Everyone appreciates a healthy bit of rivalry between tech companies. When these companies compete with each other by making a better product, the side that benefits the most is us consumers.
A classic example of this in the e-skate industry would be the rivalry between Tynee Mini and Exway Wave. That’s why when Tynee announced the release of their mini-board’s newest version, we just can’t wait to get our hands on it. Here’s our Tynee Mini 2 review!
Tynee Mini 2Build and Specs
Electronic Speed Controller:12s Hobbywing ESC
Deck: genuine Canadian maple, wide concave with kicktail
Marketed Range:14 miles or 22 km; 25 miles or 40km
Motors:2x550W hub motors or 2x850W belt-driven motors
Marketed Top Speed:30 miles or 48 km per hour
Trucks:Tynee PE upgraded on Paris V3, 7 inches, 43°
Wheels:90 mm PU wheels or 105 mm Cloudwheels
On paper, the Tynee Mini 2 is impressive. The mini board uses a deck made of genuine Canadian maple with a concave similar to the previous Mini model, Boosted Mini, and Meepo Mini 2.
During our test, the wide concave of the board greatly helped riders experience a stable and comfortable ride. The leg placement on the deck is very natural and secure. Slipping won’t be an issue. The Tynee Mini 2’s deck is also stiff and does not have any flex to it just like all mini boards in the market.
As for the electronic speed controller, the Mini 2 uses a 12s Hobbywing ESC with 4-speed modes and a smart power-on feature. For those who don’t know yet, Hobbywing ESC is the gold standard for a buttery smooth and precise board control.
Two options of Molicel batteries for power
Now, let’s move on to the board’s power source. There are two options available for the Mini 2. The first is the Molicel 6.0 AH 216 Wh battery with a marketed range of 14 miles or 22 km. For more range, there’s an option of a Molicel 10.1 AH 363 Wh battery with a marketed range of 25 miles or 40km.
We got the second version, and the range test only hit 12.4 miles or 20 km with our 216 lbs or 98 kg rider at speed mode 4. For most viewers out there weighing around 154 lbs or 70 kg, you can expect 22 miles or 35 km of range at speed mode 4.
While the Tynee Mini 2 didn’t reach the marketed range in our test, it is important to note that this board uses Molicel which is one of the best cells for electric skateboards. Tynee Mini 2 sells at 629 USD for the smaller battery version, and 769 USD for the bigger one.
This gives the Tynee Mini 2 a huge advantage over the Exway Wave Riot which only has a marketed range of 12.4 miles or 20 km on the standard battery. Although, keep in mind that the Wave Riot’s battery can be easily swapped out to keep the board nimble and sleek.
The Tynee Mini 2 gives two options for the motors as well. You can either opt for the 2x550W hub motors or the 2x850W belt-driven motors which is the one we used for our test rides.
We highly recommend the 2x850W belt-driven motor version if comfort is a priority on your checklist. These motors are paired with stock 90 mm wheels with a marketed speed of 30 miles or 48 km per hour.
For a mini-board, this is a bit overkill but those who love to go fast certainly wouldn’t mind. In our test, the rider did manage to get a top speed of 28 miles or 45 km per hour. Pushing it to the max speed can be a bit risky, though.
Tynee PE trucks are here to stay
As for the trucks, Tynee Mini 2 keeps its proprietary Reverse KingPin trucks from the previous model which are based on the upgraded Paris V3. After seeing these trucks on three different models, we can safely say that these are geared towards stability but at the same time can carve pretty well.
Finally, the new board comes with built-in brake lights and a kick tail for kick turns.”. It’s also nice that the Tynee Mini 2 has an IPX6 water-resistant rating but as we all know, we shouldn’t trust that too much.
To read our Tynee Board Classic Review, click here.
Tynee Mini 2Riding Experience
Now that we’ve covered the specs and numbers, it’s time to ride!
The headliner for the Tynee Mini 2 is definitely its acceleration. For a lot of people, whenever a mini-board is mentioned, speed and acceleration are rarely the biggest concern. Mini boards are, well, mini, and aren’t designed for high speed.
The deciding factor for most people is its portability and how easy it is to travel or commute with these mini boards. However, Tynee is breaking this tradition and mindset with the Tynee Mini 2. The acceleration on this board is buttery smooth and intuitive thanks to the 12s Hobbywing ESC and the belt-driven system.
Ridiculous top speed for a mini board
The ridiculous marketed max speed of 30 miles or 48km per hour breaks the norm that a mini-board shouldn’t go fast. Testing it out went pretty well due to its power, concave maple deck, and longer wheelbase. This build formula is able to handle things well at higher speeds.
Tynee Mini 2 is stable at 22 miles or 35 km per hour and if you’re feeling a little brave, you can go for 28 miles or 45 km per hour.
Well, the speed and acceleration are highly appreciated and very welcome, since the Tynee Mini 2 is equipped with a powerful and smooth braking system.
The carving experience on the Mini 2 is also decent as it feels fun to carve but falls behind the Trist Trucks of Exway Wave, a board that’s more nimble and agile.
While the Mini 2 does have a kicktail, it does not live up to its full potential due to the heavy battery at the bottom part of the deck. These made the kicktail dependent on strength but if you give it some practice, you can make it work.
Another thing that the Tynee Mini 2 can work out is the ride experience on rough roads. In general, mini boards are bad for rough roads due to their stiff and short design. Fortunately, Tynee Mini 2 is a little forgiving, thanks to the belt-driven system. You’ll still feel the vibrations, though.
Tynee Mini 2 VERDICT – not so mini in stability and top speed
Tynee Mini 2 is a high-performance mini-board that gives a huge amount of power and range. We are happy that Tynee updated their Mini version for better performance. The price is absolutely reasonable with its killer specs and value. It is, in our opinion, the most powerful mini electric skateboard at this price point.
Tynee Mini 2 also rides like a champ, breaking the record for the most stable mini-board to ride at high speed. If you compare it to the WowGo Mini 2 and Exway Wave, Tynee Mini 2 is less nimble and carve-y. It is also quite hefty and bulky due to the bigger batteries and its double enclosures.
All things said, if speed and range are everything to you and are not particularly concerned about premium polish and features, like a swappable battery, then this is definitely the mini-board for you.
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 check out. 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!
If you liked this Tynee Mini 2 Review, check out our other articles at Electric Skateboard HQ! RIDE SAFE, GUYS.
So, you are looking for lights for your rides. A few years ago, Shredlights is the only company that’s making dedicated skateboard lights. Today, however, a few Chinese brands have developed their own lighting solution and today we are going to look at them too.
You may wonder, why not just get a regular bicycle light and maybe double-sided tape it onto the board? Well, if that works for you, great! But the lights may fell off in the middle of a ride, the vibration from the road may kill the light, and it’s ugly.
In this post, we’re going to compare the SL 200 Shredlights, the new backfire cannon II lights, the new Meepo lights, and the Board blazers. We are going to walk you through their difference: How they mount, the brightness, the light modes, how long they last, and the built quality.
Oh yeah, we didn’t include the new 1000 lumen Shredlight (SL-1000) here cause we haven’t received it yet. Oops. SL-1000 is pricey, $79.99 for a single light. It’s super bright – good for 100feet or 30m and pack full of useful features. (Including allowing a diffuser to be installed change the light’s spread)
We’re going to start off with the mounting systems, and this is where the Shredlight shines the brightest.
The Shredlights have several types of mounts to choose from. This means that they are the most compatible lights for the majority of electric skateboards.
The Meepo Lights have only 1 mounting solution. Because these lights are flat, they only work best when mounted underneath the trucks. If your truck is raised, these will work as well.
The Backfire cannon II lights, on the other hand, are a single piece that will fit with the front trucks of most boards. Just like the Meepo lights, they are flat.
And the board blazers, they just rely on the magic of double-sided tape.
So, when it comes to mounting options, we have a clear winner. While the Meepo Lights are removable, like Shredlights, the mounting system is nowhere as fluid as the S lock on the Shredlights. Meepo light release system is a bit flawed, with the trigger release interfering with the deck.
Shredlights ‘S lock’ mount system is super fluid and allows you to remove and arm the lights in 2 seconds. Literally. This is super useful and allows the Shredlights to be used as a pocket flashlight as well. I have used my Shredlights as a flashlight many time, as well as mounting it to my bike when I went cycling at night. After all, they are really bright.
Note: If being safe is something you want to do, but spending time and energy mounting the light system & charging them before every ride aren’t, you might want to check out the board that came with an integrated lighting solution, such as the Ecomobls. (They make great AT boards that come with integrated bright lights.)
Shredlights SL-200 = 200 lumens;
Meepo Elumi = 300 lumens;
Backfire Cannon II = 300 lumens;
Boardblazers … = yes.
As you can see here, the Backfire’s light is super bright, in fact, it’s the brightest of all of them. Although the Meepo lights are also 300 lumens, they look less bright due to the scattered trajectory and wider spread. The Backfire Canon 2’s, living up to their name, blast 300 lumens at a focused spot, so they look brighter.
The Shredlight SL-200 is 200 lumens bright, which is obviously less bright but bright enough. What Shredlight does better is that it features many different lighting modes and a much better way to switch between the modes.
3 brightness level + 3 types of pulsing modes.
Two-button for easy switching between modes.
Meepo Elumi = 300 lumens;
2 brightness level
3 modes: Simply On & 2 types of pulsing modes.
One button to rule them all.
Backfire Cannon II
One button to turn On & Off.
Twist to turn on and off.
Backfire Cannon II: To turn Backfire Cannon II on and off is pretty straight forward, but it also means the choice is limited. You turn them on by pressing the button and turn them off by pressing it again, so there’s only 1 mode for the Canon II’s.
SL-200: The SL 200 is also super bright but features various lighting modes. While the Backfire Cannon II lights simply turn on and off, the SL 200 has two buttons for you to cycle through various lighting modes. There are 3 different brightness levels and then 3 pulsing modes. In total, you have 6 different modes to choose from.
The Meepo Elumi: These lights also have multiple lighting modes, but again it’s nowhere close to the Shredlights. There’s only 1 button on it, so the process of cycling through the modes is a bit inconvenient. You press it once to turn it on, again and it dims, a third time to switch off the lights. Pressing and holding the button puts it in pulsing mode, again for flashing mode, and once more to turn off the lights. Sounds complicated, right?
The Boardblazers: Boardblazers on the other hand, turn on by twisting it like a bottle cap. When turned on, the lights will pulse between various colors. It looks like RGB lights from a gaming computer. Pretty cool, right?
The SL 200 and the Meepo lights have the advantage here. Yes, if you blast full brightness out of them, they will only last for 2-3 hours. That’s way less than the backfire canon 2 lights. But… Because you can toggle through various lighting modes, you can save a lot of battery power. If you use the 2nd brightness level, they will last up to 6 hours! For the Shredlights, if you dim them further, they can last up to 25 hours! That’s longer than a day’s worth of light. Now that is Impressive!
Board Blazers though. They are powered by non-rechargeable cells. We’re not sure how long they can last exactly, but we would bet the non-rechargeable cells can last a whole lot longer. Probably 72 hours straight? The battery cells they use are very common and easily available at any grocery store.
The Backfire Canon II lights and the Meepo lights are very similar here. Both of them have a metal body. They are both bulky and about 30% heavier than the Shredlights. They felt solid and high quality but… The rubber coating on the Shredlights is far more comfortable to hold.
I think going with rubber is the better option here. We think the reason that Shredlights survive intense road vibrations, is partly thanks to this rubber coating (Rubber keeps everything safe eh!). It protects the components and smooths out the vibrations a whole lot. Board blazers on the other hand are just plastic. Imagine a transparent water bottle cap. No joke, that’s actually an accurate depiction of it. At first, we were very skeptical of how well the board blazers could survive road vibrations, but…after riding with it off road, it survives, and we haven’t had any issues!
However! Over time, the twist switch to turn the lights on and off has become rough due to the dirt and sand stuck in the groove.
Backfire’s Cannon II: 79.99 USD for a pair. It’s the brightest among all of the lights we tested and will illuminate every single pothole out there. When it comes to seeing and be seen, you got both of them. But… it’s screwed onto the board permanently unless you enjoy screwing and unscrewing it every single time. I’ll pass on this one.
Meepo’s Elumi: Second brightest, they cover a wider field of view but this also means that it is less focused in the center. It’s removable with the mount and it has a few lighting modes. The user experience is not that great, but again, when it comes to seeing and be seen? It nailed both of them. The best part of it is the price, it’s the cheapest solution at $30! For those who are not keen to spend any more than they need to, Meepo’s Elumi is the way to go.
Shredlight SL-200:For those who don’t mind paying a little bit more for the best user experience, Shredlight is the way to go. While the SL 200 from Shredlight is not the brightest, it’s still super bright and is more than enough. Just as with the Backfire and Meepo lights, you will see and be seen.
The SL 200 is 49.99 USD a pair and is available in either white or red. For 99.99 USD you can get a set of 2 pairs, a pair of white lights to illuminate the front, and a pair of reds to help others see you from a mile behind.
The S Lock mounting system is a masterpiece and works really well. In 2 seconds, you can detach the lights from the board in case you want to use them as a flashlight or on a camping trip. This also makes charging much easier, and if you have multiple boards, you can install mounts on each one of them and you can easily move the lights from one board to another. You could also mount it on your helmets.
Board blazers: They are 19.99 USD per pack, and each pack contains 4 led lights. It makes your board look futuristic and cool at night, but it only helps with the “be seen” part. Board blazers are not meant for lighting the path ahead of you. They do help your board to look blazing good at night, but… only at night. In the daytime… it kind of looks like … I will leave it to your imagination.
Designing a new product can be scary. After all, you can never know if something new might turn out to be a dud. But I guess we all know the proven formula to make a great electric skateboard:
7-inch pneumatic wheels with the ability to swap to street setup +
Dual Belt drive +
Double drop deck +
Double Kingpin Trucks
Give the board a pack of 10s4p batteries and throw in some hexagon-grip-tape design and you’ve got yourself a very, very effective formula. The same formula that Evolve has been cooking for almost a decade now.
It wasn’t until 2019 that we start seeing brands copy this formula. Personally, I’m surprised it took these companies so long, but there are only a few notable attempts: Backfire Ranger X1 and now X2 did it with hub motors; Ownboard Bamboo AT made an attempt that we like, and then there was the first Wowgo AT.
Wowgo AT 2 Review
We never reviewed the Wowgo AT and we know we don’t need to, because right from the get-go everyone who took a glimpse of that board knows it’s troubled. To say the least, it had a very problematic rear truck that made it a poor ride.
Long story short, they tried again with Version Two and made lots of changes this time. Now let’s run through the specs of Wowgo AT 2 real quick.
Size: 38-inch long board
Top Speed: 25mph/40km
Battery Pack: 504Wh 10s4p Sanyo battery
Flexy deck made out of fiberglass, bamboo, and maple wood.
Double kingpin trucks.
Dual 6368 1500W motors.
Hobbywing ESC with smart turn on.
Two wheel-configurations are available:
175mm pneumatic wheels or
120mm cloud wheels.
Price: 1099.99 USD
Wowgo AT 2 gave me a few of small but nice surprises.
During the unboxing, I was surprised that they included a wheel pump in the box, a funny nice gesture. A bigger surprise came when I found out that it has the smart turn-on feature previously never seen outside of Exway.
I’m also mildly impressed that Wowgo had stepped up on the polish of the board, again. From the hexagon absorptive grip-tape, they use to the overall feel and look of the enclosure, couldn’t find any blemishes. All Chinese brands had been upping the ante in the product polish, but for the past 1 year, Wowgo seems to go slightly further in this aspect than the rest (especially since Wowgo 3).
Let’s put it this way, everything about Wowgo AT 2 felt really premium, and the only thing that doesn’t feel premium about it … is unfortunately the quirky brand name.
Of course, good specs and polished finish are just the qualifiers when a board costs as much as $1099.99 especially when the consistency and ease of access to aftersales service can and is a valid concern, an issue that’s unfortunately plaguing most if not all of the Chinese brands.
In short, besides looking pretty, the riding experience has to be really good too!
i. Acceleration & Breaking
Unsurprising, but equally worth mentioning, is the control. Wowgo uses a customized Hobbywing ESC where we expected smooth acceleration and smooth braking, and that’s exactly what we got.
Customized Hobbywing has a tendency to have weak brakes, but for the Wowgo AT 2, the brake is actually pretty strong. No complaints here.
You obviously couldn’t find a much better board to combat road vibration than a board with pneumatic wheels, is belt-driven and has flex in the deck.
iii. Top Speed
The marketed top speed is 25mph (40km). We manage to hit that.
That’s not impressive. What’s impressive is that for a board that uses dual kingpin trucks, Wowgo AT 2 felt really stable cruising near top speed, in AT configuration.
This is not how I felt riding on other DKP trucks, like the similarly built and priced Ownboard Bamboo AT, for example, that board doesn’t felt stable in AT wheels despite having more aggressive drop deck and lower ride height.
Stability concern is such a none issue that switching to the 120mm Cloudwheels seems unnecessary. You get more safety with the AT wheels anyways.
And the marketed range is 22miles (35km).
We were able to hit that number. It’s a big pack of Sanyo GA 18500, 504Wh, in 10s4p configuration after-all.
On a side note: Evolve Bamboo GTR also uses a 504wh pack, 10s4p configuration, Samsung 35E cells. It’s marketed range is 19miles (30km) and we hit around 20-21miles on it too.
A closer look at the parts
Wowgo AT2 has a less aggressive drop-deck and hence a higher ride height, so it should, in theory, be even more twitchy. But that wasn’t the case; the truck is configured so well right out of the box, and thanks to the harder bushing it is actually the most stable dual kingpin we’ve ever tried.
The slightly concave double drop down deck is really comfortable to stand on, and road vibration is never better countered than with pneumatic wheels, flex deck, and absorptive grip tape.
As mentioned, the dual kingpin truck is very well configured, probably partly thanks to the harder bushing it is using? One of the most stable dual kingpin we’ve ever tried.
iii. Electronic components
The brain of the board is the Hobbywing ESC with a smart turn on. Meaning, the board turns on just by turning on the remote. This is a big deal.
I feel like a nerd for saying this but I love the components case. It’s plastic but it’s pretty and elegant looking. No more off the shelf parts this time.
Single-button remote with telemetry reading. Comfortable on hand. The connectivity range seems to be shorter on this one than other remote, bring it a few feet away from the board and it will vibrate and disconnect.
Two wheel-configurations are available – 175mm pneumatic wheels or 120mm cloud wheels.
By the way, this thing weighs in at almost 30lbs (13.5kg), in AT set-up, and switching to cloud wheels is just gonna slice a pound or two off it. In short, it’s heavy.
Let me repeat myself here, if you are picking between Cloudwheels set-up or pneumatic AT set-up, go pneumatic.
The Wowgo team deserves a pat on their back for the AT2; it has respectable specs and it has a top-notch feel to back it up. For those who have strong feelings against Evolve, this is the board to get. For those who don’t have strong feelings against Evolve, this might still be a better choice after considering Hobbywing ESC gives you better overall control and smoothness, and the smart-turn-on feature is huge.
If you’re willing to put up with average after-sale service and the woefully unpredictable shipping time during this pandemic, you certainly won’t be disappointed by this one.
If you are interested in buying a Wowgo, be sure to check out our affiliate discount link here during check out. 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!
Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve finally updated our best electric skateboards list after having it sitting idle for months. And in this update, we will be recommending boards according to the price point they are in – since you know, most of us shop with a budget in mind. We are pretty sure that we have considered all viable product (or at least most of it), and all the best options have made it to this recommendation list..
As what’s right for you often comes down to preference, we’ve included a few options for each price segment – each of them better than the others on a certain aspect. And hence the numbering on this list doesn’t necessarily means the ranking of those boards or implying that one board is better than the others (unless we explicitly said so, heh). Of course, if you are interested in buying any electric skateboard, be sure to check out our Discount Page for additional discounts.
For those who are new to ESHQ, we’ve been reviewing electric skateboard for three years now. Just look around, I’m sure there is enough proof that we are pretty well informed.
When it comes to budget electric skateboards, your options are to look from the Chinese vendors, especially from the Big 4 – Meepo, Backfire, Wowgo, and Ownboard.
Nobody does affordable better than these Chinese brands, and for the past year, the Chinese brands have collectively proved that top product doesn’t have to cost top dollar. In fact, they releases some of the best electric skateboards in the past year.
Budget Longboards: (Below $499)
If you consider post-sale service something important, going with a budget brand with a good track record is pretty important. Countless new budget brands have sprung up and closed down as this market segment is crowded as hell. Taking that into consideration, and after reviewing dozens of budget electric skateboards from Meepo, Backfire, Ownboard, Wowgo, Teamgee, Verreal, Yeeplay, Apsuboard. Below is our recommended list:
Thanks to the recent price drop, the once $999 Exway X1 now became THE best budget board options. Unlike other Chinese brand on this list Exway places a lot more emphasis on the design, polish, and user experience – and that sets it further apart from other budget brands.
While X1’s range may be weak in comparison to mid-tier boards where it used to belong; its specs is competitive in the budget segment. And outside of the numbers, Exway X1 simply does everything better.
And while the numbers are merely competitive, the other aspect of the X1 blows the competition out of the water. It uses great skate parts like the seismic truck and bushing. Great electronic parts like the customised Hobbywing ESC with a companion mobile app that allows further customisation on control. Exway great design, top-tier polish, Apple like user experience and top tier customer service also put the brand ahead of the competition. Take powering on the board as example, imagine turning on the remote and having your Exway X1 automatically power on without you needing to bend over and fish for the power button, not even needing you to push it to turn on! That only happens on the Exway and that is just one amongst the many way Exway is better in designing for refined user experience.
The X1 also has a very important features that other boards lacks- it’s IP55 waterproof. Some people even use water spray to clean it! (which we wouldn’t recommend, water may rust the bearing.)
Downside? Some people think 80mm wheels are too small, especially for a hub board on rough pavement, especially for a board with stiff deck.
With that said, Exway X1 is like an NBA player who was now a bit older and decides to play in the CBA; and is very clearly, the head and shoulder above the budget longboard league right now.
The first generation Apsuboard X1 was a pretty mediocre mid-tier belt board. While it has a big battery, the imperfection in it’s control ruined the riding experience for me. And oh boy, did things get much better since.
Apsuboard X1 has since then made the ESC change to Hobbywing ESC, bringing perfect smoothness to its control. It then drop the price to $449 while retaining the big 288wh 10s4p battery – this spec simply slaughters the competition.
Outside of the numbers, X1 uses familiar part. Flexible deck with good subtle concave. Generic trucks that works okay, standard generic wheels. This all amount to decent but average riding experience.
Simply put, Apsuboard X1 has an amazing value for its price. It may lack the polish that the major Chinese brands has, but you can’t get a better value hub board with this price much less a belt-driven board which traditionally costs more. And while Apsuboard is a small brand, it’s a brand that we have know well and have enough confident in to recommend.
And now, we come back to the familiar faces – MeepoBoard. Meepo has always been the best selling budget brand since its inception in 2017 and it hold on to that status in all the subsequent years.
Meepo V3 is now the board that inherited that crown. Always emphasizing on power, Meepo now has the most powerful hub motors (because Enertion has gone bye-bye.), and this shows in torque and acceleration. The downside of a big motor is thinner urethane layer over the hub motor and hence rougher ride on a bad road (but there is always the option to upgrade to 100mm motor and wheels yourselves.)
While Meepo, with its LingYi ESC, is always said to be slightly less smooth in control than Hobbywing ESC use in some other boards, the difference is now negligible, especially after their new ‘Flux ESC’ update. The use of LingYi ESC allows them to have ‘push-to-turn-on’ features that boards with Hobbywing ESC couldn’t have.
Generally, for anyone who wants a budget hub board that are strong and pretty well polished, they should join the Meepo club.
For those who desire comfort above all, Backfire G2 Black is the way to go.
Backfire G2 Black is a ride where you can turn your brain off. Using Hobbywing ESC, it is as smooth as can be. Big 96mm wheels are especially nice for those who want safety in wheel size and want to worry less about road bumps and cracks. The trucks are very turny, but this wasn’t a big issue as you can always a) tighten the truck b) change bushing. Anyways, the top speed of G2 Black wasn’t too crazy either so stability usually won’t be an issue.
If you want a smooth and relaxing ride, Backfire G2 Black is your best choice amongst budget longboard segments.
Note: If you are considering buying a Wowgo 2s or an Ownboard W1S, then go for Backfire G2 Black instead. These three boards have identical specs and ride feel, but being the newest, Backfire G2 Black is slightly better in every aspect.
Remember back in 2018? When budget board just became and thing and thousand of brand such as the Meepo, Wowgo, Ownboard, AEboard, Teemo, Yeeplay etc offered their first budget boards? Those boards were often assembled together with generic parts available on market and costs somewhere around $380? Apsuboard V3 is a board reminiscing of that era – using generic trucks, enclosure, popular flex deck with handle, a 144wh Samsung 20R battery in 10s2p configuration and the LingYi ESC. (Hobbywing ESC now available for $20 more!)
Well, you might ask: “if Apsuboard V3 is a package from the yesteryears, how did it made the best electric skateboards list then?” Good question my friend, the reason is that, it is selling for only $299.
For an electric longboard, Apsuboard V3 without a doubt, the cheapest board worth buying. If you are really tight on the budget and have to spend as little as possible, this is it. If you ever thought of going to Aliexpress or buying some no name brand off Amazon, don’t – get Apsuboard V3 instead. At least it is from a known brand that won’t rip you off and is actually a decent product and not a toy.
Meepo Mini 2 uses a similar deck as the Boosted Mini, a short deck with an aggressive dish-like concave that allows excellent responsive control of the board. Unlike the Boosted Mini, however, Meepo Mini 2 uses a Shredder truck with a wide 200mm hanger, which makes it very stable even at its top speed.
It had very recently changed from using Hobbywing ESC to latest LingYi ESC (Meepo Esc 5.0). I personally think this is an appropriate change as this brings on the push-to-turn on features. It is always a great feature to have, but especially so for those who plan to make multiple short trips on the shortboard. Controls are almost as smooth as the Hobbywing but with tighter brakes, which reception on it is pretty polarised.
With that said, all this comes together and makes the Mini 2 the best option amongst budget shortboards and the first consideration for anyone looking to buy a budget shortboard.
Note: When buying a Chinese brand, you will usually come across 2 ESC choices. Hobbywing ESC and LingYi ESC. Hobbywing ESC has no push-to-start but have the smoothes acceleration and braking possible. Many however, complaints that the brakes are too smooth or soft and could be dangerous when you REALLY NEED TO STOP. LingYi ESC on the other hand, has slowly been catching up on the control smoothness. With each iteration, they get smoother and smoother. (And Meepo, being THE heavy weight budget brand, always gets the latest iteration much earlier than other brands.). Braking on LingYi ESC can be adjusted, but its overall much tighter and stronger than that of the Hobbywing ESC. LingYi ESC also always come with the push-to-turn-on feature, a useful feature indeed. When you got used to the feature, the need to bend down to reach for the power button underneath the board may feel ‘disgusting’. Heh.
Sleek Design – Drop through deck – Single hub – Waterproof – Super affordable
Teamgee H8 is the cheapest entry level board in the budget shortboard segment, it will only set you back $300.
It only has a single hub, so it will not be the fastest or stronger. The range on H8 is nothing to brag about either. With that said, for anyone who is new to eskating and want something that can’t hurt you physically and economically, H8 is that cute puppy.
Furthermore, a drop through deck with lower riding height is exactly the type of set-up a beginner should go with. So, instead of buying a no name electric shortboard from Alibaba, going with Teamgee H8 would be the better way to go.
Best Lower Mid-tier Electric Skateboards: ($499-$700)
There was a time when no vendor would sell an eskate at this price range as nobody would dare to dish out this much money at an unknown brand, and no premium brand would care to take a profit cut to sell a product at this price.
This changed in 2019.
As Chinese budget brands proved themselves to be reliable, those who are looking for an upgrade are happy to pay a slightly higher price to the Meepo, Backfire, Wowgo and Ownboard for something better.
In one short year, we have seen more than a few big releases such as Meepo NLS, Backfire G2T, Wowgo 3, Ownboard W2 then Backfire G3. Then there are smaller brands such as the Lycaon GR, Enskates, ThePeakboard etc. After major price cut, Bustin’s Hybrid boards also joined the fray.
The new Once a no-man land, the mid-tier segment is now flooded with choices, and most of them are good. And for those who are anal about price per performance ratio, I would argue that the best electric skateboards for them falls within this price segment.
Lower Mid-tier Longboards: ($499-$700)
While smaller brands like the Lycaon might look impressive on paper, major Chinese brands are generally still better. Outside of the specs sheets, they use better parts and have more reliable customer service, and you won’t have to worry of them suddenly going out of business.
So below are our choices after considering both boards from small brands such as Lycaon, Enskate, ThePeak, and boards from major brands including Meepo, Backfire, Wowgo, Ownboard, Exway, and Bustin Hybrid boards.
(I’m gonna emphasis that the number in the list are sorted by price and not ranking, they are all good, and each is best for different use case)
Note: To those who are still asking about Yuneec and Koowheel, are you guys from 2016?
Looking for a hub board that rides like Boosted? Get a Wowgo 3. Looking for a hub board that carves like a dream? Get a Wowgo 3.
Wowgo’s first major hit, the Wowgo 2s was endlessly compared to the Boosted board, and I’m guessing that’s the reason Wowgo chose to double down on that angle with Wowgo 3. Flexible deck, Paris trucks, and super smooth customised Hobbywing ESC makes Wowgo 3 deliciously smooth both in control and in carving.
With the riding experience so overwhelmingly good, one might even overlook the fact that Wowgo 3 is also scary powerful and has an acceleration that rivals any board in the mid-tier category. What’s crazier? It recently got a $100 price cut to make it an unbelievable deal considering the price-performance ratio.
If you are not sure about your preference but want something better than a budget board? Get Wowgo 3. Everybody loves Wowgo 3.
Stiffer maple decks, Caliber II trucks combine with the predictability of a customised Hobbywing ESC make Backfire G2T a very stable board that is easy to ride fast on.
The ability to swap between 83mm and 96mm wheels is an understated perk. I think smaller wheels are more fun to ride on when the roads are smooth as you will be riding lower, riding stabler, and the board felt more responsive. And when the streets aren’t that nice, 96mm wheels give safety and comfort with its size.
On top of that, Backfire is pretty generous in the G2T package and includes the canon LED on it, which makes getting Shredlights an option rather than a must. Overall, the Backfire G2T is pretty all rounded; and an exceptionally good choice for those who are not quite sure on what they want.
Note: Turbo modes on the G2T sucks for its 30second time span and jarring transition out from the mode. But there is a simple workaround: don’t use it.
After establishing itself as a premium brand, Exway has been expanding to the mid and budget segment by slashing the price of their older models (Exway X1) and introducing new affordable line-up (Exway Flex). The best thing about it? They are bringing their renowned attention to details, product polish and great customer service together with them.
Using a flexy deck, proprietary Trist Truck and the best version of Hobbywing ESC, the Flexway, gives the smoothest possible control and a buttery smooth ride that trumps even the Boosted. It would have given Boosted the final killer-blow if it hasn’t already fallen months before Flexway’s releases. Flexway, however, is going to hurt other Boosted-like boards (Wowgo 3 and Wowgo 3x) a lot, like a really lot.
Why? Exway Flex stood head and shoulder above all the competitors. Flex has better polish, has a smartphone app, is IP55 waterproof, has the smart turn on (board automatically turn on with the remote), has better customer service track records, has a more complete accessories options (wheels/ pulleys), has the ability to swap between hubs and belts, etc.
It has received lots of hype, and after reviewing the board ourselves, we know the hype is 100% justified.
Belt-driven electric skateboards tend to cost a bit more to make as compared to hub motors, and Ownboard W2 is made well for the price it’s asking.
All other belt-driven eskate at this price range use an old version of LingYi ESC in-order to make sufficient torque possible, but that causes the board to be significantly less smooth in control. Ownboard W2 instead goes with Hobbywing ESC that allows the silky smooth acceleration and braking that we all know and love.
However, this choice is not without major sacrifices. Going with a weaker 1st Gen Hobbywing ESC means Ownboard W2 fails to capitalise on the natural strength of a belt-driven set-up – it has neither a strong torque nor brakes. W2 also seems a little bit out of place in the low-mid tier segment when it comes to the parts in it. Yes, it has ceramic bearings that are more water-resistant and might roll better. However, it is still using generic Paris clone trucks, generic bushings, generic Hobbywing remotes, and the board looks like it can use a lot more polish.
With all that said, W2 is still the best belt board at the $500 mark – sandwiched between cheaper Apsuboard X1 and better but pricier Exway Flex riot.
Meepo NLS Pro is an upgrade and replacement over the original NLS – AKA, the board that started the whole low mid-tier boom.
Unlike the other boards from the list, which mainly aim for refinement and minor performance upgrade, NLS Pro pushes the enveloped in a few ways. First, it is a speed demon and has a top speed unmatched by any board of this category (32mph/ 51kmh). It uses the same hub as Meepo V3 (but 100mm), and as mentioned, is the most powerful hub motor on the production board market right now. Second, it uses giant 100mm wheels that are practically semi-AT. NLS Pro also uses a flexible deck that is slightly better in quality compared to the competitors.
Putting it all together, the NLS Pro is very powerful, reasonably smooth (even more so after ‘Flux’ ESC upgrade), very comfortable in both carving (Flex deck and Shredder Trucks), sufficiently stable for me to test the top speed (the new Macroon bushing are great) and practical in most terrain (big 100mm wheels).
For those who likes power but still want something that are smooth and carves fun, NLS Pro is it.
Note: It might be a little bit confusing as NLS Pro (and Meepo Mini 2 ER) change the ESC they use from Hobbywing to LingYi ESC mid-year. This move makes the brake stronger, brought back the push-to-turn-on features. And with November “Flux ESC” update, it should not be any less smooth than Hobbywing ESC now.
Backfire Mini has lots of things going for it. It has a beautiful, sleek, stealthy, unibody carbon fiber deck that allows the board to be light. It rides very agile and is super powerful, in fact a little bit too powerful for its size. Not to worry, that power is smoothly controlled with the new 12s Hobbywing ESC.
Backfire Mini is also one of the most flight friendly boards as it allows us to swap out the 175Wh battery to a smaller and flight-compatible 99Wh battery – by removing just eight screws on the deck.
Sadly, this beautiful board isn’t without its flaws. Backfire Mini’s most notable shortcomings would be its vulnerability to water. Its electronic compartment with top access can very quickly turn into a water bucket when it rains. Backfire Mini is also relatively weak in range when compared to boards at this price, as some of your money had evidently went into the design and the material cost.
Unlike the base version of Meepo Mini 2, Mini 2 ER is a beast.
Forgoing the Hobbywing ESC, Mini 2 ER uses LingYi ESC for extra power, torque, and push-to-turn-on-features and stronger brakes. And with the ‘Flux’ update on the ESC, control smoothness should be almost equal to the Hobbywing ESC.
Mini 2 ER is NLS PRO with 90mm wheels and shorter deck. They use the same internal and have the same beastly performance. Of course, it is worth repeating that Meepo Mini 2 and 2 ER rides very stable thanks to the wide 200mm Shredder trucks. While some longboard felt sketchy going past 26mph/41kmh, Meepo Mini 2 ER stays pretty stable beyond that.
It is heavy; it is stable, and it is wide – Meepo Mini 2 ER rides like a longboard, as opposed to an agile shortboard. Don’t buy this if you are looking for portability, though; the thing is heavy.
And finally, at this price segment is also where our first all-terrain board makes an appearance. A few company actually tried their hand in developing budget AT board, but little of them are actually good enough.
We will continue to be on the look out for other choices, but for now, your only option for budget All-Terrain will be …
Meepo City Rider is the most affordable board with giant wheels out there. For $679 you get an AT set-up that’s comfortable to ride.
City Rider is, however, strictly speaking, a semi-AT board. As the name suggested, it used should be confined to roads instead of difficult terrain such as sands/ trails, etc. This is for two reasons: 1) Airless AT means the board will bob and bounce rather badly when riding on uneven terrain, and throw you off the board. 2) The hub motors may get dirt stuck on it, requiring maintenance work.
With that in mind, if you are looking for a big-wheeled board for your exceptionally poor city roads, Meepo City Rider is awesome. The board has very recently switch from Hobbywing ESC to the LingYi ESC and now is with tighter brakes (and push to start feature). Unlike most AT that likes to go with double kingpin trucks, City Rider went with Shredder Trucks with extended length making it super stable in top speed while still plenty good in turning.
Best Higher Mid-tier Electric Skateboards: ($700-$1000)
Now, let’s look at the best electric skateboards between $700 and $1,000. Interestingly, just three years ago, $700 used to mean ‘budget board.’
Now, the higher mid-tier price range gives you boards that are very well rounded. Of course, each of the board in this list is here because they excel in something that others don’t.
This price point also give us a few good AT options.
Higher Mid-tier Longboards: ($700-$1000)
Most of the major Chinese brands that have products in this price range make this list. Why? Because they are all pretty great. My guess is, as they are expanding to the premium market segment, a lot more effort was put into making sure the higher priced boards are truly good.
If you are the type of person who wants no compromise in product polish, customer service, or just simply couldn’t decide between belt-drive or hub-drive – Exway X1 Pro and Pro Riot is the board for you.
Exway X1 Pro and Pro Riots have their drive train set up modularly so that you can switch between hub set-up and belt set-up conveniently. Exway X1 Pro is probably the more popular amongst the two, as the hub set-up is more consistent with the overall theme of stealth, sleek, and light. The belt-drive Pro Riot has the added benefit of powerful torque and acceleration that bested the Boosted, and the option to use your favourite wheels be it the Orangatang or Abec Flywheel (need to buy the pulley).
While Exway is always pricier, it is for a good reason. It has a refined control, which can be further tailored to your preference with the companion app. The whole user experience with an Exway product is also outstanding, akin to that of the Apple’s: Smart turn on, magnetic charging port, different control slider and ride modes… the list goes on.
Backfire G3 and G3 Plus are basically a slight variation of the same product.
(G3 Plus has a bigger battery, use carbon fiber deck and slightly stronger motor).
What doesn’t change is that both of them will be the best hub motor longboard in this price segment, as they do everything quite well. They give comfortable ride and has specs that matches their price.
Some may say their brakes can be stronger, and they underperforms in range test (if riding aggressively), but for the majority of the riders with appropriate expectation (on the range), G3 and G3 Plus is undoubtedly the best hub board in this price segment.
Note: Personally, I think G3 Plus is the way to go. Extra 85mm sets of wheels, bigger battery, and carbon fiber deck for $200 extra? Worth it.
We said Wowgo 3 is one of the best mid-tier longboards that are available right now, and Wowgo 3x is everything that, but with belt drive – and belt drive means even stronger torque and even smoother ride (thanks to having more thane by using 4 real wheels).
Flexible deck, Paris Truck, smooth Hobbywing ESC means Wowgo 3x is both buttery smooth and awesome for carving. The 12S customised Hobbywing ESC is thrillingly powerful for the hub-driven Wowgo 3 and even more so for the belt-driven Wowgo 3x. 259wh battery pack promise a range of 14miles or 22.5km, equals to that of the Boosted Stealth, making a direct comparison between the two irresistible.
I know this is an overused cliche but… Wowgo 3 and 3x are the Boosted killer that we’ve been waiting for. For anyone looking for a riding experience very similar to the Boosted, Wowgo 3x is the one for you.
Considering the riding experience, performance, polish, price and popularity of the Wowgo 3x, I would consider it the product of the year for 2019 and the best electric skateboard coming out of 2019.
Double Drop Deck – Heavy duty – Powerful – Big 100mm wheels
If your idea of best electric skateboard is the one with the most power, Meepo AWD Pro will sit high on your list. With Enertion Raptor 2 out of the picture, Meepo AWD Pro is now the most powerful hub board out there. With four powerful hub motors, there are no hills too steep and no riders too heavy for the AWD Pro.
Meepo AWD Pro has the highest top speed of all boards outside of the premium boutique boards and it uses a double-drop deck that’s on the stiffer side make sure the board is enough stable for its speed.
Besides having insane torque and crazy top speed, Meepo AWD Pro is an experience similar to the regular V3. It has a similar range using two sets of 10s1p Samsung 40T cells. It uses giant 100mm wheels just like the NLS Pro, making it practically semi-AT.
So, if you need the torque or have lots of hills to climb, Meepo AWD Pro is your only option as Enertion Raptor 2.1 is now off the table, and Acton Qu4tro is un-recommendable.
Finally, this is where you can get the most affordable Boosted. There are, however, limited selections of shortboards from other brands. We have the Riptide R1X, which I don’t recommend – and nothing else. My guess is – most of the company had strategically avoid putting out boards that are in direct competition with the Boosted and that’s probably the right business move.
Note (March 2020): Boosted has gone under. Yes, you heard it right. So, you probably wouldn’t be able to and also shouldn’t get a Boosted at the moment.
While Boosted was never a great buy in the sense of performance per dollar, it is still the best selling electric skateboard brand. Brand name, product polish, design, and customer service is what you are paying for when buying a Boosted.
If you want a shortboard that’s a bit lighter and air-travel friendly, go for the Mini S. If you want something sturdier, has more power and don’t mind the weight? Mini X it is.
And finally, at this price segment is also where the true all-terrain board makes appearance.
As everything affordable, we look to the Chinese brands to find the best value per dollar, and after considering everything from Backfire, Ownboard, and Wowgo. Below are the recommended boards sorted by price.
They are comfortable to ride on with thick 120mm cloud wheels, double kingpin, and smooth Hobbywing ESC. It is also versatile as it is agile enough for both city commute and light off-road usage.
With good ride feel and great performance, the only nitpick that I have on the Bamboo GT is it lacks in refinement. This I mean by – a little better polish? A higher-quality bushing? A slightly tighter brakes? Oh! And the cloud wheels, as comfortable as they are, might not be as durable as a regular thane wheel.
I will put it this way, Ownboard Bamboo GT is 9/10 boards as it does everything 9/10, almost perfect; leaving you to ponder on the what-ifs.
For those who are new to the eskate world, these are probably the only boards that they heard of, namely Boosted and Evolve. Inboard M1 too, started at this price range before they went under. Enertion Raptor 2 was here before they sort of went under. The weakest specced single drive Trampa Orrsom falls in this price range too (but falls out of recommendation list.) Other than that, you can get some premium boutique brands such as Hoyt St and some decent AT boards for this price.
Instead of splitting boards by category, I’m going to introduce them by brands as few of the boards here allow switch between streets and AT.
Ownboard Bamboo AT/GT and Carbon AT/GT are obviously ‘inspired’ by Evolve Bamboo and Carbon series. That, however, doesn’t stop them from being really good.
Using a Hobbywing ESC, the Ownboards are as smooth as can be, more so than their Evolve counterparts. The ride feels with its own double kingpin trucks are as carvy as it can be – perhaps too much so – a drawback that can be mitigated by changing the bushings.
Like the Evolve, the Ownboards also allow the wheels to convert between the street and AT.
All in all, successfully imitating a proven concept of an Evolve AT series while only asking less than half of its price is precisely why Ownboard Bamboo/Carbon AT are the best belt-driven AT boards for most of us right now.
Backfire Ranger X1 was the best all-terrain hub board when it was first released, and the Ranger X2 saw improved performance and hence inherited the throne.
With the 12S Hobbywing ESC and 12s3p battery configuration, Backfire is both smooth in control and powerful in torque. It’s double kingpin trucks are also amongst the nicest outside of Evolve’s Supercarve trucks.
Even though the Ranger X2 now has thicker wheels, airless wheels still don’t work as good as pneumatic or even honeycomb when it comes to shock absorption. With that said, for those who want an AT board with hub motors (for a reduced need of maintenance and waterproof ability perhaps?), Ranger X2 is the clear winner.
Note (March 2020): Boosted has gone under. Yes, you heard it right. So, you probably wouldn’t be able to and also shouldn’t get a Boosted at the moment.
You either know you are going to buy a Boosted, or you know you won’t. Numbers and words are unlikely to convince you otherwise. As everyone already knows, Boosted was never about performance per dollar. It’s brand name, design, polish and reliability are the main selling point. At 2020, you can’t even argue that Boosted has a superior riding experience – competition had definitely caught up; what you can argue is that, Boosted is going to age better than the competition, last longer than competing products and kept its resell value better.
I have said it before, and I will say it again. If you want the functionality of a Boosted but don’t quite care about the brand name? Get two Wowgo 3x. One for yourself and one for your friend. Share the love. However, if you want the most reliable board on the market right now, Boosted is still it.
There are a few plus points for someone to go for an Evolve board. 1) Brand name; 2) Swappable between AT & Street wheels; 3) Reliable customer service 4) Double Kingpin Trucks that allows sharp turn and fun carves; 5) You live in Australia (where the boards are made).
Evolve used to be the go-to brand when it comes to pure performance. That advantage had long disappeared since the rise of the Chinese brands. Evolve also used to be known for the Double Kingpin trucks and the ability to switch between AT/Street wheels. This advantage was too, gone after a slew of Chinese boards starts to offer one or both of these features. Just to name a few off the top of my head, we have the Ownboard AT/GT, Backfire Ranger X, Verreal RS, and other lesser-known brands like the Vestar and OneWow.
At the end of the day, Evolve still stands for its reputable brand name, reliable customer service, and large groups of die-hard fans. Oh, and they also have a $999 shortboard call the Stoke.
If price is not a factor, the best electric skateboard obviously are those with meteoric price. However, ranking the board in this segment is pretty impossible, as there is just no way to compare boards at this price. When a board is selling at this price, what’s great about them usually aren’t about the number but about their design. These boards are the small scale boutique brands, or DIY based vendors that aim to craft the fiercest monster money can buy.
P.S.: If you want to get a taste of these boards without shelling out the money, try going on FriendWithA to rent one! ($10 off with our affiliate link).
If you want a high quality 2 in 1 board made in the USA, the Metroboard is it.
Metroboard is one of the oldest brands of Eskate and has been making high quality premium electric skateboards for a while now. Their latest flagship MetroboardX is not only pushing up the price, it’s also doubling down on the quality, using many parts that were made specially for it.
Of course, it also has beefy specs, as all board in this price segment usually do.
The Lacroix is the most expensive electric skateboard on the market right now and the Nazare Lonestar is most likely the most powerful board with the beefiest battery in production right now.
Personally, I think Lacroix is tailored for those who are blessed with a wide and endless roads as those roads allow one to take a long cruise in high speed. Lacroix is a very stable ride but wasn’t easiest to turn (or maybe its just not made for my weight) so it probably wasn’t the board for everyone. (But those who have it swear by it!)
I stand corrected, the Bioboards are the most expensive electric skateboard money can buy right now. Bioboards are made in Sweden, and they aim to offer the highest performance possible.
Let’s go through some numbers, their flagship – Bioboard’s Thorium X4 is an all-wheel-drive with four gear drive. Powered by 12s6p Samsung 30Q battery. It has a top speed of 48mph (77kmh) and a range of 37miles (60km)…
North America is beginning to ice over, the days are getting darker and shorter, and the majority of eskaters are packing it in and getting tucked into their computer chairs, preparing to argue with each other on Reddit for the next 5 months.
(Yes, this is where I live and yes, I did ride that day)
This is also the time of year when the hardy among us get in some of the most intense, exciting, fun, and at times, serene rides of our lives. I am a staunch advocate for eskating in the winter time. There is something strangely satisfying about floating down the street on my EUC alongside banks of snow, while surrounded by Christmas lights, with the smell of a wood fire lingering in my helmet.
Of course, this is not possible with your run-of-the-mill outfit. The clothing required for winter riding must be as specialized, hardy and deliberate as the brave men and women who choose to ride in these conditions.
Seeing as this is my third winter commuting in New England snow, I figured it was about time that I begin to share some of the knowledge that I have gained over the past couple of seasons. It’s tough enough to ride along through the cold nights of winter, so let me try to make that journey a little less cold, and lonely, by sharing my experiences with winter gear so that you can learn from my mistakes and excel from my successes (and look at that sweet, sweet gear porn)
(Boston rider “Ghost” was happy to snap his winter load-out for our guide)
To kick-off the guide, I will start by talking about the core of every winter warrior’s arsenal, the jacket. But not to worry! In future weeks, we will go on to tackle the topics of gloves, shoes, pants, and head-wear.
(Rarely captured footage of the NYC eskate crew voguing)
I have seen winter eskaters in all manner of jackets, from the thin flexible Columbia fleece, to the giant Canada Goose Arctic Expedition parka.
For the purposes of this guide, I will try to call out the features that I find make the best eskate jacket, rather than the particular models of jacket that I recommend (though I will give some specific recommendations as well).
The Must-Have List:
The perfect eskate jacket should have the following features:
-Cuts wind -Insulates you to keep warm (down is key here) -Covers and seals at your neck -Covers some of your upper leg -Resists abrasion if (god forbid) you take a digger on some stone-cold asphalt -Is waterproof
Since wearing a full-face helmet is one of the easiest ways to keep your head warm during cold weather riding, a hooded jacket is not necessary, and may even get in your way unnecessarily. I personally recommend looking to cold-weather motorcycle and snowmobiling jackets for eskate purposes. These jackets typically feature warm, wind-proof design with a tight fit around the neck, and occasionally have some armor built in as well.
Baby, are you down, down, down, down, down.
With regards to warmth, down is king. Pound-for-pound, down is warmer than synthetic material, which means that less can be used to keep you warm. This means a jacket filled with down will be warmer than if the same amount of synthetic insulation were used and allows you to be lighter and less bulky on your commute.
Some things to keep in mind:
-If your jacket features flaps on the side of the hood with buttons on them (such as in the above image), they will flap against the side of your helmet at speeds over 20 mph and drive you insane. Ask me how I know.
Some motorcycle jacket manufacturers *ahem* Revzilla *cough* insist on adding these, non-removable, “features” to their motorcycle jackets, so it is important to keep an eye out for these flaps when purchasing a jacket online or in-store.
-If your jacket has tight fitting or bulky cuffs, you may be unable to comfortably fit gauntlet-style gloves into/over them. Typically sizing up your jacket from what you normally buy will prevent this issue (and leave you some room for additional base layers.
-Days get shorter in the winter, so you may find yourself riding in darker conditions more often. Choosing a coat in a brighter color, or finding a model with reflective piping can be the difference between a driver seeing you on a dark roadway or not.
I have had particularly good luck with the following jackets:
This jacket features a very warm, snow-mobile centric design that keeps wind out, particularly well at the neck, and features reflective piping and bright colors that will make you stand out like THE GODDAMN SUN when car headlights hit you. No, I am not exaggerating, this jacket makes you look like a part of an EDM festival at night, and remains quite visible during the day (at least in the bright orange color that I chose).
It also features reinforced seams as well as reinforced panels to prevent wear from (it’s like they made this for eskating) backpack straps, as well as on the elbows and forearms. This jacket also has one of the best collars for eskaters that I have had the pleasure of using. It comes up nice and high to meet the bottom of your helmet, and features insulation all the way to the edge of the collar. This ensures that your neck is toasty warm and that pesky, cold winter air has even less space to get in. I ride with this jacket into 10-20 degree fahrenheit conditions without issue.
When winter gets REALLY cold, I always find myself turning to this coat. With a temperature rating from -34° to -5° Fahrenheit, a 100% waterproof shell with seam-sealing, and 600 fill power down with a downproof quilted lining, this jacket is a godsend. The 100% nylon shell ensures that it will stand the test of time and abrasions that you might run into on the road. The ample pockets ensure that you have room for all of your eskate gizmos and gadgets (I hardly ever need to bring a backpack along with this jacket).
All of these features are great, but one of the best features of this jacket is its optional “Tall” cut. I HIGHLY recommend that you get this jacket in a “Tall”, unless you are fairly short, as it extends the bottom of the jacket to cover some of the user’s upper leg as well. One of the biggest problems with riding at-speed in the winter is wind-chill, and the part of your body that will feel this the most, from my experience, is the front of your thighs. Having a jacket that can cover up this key vulnerability is an invaluable tool for an eskater, and a feature that makes this jacket the core of my winter arsenal
Get a coat that:
Is long/large enough to make room for layers and covers your waist
Is abrasion resistant
Has goose down for maximum warmth
Covers your neck and seals tightly to prevent wind egress
Has bright colors and/or reflectors for nighttime visibility
Does not have the “hood flaps of doom”
As always, I would love to hear your thoughts on winter commuter gear. Feel free to comment on this article with your favorite pieces of winter gear and I will make sure to include them in the guide.