 750W belt motors, totaling 1500W. It’s a decent number but not what you would call a game-changer as compared to the Zealot X’s beefier twin 1500W motors, the Zealot V’s power is a bit more on the modest side.

As for the speed, the Zealot V cruises up to a top speed of 26 mph (42 kph). Again, this is pretty standard and nothing extraordinary, so it’s not surprising that we hit that top speed in our test.

Although not the most powerful board on the block, for a 33” board, it’s certainly enough and most definitely capable of getting you up any incline.

Truck and Wheels – 7-inch 50-degree reverse kingpin trucks:

Moving on to the trucks and wheels, the Zealot V is equipped with 7-inch 50-degree reverse kingpin trucks which are similar to the 8-inch trucks you’d find on the Zealot S2. However, unlike the forged trucks on the Zealot X, the Zealot V uses cast trucks, which is to be expected for an eskate in this price range.

Next, despite being a smaller board, the Zealot V went with 96mm wheels. . These are 96mm by 55mm wheels with an 80A durometer. This helps to get the board over most cracks and bumps so you aren’t limited to riding only on sidewalks. This is as opposed to Exway Ripple which is super-duper portable and nimble but has 75mm wheels that are a bit difficult to be ridden on rougher pavement.

Read our review of Exway Ripple here.

Lastly, The Backfire Zealot V weighs at a portable (7.6 kg) which is lighter than most electric longboards and cruisers, and roughly on par with many shortboards.

Specs Summary:

At first glance, for $599 the Backfire Zealot V’s specs are pretty underwhelming. 

However, factoring in the lights as a $150 add-on, the pricing seems more reasonable. Don’t ask me if the lights truly cost $150, we only know Meepo marked up the lightless Meepo Envy to the green-lighted Meepo Aurora by $150. But once you subtract $150 from the price tag, the Zealot V begins to look on par with other belt-driven eskates. For example, it has specs nearly identical to the $449 Wowgo 3E, which is our top pick for the best affordable belt-driven electric skateboard.

Read our review of Wowgo 3E here.

In short, if you like the lights for as much as $150, the Zealot V has good specs. 10s2p with Samsung 30Q, dual 750W belt motors is reasonably good.

Riding Experience on the Backfire Zealot V:

The Backfire Zealot V was designed to be portable and nimble, and it accomplished that very well. Turning tight corners and navigating amongst other road users is a breeze.

When you’re not riding the board, its smaller form factor makes it convenient to carry around. At 16.8 lbs (7.6 kg), it’s not the lightest among the lighter boards in town. But it does feel significantly easier to carry around because of the even weight distribution and, again, the smaller form factor.

Despite its smaller size, the Zealot V did well in maintaining  stability at high speeds. While hitting the 26 mph top speed still feels sketchy on a shorter board like this, we think even new riders will be comfortable riding around at 18.5 mph (30 km). The smooth speed control of the Hobbywing ESC obviously helped. Acceleration and braking are perfectly smooth and intuitive, as they always are with Hobbywing ESC.

While these are all great things about the Backfire Zealot V, one big question remains: why didn’t they go with a deck with a kicktail? A more typical shortboard or cruiser deck would have kept the size of the deck down, kept the weight light, and added versatility. You would also be able to have a similar width in your stance as on a shortboard, you can place your back foot on top of the trucks, whereas with Zealot V you can’t.

Some of us at ESHQ do like the design; however, if you are not using the kicktail, not having it means no chance of accidental wheelies. It is also often more portable than a deck with a kicktail, as the board lies flat in car trunks and takes up less space. One team member also appreciated that the board could be pulled by its truck, unlike boards with kicktails that will drag along the floor if you were to pull it around.

Other than that, the power on the Zealot V is good, more than enough, considering the small size. Road vibration is still uncomfortable despite going with big 96mm wheels on a belt drive due to the stiff deck. 

The Verdict – should you get the Backfire Zealot V?

It’s nimble, portable, well-built, and looks really good. The board offers perfect speed control, sufficient power, and a pretty good balance between responsiveness and stability. It’s a pretty board, built well, but at $599, it’s not as affordable as boards that skip the lights.

For many people, the Zealot V might seem stuck in a weird middle ground, but that also means for some, it’s the perfect board with just the right amount of everything.

It’s ideal for those who want a nimble and portable board but aren’t looking for a shortboard with a kicktail.

It’s for those who appreciate the ride profile of a typical longboard, but don’t need one that’s 40 inches.

And it’s for those in search of the most affordable board with built-in deck lights.

I don’t fall into these groups; hence it’s not my favorite Backfire board, but I still have to give kudos to Backfire for trying something new with the Zealot V.

If you are interested in buying the Backfire, be sure to check out our affiliate discount link here and use code: “ESKATEHQ” to receive $20 off during checkout.
It will help you get a small monetary discount and help us out too. On top of that, you’ll be tagged as an Electric Skateboard HQ customer and probably be treated better. Cheers!

Exway Ripple Review – The most practical last-mile options (and it’s affordable!)

Sometimes you want to make a wave, sometimes you just want to make a Ripple.

Today, we’ll be reviewing the Exway Ripple, a very portable,  even air travel-friendly mini board for under $400. It has pretty underwhelming specs even for a $349 board, but reviewers all seem to like it, and we are curious to understand why. 

Exway Ripple Specifications:

Battery99Wh Travel Edition battery ($349)159Wh Cruiser Edition battery ($469).
Controller10s LingYi ESC
Top Speed16mph (25kph)
Range7.5 miles (12 km) for Travel Edition battery 11.2 miles (18 km) for Cruiser Edition battery
Deck30.7 ‘Flexy’ bamboo, maple and fiberglass composite 
MotorDual 672W Hub drive motors
Net Weight13.1lbs (5.9 kg)

Deck: 30.7 ‘Flexy’ bamboo, maple and fiberglass composite

Starting with the deck, the Ripple has a wide concave deck constructed of tough composite material made of maple, bamboo, and fiberglass. We love the RGB lights under the deck and the sleek, minimal grip tape design. It features amazing decorative LEDs at the side that indicate the battery level and brake lights that blink like a car.

ESC and Remote: 10s LingYi ESC

Moving onto the ESC, with the 10s Lingyi ESC on the Ripple, this is Lingyi’s first appearance in the Exway line. The 10s Lingyi ESC comes with 4-speed modes and is paired with the generic Lingyi remote which has an OLED display to show the speed, battery, and other info.

Battery: Travel Edition (99Wh) and Cruiser Edition (159Wh)

As for the battery, the Ripple comes with two swappable batteries. The travel edition 99Wh battery complies with FAA and other aviation regulations so you can take it to the skies. And the 159Wh cruiser edition, which is still allowed in carry-on baggage with airline approval as most airlines have a limit of up to 160Wh. But even so, some airlines may have their own regulations when it comes to carrying Lithium-ion batteries so be sure to check your airline before traveling. 

We thought the battery was hot-swappable like the Exway Wave, but it isn’t. You need to remove 9 screws to swap the battery so carrying extra battery in the backpack for extra range is not an option here.

Read our review of the Exway Wave here!

The marketed range of the Ripple is 13.5 miles or 18 km with the cruiser edition battery and 8 miles or 12 km with the travel edition battery. In our tests, we were able to travel 8 miles or 13 km at high speed using the Cruiser Edition battery, with a rider weighing 154 lbs or 70 kg. The range of the 99wh travel battery is either 6 miles or 10 km, which is a pretty limited range, to be honest, but that’s what you can expect from a battery this small. It’s advertised as a last mile solution as most people walk a mile after their main mode of transport to get to their final destination and eskates like these are a perfect alternative when commuting between college classes, getting to a bus stop, or even a quick trip to the corner shop.

And when worst comes to worst, it is a hub board so you can kick-push if you completely run out of juice. 

Motor: Dual 672W Hub drive motors

The Exway Ripple uses a hub motor drive at 672W max power, which is marketed with a top speed of 16 mph or 25 kph, which means it’s definitely not built for speed but for casual cruising or beginners. But this makes it too slow for shared roads so you’re going to have to use it on pavements and sidewalks only. Surprisingly, when we took it to the road, we managed to hit 20 mph or 32 km/h, which still isn’t that fast but definitely exceeded the advertised top speed. I am guessing that Exway understates its top speed in order to comply with regulations some countries have. For instance, Singapore has 16mph or 25 kph as the speed limit for PEV.

Truck And Wheels: Reverse Kingpin Trucks And 77mm Polyurethane Wheels

For the trucks, Exway decided to equip Trist 7″ Reverse Kingpin trucks on the Ripple, which sets the Ripple apart from other $400 boards that typically use a cast truck. The back trucks of the Ripple also are made to look much better than most off-the-shelf hub trucks, in which its motors are typically screwed onto a pseudo truck. However, Exway came up with a smarter concept to have the truck’s axles inserted straight into the hub motor wheels, tucking the motor wires away and giving the Ripple a more traditional look. 

In general, the trucks on the Ripple are excellent, but for a budget-conscious consumer, this might be overkill because even generic back trucks have shown to be reliable and sturdy enough, and since the Ripple’s power is limited, a reinforced truck is unlikely to be necessary. However, Exway Ripple is not about value for money; rather, it’s about refined quality, and this is just one example of that.

As for the wheels, we believe that Ripple’s tiny 75mm polyurethane wheels are the board’s biggest drawback and a deal-breaker for many. Nowadays, it’s uncommon to encounter boards with wheels smaller than 90 mm, and for good reason. Your ride is essentially limited to sidewalks and well-paved roads with 75mm wheels. Riding over rough asphalt for even a mile would be unpleasant.

Specs Summary – the Exway Ripple is not very competitive:

As you can see, Exway Ripple is a lot more polished than your typical $400 board but comes with much lower specs. We expect a $400 board to have at least a 10s2p 144wh battery and a 25mph or 40kph top speed, and even with promotion prices, Ripple will never compete with similar-priced competitors in specs.

When you compare it to the Meepo Atom 216Wh battery and its top speed of 29 mph or 47 kph, you can see that the stats differ significantly.

Read our review of the Meepo Atom here!

Our expectations for a $400 board are exceeded by the integrated lights and forged trucks. We also really value its exceptionally lightweight—just 13,1 lbs. (5.9 kg)! You will have to construct your own shortboard, as we did with our Orbiter Shrink a few years ago if you want a good one that is any lighter.

Riding Experience on the Exway Ripple

Like a surf skate with surf trucks that allow for sharp turns, the Exway Ripple is an incredibly fun board to ride on smooth roads and pathways. It will wobble a little if you try to ride it straight, so you have to go with the flow and carve things to keep it steady. The deck has a great size, a good tail, and a nice concave. It feels wider than it is, even though it is only 30″. It’s entertaining to use the kicktail, and if we had the skills, we could definitely use Ripple for tricks.

The LingYi ESC performs admirably in terms of speed control. When combined with relatively weak motors, LingYi ESCs were still flawless even years ago, when they still trailed Hobbywing ESCs in terms of smooth speed control. Since Exway Ripple has a tame motor and LingYi ESC has advanced to the point where it performs on par with Hobbywing ESC, it should come as no surprise that the speed control is incredibly smooth and intuitive.

Clearly, Exway Ripple lacks strength and speed. If you dare to join group rides with it, you will be left behind due to its top speed of 20 mph (32 kph). Although it isn’t really fast, riding on it feels very quick and agile.

Although the motors are strong enough to get me up most inclines, I wouldn’t trust them to get me up anything very steep. Keep to flat, well-paved roads and imagine it as a motorized surf skate.

The Verdict – Is Exway Ripple good?

Exway Ripple is a niche product that everybody can just look at and instantly know if it’s for or not for them.

For instance, Exway Ripple is designed for skaters who make fun of us eskater for our heavy boards, 105mm wheels, and incapacity to ollie up a curb. The board is the most agile and portable available, and its lightweight design should allow it to perform all skate tricks.

Exway Ripple is an enjoyable and useful electric surf skate with a long list of features that are off-limits for those of us who aren’t skilled at ollies. 75mm hub motor wheels are not the right choice if you ride on rough terrain. The larger 159wh battery may not be sufficient if range is a concern. If you need torque or speed, Ripple will be too weak.

But if you live in a place with good public transport or are traveling somewhere with good pavement, the Exway Ripple is the board you should get. A 15 mph speed limit on the sidewalk doesn’t affect the board’s maximum speed, and its agility makes it easier to maneuver among other pedestrians. It always makes sense to trade off extra battery for less weight if you know you will need to carry the board with you for portions of the trip.

If you are interested in buying the Ripple be sure to check out our affiliate discount link here and use code: “ESKATEHQ” to receive $5 off during checkout.
It will help you get a small monetary discount and help us out too. On top of that, you’ll be tagged as an Electric Skateboard HQ customer and probably be treated better. Cheers!