Meepo Board is traditionally known to make powerful boards at the best “price-performance” ratio. The brand is always your go-to choice for eskates in the sub-$500 segment. Although, they’re having less recognition for higher-priced boards. Meepo Board changes the game in 2021 with Meepo Hurricane. This $1699 board has been overwhelmingly popular in the eskate community. So, what sets this all-terrain carbon fiber board apart from its peers? How is it different from other 2-in-1 boards that use the Evolve formula? Let’s find out.
Wheels: 155mm pneumatic wheels; 90mm street wheels
Board Weight: 34 lbs or 15.4 kg
Warranty: 1-year guarantee
Meepo Hurricane uses a T700 Carbon Fiber double-drop deck with a built-in, top-access electronic compartment. We didn’t really know what T700 carbon fiber is until we were researching for this review and apparently, it’s commonly used in drone cameras. This type of carbon fiber reduces the probability of cracks.
The deck is also wide and has a full concave. There’s no flex on the board. The carbon fiber is stiff and it’s designed with wave lines that look sleek yet adds a military theme.
Top-access electronic compartment
Inside the carbon fiber deck, you’ll find a giant battery with a 12s4p configuration using Molicel P42A. This is considered a great cell in the market. It adds up to 725.8 watt-hours, which is the third biggest battery pack you can find on any 2-in-1 board. In terms of specs, it’s behind by only a few watts than the Ownboard Zeus’s 13s4p 899wh and Eovan GTS Carbon’s 12s4p 852Wh pack. Okay maybe not ‘a few’, but you get the point.
This 725.8wh battery pack gave Meepo a marketed range of 31miles or 50km on all-terrain wheels, and 44 miles or 70km range on street wheels.
Our 210lbs or 95kg test rider put the numbers to the test and got 18.5miles or 30km out of the AT set up. With street wheels, we got 31 miles or 50km.
In our range test, we tried as much as possible to ride. You could probably get the higher advertised range with lighter weight or by riding conservatively.
Electronic Speed control – Hello again, LingYi ESC
For the electronic speed controller, Meepo uses their usual LingYi ESC and they got the latest and greatest version, as always. Hurricane is installed with LingYi FOC 70 Belt with a push-to-start feature. It has 4-speed modes and 4 brake modes that can be set independently of each other.
Meepo Hurricane also uses Double Kingpin Trucks. In the riding experience, we’ll see if these trucks blend well with 155mm pneumatic wheels. Purchasing Meepo Hurricane also comes with 90mm street wheels if it matches your preferences better. You can also swap these wheels for other semi-AT wheels like Cloudwheels or Meepo’s 110mm Cyclone wheels.
To check out our Meepo NLS Belt Review, click here.
Dual Belt drive – 3500W belt motor
Powering these wheels is a set of 3500W belt motors. Motor wattage means little at this price range, but just for those who are interested, these numbers are the highest out of all belt-driven boards in our database.
With these motors, the Meepo Hurricane has a top speed of 35mph or 56km/h and we managed to only hit 31mph or 50km/h. Although the 35mph was not met, 31mph is still very fast.
The board weighs in at 34 lbs or 15.4 kg and comes with a 1-year warranty.
As you can see, Meepo does what they do best with the Meepo Hurricane – offering beefy specs for its asking price. What’s unexpected for me is how well built and well polished the board is.
If Meepo Hurricane is the first Meepo, you might have no idea that the company has its roots as an affordable brand. While looks can be subjective, I think everyone will agree that this is the best-looking Meepo ever seen.
Riding experience of Meepo Hurricane
Now, let’s move off the specs on paper and onto the road.
The highlight of the Meepo Hurricane is its power. Meepo loves injecting loads of power into their boards and that’s definitely what happened here.
Out of all 2-in-1 boards in the market, the Meepo Hurricane ranks high on the list, beating any other board that isn’t a 4-wheel drive.
Power: Meepo Hurricane VS Exway Atlas
Comparing its acceleration or power against Exway Atlas, Meepo Hurricane is way stronger than the 2-wheel drive version of Atlas and almost as strong as Atlas’ 4-wheel drive.
However, the Atlas 4-wheel drive has better torque than Hurricane and can start from a complete stop even on thick grass. Hurricane struggles with this acceleration feature. The 4-wheel drive Exway Atlas also has more grip in offroading and when going up very steep hills, more so when the roads are slippery.
LingYi catches up with Hobbywing ESC
With all that power on the board, it’s no surprise that the Meepo Hurricane also has good speed control. We can finally say that the control smoothness of the latest LingYi ESC is now indistinguishable from the gold-standard set by Hobbywing ESC.
Meepo Hurricane has 4-speed modes, and all are smooth and intuitive. Mode 1 and 2 are tame, probably intended for casual riding, while mode 3 and mode 4 are thrillingly powerful. Having 4 different modes for braking also allows you to choose between gentler braking to having a very strong brake on the 4th brake mode. Those who love strong brakes would be really happy with the brakes here.
Meepo clearly wants Hurricane to be ridden fast, as even the double kingpin truck on Hurricane is geared towards stability rather than for fun carving. The trucks are not the most agile and the board remains comfortably stable at high speed.
However, this also means that the Hurricane is not your best option for carving. Stiff deck, big wheels, and tight trucks are all minus points for fun carving, and we don’t feel much temptation to carve around when we are on the Hurricane.
This is in contrast to the Exway Atlas, which is geared towards responsive trucks that are more fun to carve with, but less stable at high speed.
Built for speed and stability
Besides the trucks, the rest of Hurricane’s built speaks stability, too. The carbon fiber deck is wide and has a nice concave to it. It feels nice and stable underneath the feet. The double-drop deck also allows a low to ground ride feel, further adding to the stability. Stiff decks don’t bounce, which is yet another point for a stable high-speed ride.
With all that said, designing a board this way has a few trade-offs. For starters, a low ride height also means low ground clearance, and your beautiful carbon fiber deck is just one tall bumper away from becoming less beautiful.
The stiff deck and relatively smaller 155mm pneumatic wheels mean going off-road on gravel, and small rocks aren’t as comfortable as other 2-in-1 boards with bigger wheels and flexible decks.
Going with street wheels further exacerbates both of these problems, where the board bottoms out on each bumper and becomes unbearable when riding on poorly paved roads.
To avoid feeling every small crack and bump, we would recommend skipping the 90mm street and going for semi-AT wheels like the 105mm cloud wheels, or anything bigger. The safest bet is to stick to the AT set-up.
THE VERDICT- Should you buy Meepo Hurricane?
You see, it has been more than half a year since the initial launch of the Meepo Hurricane and even as the hype cooled, the board remains wildly popular. We think all this love is well-deserved, as Meepo Hurricane not only hit it out of the park when it comes to delivering maximum value for the price, it also has an amazing look and amazing polish to go with it.
While the similarly priced Exway Atlas 2-wheel-drive is a better carving board and has some fun features such as having a smartphone app, Meepo Hurricane has a much better range and better power. So, whether you are looking for an all-terrain board that speaks power and stability, or simply want a polished AT board that tops the competition with specs, Meepo Hurricane is the board for you. Do look elsewhere, if you want a board that has maximum carving fun, or looking to do hardcore off-roading.
RIDE SAFE, GUYS!
If you are interested in buying the Meepo, be sure to check out our affiliate link here. You’ll be tagged as an Electric Skateboard HQ customer and probably be treated better. Cheers!
After the wildly successful launch in 2017, the original Meepoboard kick-started the era of affordable eskate and soon earned itself a notorious reputation for being the most frequently refreshed product in this niche. Within 6 months, we saw Meepo V1.5 which was immediately followed by Meepo V1.51 then V2, V2 Plus, and finally V3 in 2019.
For a company that’s so addicted to rolling out marginal improvements in short succession, we were more than surprised when 2020 rolled past without a Meepo V4. Finally, in the fourth quarter of 2021, Meepo finally is putting up a new iteration for their best-selling line-up.
It has been a while, so this better be good.
Unboxing Meepo V4
And, Oh god this box is not a great start. I didn’t realize Meepo is selling from Toy’R’us now.
Luckily for Meepo this should be easily changed once they realized we are buying eskate for ourselves and not for our kids. If you like the design of the box, please leave a comment below to make your support known, or otherwise, I bet it wouldn’t last beyond the first batch.
Thankfully, the design of Meepo V4 is nothing like the box.
Meepo V4 Review – Specifications
Let’s take a quick look at the spec now.
Board name: Meepo V4 (Shuffle)
Deck Length (inch and cm):36 inch (91.5cm)
Motors: 2 x 620W hub motors
ESC type (LingYi/ Customize/ VESC/ Others) :LingYi (LY-FOC 1.0)
Wheel: 90mm; 72A Durometer
Battery Type: 10S2P2000mah , 144Wh
Marketed Top Speed in mph & kmh: 29mph /46KMH
Marketed Range in miles & km: 11 miles/18KM (Depend on riding style, weight, terrain, and weather. )
Charging time: 3.5-4H (30min with 8A fast charger)
Weight in lbs and kg: 17.2lbs /7.8KG
Warranty Duration: 6 months (180days)
Meepo V4 – Build
It has been quite a while before we reviewed our last Meepo, and it is a pleasant surprise to see the build quality and polish continues to improve as the year went by. Meepo V4 is a very polished board despite the $469 price tag.
The Meepo V4 deck is a combination of 8 plies Canadian maple and 1 ply fiberglass.
It has a pretty aggressive W concave, mild flexibility, and a slight rocker profile. I love decks with rocker profiles, I’ll explain later. The deck is also slightly shorter than most longboards, at 36” (typical e-longboard = 38”) which is supposed to help with storage.
Electronic Speed Controller (ESC)
For the electronic speed controller, Meepo V4 uses the latest-redesigned LingYi ESC (LY-FOC 1.0).
As always, it comes with a push to start feature. As always, LingYi ESC allows 4 acceleration modes and 4 braking mode to be set independently from each other. When it comes to smoothness, LingYi has been playing catch up with Hobbywing ESC since 2018. As the year goes by, they come close, and hopefully this time they manage to be as smooth as Hobbywing.
And when it comes to battery, Meepo V4 uses a 10S2P 4AH that’s rated at 144wh. 10s2p battery has been the standard for entry-level board eskate, but a slight disappointment when some of the latest budget eskate, like Meepo’s nemesis Wowgo’s 2s Pro is rocking 12s2p battery.
Anyhow, Meepo promised a modest 11miles or 18km range for the V4, and our range test yielded us 10 miles or 16 km.
On a related note, the battery allows fast charging which can reach a full charge in 30 minutes.
Trucks – Shredder trucks
For the trucks, Meepo re-do the mold for their proprietary Shredder truck. It’s a pair of 7 inches trucks that are 45°. The bushings are 90A. Meepo says they made a new, more precise mold, which they say should improve its performance. What I can say for sure is that it sure the hell looks better.
Hub and wheels
For the motors, Meepo V4 uses 640W dual hub motors. Typical Meepo, always trying to one-up everyone else when it comes to motor power. For reference, WowGo 2s Pro uses dual 500W motors; Backfire G2 Black uses dual 400W hubs, and the old Meepo V3 uses a pair of 540W hubs.
However, higher wattage doesn’t always mean better torque, especially when paired to a modest 10s2p battery. Something our ride test later would test..
These hub motors are currently not compatible with Cloudwheels donuts, but there is always a chance that they develop one.
The durometer for the front wheels are 72A, pretty soft, and the PU sleeve is rated to have 82A durometer.
It is worth mentioning that Meepo V4 does have IP6X certification which means dustproof and some water resistance.
Now that we know the build and specs, it’s time to ride!
Riding Experience on Meepo V4
The things Meepo V4 did well
After getting on the board for a while, it becomes apparent that V4 is designed with stability as the priority.
Let me explain:
The deck has an aggressive W shape concave and that helps to lock in our feet. The rocker deck adds another level of comfort giving as the rocker curve gives our foot something to push against during speed changes. Only having mild flex on the deck further adds to stability. On top of that, the rocker deck also means lower ride height which further improves stability. Too bad the lower riding height is a double-edged sword as it also means a very low 44mm ground clearance, causing the enclosure to kiss the floor when we ride over speed bumps.
Meepo’s 45° Shredder truck was geared towards stability as compared to 50° trucks which was more carvy (eg: Wowgo 2s Pro’s Poseidon truck). All in all, the new Shredder truck is pretty good. While it does not rise to the level of branded trucks such as the Caliber II or Paris, it’s definitely as good as any other proprietary truck amongst affordable eskate. Decent for carving, good return to center, and absolutely stable to ride at top speed.
So, the deck is great for stability, and the trucks are geared towards stability, how’s the ESC? Will the LingYI ESC, which traditionally leans towards raw and powerful, screw up the stability theme for Meepo V4?
Surprisingly, no! I am happy to say that, after 3 years and countless iterations, we finally reach the point where this (LY-FOC 1.0) version of LingYi ESC is indistinguishable from Hobbywing ESC when it comes to control-smoothness. The speed control of Meepo V4 is now as smooth as it can be while still being as strong as it always was.
Typical Meepo, this board is freaking strong
Initially, I even found the new LingYi ESC to be boringly safe, with no ‘punch’.
Yes, it’s now as smooth as a Hobbywing ESC, but this was actually a disappointment for a Meepo die-hard who loves Meepo for its obsession with power, torque, and thrill.
If you recall, Meepo V3 was and still is one of the if not the most powerful entry-level electric skateboard out there. Meepo was so obsessed with power that it was willing to sacrifice ride comfort for it when they reduced the hub wheels PU sleeve’s thickness in order to make space for a pair of giant 540W motors. Some Meepo diehard love them for it, and those diehard fans would probably feel disappointed here.
And then, just after I posted my article review essentially calling the Meepo V4 a “PG 13 beginner-friendly toy”, I was informed by the Meepo team that I wasn’t sent the production ESC. The prototype ESC that all of us reviewers get had its power capped, and wouldn’t give us the full power that the real V4 in production would.
So, our team decided not to make assumptions and waited for the real ESC.
After switching over to the new ESC I found myself cursing the Meepo team, because I now had to rewrite half of my review, as my conclusion on its power did a 180.
After changing to the actual ESC, the Meepo V4 showed its true colors, unleashing the absolute beast that we always expect Meepo to be.
Going for the highest speed mode, the board is freaking strong, with powerful acceleration that would knock you off if you are not prepared for it. The braking is very strong too, smooth, but very strong. Thankfully, for those who prefer relaxing rides, the third acceleration mode and 2nd brake mode have kept their gentle profile.
In the end, the Meepo V4’s modest 10s2p did not end up bottlenecking the dual 640W motors, as the hubs still delivered some of the most powerful acceleration you can find amongst hub-driven boards, and this is now the most powerful hub board we know of at the sub-$500 price point.
To put the torque in context, the Meepo V4’s acceleration is about 30% stronger than its fiercest rival, the Wowgo 2s Pro. Being hub-driven, the Meepo V4 might not have the torque that a typical dual belt drive eskate has, however, the Meepo V4 does have a steeper acceleration curve, giving it a more thrilling start than an average belt-driven board when drag racing on a flat surface.
Some other stuffs:
When designing the V4, Kieran (Meepo founder) says he notices his team members favor shorter boards when picking their ride. A longer board although should provide more comfort, his team member ends up always picking shorter boards as they are more practical to use: easier to bring around, fit more car trunks, and allowing tighter turns in urban commute. Hence, when he designed Meepo V4, it was aimed to have all the practicality of a shortboard, and compromised on that by adding 6 more inches for more comfortable rides.
And the V4 is indeed more comfortable than a shortboard especially when riding on rough pavements. On poor road, it is ‘merely uncomfortable’ due to the dual hub and stiffer deck, as opposed to agonizing when riding through the same road with hub-shortboards.
Verdict – Who should get Meepo V4?
So, to summarize. The Meepo V4 might not have the biggest battery for its price, but when everything is said and done, it’s more well-rounded, more versatile than ever, while still being as thrilling as we always wanted it to be.
On the one hand, new riders will value the gentle ride and stability the Meepo V4 provides, with its stable trucks, lower ride height, and relaxing control in the lower speed modes. At the other extreme, the V4 became a thrilling beast once you turn the speed and brake modes to the max. Thrilling acceleration, strong brakes, everything that gets your adrenaline pumping.
The Meepo V4 might also be well suited for another often-forgotten group, the eskate commuters. This is due to its 30-minute quick-charge option; as well as it’s shorter length, allowing for tighter turns on sidewalks, easier handling, and a better fit in a car trunk..
All in all, for under $500, the Meepo V4 is among the top 2, if not the top choice in the market right now.
If you are interested in buying the Meepo, please do support us by using our affiliate link here. It will help us out too and you’ll be tagged as an Electric Skateboard HQ customer and probably be treated better. Cheers!
“Meepo should release a belt-driven board.” We hear that quite a lot in the forum. And ta-dah! Here it is.
Much unlike Meepo typical habit of getting product out of the door fast, the Belt Meepo was in the labor room for quite a while. In fact, 8 months ago I had already been shown the photo of the prototype belt Meepo.
A lot of things can happen in 8 months, especially when we are in the year 2020. Among the tragedies of 2020 was that Boosted went down.
Well, It’s the ultimate altruistic act to be an organ donor. The idea is, don’t let the most valuable parts of you die with you. So, when Boosted went down, Meepo became the recipient for the organ transplant. Basically, Meepo reached into Boosted’s grave and came out with the drive train system, the trucks, and the 85mm wheels. They transplanted them into a board of their own and creatively named it, the NLS Belt.
Meepo fans should be glad that these proven parts are now part of the new Meepo board, but many were troubled when the specs of the new board were announced.
Meepo NLS Belt Review
See, priced at $699, The NLS Pro Belt was right in what we call the mid-tier price segment and a direct competitor to the Exway Flex and also the Backfire Zealot. This is not a great place to be for Team Meepo. In terms of customer service and delivery, these 2 competing brands are performing better than the Meepo, at least recently.
We thought the specs of the NLS Belt are worse than the competitors as well, but after a closer look, they actually weren’t. In reality, it’s only the top speed that’s lower.
DeckSize: 38-inch x 9-inch (96.5cm x 22.8cm)
Top Speed: 22.5mph (36km)
Range: 18miles (30km)
Battery Pack: 288Wh (Samsung 40T in a 10s2p, 8Ah)
Weight: 18lbs/ 8.2kg
Motor: 2 x 900W belt motors.
Wheels: 85mm 78A
Price: 699 USD
Let’s take a look at the electronic components:
Motors – Why so slow?
You see, the NLS Belt uses the same motors from the Boosted Stealth, rated at 900W each, but it only gives a top speed of 22.5mph (35kmh). This came as a surprise to many, including myself, as Meepo has traditionally been obsessed with speed, sometimes to a fault. But this time, apparently, what bottlenecked the top speed is the LingYi ESC, and also their choice of a larger gear ratio. We will talk more about the speed a bit later.
Battery – Good range with Samsung 40T
In the range department, the NLS Belt uses the same great ER battery, made of Samsung 40T in a 10s2p setting, that’s 288wh and has a marketed range of 18miles (30kmh), which we managed to hit in our range test.
ESC and Remote – Cosmetic upgrade.
The board comes with a LingYi ESC, and hence we get the push to start feature. What’s not typical of the LingYi ESC is the new and much better-looking remote. It’s slightly different than the updated Hobbywing remote but obviously takes some inspiration from the Boosted remote. It goes well with the whole Boosted theme.
Enclosure – Same as always.
The electronics are housed in Meepo’s usual plastic enclosure, which has a digital meter to show the battery percentage; a godsend when trying to know the battery % when charging the board.
Now let’s look at the skate parts of the NLS Belt, or you may say, of Boosted.
Deck – the same deck that was the best feature of NLS.
NLS Belt, of course, uses the same 38” flexy deck as the original NLS and it’s made out of 7 layers of bamboo and 2 layers of fiberglass. It has a mild concave, some camber, and a lot of flex.
Remember back when the original Meepo NLS was released, everybody was amazed by how good it is? Other brands have since caught up but personally, I still think it is one of the best if not THE BEST flexy deck from any Chinese brand.
Yeap, I like it more than Exway Flex’s deck, bite me.
It’s deliciously flexible and the mild concave will help to let you know where your feet are.
Remember the original NLS use to have the electrical cable visible below the grip tape, and the NLS Pro just remedied it by adding a foam layer below the grip tape it? The latest NLS doesn’t have that anymore, everything is smooth now. However, I’m really not a fan of the latest grip-tape design.
The C&C’ed trucks and bushings are also from Boosted, instead of Meepo’s Shredder trucks.
It’s funny how every Chinese Brand seems to use two sets of trucks now: Branded trucks for their premium model and proprietary trucks for the budget model.
I like Shredder Trucks, a lot, but Boosted’s are better.
Wheels – Boosted
The Wheels are 85mm 78a, the same as Boosted 3rd gens.
Boosted 85mm wheels are good & comfortable; especially when going head to head with generic wheels from typical Chinese brands; but everybody knows that Caguama is better.
So, those are the specs, and after going through that a seasoned eskater would probably have been able to predict how the NLS Belt would ride.
Top speed – Might be too slow for you
Let’s start on the weakest point, the top speed. There is no way around it, if you want a board that rides above 22.5mph (35kmh), then this will be a deal-breaker.
As mentioned, the limits on the top speed come from the LingYi ESC, but not from the motors. The choice of going with a larger gear ratio of 17 to 56, or 1:3.3 also means that Meepo prioritized torque over top speed. The NLS Belt will not accelerate past 22.5mph (35kmh), but it sure as hell will get you there fast.
Torque – this is the fun part
Meepo designed the board prioritizing torque over top speed, and this actually makes the NLS Belt very fun to ride.
I love how the board rockets off the starting line and left other riders in the dust (until they caught up eventually due to the higher top-speed). NLS belt would probably be the champion in many drag races. (How I wish @Skatemetric is still around to visualize the drag race.)
Let me put it this way, if you like the thrill of going fast without actually needing to be fast, NLS Belt will be purrrfect.
Speed Control – How’s LingYi ESC now?
Acceleration – good but can be better.
Another nitpick that I have with the NLS Belt would be the speed control on the LingYi ESC. First things first, for those who are uninitiated, LingYi ESC’s have 4 acceleration modes and 4 brake modes, independent of each other.
Everyone by now should know that a LingYi ESC on a Meepo board is meant to be ridden on the 3rd acceleration mode, the perfect balance of smooth and strong. Going over to the highest 4th pro mode means the board is too strong and too raw for comfort; it’s almost only for certain situations and for drag races – where you uncage the beast and don’t mind it being untamed.
However, even ignoring the intentionally harsh 4th-speed mode, the Meepo NLS Belt and the current LingYi ESC are still slightly less refined than the Hobbywing ESC. and it is more pronounced during uphill or when turning on rough surfaces. Many riders probably wouldn’t notice the difference, I didn’t, but my friends who also rode the board did notice it.
Brakes – Brakes are perfect.
The brakes are strong and smooth though, even the 1st braking mode is plenty strong, and the strongest 4th braking mode is still plenty smooth. I always set it on the strongest brake mode for myself, and the lightest mode when I let others ride it. Everybody is happy.
Ride feels – Boosted imbued
Now, let’s talk about how well the board controls, and this is where the Boosted parts come in. Carving and, maneuvering on the NLS Belt is as nice as it was on a Boosted board. Of course it is! It’s the same trucks and bushings after all. Read or watch one of the hundreds of Boosted Stealth reviews, and that’s exactly what you get with NLS Belt. In short, it’s very stable, very comfortable, and very smooth for carving.
The wheels are the same. The 78a 85mm wheels are the same set from the Boosted Stealth – and they are known to be soft, comfortable and durable. However, as mentioned, the fact is that the Orangatang Caguama is still better, and many Boosted riders did make the swap, so that’s what we did too on the NLS Belt. It’s an easy swap and makes the ride silky smooth.
For those who hate road vibration. NLS Belt has no trouble on rough pavement. With a Flexy deck and 4 soft wheels, the NLS Belt is one of the most comfortable boards when riding on a poorly paved road.
For those speed zealot – consider Cloudwheels
For diehard Meepo fans who can’t live without a higher top speed, the easy fix is to swap to bigger wheels. (The harder fix is swap the ESC)
This is what you get for switching to Cloudwheels:
Top speed increased to 27mph (43kmh)
Slightly reduced range: around 15miles (25km) of range [preliminary test]
Increase comfort in rough terrain and increase safety from pebbles
Less fun when carving.
The switch is super easy, as Cloudwheels’ has the Boosted pulley sets that work seamlessly (obviously) here. It will only take you 10min and … money [$129 (wheels) + $39.9 (Boosted pulleys)].
I’m pretty surprise why Meepo doesn’t just tear a page out of Backfire’s playbook and advertise the NLS Belt with Cloudwheels.
Disclaimer: We are obviously the affiliate partner of Cloudwheels (& almost every other Eskate stuff).
On top of that, you’ll be tagged as an Electric Skateboard HQ customer and probably be treated better. Cheers!
So, is the NLS Belt a good replacement for those who would’ve bought a Boosted?
Nope. People love Boosted not only for the riding experience but also for the brand and everything that comes with it; Meepo and the NLS Belt don’t have all of that yet. When it comes to style, product polish, or customer experience, Meepo isn’t on the same level as what Boosted was. What the NLS Belt is at the end of the day, is a board that’s most physically close to the Boosted, but is not, in any way, the successor of the Boosted experience.
Taking it outside of the Boosted comparison, the NLS Belt is in itself a board that’s great in everything but the top speed. Meepo could’ve reduced the gear ratio, sacrificed some torque, and allowed the board to hit the standard 25mph (40kmh) top speed, but they didn’t.
Trading off thrilling acceleration for a mere 2 mph increase in top speed is certainly a deal that many won’t knowingly make, but unfortunately, most people don’t think past the marketed stats. Or Meepo could, you know, upgrade the ESC, even if it means increasing the selling price.
But it is what it is. The NLS Belt today is not a board for those who can’t look past the lower top speed; but for everyone else, the thrilling acceleration, good range, and the great riding experience made possible by the use of Boosted parts, is indeed thoroughly enjoyable.
It seems like Meepo releases a new budget board every half year. We have the Original Meepoboard, Meepo 1.5, Meepo V2 &V2P and finally, in 2019, Meepo V3. Seeing that Meepo refreshes their product lines very frequently, we were pretty surprised that the V3 is still here to stay as of March 2020! Meepo, however, makes the Meepo V3 an even more appetizing deal now that there is a sea-shipping option that slashes the price down to $379 (as long as you are willing to wait a month for it to arrive.)
Top Speed: 28mph/ 45kmh
Range: 11mil/ 18km
Weight: 16lbs/ 7.2kg
Charge Time: 3hrs
Price: 429USD with shipping included.
Features: 2 hub motors, regenerative braking, handles up to 30% slope, MR remote (with telemetry), swappable PU.
This time around, we are happy to say that Meepo has continued to improve in terms of packaging and design compared to their previous packaging styles. The Meepo V3 was nicely packaged in a smooth black ‘shoe-box’ with professional graphic design details. It’s good to see that they’re constantly improving, especially in the little things that we pay attention to.
As for what’s inside the box, the Meepo V3 comes with a handheld remote control with a screen (MR remote), 2 different sets of bushings – softer 83A (white) and harder 96A (blue) – that you can swap easily for your pleasure which is a great move (the one installed are 90A in yellow), T-tools, a board charger, and a bunch of cool stickers for the deck.
Acceleration and Braking
In the realm of budget electric skateboards, LingYi ESC has always been lagging behind Hobbywing ESC when it comes to perfect control smoothness. Hence, we were very sceptical when Meepo announced that they would be sticking to LingYi ESC on the Meepo V3, especially when some of their lineups have moved on to Hobbywing ESC and they were well received too.
Although they promised that this latest iteration of LingYi ESC would be as smooth as Hobbywing’s, we weren’t that convinced initially. Some of the other boards we tested that still uses the LingYi ESC were pretty subpar so our expectations were low.
Surprise, surprise. Turns out, this latest iteration of LingYi ESC that the Meepo V3 uses is as good as promised and it’s the most pleasant surprise we’ve received from the V3 yet.
The acceleration is almost as smooth as the Hobbywing ESC in the first 3 speed modes, while the pro mode offers a much punchier acceleration, intended for those with more ‘extreme’ tastes. Not something that I use much but still appreciated. Side by side comparison with Hobbywing ESC will have the LingYi ESC felt a little bit ‘less refine’ than the Hobbwing ESC.
Update: Kieran (Meepo’s creator) later point out that the lack of ‘refinement in smoothness’ is mainly due to how LingYi ESC performs when the board re-accelerate from cruising – it usually accelerated more abruptly. A yet newer LingYi iteration released in July 2019 addressed the issue via a firmware update name “Flux”. So, I expect the Meepo V3 after July 2019 to have acceleration as refined as those of Hobbywing ESC.
The braking, which traditionally was the Achilles heel of LingYi ESC, is now more than perfect too. It’s gradual and strong, stronger than any Hobbywing variation but still perfectly smooth and under control which is great for riders.
The Meepo V3 is designed to be the first one that takes off from the line and in pro mode, the acceleration is indeed very punchy and thrilling. The board boasts a 0 to 30km in 4.5 seconds, which almost halves the time of what it took for the V2. We didn’t actually objectively test this out, but the acceleration indeed felt very powerful.
To test out the difference between the latest iteration of Hobbywing ESC vs this latest iteration of LingYi ESC, we tested V3 (LingYi ESC) side by side with the NLS Pro in 90mm wheels (Hobbywing ESC) and the result is pretty surprising.
We expect V3 to outperform NLS Pro in a drag race, as LingYi ESC felt punchier, however, that didn’t happen. Though V3 felt punchier, it actually only accelerated just as fast as an NLS Pro in 90mm hub. Our conclusion is, on acceleration, the slight sacrifice of smoothness of V3 doesn’t translate to better acceleration. Sad.
Honestly, part of me actually prefers this LingYi ESC over Hobbywing ESC as I like strong brakes and LingYi ESC still has the smart turn-on features that Hobbywing ESC doesn’t. And the difference between smoothness is almost negligible now. I think many would share the same preference so finally and for once, Hobbywing ESC doesn’t reign supreme anymore.
Stability and Maneuverability
All in all, the shredder trucks and double tall barrel bushing that Meepo always uses are pretty nice. You can change the bushings according to your preference and your weight to have a setup that suits you the best, I suggest most people try out the 96A blue as for a 150lbs (68kg) me the yellow felt too soft.
Carving on the Meepo V3 is fun thanks to the flexible deck and it’s pretty stable for me. For instance, I can keep near the top speed quite comfortably once I switch to a harder bushing. We are also able to hit the top speed of 28mph(45kmh). (our sports tracker record 28.3mph/ 45.7kmh as the top speed!].
Unfortunately, vibration is where the V3 is weak.
The V3’s priority is torque and power, and this leads to choosing the biggest hub. But a bigger hub motor also means there’s only a very thin layer of urethane between the motor and the ground so the vibration dampening ability is pretty poor.
Despite using a fairly flexible deck, the Meepo V3 is not the most comfortable board when riding in less than perfect roads, which is quite unfortunate given that its siblings from Classic to NLS Pro all did quite well in this aspect.
Thankfully, there’s the option of buying and switching to 100mm hubs sleeve and wheels which would really improve this feature but in terms of the on-stock version 90mm, the Meepo V3 gets a B-/C+ from me when it comes to vibration handling.
The Meepo V3 uses a 10S2P Battery Pack with a 20R cell which gets me 18.9km, about the range the base model Meepos aim to achieve. It’s not too bad as it’s sufficient for most people and more than most belt-driven electric skateboards as hub motors are much more energy efficient.
A closer look at the parts
The Meepo V3 uses 7 layers of true Canadian maple which are pretty flexible, but not as flexible as the deck on the NLS. Although with a deck this flexible, you can actually smash the enclosure to the ground if you jump on the deck.
With that though, it’s still a Vanguard clone as it has the same design as the previous gen. There’s a very subtle concave to help your feet feel comfortable on it, and the handle cut out might turn some people off but those who have used it before would know how practical it is.
Component Enclosures and ESC
As expected, this is the same plastic enclosure found on the other Meepos. They’re really strong and lighter than aluminium, but only time will tell if they’ll crack on the screw holes but so far I haven’t heard any incidents of that happening. Fingers crossed! The battery indicator is outside too, which is a good touch because I’d love to know how much the battery has charged up when charging.
The Meepo V3 uses 90mm wheels with 78A durometer wheels. The PU sleeve on the hub motor wheels is swappable, and can be swapped to 100mm sets which as mentioned before, should make navigating on poor road more comfortable.
The bearings that the Meepo board uses, although not branded, are surprisingly good. They spin forever when put on freerolls, so that’s a win for us.
I’m echoing my review of the Meepo Mini 2 ER’s trucks for this one too, but adding on that the stock bushing for the Meepo V3 (yellow 90A) might be too soft for most people. My suggestion would be to switch over to 96A if you weigh anywhere more than 150lbs(70kg).
As a personal preference though, I’d rather Meepo ship the 90A, 96A, and 100A than the 83A, 90A, and 96A that they’re currently shipping now.
The V3 uses the MR remote, a remote with a screen. It’s the new face of LingYi ESC now but Meepo’s version is using soft-touch plastic as a finish so it feels nice to hold and it’s quite comfortable (read: ergonomic) to grip.
The remote allows the separate adjustments of acceleration and braking modes without disconnection. Although the ‘reverse’ label is mislabeled which can be confusing to some, it’s actually the speed mode. You move into reverse instead by double-tapping the power button.
From the original to V1.5 to V2, Meepo’s ‘version’ lineups have always been the de facto face of budget electric skateboards. Judging from what we’ve reviewed and experienced though, we can see that the V3 is likely to carry that torch from the V2 and continue to be the most popular budget board in the community.
With the improvement of the current LingYi ESC, together, it elevates the V3 to another level. The first 3 speed modes are almost perfectly smooth, along with its aggressive, punchy acceleration for thrillseekers.
As per Meepo’s typical fashion of pushing the envelope just a little bit further, the V3 tried to maximize the power and torque by using a stronger and bigger hub. Although it was achieved with impressive acceleration and hill climb ability, unfortunately, it resulted in its bigger weakness – a stiff hub with a thin urethane sleeve that led to a really rough ride on poor roads.
Thankfully, there’s always the option to switch to 100mm wheels to save the day. You can see the V3 as a watered-down NLS Pro as it falls a bit short of the refinement that we experience from the NLS Pro in both ride feel and specs, but a watered-down NLS Pro is still a very good deal for $429 if you ask me. And for those who have the patience for sea-shipping, the V3 at $379 is without any doubt, the best deal for a budget board that anyone can dream of.
Overall, the Meepo V3 has every reason to retain the throne as one of the most popular budget electric skateboards as its polish, feel for ride, and sheer performance are still second to none in the realm of $400 entry-level boards.
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)…