Meepo Flow Review – Simply The Best Cruiser

Let’s first introduce the elephant in the room: Meepo Flow is the blatant copy of the Evolve Stoke, first released back in 2019. It has the exact look and uses very similar parts – a 35’ cruiser deck paired with double kingpin trucks.

However, a closer look at the specs shows that the $749  Meepo Flow might be quite a lot better than the $999 Evolve Stoke.

Specification – Meepo Flow

Price$749
Deck35-inch Bamboo and fibreglass. Stiff, wide concave
TrucksDouble Kingpin Trucks
Wheels35-inch Bamboo and fiberglass. Stiff, wide concave
ESC12s Hobbywing ESC
MotorsDual 2519W belt-drive motors​
Battery12S2P, Molicel P42A, 362.8 Wh, 8.4AH
Top Speed32mph (52 kph​)
Range24 miles(38 km​)
Weight24.2 lbs/(11 kg)

Deck

The Meepo Flow has the same transparent grip tape as the Evolve Stoke. It has an additional foam grip tape on the kicktail of its slightly longer 35-inch Bamboo and fiberglass composite deck. Similar to the Evolve Stoke, the Meepo deck has a wide concave and is stiff. 

Looking at the photo, you might mistake the Flow as a shortboard, but at 35″ by 13.5″, it’s actually a ‘shorter’ longboard with a kicktail or a cruiser board.

Truck: Double Kingpin 

The Meepo Flow is equipped with a double-kingpin truck, as per the Evolve Stoke formula. Let’s hope these trucks are good.

Wheels: OEM 105mm wheels

In contrast to the Evolve Stoke’s 85mm wheels, Meepo decided to go big with 105mm wheels. It is good to see these soft 105mm resurfaced to the market. They are the OEM wheels for the late-Boosted 105s, which Boosted previously sold at about $170 a set. 

Battery:  12S2P Molicel P42A, 362Wh / 8.4AH

The Meepo Flow, like the NLS 3, has a 12S2P Molicel P42A, 362Wh / 8.4AH battery, which is significantly larger than the Evolve Stoke’s 144Wh battery. The advertised range is 23.6 miles (38km) but in our tests, we got a range of 16 miles (25.4 km) for our 155lb (70kg) rider riding fast. Again, the outcome is similar to that of the NLS 3.

Click here to read our review of the Meepo NLS 3 (AKA Meepo Envy)

ESC (Electronic Speed Controller): 12s Hobbywing ESC

The Meepo Flow uses a 12s Hobbywing ESC, which is smoother than the current-generation LingYi ESC and far superior to any ESC used by Evolve on their boards. This ESC is paired with the Meepo M4s remote, which includes a display which displays your speed and other information.

Motor: Dual 2519W belt-drive motors​

This model has the same dual belt system as the NLS 3 and is far more powerful than Evolve Stoke’s dual 1500W motors. The advertised top speed is 32 mph (51.5 km h), and our tests clocked it at 30 mph.

Specs Summary of the Meepo Flow

Meepo Flow is almost the same board as the Meepo NLS 3, just with a new deck and double kingpin trucks. These are good specifications for $749, especially if you put it beside the 10s2p 144wh Evolve Stoke. But, hey, the ride experience is more important than the stats on paper, so let’s get to it.

Riding Experience

Luckily, the Flow did not disappoint. It’s a lot of fun to ride the Meepo Flow.

Speed control on the Meepo Flow is perfect, and that is no surprise at all. After all, it was using the tried and true 12s Hobbywing ESC that delivers perfectly smooth and intuitive controlsWe are also not surprised by the power that the Flow has, since it is using the same exact motors as the NLS 3, which we reviewed a while ago. Much like the NLS 3, Meepo Flow is not insanely powerful, but is powerful and comparable to any board under $900. Accelerating uphill is not gonna be a problem even for the heaviest rider. 

The biggest highlight for us is definitely the cruiser deck. We don’t see cruiser boards too often, but more companies ought to make them. The board’s length is somewhere between a shortboard and a longboard. And it offers the best of both worlds; the board is stable at high speeds yet nimble for short turns. Because of the double kingpin trucks and shorter wheelbase, it can make a very tight U-turn.

These double kingpin trucks are also pretty good among the best; they clearly turn very well, as do all double kingpin trucks, but they aren’t too loose and stay stable at high speeds. We feel comfortable riding them at top speed.

Despite the weight of the board, the kicktail is easy to use, too. However, there is a flaw in this design. The motor guards will rub against the ground when you use the kicktail, so you are bound to get scratches on it.

Another highlight of the board is the 105mm wheels; now we know why the Boosted 105s were so talked about.

Amongst oversized street wheels, they’re the best we’ve tried so far at handling bumps, even better than the 105mm cloudwheels. They are also really grippy, giving the ride that nice sticky feel. If you enjoy soft wheels, you will like these 105mm wheels.

Our team generally likes big wheels because we don’t have the smoothest roads where we ride, and 105mm gives us peace of mind when riding because sticks, stones, and potholes won’t catch the wheels and send us flying.

Having 4 meaty yet soft wheels also takes away most of the road vibrations.

One big downside, though, is that the board is bulky and hard to carry around. Unlike most longboards, you can’t pull it like a suitcase, and lifting it can be a real workout. The board might be shaped like a shortboard, but it is certainly far from portable.

The Verdict

For the past 6 years, we’ve been reviewing electric skateboards, and not many have a cruiser deck. The last cruiser we reviewed was, in fact, the Evolve Stoke! It gave a fantastic ride but was overpriced for what it was. The Meepo Flow, on the other hand, is everything that the Evolve Stoke could be at a lower cost. It’s a comfortable cruiser board with 105mm wheels, has 12s Hobbywing ESC for ultra-smooth speed control, double-kingpin trucks for tight bends, and an easy-to-use kicktail.

Coming into the review, we thought the Meepo Flow was merely a cheap knockoff of the Evolve, but it turned out to be an “Evolve Stoke done right” and is now one of our favorite boards.

If you are interested in buying a Meepo, be sure to check out our affiliate discount link here and use code: “ESKATEHQ” to receive $10 off during checkout.
It will help you get a small monetary discount and help us out too. On top of that, you’ll be tagged as an Electric Skateboard HQ customer and probably be treated better. Cheers!

Propel Pivot S Electric Skateboard Review: A Balanced Perspective

Today, we will be reviewing the Propel Pivot S.

On July 2023, Propel, a brand that’s gained quite a following for its powerful off-terrain suspension boards and its top-tier post-sales service, is now stepping into the 2-in-1 arena with the Pivot S and the Pivot GT.

There are many boards out there that have adopted the Evolve formula (Double drop deck + DKP trucks + 2 in 1 wheel), but we haven’t seen any brand make one at the price that Propel is selling Pivot S for.

Pivot S starts at $799 for the base version and $999 for the 2-in-1 package.
(The 2-in-1 package comes with both the 97mm street wheels and the 155mm wheels.)

Now, a lower price means nothing if Propel skimmed on the specs, but this doesn’t seem to be the case here.

Propel Pivot S – Specifications

Price$799 (Street)
$999 (2 in 1)
Battery518Wh, 12S3P, Lishen LR2170SA
Controller55A LingYi ESC
Top Speed36mph(60kph)
Range97mm: 26.5miles (44km)
155mm: 54 miles (87km)
DeckCarbon hybrid BVR Unibody
Motor2×6374 Motors/ Belt Drive
Net Weight25.3lbs (11.5KG)

Deck – “BVR Deck”

At first glance, the Pivot S’s double-drop deck immediately grabs your attention with its carbon fiber and fiberglass build. It has that sleek, unibody design with no unsightly enclosure sticking out. Propel called this deck BVR “Bad Vibe Reduction” deck and said that by including fiberglass in the deck material, it would dampen road vibrations. Will it work? We shall see.

On the deck, there is the foam tape padding which gives a helping hand in cushioning those road vibrations on this stiff deck.

Stepping on Propel Pivot S
Foam grip tape

It’s around 43 inches long and 10.7 inches wide, broader than most longboard decks. And while it does have a sweet concave, the center of the deck stays pretty flat.

Concave of the deck Propel Pivot S

ESC (Electronic Speed Controller) – LingYi ESC:

Flipping the board over, you’re met with easy access to the ESC compartment, which can be popped open with five screws. Propel went for the LingYi ESC in this model, and currently, it’s paired with the standard LingYi ESC remote.

Propel Pivot S ESC assess point
5 screws to access the ESC

It’s rather jarring that a premium carbon fiber board ended with the most generic and cheap looking remote, but luckily a new remote is on its way to replace this one soon. We’ve seen the prototype, and it’s better. Anyways, this is just a cosmetic issue, as the generic LingYi ESC was functionally perfect, no connectivity issues, durable, good battery life. 

Generic Remote of the Propel Pivot S
something better-looking will replace this remote, soon.

As always, the LingYi ESC comes with ‘push to start’ features meaning the board fires up as soon as those back wheels start rolling. Like other boards with LingYi ESC, you get to choose amongst 4 acceleration modes and 4 braking modes separately, and we will talk about how they felt later.

Battery – Lishen LR2170SA

The Pivot S draws its power from a 12S3P pack with Lishen LR2170SA, 21700 cells. These cells, like those found in other premium boards such as the Exway Atlas Pro and Evolve Hadean. 

This gives the board a healthy 518Wh battery, similar to Exway Atlas, and bigger than Evolve GTR’s 504Wh battery.

Propel also went further by adopting a Printed Circuit Board Assembly design with its battery, which eliminates wires. The benefit of the PCBA design is that the battery pack will be more durable, as wire could get dislodged from vibrations.

Range – A healthy 27 miles

The marketing range is 27.3 miles (44km) with 97mm wheels;
and 15.5 miles (25km) with 155mm wheels.

As usual, Propel did not exaggerate the range; our range test with 145lb (65 kg) riders yielded an impressive 14 miles (22km) on the 155mm wheels. 

Double-Kingpin Truck – We’ve seen them around.

The Pivot S, like all 2-in-1 electric skateboards, has a double-kingpin truck. It appears to be one of those off-the-shelf double kingpin trucks that work well and are widely used.

Motors – Definitely Powerful!

motors of the Propel Pivot S

The Propel Pivot S is powered by two 1375W belt motors. These are huge 6374 motors, and they are incredibly powerful. The board’s top speed is an impressive 37 mph (60 km/h), though we only got up to 28 mph (45 kph) before it got too scary for us. Keep in mind, at high speeds, double kingpin trucks can get wobbly.

Wheels – 97mm or 155mm

pressing on Propel Pivot S 97mm wheels

The base version features 97mm PU wheels, while the optional $200 upgrade offers 155mm wheels with a Bravura alloy hub.

Accessories – Lights & Pull bars

Pivot S, like many of Propel’s boards, came with integrated brake light, which lights up during brakes. The $999 two-in-one option also comes with a pull bar which you can install.

Pull bar of the Propel Pivot S

It should be noted that the board may only be pulled when it is in the AT configuration; pulling it in the street configuration will cause the motor to scrape the ground.

Propel Pivot S motor guard scraping the ground
In street wheel configuration, the board shouldn’t be pulled.

You can also buy a headlight kit, which can be integrated into the board, but it’s an additional $150 investment.

pivot light kits from Propel

Spec Summary:

Propel Pivot S (Street) – $799:

A 12s3p carbon fiber board built with high-quality materials from a brand recognized for excellent customer service feels like a value at $799. In reality, there isn’t another product that compares. A better match would be the $849 14s2p Backfire Zealot S2 or the $999 12s3p Meepo Voyager X. Both boards are more expensive and, as you will see, provide different riding experiences. They also are not carbon fiber electric skateboards.

Read our review of the Backfire Zealot S2 here.

Read our review of the Meepo Voyager X here.

Propel Pivot S (2-in-1) – $999:

Pivot S as a carbon fiber two-in-one all-terrain electric skateboard, on the other hand, competes directly with the similarly priced Exway Atlas at $999. Both have a 518wh battery, and the devil is in the details when it comes to choosing between the two. So let’s next talk about how the board rides.

Riding Experience of the Propel Pivot S:

The Pivot S, like many other electric skateboards debuted this year, is focused on power. When you equip a skateboard built for propelling AT wheels upwards with 97mm urethane wheels, you get a skateboard with plenty of power.

Riding shots of Propel Pivot S

Fortunately, the latest version of LingYi ESC has pretty smooth controls. The first three acceleration modes are, as always, pleasant and easy to use, while the fourth ‘PRO mode’ feels too powerful for the average street rider.

When the throttle is pushed, it punches strongly. Adrenaline junkies will enjoy it, but most riders won’t need to switch to PRO mode unless they’re riding in an all-terrain setup. 

The stronger brakes are another advantage of the LingYi ESC. On an incline, LingYi ESC can better stop the wheels, whereas Hobbywing ESC usually can’t hold the board in place and will roll down the slope. This function will be useful if you plan on doing some uphill longboarding, and the Pivot S certainly offers plenty of power for uphill runs!

Besides the nuances of LingYi ESC, the board rides pretty much as well as one would expect from what we’ve seen on paper. The double-drop carbon fiber deck reduces ride height, and we always enjoy riding near the ground.

Some reviewers mentioned that the deck may be too wide and too flat in the middle, and it was uncomfortable for them as they couldn’t feel the deck concave when riding. We don’t share that opinion. The deck is comfortable for us, so I guess this is pretty subjective.

Pivot S’s large, stiff deck helps with the board’s stability, which is important because the dual kingpin trucks can feel wobbly at high speed.

You might feel more comfortable at high speeds if you’re a better rider than us or tighten the trucks further, but I’d recommend against having twin kingpin trucks if your primary goal is to ride quickly. These trucks are undoubtedly great for carving.

BVR “Bad Vibe Reduction” – Still lots of Bad Vibe

Let’s talk about the vibration now. Even with Propel’s best efforts, even going as far as branding the deck  THE “Bad Vibe Reduction” deck, foam grip tape, and those massive 97mm wheels, stiff decks feel terrible on uneven roads. We can hear rattling noises and feel road vibrations in our knees. This is just part of the bargain when getting a carbon fiber street setup, so be prepared.

riding shots of Propel Pivot S on poor roads

However, switching to the 155mm all-terrain wheels makes a huge difference. They absorb a lot of road vibrations while maintaining a low-to-the-ground ride experience. It’s quite nice. We’d go so far as to suggest that the AT setup is a must-have for anyone who rides on unpaved roads regularly.

Propel Pivot S versus Exway Atlas:

As previously said, the Propel Pivot S with 155mm wheels will almost certainly be compared to the Exway Atlas. In their all-terrain configuration, both boards will set you back $999. 

In comparison, the Exway Atlas has a smoother ride thanks to its Hobbywing ESC and precision CNC-forged axles. It also appears more sophisticated, thanks to its style and abundance of add-on accessories. However, the Propel Pivot S has greater power, while the Exway Atlas has a reputation for being an underpowered all-terrain board. Propel also appears to offer stronger post-sale service at the moment. 

Propel Pivot S Verdict:

Once again, Propel didn’t disappoint with the Propel Pivot S. It is a powerful board built well by a reliable brand. For $999, the 2-in-1 package is a pretty good deal for anyone looking for something similar (and better) to the Evolve Carbon GTR. 

When it comes to value proposition, the 97mm street set-up of the Pivot S is even better.

Unlike the 2 in 1 setup, which has competition, the street setup Pivot S is virtually unparalleled at $799. There is no other board that comes close to matching the value offered by the Pivot S. If you want a carbon fiber board with double kingpin trucks, Propel Pivot S should be the first choice for anyone shopping in this price range.

If you are interested in buying a Propel, be sure to check out our affiliate discount link here and use code: “ESKATEHQ” to receive 3% off during checkout.
It will help you get a small monetary discount and help us out too. On top of that, you’ll be tagged as an Electric Skateboard HQ customer and probably be treated better. Cheers!

The Meepo NLS 3 Review: Power, but not Only!

Today, we’re diving deep into the $699 Meepo NLS 3, AKA Meepo Envy. It’s the successor to the popular Meepo NLS and NLS Pro, which were famous for being the strongest hub-driven electric longboards at their launch.

 As a mid-range electric skateboard ($500-$900), the Meepo NLS 3 was designed for those who want something better than the entry-level boards (e.g., Meepo V3s) but are not quite ready to spend the big bucks on the flagship (e.g., the super powerful Meepo Voyager X $999). Meepo NLS and NLS Pro fit the bill quite nicely; their over-the-top power and fun & flexible deck make them quite popular back in their days. However, as you’re about to see, the NLS 3 is very different from the previous NLS models. For starters, it is now using belt drive rather than hub motors!

Specifications of the Meepo NLS 3

  • Price: $699
  • Deck: Bamboo and fiberglass. Very flexible with a good concave.
  • Trucks: 8” 50° Reverse Kingpin (RKP)
  • Wheels: 90mm wheels with a 65mm contact patch, 78A durometer​
  • ESC: 12s Hobbywing ESC
  • Motors: Dual 2519W belt-drive motors​
  • Battery: 12S2P, Molicel P42A, 362.8 Wh, 8.4AH
  • Top Speed: 32mph (52kph​)
  • Range: 24 miles(38 km​)
  • Weight: 21.4 lbs/(9.7 kg)

Aesthetics and First Impressions of the Meepo NLS 3

And it was all yell… green. I don’t know about you, but I’m not a big fan of the palm tree graphic on the grip tape, and neither am I a fan of the green color. The only part I am a fan of is the green color base plate, I think it makes the trucks look more interesting. 

However, despite my ire about the color scheme, the built quality of the NLS 3 is nonetheless great. We also like that it includes built-in bash guards on the nose and tail of the deck, this is a nice touch.

The NLS deck – Flexible Bamboo Deck with nice concave.

The Meepo NLS 3 Electric Skateboard uses a similar deck to the NLS Pro, which is great news since its predecessor had a fantastic deck. The deck is a combination of bamboo and fiberglass and is really flexible. It also has a good amount of concave, which makes it easier to control the board and gauge where our feet are.

Trucks and Wheels

The Meepo NLS 3 rides on 8″ 50° Reverse Kingpin Trucks. The stock bushings are 96A double barrels, good for lighter riders. Most of us in Electric Skateboard HQ weigh around 155 lbs (65kg), and the stock bushing works just nicely for us. Heavier riders or those who prefer a more rigid setup can opt for the extra set of 100A bushings included in the box. The trucks are incredibly stable at high speeds and offer responsive carving.

The board features 90mm polyurethane wheels with a 65mm contact area and a soft 78A durometer. 

ESC and Remote – Mum, look! It’s Hobbywing!

What surprised us was Meepo’s decision to use a 12S Hobbywing ESC on the NLS 3, departing from their controversial habit of sticking to LingYi ESC in their entire lineup. 

This tells us that the NLS 3 is prioritizing a buttery smooth ride over aggressive power. For those who don’t know, LingYi ESC is known to give a punchy and untamed acceleration at its highest speed mode; while Hobbywing ESC is known for its perfectly intuitively smooth speed control throughout all its speed modes. Both have their fans; most of us here prefer Hobbywing ESC (we are not adrenaline junkies :P). 

This ESC comes with four-speed modes and a smart turn-on feature and pairs with Meepo’s M5S remote. This remote houses an OLED display, providing essential stats such as battery levels, current speed, odometer, and trip length.

Motors and Performance

The Meepo NLS 3 is powered by dual 2519W belt-drive motors, promising a thrilling top speed of 32mph / 52kph. The motors also provide a pleasant whizzing sound during rides, which is far more appealing than the harsh screech often associated with lower-quality boards.

The hill-climbing ability is specified at 26%, making it suitable for heavier riders or those living in hilly areas.

Meepo Envy NLS 3 motors

Battery – 12s2p Molicel P42A

The NLS 3 is powered by a Molicel P42A in a 12s2p setup, providing 362.8 Wh of energy. The company advertises a range of 24 miles (38 km), but we get a slightly lower range of 16.5 miles (26.5 km) with a 155lbs (70 kg) rider riding fast.

Obviously, we are slightly disappointed, but this result is not unexpected. Boards with big belt motors tend to drain batteries fast, for instance, we get the same range on our Tynee Mini 3 Pro too, and that board has a higher 393WH battery.

Read our review of the Tynee Mini 3 Pro here!

For context, the 12s2p setup with 21700 cells is quite standard for mid-range electric skateboards at present. If you’re looking for more range, Meepo essentially nudges you towards their $999 Voyager X with its 12s3p 544Wh battery.

While the battery size of NLS 3 didn’t particularly exceed our expectations, the inclusion of a 4.5A fast charger right out of the box is great news. It allows you to charge your board fully in just two hours, which is a significant convenience. Most other brands would charge extra for such a fast charger, often over $80.

Furthermore, the ESC and battery are well-protected. Both are housed in their own sealed enclosures, making the NLS 3 fairly water-resistant, although there is no official waterproof rating.

The Motor – From Hubs to Belts

The most substantial shift from the previous NLS models is the motor type. The NLS 3 uses a belt motor system as opposed to the hub motors used in its predecessors. 

These are a pair of powerful motors, each with a power rating of 2519 Watts. 

Meepo loves to pack over the top top speed for their boards, and as expected, the NLS 3 can reach an impressive top speed of 32 mph (or 52 kph). We manage to hit that in our testing.

For those who don’t know the difference between hub and belt: the belt-drive system gives the board more torque [thanks to gear reduction] and also a smoother ride [thanks to having four real PU wheels as opposed to 2 stiff hub backwheels]. However, belt drives are also less energy efficient, are noisier, cost more, and have more maintenance needed, such as belt change. If you care about the ride feels, you’d want a belt-driven board.

Truck and Wheels

Meepo uses their trusted Shredder truck, which are 8” 50° RKP trucks with 96A double barrel bushings and includes an additional set of 100A bushings for heavier riders. 

The wheels are 90mm and 78A with a 65mm contact patch. 

Meepo NLS 3 Ride Experience – Smooth and Powerful

The shift to Hobbywing ESC signals that Meepo wants the NLS 3 to be as smooth of a ride as it could be. After all, smooth speed control + flexible deck + responsive truck + belt drives are all ingredients for a butter smooth ride and also maximum carving fun.

And the result does not disappoint! 12s Hobbywing ESC gives the NLS 3 a perfectly intuitive and smooth acceleration and braking. It is quite powerful too! Not to the level of power specialists such as Voyager X or Backfire Zealot X, but certainly on par with pricier boards such as the Zealot S2, and certainly more powerful than the board of the same price tier such as the Wowgo Pioneer X4 and the Exway Flex ER Riot. 

Read our review of the Meepo Voyager X here!

Or read our review of the Backfire Zealot X here!

The deck of the NLS 3 especially stands out, it is quite flexible, and the more pronounced concave makes the board more responsive to control. The concave also makes it easy for us to gauge where our feet are. 

The trucks are responsive and easy to turn; they feel a little bit tighter than genuine Paris Trucks. It’s stable enough for us to ride up to 30mph before it becomes scary.

To no one surprise, the NLS 3 does well in reducing road vibration, too, thanks to having a flexible deck and going with a belt system. 

Verdict on the Meepo NLS 3

The Meepo NLS 3 is a well-rounded and reliable electric skateboard that is well-constructed, offers excellent speed control thanks to Hobbywing ESC, and a smooth ride, thanks to its super nice deck. It also has more power and speed than its similarly priced competitors.

I think Meepo NLS 3 biggest weakness is lacking any “wow” factors such as ride profile customizations, integrated lights, or mobile apps. It also didn’t overdeliver on battery size and range as some smaller budget brands might do. Also, I’m not a fan of the palm tree theme and the color green.

With all that said, if you’re looking for a well-rounded board with great power and a super comfortable ride, the Meepo NLS 3 is a perfectly good choice. Plus, you know you’re not paying for extra features that you won’t use.

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

Verreal ACE Review: Is This $599 Electric Skateboard Worth It?

Verreal has recently released a new electric shortboard, the Verreal ACE, priced at $599. This board is considered a mid-tier shortboard, with a price tag that is $200 more than your typical entry-level electric shortboard. So, what makes the Verreal ACE stand out and deserve that higher price? Let’s dive into the specs and features to find out.

Verreal ACE – Key Specifications

  • Deck: 29″ (75 cm) deck – maple + fiberglass
  • Truck: Generic RKP trucks
  • Wheels: 90mm with 105mm Grey Cloudwheels option (+$100)
  • ESC: 12s Hobbywing ESC, 3-speed mode, with OLED remote
  • Motor: 1500W x2 Hobbywing 5255 motors,
  • Top speed – 30 mph (50 km/h)
  • Battery: 12S2P 8Ah 345.6Wh with Samsung 40T 21700,
  • Range: 15.5 miles -18.5 miles (25km – 30km)
  • Weight: 17.6 lbs (8 kg)

Verreal ACE has No IP rating, but it has water-resistant. The board’s enclosure was sealed off with a silicone gasket, and there was a silicone O-ring pad for the charge port and power button.

However, I wouldn’t ride it on wet roads anyways, as battery durability suffers when wet, and skateboard wheels don’t grip well on wet roads. (Don’t ask me how I found out about that).

Motor and Battery

After examining the specs, it’s clear that a significant portion of the budget has gone into the large, powerful motors and the high-quality Samsung 40T battery. Verreal always prioritizes specs over styles and did the same with the Verreal ACE. This board has a look of an entry-level electric shortboard but has a lot of battery and an outrageously powerful motor for the $599 price tag.

Speed Control and Performance

The Verreal ACE uses the familiar 12s Hobbywing ESC, which provides smooth and intuitive speed controls. However, the powerful acceleration can be tricky to handle on a shortboard. The board tends to do a wheelie when the throttle is pulled. We have to really brace ourselves and make sure we didn’t put weights on the kicktail, or else the strong acceleration will put weight on the back foot, engaging the kicktail, raising the nose of the deck, and throw us off the board.

Verreal ACE, kicktail engaged

This may scare inexperienced riders, but experienced riders who love power and are comfortable with shortboards will likely appreciate this feature.

The kicktail is easy to use (when intended to), and the board turns easily, as most shortboards do. The trucks are relatively stable, which we are comfortable pushing to around 20mph(30km/h). Once passed that speed, it became quite scary. That said, we did not and are not planning to verify the marketed top speed of 30 mph (50 km/h). The board is faster than it needs to be, really.

Verreal ACE - Riding shots

We do know, however, that Verreal did not overstate the range. Our 220 lbs (100 kg) test rider achieved the promised 15 miles (24 km) in a single charge.

Deck and Ride Comfort

Verreal ACE deck

The deck is 11.8 inches (30 cm) wide, providing enough room for even new riders to feel comfortable. As with most shortboards, the stiff deck can make for a less comfortable ride on rough roads due to road vibrations.

Verreal ACE on rough road
We were blessed with super rough road.

However, the belt-driven Verreal ACE performs better in this regard than hub-driven shortboards. Switching to cloud wheels can improve ride comfort on rough roads without sacrificing torque, as the Verreal ACE has plenty of power to spare.

Comparison with Competitors

When compared to competitors like the Tynee Mini 2 and the Exway Wave, the Verreal ACE excels in stability, has a more useful kicktail, and offers superior power. The Tynee Mini 2 is more stable at high speeds but is heavier to kick the tail. The Exway Wave is more maneuverable, fun to carve, and easy to kick-turn but less stable.

Click here to read our review on the Tynee Mini 2 and Exway Wave!

Verdict – Verreal ACE

The Verreal ACE is a mini powerhouse with incredible torque and power. For beginners looking for a fun electric shortboard to ride around, the power may be overkill and make the board less relaxing to ride.

Verreal Ace riding photo

However, seasoned skateboarders who want a shortboard with ridiculous power, or heavier riders who need every bit of power for uphill rides, will find that the Verreal ACE is tailor-made for them.

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

Backfire Zealot S2 Review: A Premium Electric Skateboard Under $1000

In our previous post, we reviewed the impressive Backfire Zealot X, a $1200 belt-driven electric skateboard that excelled in power, aesthetics, build quality, and riding enjoyment. Today, we’re taking a closer look at its more affordable sibling, the $849 Backfire Zealot S2. If you haven’t read our review of the Backfire Zealot X yet, we recommend checking it out first.

Main Differences Between Zealot S2 and Zealot X

The two boards share many similarities, but three key differences make the Zealot S2 $400 cheaper.

SpecificationZealot XZealot S2
Price$1,199$849
Deck38″ x 10.6″ Composite Deck – Glass Fiber, Maple. Stiff, minimal concaveSimilar
ESC14s Hobbywing ESC; smart turn-onSimilar
RemoteHalo Remote, OLED display, 4-speed modesSimilar
BatterySamsung 50S 14S2P, 504Wh, 50.4VSamsung 40T 14S2P, 403.2Wh
Motors1500W x2 – Belt Motors875W x2 – Belt Motors
Marketed Range34 miles / 55 km30 miles / 48 km
Marketed Top Speed31 mph or 50 km/h30 mph or 48 km/h
Trucks8.5″ Forged Truck (10.6 inch / 270 mm CNC Precision Forging)8″ Cast Trucks
Wheels96MM / 80A Street wheelsSimilar
Other FeaturesIce Blue Board Light, Smartphone AppSimilar, but with Purple LED lights

1. Battery Size and Range

First, the Zealot S2 has a slightly smaller battery, using Samsung 40T cells instead of the Zealot X’s Samsung 50S, resulting in a 403.2Wh battery compared to the Zealot X’s 504Wh. Fortunately, the Zealot S2 maintains the 14s2p configuration, giving it an advantage in power and torque over other boards in this price range, which typically use 12s configurations.

The Zealot S2 boasts an advertised range of 30 miles or 48km, and our 155lb 70kg rider achieved 23 miles or 37km while riding at high speeds. Surprisingly, this is slightly better than the range we got on the Zealot X. With a heavier 220 lbs 100kg rider, the Zealot X managed only 20 miles or 32 km. This highlights the impact of rider weight on mileage and, perhaps, the smaller motors on the Zealot S2 limit how fast one can drain the battery.

2. Motor Power

That brings us to the second difference, the motors: the Backfire Zealot S2 uses a pair of 875W 5255 motors, while the Zealot X features 1500W 6358 motors. Even with smaller 875W motors, the Backfire Zealot S2 never feels underpowered.

We reached a top speed of 30.5mph or 49km/h in turbo mode, practically identical to the Zealot X. The only difference is that the Zealot X accelerates rapidly from the start, while the Zealot S2’s acceleration isn’t as aggressive. For some context, the Zealot S2’s power and torque are slightly behind the Meepo Voyager X and neck and neck to the Exway Flex Pro.

You can read our reviews on Meepo Voyager X (here), and Exway Flex Pro (here).

3. Trucks

The third distinction lies in the trucks. The Zealot S2 utilizes a pair of cast trucks, while the Zealot X has forged trucks, which, unsurprisingly, perform better besides being more durable. When we reviewed the Zealot X, we were impressed by how good the trucks are. The Zealot X turns easily like a double kingpin truck while still amazingly stable at top speeds. In comparison, the Zealot S2’s 8″ reverse kingpin trucks felt slightly tighter and less responsive, sacrificing a bit of carving fun in favor of stability.

However, this is not to say that these trucks were bad. They are still very good; it just goes to show how exceptional the trucks on the Zealot X are.

Shared Features with the Zealot X

Apart from these differences, the Backfire Zealot S2 shares all the fantastic features and outstanding build quality of the Zealot X. This means the Zealot S2 boasts cool elements like the LED light strips along the deck, this time in purple; the premium-feeling halo remote, and the included Kegel pulley for easy wheel swaps.

The ESC remains the 14s Hobbywing ESC, which is well-known for being smooth, intuitive, and powerful in both acceleration and braking.

Shared Drawbacks with the Zealot X

However, the similarities between the two boards also extend to certain drawbacks. For instance, the Zealot S2 shares the same deck as the Zealot X, which is a 39-inch composite deck made of ABS, glass fiber, and maple.

The deck is stiff and mostly flat, featuring only a subtle concave at the edges. Consequently, it can be challenging to gauge foot placement without looking down or readjusting during the ride. The stiff deck also doesn’t provide much comfort when riding on rough terrain.

we have some rough road here

Thankfully, as a belt-driven board with sizable 96mm wheels, the ride isn’t too uncomfortable on rough roads, but there is room for improvement. Upgrading to larger wheels would enhance the board’s vibration-dampening capabilities, as well as increase top speed and ground clearance – rather important, as the motor mounts currently sit quite close to the ground.

By the way, we tested Backfire’s 120mm wheels and were pretty impressed. They provided excellent vibration absorption and maintained a solid grip even on wet roads.

Comparison with Competitors

So, how does the Backfire Zealot S2 fare in comparison to its competitors?

Priced at $849, the Zealot S2 is likely to be compared with the $899 Exway Flex Pro and the $999 Meepo Voyager. Among these, the Zealot S2 holds its ground quite well. Although it offers slightly less exhilarating acceleration and a lower top speed than the Meepo Voyager, the Zealot S2 and Flex Pro both surpass the Meepo in terms of smooth speed control. Moreover, the Backfire and Exway boards boast a more premium feel in their build and design.

On the flip side, we find the Zealot S2’s deck to be the least appealing among the three, as it’s too flat for foot comfort and too stiff for enjoyable carving. In contrast, the Flex Pro features the most flexible deck with a comfortable concave, enhancing carving fun at the expense of high-speed stability. Meanwhile, the Voyager’s deck strikes a balance between the two, offering slightly more flex than the Zealot’s deck and a comfortable concave.

In terms of battery capacity, the Zealot S2’s 403Wh battery outperforms the 345Wh battery in the Exway Flex Pro but falls short of the Meepo Voyager’s 544.3Wh.

Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference. Backfire might argue that the Zealot S2 has better spec than the Exway Flex Pro Belt and offers a more enjoyable riding experience than the Meepo Voyager – and, indeed, there is truth to that claim.

Conclusion

If you’re seeking a stylish, sub-$1000 electric skateboard with a premium appearance, solid specs, and stability at high speeds, the Backfire Zealot S2 could be an ideal choice.

It may not be the perfect fit for those who prefer a more flexible deck with a pronounced concave, but this minor shortcoming is easy to overlook when everything else is near perfection. Undoubtedly, the Backfire Zealot S2 will be a popular pick for the best electric skateboard under $1000.

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