Much like smartphones, most budget brands refresh their electric skateboards every year. This year, we have the Backfire Era 2, the Meepo V5 and V3s, and the Maxfind M5 Pro.
We’ve reviewed all of these boards, and in this article, I’m going to tell you why we think that the Wowgo 2s Max, which was released in 2022, remains the best entry-level electric skateboard despite facing competition from much newer models.
The Wowgo 2s Max: A Retrospective
When the Wowgo 2s Max first hit the market in 2022, it set a new standard for budget electric skateboards. Priced at $479, it pushed the boundaries of power and performance for boards in its price range. It was the first budget board that comes with a 12s battery configuration, giving it more power than some of the mid-range ($500-$1000) electric skateboards. It dethroned the Meepo V4S, taking the title of the most potent electric skateboard under $500, thanks to its strong dual 550W hub motors.
But the Wowgo 2s Max wasn’t solely about raw power. It was also a level above its competitors in terms of refinement. While most budget electric skateboard brands had evolved beyond the 2017 practice of merely assembling a board from off-the-shelf parts, slapping on a logo, and calling it a day, the Wowgo team put considerable effort into giving the 2022 Wowgo 2s Max a premium look.
From the looks of the deck to the polishes of the board, the Wowgo 2s Max has a premium look. Nobody would’ve guessed that this is an entry-level electric skateboard. Look at the Wowgo 2s Max and compare them to the Backfire G2 Black or the Ownboard W1s! Yikes!
Wowgo 2s Max in 2023: Still Ahead of the Curve
Fast forward to 2023, and the Wowgo 2s Max is still leading the pack, proving that good design and solid performance never go out of style. Its specs continue to hold their own, even in the face of newer, flashier models.
Here’s a quick comparison of the Wowgo 2s Max with some of its closest competitors in the market today:
As you can see, the Wowgo 2s Max still rocks the biggest battery and is the only board amongst the pack that has a 12s set-up. This also means that, while the 550W motors look middle of the pack, the Wowgo 2s Max actually has the strongest power amongst its competitor in real-world riding.
PS: Let’s appreciate the state of budget electric skateboard right now. When we talk about the “typical” specs for a sub-$500 budget electric skateboard, we were expecting a 10s2p 4AH battery with 10 miles(16km), and 24mph(38 kph) top speed. Now, most of the brand offers boards that exceed those standards while still keeping their price low and the built quality high. Nice!
Riding the Wowgo 2s Max: A Timeless Experience
What truly sets the Wowgo 2s Max apart is not just its impressive specs but also its great ride quality. It uses a 12s Hobbywing ESC, which is the industry standard for perfectly smooth and intuitive speed control. While it’s not as punchy as the Meepos, the smoother acceleration and braking make it a lot more popular and especially ideal for beginners and casual riders.
The Wowgo 2s Max also features a deck with a mild flex, which, combined with its stable trucks, makes for a comfortable ride. While it’s true that road vibrations can be an issue (as is the case with most hub-driven boards), the option to upgrade to 105mm wheels provides a viable solution for a smoother ride on rough roads.
While the Wowgo 2s Max uses non-branded (Wowgo proprietary trucks) trucks, they are not too shabby either. The trucks on the Wowgo 2s Max provide a good balance between stability and responsiveness, making it fun to carve. (More bias towards stability than ease of turning)
Wowgo 2s Max – still the best affordable electric skateboard in 2023
In March 2022, we said that ‘for any rider who wants an entry-level affordable hub board, the Wowgo 2S Max should be the first consideration.’ As of June 2023, that statement remains as true as ever, a no-brainer considering that all the great features of the board remain great, while its price has become slightly cheaper.
So if you’re looking for an affordable electric skateboard, the Wowgo 2s Max should still be your first default option. It might not be the newest kid on the block, but it’s certainly one of the best.
If you are interested in buying the Wowgo 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!
Meepo Voyager X is the brand’s latest flagship that packs a crazy amount of power.
tldr – Meepo Voyager X ($999) is a street-wheel electric longboard that has incredible power and range.
When it comes to high-performance electric skateboards, the stereotype is bulky all-terrain monsters weighing over 30lbs. Up until now, every major Chinese brand with boards priced above $1000 usually makes them in the formula of Evolve 2-in-1 (convertible between street and AT wheels, double-drop deck, and double kingpin trucks)…
That was until Meepo decided that a regular, non-2-in-1 eskate should get a lot of power, and here we are now with Voyager released in August 2022. It was no surprise that Meepo would eventually design a powerful longboard. After all, Meepo’s founder Kieran is pretty well known to have an ‘unhealthy desire for more torque and power’.
With that said, let’s run through the specs of the Voyager X.
Meepo Voyager X Build and Specs
Deck: Stiff bamboo and fiberglass glass deck; mid-board flex and wide concave
Electronic Speed Controller: LingYi ESC with 4 speed and brake modes; push to turn-on, m5s remote
Batteries: 21700 Samsung 40T cells in 12s3p, 518 Wh
Marketed Range: 36 miles (58 km)
Motors: Belt, Dual 2775 W 6358
Marketed Top Speed: 40 mph (66 km/h)
Trucks: Reverse Kingpin; Wide, 10.5 inch
Wheels: Standard 90mm 78A street wheels or 110mm rubber cyclone wheels; sold separately
Looking at the deck, its appearance certainly gives a classic Boosted vibe but the similarity stops there. Meepo Voyager uses a deck that’s made up of bamboo and fiberglass that only flexes in the middle part. So, no, this is a far less flexible board compared to the likes of Exway Flex or Boosted.
As a result, the deck remains stiff and stable during a high-speed ride. This makes perfect sense, considering speed and power are clearly the priority of Voyager. The deck also provides a wide concavity for securing foot placement.
Next, let’s talk about what’s underneath the deck —- the ESC. It’s still no surprise that Meepo continues to use customized LingYi ESC with a push-to-turn-on feature. It provides the user with 4-speed modes and 4 brake modes. What’s new is the M5s remote which is more compact than the previous model and we really like this design!
Giant Pack of Batteries
Opposite the ESC we have a pack of high-quality 21700 Samsung 40T cells in 12s3p configuration. This has 518-watt hours which promised a range of 36 miles or 58 km.
Riding aggressively, our 210 lbs test rider managed to get 25 miles or 40 km out of Voyager. Our estimate of the range is probably 30 miles or 50 km for a 70 kg or 155 lbs rider. This is a giant pack of batteries, especially considering the $999 price tag. For context, boards at this price usually come with smaller batteries or lower-quality cells.
While the battery is already great, Meepo goes even crazier with a dual 2775W 6358 belt motor system. According to marketing material, Meepo Voyager has a top speed of 40 mph ( 66 km/h). We obviously weren’t going to test that! Although, we did get 31 mph (50 km/h) and at that rate, our guts were as good as a milkshake. The Voyager definitely has a lot more in it and 40 mph might not be impossible. If any of you get to the limits, let us know!
Anyway, the board comes with standard 90mm 78A street wheels or 110mm rubber cyclone wheels that are sold separately for an additional 120 USD. These are like mini all-terrain wheels or hybrid wheels designed to dampen road vibrations and give you a more pleasant ride.
Beefy Board Weight for Beefy Specs
All in all, the whole package weighs around 23.8 lbs (10.8kg). This is quite heavy but that can be expected for a board with such beefy specs. As the flagship product of Meepo, the Voyager comes really well-built and polished.
Now, let’s talk about the riding experience on the Voyager.
The simplest way to describe the riding experience of the Meepo Voyager is that it feels like a Boosted board on steroids. This is such a classic Meepo move. The brand has a habit of taking a formula that works well and gives it a lot more power and speed.
As expected, the Voyager is a very powerful ride. It has a very punchy acceleration and we advise new riders to be careful with the throttle. Or better yet, start with lower speed modes that are far more gentle and work your way up.
Designed for Speed Enthusiasts
The acceleration at the highest speed mode is so strong, it’s going to be overkill for 80-90% of the riders. I’m sure that speed enthusiasts will be really happy about it, though.
Well, at least nobody will have trouble climbing hills on this one. The brakes are really strong, especially at the highest brake mode. We use the 2nd brake mode often. This just goes to show how strong the brake can be.
As we mentioned, the board is very stable. The wide concave locks our feet in place and the deck was not too flexible to bounce when riding over bumps. The ‘stiffer’ deck and the wide 10.5-inch trucks combined make the board super stable.
During our first ride, we found ourselves riding to 30 mph without even realizing it. That says a lot about stability and power! But no, we did not and are not going to try 40 mph, especially when the Voyager we received was technically a prototype!
Next, let’s talk about road vibration. As you can expect, vibrations are tolerable thanks to the belt-driven motors and semi-flex deck. We gave the cyclone wheel a try, too, and it did dampen the vibration quite significantly. The rubber material also provided a lot more grip.
The wheels felt like glue to the tarmac. It gave a sense of security when turning and carving, and made the board less likely to skid.
Compared to the cloud wheels, the cyclone wheels gave more grip and absorbed road vibrations better. This is at the price of worse free rolls and a much much worse range. Compared to the street setup, riding with cyclones will reduce your range by almost 30%. They’re not off-road wheels, but feel amazing if you hate road vibration.
As you can see, the Voyager is pretty good, but it does have an Achilles heel — the board is not fun for carving. You see, the trucks came in really tight, and we had to loosen it quite a bit just to get the board to turn. For those who want something really fun to carve, the Voyager won’t do it. Even a bushing change might not do too much to improve the carving experience.
Meepo Voyager X VERDICT – Most Powerful Longboard at $999
With that said, what’s our verdict on the Meepo Voyager X?
At $999, Meepo Voyager X is the most powerful street-wheel longboard on the market right now. It has specs that are beefier than some all-terrain boards while keeping it all in a compact regular electric longboard form. Plus, 30 miles of range with a 40 mph top speed is crazy even for an all-terrain board!
Meepo Voyager X is a board that wants to go fast and wants to go straight. If you value high-speed rides more than relaxing carving fun, this is the board for you. If you are looking for something nimble and easy to turn, this is not the board of choice.
Meepo Voyager X was designed to be a high-performance board for aggressive riders, and it does that really well. Beginners should probably look for other choices, as this might just be too much for you to handle.
If you are interested in buying the Meepo, be sure to use our affiliate discount link here. 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!
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)…
In the electric skateboard world, the budget board segment definitely sees the toughest competition. Brands from China are always trying to out-compete each other through upgrades, price, and customer support.
MeepoBoards, the company that ignited the affordable eskate market definitely has not stayed idle. Meepo refreshed its lineup just like the Boosted, and gave all its boards the 2.0 update – which includes improved remote, trucks, ESC, motors and of course – looks.
While these improvements have helped to maintain Meepo’s position as the leading affordable brand in the eskate market, the most interesting news that comes with the update is the revival of the Meepo Campus in the form of the Meepo Campus 2.0.
This is the board we will be reviewing today.
Introduction to MeepoBoard
MeepoBoard’s story is something that many of us are very familiar with, but for the sake of those who aren’t, it is worth retelling.
MeepoBoard is undoubtedly the most popular budget board brand in the market right now, but the story of how the eskate giant came to be, surprisingly, is a Cinderella story. The founder of MeepoBoard, Kieran, was a young engineer who worked sales in an electric skateboard company. Disagreeing with the company’s focus on pushing sales while disregarding quality, Kieran decided to try his luck in selling a self-assembled board on Youtube. After a few successful sales, he decided to set up his own eskate brand with a focus on affordability, practicality and customer satisfaction.
In a world where any electric skateboard under $700 was either a toy or thrash, Kieran’s Meepo was asking for half of that price while delivering decent performance. Kieran figured with word of mouth , existing customers vouching for the quality of the Meepo and his post-sales service, MeepoBoard could break the hesitance of international buyers towards cheap Chinese Boards.
True enough, a dozen positive customer reviews on Redditt and a featured interview post with us later, the floodgate was opened. With weekly orders in the hundreds and customers lining up – willing to wait for months to get their Meepo, MeepoBoard has not only established itself but also set up the affordable eskate market as we know it.
With the meteoric rise of the MeepoBoard, other Chinese electric skateboard manufacturers have moved into the niche and “Meepo-clones” have become a thing. And now, thanks to the affordable electric skateboard movement that Meepo created, anyone can own an electric skateboard.
The last generation of the Meepo Campus was a nickel board series known as the Meepo Penny.
It was never supposed to be the focal point of MeepoBoard, but many still seek out this lesser known little brother of the Meepo for its form factor and price.
The Meepo Penny later received some upgrades to become Meepo Campus, which was often sought after for the same reasons.
Because the Meepo Penny and the Meepo Campus weren’t very powerful boards, Kieran thought that the board might not be right for a lot of people and chose not to market it heavily.
Hence, when the 30” Meepo Board became available, the Campus was quietly discontinued. Well, that didn’t last long! To Meepo fans delight, the Campus board has been brought back to life with the 2.0 update.
Is it any good though? read on.
Meepo Campus 2.0 Review
So how did the Meepo Campus 2.0 come to be?
Well, apparently the Campus 2.0 was designed by Kieran for his wife’s commute. Aimed to be lighter, tamer and beginner friendly, the Campus 2.0 kept the portable mindset that the Campus series was known for with tons of other improvements.
Meepo Campus 2.0 Specs
The Meepo Campus 2 saw lots of improvement in specs but also gained some weight.
Top Speed: 18mph (30kmh)
Range: 10mil (16km)
Weight: 12.5lbs (5.5kg)
Charge Time: 2 Hours
Features: Weatherproof, Regenerative Braking.
Price: 299 USD.
This is 2018 and cheap Chinese Boards are not cheap in quality anymore. From the packaging to the finishing, 2nd Gen Meepo is evolving from its garage-made origin.
From the carrying handle of the box to the fitting cut out from the protective foam, the Meepo Campus 2.0 looks good right off the bat.
While the makeshift A4 printed instruction manual and the lack of design on the instruction booklet were two dead give-aways of Meepo’s garage-made origin, they also remind us that Meepo’s priority has always been affordability and practicality with polish being something extra.
The Campus 2 come with a broad 32” Canadian maple deck with a kicktail. It has a slight concave to it and feels good underfoot.
Instead of a regular grip tape, the Campus 2.0 uses a non-abrasive foam tape.
I am sure there are skaters who would prefer a regular grip tape but this foam tape worked for me (and my pants, my car seat, my skateboard carrying bag – they all hate the regular sandpaper grip tape).
The foam tape definitely wears faster than regular grip tapes, but its a tradeoff I am willing to make. I wonder if it makes doing tricks harder though?
The 83MM 78a wheels were great. They’re soft, big (for a skateboard this size anyway), and all yellow. (not sure how I feel about the color though.)
The 2nd generation Meepo boards have upgraded trucks. The Campus 2.0 trucks are now beefier compare to the 1st gen Meepo.
Time to put rest to the thought that Meepo doesn’t have good trucks.
With an updated ESC, the Meepo Campus retained the popular smart turn on feature (board turns on when pushed). The board will also turn itself off if left idle with the remote off, and I really love this power switch button.
Summary of Build Quality
The Meepo Campus 2.0 is a beautiful product. The finish is great, the parts look good, and everything was put together solidly. By looking at it, you wouldn’t believe that this puppy costs under $300 bucks. Impressive!
Acceleration and Deceleration
All of the 2nd Gen Meepo boards come with 4 riding mode, Beginner, Eco, Expert and Pro. But to be honest, the Meepo Campus 2.0 probably doesn’t need them. The Meepo Campus 2.0 has only one hub motor and a single hub motor can only do so much for acceleration and braking.
All of the riding modes come with gentle acceleration and deceleration, and only the pro-mode has a little kick during acceleration.
This is definitely a beginner’s board. The acceleration is very gentle, even in pro-mode – too weak for someone who likes the thrill of a fast start, but good for someone who wants absolutely no risk of falling.
Kick pushing to start is definitely a good idea. Braking is definitely gentle and butter smooth, say goodbye to the braking jerk of the previous gen Meepos. The downside? It is weak. Takes a long time to brake to a full stop and full braking down a hill is not possible, it can only slow you down to a safe speed so that you can walk off the board. Again, single hub motor has its limitation.
Vibration & Stability
Single hub motor = three 83mm 78a soft skateboard wheels = better vibration dampening and more comfortable ride.
However, you will definitely be standing on top of the truck so your legs will feel every vibration. Riding it on cobblestone and poorer road surfaces feels… acceptable, but definitely not as good as most larger electric longboards. The Campus 2.0 has a broad deck and feels stabler than most longboards once you tighten the trucks. You can’t go fast enough to become very unstable anyway.
Tight maneuvers are what the Campus 2.0 does best. With the short wheelbase, the turning radius is great, perfect to navigate around tight spaces. What’s more, there is a kicktail for kick turns.
There is, however, a risk of wheel bite. The board has wheel wells but unfortunately, at the tightest turn, the wheels will still bite. I decided to tighten the trucks, sacrifice maneuverability for safety and sure enough, after the truck have been tightened, I can’t get the wheels to bite anymore.
*I have contacted Kieran on this and was informed that they are now using a harder bushing to prevent wheel bite. They are also installing a higher riser and making a bigger wheel well .
The remote is definitely more ergometric and better looking.
It uses a dial to allow finer acceleration control.
As I mentioned, there are 4 riding modes. Changing the riding modes mid-ride is even possible!
The remote also features an LED indicator showing the board and remote battery as well as a reverse button.
Nothing too fancy and of course, no disconnection issues.
Summary of Riding Experience
With smooth acceleration and braking, soft bushings, good maneuverability, the Meepo Campus is both fun to ride and practical as a mobility device.
It cannot provide the thrill of a high-speed ride but the campus 2.0 is definitely good enough for a leisurely slow ride.
If I am being totally honest, the lack of adrenaline rush is what makes the Campus 2.0 my current personal favorite Eskate – I have a peace of mind when I am on it.
Beginners and non-skaters would definitely appreciate the configuration.
Can’t be a good last mile option if it can’t go many miles, can it? The Meepo Campus 2.0 is using a 4AH, Sanyo 10S1P, 144wh battery and is advertised with a serviceable 10mile(16km) range.
My personal range test, running on a flat surface between 9 to 15 mph (15-25kmh) lasted me around 13miles(22km) before the battery went dry. There is almost no voltage sag either! (my weight 165lbs/ 75kg)
The range is definitely an upgrade from the original Meepo Campus.
Speed is definitely not the priority for Campus 2.0.
That said, it can still get up to 18mph(30kmh). (Full speed tuck, with a little help from the wind.) Even then, as the acceleration is slow, you will definitely still get dusted if you choose to take the Campus 2.0 to a group ride.
But considering what its made for, sidewalks, and within building compounds, the top speed is definitely sufficient.
Its called Meepo Campus and campuses are supposed to be flat. The Meepo Campus is definitely torque-challenged and could not perform a stop and go on a multistorey car park ramp. To my surprise, it did manage to hold the board to a stop and not continue rolling.
Riding modes affect the torque as well. If you are facing any incline, any at all, you should be using only the expert or pro mode. Other modes handicap the Campus 2 so much that it can’t start from an imperceptible incline with you on it.
Honestly, I was expecting a far worse performance from a single hub motor board but I actually find the results acceptable.
With that being said, torque is definitely the biggest limitation of the Campus 2.0, and I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone heavy or who lives in hilly areas.
Customer service doesn’t come with a board at this price, unless it has a Meepo logo on it.
Product quality and post-sale service are what separates an affordable electric skateboard from a toy that you use for a single weekend then store away in the garage, never to see daylight again.
Simply put, the Meepo Campus 2.0 is the cheapest electric skateboard on the market that meets the customer service requirement, and hence the only electric skateboard I can recommend at this price point.
It has smart turn on. Auto shut-off. Has a non-abrasive grip tape and that’s pretty much it. Nothing fancy, all the budget probably went into making the core part of the electric skateboard.
Meepo makes eskates that allow everyone to ride, and the Meepo Campus 2.0 is the epitome of that, pushing the affordability to the extreme.
The Campus 2 is an easy recommendation. With good value and an insane price, the value per dollar ratio is just through the roof.
Not to take away the fact that the board is pretty good but with this price tag, you won’t do too bad even if you just buy the board to salvage its parts – and per usual, tinkering and upgrades are always easy with the Meepos.
It is perfect for beginners, for children and for someone who just wants to experience eskating. It’s also perfect for someone who doesn’t need torque and doesn’t care about top speed.
For the above reasons, the Meepo Campus 2 is at the moment, my favorite board. Its performance is enough for me in most situations and its portability and ease of handling (that non-abrasive grip tape makes a difference) make it my go-to choice for last-mile commuting and rides within building compounds. (Well, technically my favorite board at the moment is Arc Aileron V2 but it costs 3x more.)
With that said, it is important for me to make it clear that Meepo Campus 2.0 is definitely NOT a beast. It’s a tame puppy. It fetches your newspaper and makes life fun and won’t hurt you, but don’t ever expect it to outperform any big dogs. At least not without some tinkering.
$299 used to get you a toy, well, not anymore.
Wanna hear bad news? It is only available in the USA.
For those who are from a European country, you can choose to shop from a local dealer – Speedio. Speedio is an Electric Skateboard re-seller based in the Czech Republic. While you do pay a little premium, they offer a 2-year warranty, local support, and fast 2-5 days shipping.
MeepoBoard was founded by Kieran, a mechanical engineer who worked in sales for an electric skateboard company. Frustrated by his boss, Kieran started assembling electric skateboards for himself, using his connection in the industry to source quality parts.
After sharing his boards on Youtube and received offers for purchase, Kieran quit his job and started MeepoBoard.
When it all started, Meepo was just a 1 man operation with some helpers, selling to international customers through word-of-mouth. Even from the outset, Meepo saw success as customers were impressed by the quality of the boards and could not stop raving about them online.
After some aggressive staffing, the MeepoBoard of today is no longer a small, scrappy team making skateboards on-demand. Selling at least 5 thousand skateboards in the past 6 months, MeepoBoard has grown into a full-fledged company with factory operations and Kieran is still manning the helm.
Meepo Board – Original to 1.51
The original Meepo Board revolutionized the budget electric skateboard world by being the first sub $400 eskate (after shipping) that had great specs, reliable quality and good customer service.
Prior to Meepo, budget electric skateboards cost around $700. Meepo lowered the entry bar and allowed a lot more people to join the eskate community.
On the competition side, the success of the Meepo also attracted many Chinese companies to get into the eskate space.
These companies are now known as the “Meepo-clones,” they go by many names including Wowgo, Ownboard, Ionboard etc.
So the arms race of budget electric skateboard began. With each brand trying to improve their boards in order to to one-up each other.
MeepoBoard kept up.
On December 2017, the Meepo 1.5 was announced, which saw an upgraded deck, battery , and better quality wheels.
On January 2017, Meepo 1.51 changed to a better quality, black deck.
This is the board that I am reviewing today.
Meepo 1.51 Review
Meepo 1.51 Overall specs
There is a reason why I keep referring to the Meepo as the king of budget boards,
The Meepo 1.51 has awesome specs for its price:
Top Speed: 22mph (36kmh)
Range: 11mil (18km)
Weight: 15.2lbs (6.9kg)
Charge Time: 3hrs
Features: 2 hub motors, weatherproof, Regenerative braking, handles up to 30% slope.
Price: less than 450 USD with shipping included.
Right out of the two boxes that Meepo 1.51 comes in, what struck me the most was the quality of the packaging.
When unboxing the original Meepo, I got the vibe of a scrappy, garage-assembled company.
6 months later, unboxing the Meepo 1.51, I feel like I am opening a product from a top company. It still has a hint of its DIY origin mainly from the lack of sophisticated graphic design on the printed materials, but everything that matters – from padding to accessories is now far and away from the days of the 1 man operation.
I also really like the stealthy black design of the Meepo 1.51.
The deck, the trucks, and the wheels, everything looks nice and feels high-quality, and with a massive community riding their Meepo every day with very few faults reported, you can bet the quality is good.
In short, the Meepo 1.51 today is truly a refined product, both inside and out.
The original Meepo Board provided a decent riding experience with it’s biggest weak point being the weird arching convex deck.
The Meepo-deck-swap became the trendy discussion among the eskate community, and the experiments proved that with an upgraded deck, the Meepo rides like magic. Even Kieran acknowledged that and start sending out extra padding to help buyers to deck swap better.
(Following the trend, now every Chinese Budget skateboard company ships complete boards with extra padding.)
With the Meepo 1.51, Kieran made an investment on a better and longer deck and the riding experience saw huge improvements.
I’ll get more into that, but in short, you don’t need a deck-swap anymore to make the Meepo ride as good as any $1000+ electric skateboard.
Acceleration and Deceleration
With the addition of a third riding mode to cater to beginners, Meepo 1.51 now has 3-speed profiles that should fit new, advanced, and expert riders.
In the slowest mode, the acceleration is so gentle (slow) that experienced riders will get bored. Definitely suitable for the newest riders that are still getting used to electric skateboards.
The medium mode is where I spend most of my time. The acceleration is still fairly gentle, with no jolts.
This ride very similar to the lowest speed profile in the original Meepo.
The fast mode is really fast. The board really takes off and can throw you off the board if you are unprepared, or don’t have a solid stance.
One time I mistakenly switched on to the fast mode thinking I was switching into slow mode and ended up on the ground pretty quickly!
Now, onto the deceleration and braking.
I am always very wary in testing out the brakes on an electric skateboard because trying to answer the question of “what will happen if I brake really hard at speed” often ends up with me lying on the road in a lot of pain.
The braking in Meepo 1.51 is … for lack of a better description… normal.
There are no delays in braking and it is very easy to get used to after a couple of rides.
It also appears that the braking profile is the same in all speed modes.
Just be careful when braking while going fast, as electric skateboards tend to brake harder than expected at higher speeds.
Vibration & Stability
The Meepo 1.51’s black deck is a bit stiffer than the original Meepo, which means the deck smooths out less vibration but provides more stable rides at higher speed. A stiffer deck also makes the board feel more responsive.
When compared to the original Meepo, I found the new black maple deck to be more concave and longer. The concave kinda makes me feel lower to the ground and the longer wheelbase makes balancing on it easier. Both of this changes result in a much more stable ride.
Control Options (Remote)
The remote for the Meepo 1.51 is the RC5 2.4Ghz remote that most DIY hobbyist/ budget board use.
There are currently no known disconnect issues, which have plagued other eskate companies, so that’s a plus!
As mentioned, the remote has 3-speed modes that are controlled by a little knob on the side.If you are trying to change the speed mode mid-ride and get the wrong gear like I did, you will probably in for a nasty surprise, so I would recommend changing speed-modes while stationary.
There is also a little button on the side for reverse. It has been filed down so that it is hiding a bit inside of the recess; a change resulting from community feedback as too many times the reverse button was accidentally pressed while riding.
The remote is a tried-and-true model used by many eskates. Nothing much to be said.
Summary of Riding Experience
All-in-all, the riding experience on Meepo 1.51 is as good as any board out there.
The board is stable, responsive and carves really well.
Definitely a huge improvement from the original Meepo.
The Meepo 1.51 also saw an upgrade to the battery, improving the range by a little and eliminating the voltage sag of past models.
The advertised range of the Meepo is 11miles(18km) but you have to either be very light or ride conservatively to reach that range.
Most people report around 8miles(13km) on a single charge. That is still twice the reported range of a Boosted board!
With the new battery, voltage sag will only start to be felt on the last miles, whereas the old Meepo would start to lose its speed and torque at 2/3 of its range.
There is also a Sanyo battery option at $619 to add another 6miles(10km) to the range.
Meepo 1.51 can hit it’s advertised top speed at 22mph(36kmh) without issues. That is fast enough to get you in serious trouble or kill you, so I think it is an acceptable speed ceiling.
Meepo 1.51 has enough torque to get over most of the hills I tested it on.
I also did a stop-and-go test on a multistory car-park ramp with a rather steep incline, the board could brake and hold me still at the incline, and can then accelerate from the stop without rolling back down the ramp.
After testing, I would not worry about the torque unless you are very heavy and need to climb insanely steep hills.
There have been a few cheap Chinese boards made before the Meepo, but what allowed the rise of the Meepo Board is that it was the first to provide reliable customer service.
After the frantic expansion to keep up with sales, Kieran is largely able to maintain this high level of customer service. Certainly, there are a few slip-ups that have been reported, but they are exceptions rather than rules.
As I have worked with Kieran regularly since I first interviewed him, when HQ readers have not been able to reach Kieran with their problems, I have helped them to alert Kieran.
Based on this experience, I feel safe vouching for Meepo’s commitment to customer service.
Meepo is quite a simple board, so there are not many bells and whistles.
One thing I like about the Meepo is how modular it is, which is why deck-swapping is so popular with these boards in the community.
You don’t need to be mechanically inclined to be able to pull apart the Meepo and put it back together. You can swap out everything and anything.
You can also salvage the Meepo for parts and create your own eskate quite easily.
The most important part is that the battery is easily removable. Taking off the <160wh battery requires undoing 4 screws and just unplugged it.
(Buy a <99wh battery and Meepo will suddenly be air-travel compatible.)
The Meepo also came with an LED tail light accessory that you can choose to attach to your Meepo (or on anything for that matters.)
The features it doesn’t have:
Downhill braking with a full battery – Not sure any electric skateboard have solved the problem of downhill braking while holding a full charge. As the energy generated from the regenerative braking has nowhere to go, the braking will not work with a full battery.
I was told adding a capacitor to it will not solve the problem as the capacitor will overheat, and the board will then fail.
Kieran’s efforts in tinkering the BMS settings did help to make the problem less pronounced, but it’s still there, and we should all be careful.
Waterproof – Kieran decided not to claim the Meepo is waterproof but just weatherproof. If the seals of the board are not compromised, the Meepo is actually fairly resistance to splashes and water, but still, urethane wheels + water = slippery as hell. Trust me, I have fallen because of that.
Swappable PU on hub motor – The PU on the Meepo 1.51 is fairly durable and should be able to last for hundreds of miles before needing a change, but you would have to change the entire hub motor for that, which thankfully, is also not that hard.
It’s 2018 and Meepo, though the most popular, is hardly alone in the affordable electric skateboard space.
However, any insider will tell you that, when it comes to electric skateboard parts, sharing the same look doesn’t equate to having the same quality. Most of the budget boards that we see on Alibaba or from lesser-known brands are exactly that, poor-quality products that share the generic look.
So, ignoring other less-trustworthy clones and putting aside Ionboard which isn’t shipping yet, this leaves us with the Wowgo, the Backfire G2, and the Ownboard as the main competition.
These companies offer products similar to the Meepo and both have enough of a track record to warrant consideration.
However, an electric skateboard is more or less a vehicle and similar to a vehicle, it will need to be maintained and serviced. That’s why I give a lot of weight to the proven track record and customer service of a company when recommending any electric skateboard, and that’s why I favor a familiar and proven brand like Meepo over other less-known companies in my reviews.
At $419, the Meepo 1.51 is definitely my top recommendation for anyone looking for a quality budget electric skateboard or electric skateboard in general.
I like to say, the first question to ask when choosing an electric skateboard is “For what I need, will a Meepo suffice?”
Just as Boosted board is the gold standard for electric skateboards in general; the original Meepo was and now the Meepo 1.51 is – the gold standard for affordable electric skateboards.