Wowgo 2S Pro Review- the gold standard of budget eskate??

Today we will be reviewing the WowGo 2S Pro—a $429 electric skateboard that aims to be the leader of the best budget boards in the market.

Before the WowGo 2S Pro replaced WowGo Knight on the shelf, WowGo Knight was our reigning champion for the best budget electric skateboard. 

So being a theoretical upgrade over the Knight, 2S Pro should inherit that throne, right? 

As usual, let’s run through the specs.

Build and specs:

Wowgo 2s Pro specification chart
*red = tested number
  • Deck: Canadian maple + Bamboo + Fiberglass; mild flexible deck; wide mild concave; flat camber/rocker
  • Electric speed controller: 12s Hobbywing ESC with smart power-on; remote with telemetry, 4 speed modes
  • Trucks: Poseidon Trucks by WowGo, 50° front truck, 8 inches, Reverse Kingpin
  • Bushing type: 85 A
  • Motor: 500W dual hub motor (not compatible with Cloudwheel Donuts)
  • Marketed top speed: 25 mph or 40 kph
  • Battery: 12S2P 5.2 AH battery
  • Marketed range: 15-16 miles or 24-28 km
  • Wheels: 78 A soft PU wheels

The deck of WowGo 2S Pro is a combination of Canadian Maple, bamboo, and fiberglass. A mild flex can be expected on this board. To secure your feet, the board features a wide but subtle concave, and it’s flat without any camber or rocker. 

Most entry-level boards try to put as much flex on their deck as possible, unlike the 2S Pro. At the end of the day, your personal preference would probably decide on how you feel about the choice, but after reviewing so many budget electric skateboards that went for the similar flexi-deck ride feel, we are just happy to see variations among entry-level eskates.

You can also notice that the design underneath the board is a head-turner. 

If you’re familiar with the Loaded Vanguard, WowGo 2S Pro feels like it has the same approach in design. Do you like it? We think it’s dope!

The WowGo 2S Pro also uses the 12s Hobbywing ESC with a smart power-on feature for the board’s electronic speed controller. 

We all know how silky smooth the 12s Hobbywing ESC is, and how convenient the smart power-on feature is for your rides. 

It’s no surprise that WowGo went with what works. If it ain’t broken, why fix it?

Stable at turbo mode

There are 4 speed modes, with the highest speed mode as Turbo, and the remote is the generic Hobbywing ESC remote with telemetry. 

The WowGo remote’s design has always been our favorite. It’s not different from your generic remote when it comes to function, but the way it looks is elegant.

The trucks, on the other hand, are something more special. These are reverse kingpin trucks especially made by WowGo and they call it the Poseidon Truck. The Poseidon Trucks are 8 inches and are 50° at the front. It also has a bushing type of 85 A. 

Poseidon Trucks

These trucks look like a Caliber II clone instead of the Paris clone that was on the previous entry-level WowGo boards. 

With this kind of choice, we bet the Poseidon truck is more likely going to prioritize stability over maneuverability. We will go deeper into that when we talk about the riding experience. 

The WowGo 2S Pro also uses 500W dual hub motors. This is where WowGo took a tiny step back by going with a weaker motor than its predecessor, WowGo Knight, which was using a 540W motor. Still, this 500W is quite good compared to other budget boards.

For reference, WowGo’s fiercest competitor such as Meepo V3 uses 540W hubs, but Backfire G2 Black only has 400W hubs.

To check out Meepo V3’s review, click here.

The marketed top speed is 25 mph or 40 kph and in our tested top speed, it hit 26 mph or 42 kph. Awesome!

As for the sleeves of the hub, it’s sad to say that they aren’t compatible with Cloudwheel Donuts. 

Don’t worry though, because WowGo is working on a similar semi-AT sleeve which will be released in a couple of months.

For the wheels, WowGo 2S Pro is using the standard for entry-level boards—78A soft PU wheels.

And let’s not forget about power. The WowGo 2S Pro uses a 12S2P 5.2 AH battery. The marketed range is 15-16 miles or 24-28 km and our tested range reached 11 miles or 17 km. 

WowGo kind of made an overstatement with the range, but also note that 11 mph is the usual range for most entry-level boards that have a 2p configuration. This is nothing new for us.

Another thing we observed is that WowGo 2S Pro didn’t provide any waterproof certification.

We learned not to trust the “water certification,” anyway, so it doesn’t mean much. 

Basically, WowGo is just emphasizing that it’s never a good idea to ride when it’s wet outside. 

For a sneak peek at how WowGo 2S Pro can ride on dry pavements, click here.

Riding experience

All build and specs considered, it’s time to ride!

As expected of the 12s Hobbywing ESC, WowGo 2S Pro’s speed and speed control are perfect. 

Both the acceleration and braking of the 2S Pro are silky smooth and intuitive. The brake strength is pretty strong, too.

The 500W hub motor’s torque also performs well. By using one of the strongest hub motors amongst the entry-level hub boards, WowGo 2S Pro can conquer any humps on the road. 

Although the torque and the thrill are still a step behind what a set of powerful belt motors would offer, WowGo 2S Pro is still one of the strongest hub boards amongst all the entry-level boards we tested.

When it comes to maneuvering the board, carving is fairly fun but more on the tight side. 

The Poseidon trucks rebound to center well, and are very stable at high speed. 

WowGo 2S Pro definitely favors stability over maneuverability, as it is often the case with Caliber II clones. 

To help you picture it out, Poseidon trucks are not as good as genuine Paris Trucks or genuine Caliber II trucks. 

But when put alongside with entry-level boards, the Poseidon truck is definitely on par with other good proprietary trucks such as Exway’s Trist truck or Meepo’s Shredder Trucks.

To round up the riding experience, WowGo 2S Pro is a great ride that both beginners and veterans will enjoy. 

The wide deck with mild concave is comfortable and helps with both control and knowing your foot position.

The board is both powerful and smooth in speed controls. 

The stability from the trucks allows us to go on turbo speed with confidence. The stiffer deck also adds to that stability. 

Carving, while not experienced to the fullest, is still very enjoyable thanks to the decent trucks.

For a better comparison, WowGo 2S Pro rides pretty similarly to the WowGo 3. But with a more flexi-deck and genuine Paris truck, WowGo 3 obviously is more fun for carving.

We should also note that the 2S Pro freerolls well, so we guess they probably used good bearings for this one.

If we were to nitpick anything on the 2S Pro, it would probably be its vibration dampening ability, which again, is no surprise for a hub board. 

The soft wheels and composite deck did a bit to cushion all the vibration from riding over rough roads. It’s… better than we expected, but we did have a pretty low expectation on this part, to begin with. 

We are hoping that, in the future, the Cloudwheel-ish PU sleeves that WowGo is developing will be a good option for those who couldn’t tolerate the vibration.

So, what’s the verdict on the WowGo 2s Pro?

THE VERDICT

Did WowGo 2S Pro inherit the throne from the WowGo Knight as the best budget board? 

Well, yes.

It seems to me that WowGo knows what they are doing with WowGo 2S Pro. After all, they were the first among the earliest and most reputable budget brands.

When it comes to entry-level boards under $450, Wowgo 2S Pro now replaced the gold standard that was previously set by the WowGo Knight. 

The board’s performance definitely matches its competitors, and the ride feel leads the affordable segment. WowGo 2S Pro’s polish is much beyond the asking price. 

Simply put, for any rider that wants an entry-level affordable hub board, Wowgo 2s Pro, for now, should be the first consideration.

Ride safe, guys!

If you are interested in buying a Wowgo, be sure to check out our affiliate discount link here and receive $5 off during checkout.
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!

Apsuboard V5 Review – 12s4p for $369?!?

Introduction

When it comes to entry-level boards, the current norm is a 10s2p priced above $400. The Apsuboard V5 however, is a 14s2p board that is priced below $400. So, you get 8 more battery cells than your typical budget board for less price. Pretty sweet deal, yeah?

Apsuboard is a decent budget brand that has been around for quite a while too. So, is there anything that’s holding this board back from being the best budget board out there right now? Turns out, there is.

Apsuboard V5 Review

Let’s run through the specs and parts really quick, as usual.

Skate parts – Deck, Trucks, Wheels

The Apsuboard V5 uses a stiff and flat deck, composed of 7 ply maple and 1 ply bamboo. This thing has almost zero flex to it and has no concave.

The trucks, wheels, and enclosures are all off-the-shelf generic parts that are very commonly seen.

Electronics

For the electronic parts, it uses a LingYi Electronic Speed Controller (ESC) and pairs it with one of the LingYi ESC remotes. For those who still don’t know what to expect on LingYi ESC, we will talk more about that later.

The star of the day – the battery pack – is using 20R cells. Again, this is a 14s2p pack and hence this gives a total pack size of 201.6wh.

The Apsuboard V5 uses dual hubs, rated at 300W each.

Performance

This board has a marketed range of 12.5miles (20km), which we hit; and a marketed top speed of 28mph(46kmh) but we only hit 26mph(42kmh). While not the marketed numbers, this still ranks pretty highly amongst the entry-level boards.

Now, let’s jump right into the performance of the 14s2p battery. According to Apsuboard, their rationale for going with a 14s instead of the more common 10s battery, is to give the board more torque. A higher serial in a battery pack means higher voltage, equaling higher torque.

It makes sense, but what doesn’t make a lot of sense is pairing it with a pair of modest 300W motors, considering the best budget boards are pairing motors up to 560W on these batteries. On the contrary, you could say that all the high serial battery does, in this case, is compensate for the weaker motors, so that the V5 can stay on par with boards from the flagship budget brands.

And that’s how we feel riding the V5. The torque and power didn’t blow our minds, sadly, but it was as strong as any entry or mid-level board that uses better-rated motors.

The second benefit of going with a 14s battery is that the voltage sag is significantly less. Unlike 10s batteries, a 14s on the V5 performs just as well when the charge is low as when it’s full. Very little drop in power and speed.

Now that we have talked about the performance, it’s time to talk about the riding experience.

Riding Experience

This is where the board performs as expected, given the parts it uses. Besides having the awesome push-to-turn-on feature, using this generation of LingYi ESC gives the board smooth acceleration and smooth yet strong braking. As always, the acceleration and braking each have 4 modes that can be set independently of each other.

The generic trucks are average, they don’t feel very responsive and have poor rebound to center, so carving on this board wasn’t the most fun.

Regular 90mm wheels, dual hub motors, and a stiff deck means there is nothing to stop the board from vibrating like crazy when riding over rough roads. You already know that this is a common problem for hub motors, a problem that the Cloudwheels Donut is designed to solve. Lacking any concave on the board also means that it is difficult to know where our feet are at without looking, and that adds another layer of discomfort.

Verdict of Apsuboard V5

So, let’s tally up the score. The Apsuboard V5 went with a generic deck, trucks and wheels, which gives a riding experience that is at best considered average. The speed control is good, as expected from a current-gen LingYi ESC. The range and torque are above average amongst entry-level boards… and the most awesome thing about the Apsuboard V5 is the price – $369.

While the Apsuboard V5 likely isn’t the best budget board for everyone (most of us value a polished ride feel above all else); for someone who absolutely can’t stand voltage sags and perhaps is on the heavier side, I frankly don’t know of any other option for $369.

If you are interested in buying an Apsuboard, be sure to check out our affiliate discount link here and use code: “CN15″ during checkout to get $15 off!
It will help you get a small monetary discount and helps us out too. On top of that, you’ll be tagged as an Electric Skateboard HQ customer and probably be treated better. Cheers!

Backfire G2 Galaxy 2020 Review – It’s getting crowded.

Let me guess, you were probably looking for a budget electric skateboard when you found the Backfire G2 Galaxy, 2020 version (the one with the Sony VCT6 Battery). If so, you might have wondered: what’s the difference between this Backfire G2 Galaxy, with a promotional price of $469, and the $60 cheaper Backfire G2 Black? And how does this compare to what we consider the defacto best budget board of 2020 – the Wowgo Knight, which also is priced at $469?

Well, to be clear about the comparison, let’s first look at the specs of the Backfire G2 Galaxy 2020.

Backfire G2 Galaxy 2020 review

Deck

The Backfire G2 Galaxy uses an 8-Layer Canadian Maple deck, identical to the one on the G2 Black. It only has a mild flex and a mild concave, again similar to the G2 Black.

Trucks, motors and wheels

The trucks are the same Backfire proprietary trucks; the motors are the same 400W dual hub motors, and the wheels are the same big 96mm wheels with 78A durometer. Even the weight of the board is the same, at 17lbs (7.8kg).

What’s different for the Backfire G2 Galaxy is the battery and the ESC.

Batteries & Range

The G2 Galaxy uses a Sony VTC6 battery in the 10s2p configuration. This gives a size of 6Ah and 216wh, which also means that the G2 Galaxy has one of the largest batteries you can find amongst entry-level boards selling below $500. Backfire gives the G2 Galaxy a marketed range of 15miles (24km), and we managed to hit that with our range test.

Electronic Speed Controller & Top Speed

Besides having a bigger battery, the only other difference is that the G2 Galaxy has a better, Customized, Hobbywing Electronic Speed Controller. This allows the G2 Galaxy to have a turbo mode and a higher top speed of 26mph (42kmh). We were able to hit this too, barely.

Now, that we have gone through the ingredients, let’s talk about how the food tasted.

Riding Experience of Backfire G2 Galaxy 2020

Riding the G2 Galaxy is very similar to riding the G2 Black. This means smooth acceleration and smooth braking, thanks to the Hobbywing ESC.

The G2 Galaxy has a 3rd Turbo mode which can be activated by pressing the Turbo button. With the turbo mode, you get an even stronger acceleration that’s still as smooth as it can be. This turbo mode has no time-out or cooldown period so it’s essentially just the third mode for the board.

Besides the upgrade in torque and the extra turbo mode, the other aspects of the G2 Galaxy are exactly the same as the G2 Black; so those who have already seen our review of the G2 Black will find me repeating myself here.

Maneuvrebility

Unlike their premium line-up, the G2 Galaxy and G2 Black are both NOT using Caliber II trucks, but instead, they feature Backfire’s own proprietary trucks. They pale in comparison to branded trucks and came in on the tighter side. After loosening them up a bit, we would still say this truck veers towards being more stable than carve-y. It’s not extraordinary for carving, but great for cruising at high speed.

Combining these trucks with the stiff deck, these two are more geared towards stability, something that I suppose would be a priority for newcomers to this hobby.

Road vibration

With that said, combining the stiff deck with the dual hubs can also be a recipe for an uncomfortable ride on rough roads. Thank goodness it has big, 96mm, wheels or it could’ve been worse.

Verdict:

So, what do we think about the Backfire Galaxy G2 2020, especially when compared to the G2 Black and the Wowgo Knight?

Well… This is what we think:

The Wowgo Knight has better trucks and an important, awesome feature in smart-power-on – where the board turns on automatically when you power on the remote. This makes us like the Wowgo Knight more.

The Backfire G2 Galaxy has a bigger battery, and this gives you 3 extra miles (5km) of range compared to the Wowgo Knight. Also, when it comes to post-sales service, I would say Backfire has a slight edge in that aspect.

So, when should you consider Backfire G2 Black? Well, if the extra range, speed, and torque of the G2 Galaxy is of no use to you, why pay extra for it?

There’s your answer, hope this helps!

If you are interested in buying a Backfire, be sure to check out our affiliate discount link here and uses code: “ESKATEHQ” during checkout.
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!

Wowgo Knight (hub) Review – Now it’s the best.

In September 2020, Wowgo released a new product into its lineup – the Wowgo Knight.

Wowgo obviously didn’t think through the sales plan of the product. When we received the board, we weren’t immediately informed of the specs and price, that came later. This gives us a chance to form our opinion of the board without being sway by what’s on paper.

And from the outset, everything we see suggested to us that this is gonna be an entry-level board replacing the 2-year-old Wowgo 2s (our review here).

The board has a handle cut out that is sort of a tradition for entry-level boards; The board uses a 5AH battery, which is at the ballpark of most entry-level boards; also, non-branded truck, you get my point.

To our surprise, Wowgo launched the Knight at $499 for the hub variant, and $549 for the belt variant – $100 pricier than your typical budget board. This is even more surprising considering it was priced higher than the heavily discounted Wowgo 3 !

I teased Wowgo that they are stupid with the pricing (but politely of course), and much to my surprise, they dropped the price immediately to the current $429 (hub) and $489 (belt) [after discount].

I love this current pricing for the Wowgo Knight, even though I don’t love that I have to come back and update this review heavily in response to the price drop.

With the old price, it is difficult to explain what Wowgo Knights are good for: “A mid-tier board that is a bit weaker in performance, look budget-ish but is actually very high in quality and polish, especially for the internals components.”

With the new $429 price tag, it is now simple to talk about Wowgo Knight: “The best entry-level board for most people”.

Now, let me show you why.

Wowgo Knight (hub) (Standard) review

As usual, let’s start by taking a look at the specs.

As mentioned, Wowgo Knight (hub) has the spec that similar to most $400 boards. or maybe 10% better.

  • Deck Size: 38-inch x 9-inch (96.5cm x 23cm)
  • Top Speed: 24mph (39kmh)
  • Range: 12miles (20km)
  • Battery Pack: 180Wh (Samsung 25R in a 10s2p, 5Ah)
  • Weight: 16.7lbs/ 7.6kg
  • Motor: 2 x 560W hub motors.
  • Wheels: 90mm 78A
  • Price: 429 USD (after discount code)
  • Features:
    • Remote with Telemetry,
    • Smart power-on,
    • IP 53 weatherproof,
    • swappable PU sleeves.

Let’s take a look at the electronic components on the Wowgo Knight:

Motors – Tied as the best

Wowgo Knight (hub) uses a set of 540W hub motor. What does 540W means? The market standard for entry-level boards is to use 400W hubs, Backfire G2 Black 2020 for instance, has a pair of 400W hubs.

Meepo V3, which has been the most powerful budget board all this while has 540W motors too. Obviously having the most wattage in motor doesn’t automatically means the board is gonna be powerful, but not having a good motor obviously means the board won’t be powerful.

In real world riding, the acceleration of Wowgo didn’t blow us away. It’s not thrilling, its competent. It has no trouble going uphill and hitting it’s marketed top speed of 24mph (39kmh).

Battery – Samsung 25R

In the range department, the Wowgo Knight uses Samsung 25R batteries, in a 10s2p setting, that’s 5AH or 180wh and has a marketed range of 12miles (20kmh), which we managed to surpass in our range test.

Most budget board this day uses Samsung 20R in 10s2p configuration, making them a smaller 4AH and 144WH pack. Just like everything else, Wowgo Knights are better, slightly better.

ESC and Remote – All hail smart power-on!

Wowgo Knight comes with customised Hobbywing ESC, with smart power-on feature, which means the board will power-on automatically as you turn on the remote. I see this as the most important feature any board can have, just to quantify it in monetary terms – I’m willing to pay $50 extra for this feature alone.

It seems to me that Wowgo have some special relationship with Hobbywing, as so far this feature is only available for Exway and Wowgo.

Customized Hobbywing ESC on Wowgo also means perfect smoothness in both acceleration and braking. Perfect strength in both braking and acceleration too. Not a surprise, we already come to expect that from this new generation of Hobbywing ESC.

Also, this ESC has a smart feature that allows you to switch between belt drive and hub drive. This feature was first seen on the Exway Flex, and I consider this a gimmick more than anything. Most of us have already made up our minds on what drive train we like, and the ability to switch drive trains is a feature that most people wouldn’t use.

The only scenario where I see this being useful is for someone who is new to the sport, and who bought the hub variant and later down the line is convinced that belt is the way to go. This way they have the option of just buying a belt-drive instead of an entirely new board.

Enclosure – Same as always.

Like every other brand, Wowgo Knight reuses the same enclosure for most of their board. Nice or not, you be the judge.

Oh, the board is IP 53 waterproof, which is pretty sweet.

Now let’s look at the skate parts of the Wowgo Knight

Deck – mild flex with handle cut out.

The Wowgo Knight uses a 38-inch deck made out of 8 ply real Canadian Maple. It has only a bit of flex to it and a mild concave, but my feet still feel comfortable on it.

The handle cut out is handy, but it does take some point away from the overall aesthetic of the board. Simply put, it makes the board look cheap.

The graphic of the grip tape is… again, subjective. I’m not a fan of it.

Truck – Paris clone

The trucks are not genuine Paris, but a Wowgo Paris clone. These Paris clones are good, but of course, not as good as the real Paris Truck.

It’s easy to carve and easy to turn with, but not as silky smooth as a genuine Paris Truck.

Let me illustrate it this way:

I went from Backfire G2 Black’s Caliber clone truck to the Wowgo Knight’s Paris Clone truck and I thought: “Wow, this one is so much better than the last one!”

Then I went from Wowgo Knights Paris Clone truck to Meepo’s NLS Boosted truck and I thought: “Wow, this one is so much better than the last one!”

(Note: My Paris Truck is not with me at the moment to do side by side comparison, but I remember Paris Truck to be as smooth as the Boosted Truck.)

Wheels – It’s fine.

The wheels are 78a 90mm. They are fine.

Riding Experience on the Knight

So, this is how I feel when riding the Wowgo Knight.

Speed control – Perfect

As mentioned, the speed control is perfect as expected from the latest customized Hobbywing ESC. Perfectly smooth acceleration and braking, good strength in both as well.

The stronger than average 540W dual hub certainly plays its role here.

Ride comfort – Almost great but..

The deck that has minor concave makes it comfortable for my feet. Remember the deck is on the stiffer side? Hub board + stiff deck = very uncomfortable ride on poorly paved roads.

There is no way around it, for instance, Meepo V3 has a pretty flex deck and it’s still felt terrible in poorly paved roads due to the thin PU sleeve on the hub wheels. Wowgo Knight doesn’t have the ‘assets’ to be comfortable on poor roads and it’s no surprise that it’s worse.

This is also why, Wowgo 3 felt comfortable and premium as the flex deck compensate for the road vibration coming from stiff hub motors; while Wowgo Knight felt almost ‘cheap’ when you ride it on super rough roads.

I imagine it would be a lot better in this situation for the belt version of Wowgo Knight. 4 real wheels absorb rough road signifcantly better than when you replace 2 of them with stiff hub wheels.

Again, as mentioned, another “weak point” of the Wowgo Knight would be the trucks. Saying them good or bad depends on your reference point. When it’s a $499 board, it’s a weak truck as we are comparing it to other mid-tier board with genuine Paris Truck (Wowgo 3) or genuine Caliber trucks (Backfire G3). When it’s $429, it is a freaking good truck as you are comparing them to other budget boards with much worse generic or clone trucks.

To elaborate further, the rebound of the trucks and the smoothness in turning is good, but still a level below genuine Paris. It’s probably the bushings. Again, if compared to genuine Paris or the Boosted trucks now on the NLS Belt, I would describe the feeling as being more like I’m steering the board instead of surfing on it.

Verdict: I rest my case.

Since 2017, the best budget board of the year would be determined by how this 3 company plays their card. Meepo, Backfire and Wowgo.

For 2020, all the cards has been played.

This year, all Meepo did was improving last year’s model Meepo V3 with an updated ESC and new remote. It is the right board for those who want the highest thrill and highest top speed.

On the other hand, Backfire refreshed its G2 Black and continues to be a beginner-friendly board with bigger 96mm wheels and a good polish.

Wowgo Knight, however, is undoubtedly the best option for most people having almost match the Meepo V3 in raw power, has a ride feel that is better than G2 Black, and a refined control that is as good as any mid-tier board. Plus it has smart power-on.

Well, I supposed it’s not a fair fight. After all, Wowgo Knight was shooting to be a mid-tier board, missed it, and landed amongst the budget boards.

If you are interested in buying a Wowgo, be sure to check out our affiliate discount link here during checkout.
It will help you get $5 off 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!

Backfire G2 Black 2020 Review – Any surprises?

I consider Backfire to be among the Top 3 Chinese electric skateboard brands right now, and they are in the prime position to compete for the crown as the best entry-level electric longboard. With improving aftersales service and polish, the Backfire G2 Black, 2020 edition, could be a no brainer for anyone who is looking for a budget board.

Backfire G2 2020 Review – the Blackfire 20

The new Backfire G2 Black is a good representation and measure for what you can get with $419 in 2020.

  • Deck Size: 38-inch x 9-inch (97cm x 23cm)
  • Top Speed: 24mph (38km)
  • Range: 11-12.5miles (18-20km)
  • Battery Pack: 188Wh 10s2p (5.2Ah 42V)
  • Weight: 17lbs/ 7.8kg
  • Motor: 2 x 400W hub motors.
  • Wheels: 96mm 78A
  • Price: 399-419 USD

The Parts:

Deck

The Blackfire 20 uses a 38” (96.5cm) deck made out of fiberglass, bamboo, and maple. It has a tiny bit of flex, but when I was riding it, the board felt stiff.

I think we are just pampered by having reviewed too many much more expensive boards, with better decks. The deck only has a tiny concave, so small that it’s barely noticeable. There is not much camber to it either, mostly a flat profile.

Trucks

Unlike their premium line-up, the G2 Black is not using Caliber II trucks, but instead it features Backfire’s own proprietary trucks. We will talk about how they ride shortly.

Wheels

Continuing the tradition, the Backfire G2 uses 96mm wheels with 83A. Most beginners love larger wheels sizes, so going with 96mm is appropriate for the niche it’s trying to serve.

Larger wheels can roll over bigger stuff, hence safer. It also helps to dampen some of those road vibrations when riding on rough pavement.

Battery & Range

The Backfire G2 Black uses 5.2AH battery pack, with non-branded cells in 10s2p configuration. That’s 187.2WH, and it promises a modest range of 12.5 miles (20km), which we are able to hit. Most brand has moved away from using genuine Samsung 20R for their budget line-up, as generic battery are not only cheaper but has better numbers on paper. So far, there is no noticeable performance drop, but will this translate to worse battery longevity? I’m afraid is a questions that can only time would answer.

In the budget board war, Blackfire 20’s batteries are slightly larger than it’s peers. To be precise, the standard is 4.0AH, while the Blackfire has 5.2AH. Again, showing that going with generic battery cell do give you an edge at least on the numbers.

Motors & Top Speed

Backfire G2 Black 2020 uses a set of 400W hub motors and that yield a top speed of 24mph (38km/h). We managed to hit the marketed top-speed during our test, no surprise here.

In 2020, 400W hubs are considered standard for entry-level board, as they are functionally strong enough; However, you indeed can find entry-level boards with stronger hubs. For instance, both the Meepo and Wowgo have 540W, and Meepo brags about them quite abit.

ESC and Speed Control

Blackfire 20 uses the latest Hobbywing ESC, which has the updated remote, but in usual Backfire tradition only 2-speed modes. No smart turn-on here, which is disappointing.

The Hobbywing ESC is buttery smooth, but you already know that. Everyone except beginners will be using the higher ‘Sport’ mode, as it is just as smooth as the Eco mode. The brakes are sufficiently strong here; at this point I am confident in the braking strength of Hobbywing ESCs. In fact, in 2020, I found that only the most generic Hobbywing ESC has weak brakes.

Ride Feel and Board Control

While going with Hobbywing ESC means you won’t be wrong with the speed control, the entire riding experience obviously are more than just the electronics.

First, let’s again talk about the trucks.

The Backfire proprietary trucks pale in comparison to branded trucks and came in on the tighter side. After loosening them up a bit, we would say this truck veers towards being more stable than carve-y.

Next, the deck. The fiberglass, bamboo and maple deck has only a little flex to it, and hence, again, not extraordinary for carving but great for cruising at high speed. I would love if the deck has a little bit more concave to it, so I could more easily feel my foot position without having to look down.

Stiff decks + hub motors also means the board is not the most fun to carve in and doesn’t lend much in reducing road vibration. As the previous-gen Backfire G2 Black, just a solid B in handling road vibration.

With that said, you can cruise in high speed on this thing pretty comfortably.

I get the feeling that Blackfire 20 is designed for with stability as the first consideration, something that I suppose would be a priority for newcomers to this hobby.

Summary

As a reviewer, Backfire G2 2020 is a very boring board. It has no special strength to talk about, no unique personality to angle on, and there is also not any glaring weakness to talk about.

But, please don’t confuse boring with bad.

Indeed, the Backfire G2 Black is mediocre when you compare it to higher-priced boards that have a better ride feel and far better performance, but for $419, the Backfire G2 Black 2020 delivers what it needs to deliver and some more.

It has comfortable and safe speed control, an above-average performance at the entry-level price and a top tier build quality and polish. Also, while not rated to be waterproof, the electronic components are themselves sealed, which should give good water resistance. While it has some trouble with rough road surfaces, it will ride just as nice as any board on regular roads.

Verdict

Good performance, pretty standard riding experience and top tier polish, Backfire G2 Black is undoubtedly a worthy contestant as the best entry-level electric longboard in current year and the year to come.

What’s more, while individual preference might mean everyone has a different pick as their best entry-level board, Backfire, at least at the time of this post, should come up on top when it comes to brands.
I hate to parrot their marketing pitch but, having a local warehouse in US and Europe is indeed a huge plus when it comes to delivery and aftersales service.

So yes, I do think the Backfire G2 2020 should be the standard that other entry-level boards would be compared to, and a safe pick for everyone.

If you are interested in buying a Backfire, be sure to check out our affiliate discount link here and uses code: “ESKATEHQ” during checkout.
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!