Acedeck Nomad N3 Review – Very Different.

Acedeck has released a new board called the Nomad N3. The standard Nomad N3 is available for $1899, while an elite model with a larger battery costs $2199.

Compared to Acedeck’s own Nyx series, the Nomad series seems to receive less attention. My guess is that this is the case since the Nomad initially appears to be simply another AT board in an extremely competitive market. 

However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. When we took a closer look, we realized the Nomad N3 is probably the most unique AT board in the market right now. 

Acedeck Nomad N3 Specs:

Price$1899 – $2199
Battery1554Wh 14s6p Samsung1304Wh 14s6p Molicel P42A
ControllerCustom Acedeck ESC
Top Speed37 Mph (60 Kph)
Range55 Miles (90 km)43 Miles (70 km)
DeckMulti-layer composite deck
Motor6890 150KV 7500W*2 for N3 Elite6384 150KV 4500W*2 for standard N3
Net Weight44.3lbs (20.1kg)

Deck – Multi Layer Composite Deck:

Starting with the deck, Nomad is the only production eskate we know of with a split-angle deck. We just love to have something different than a typical double-drop deck, which everybody else is going with right now. With the split-angle deck, the front of the deck angles upwards to increase steering ability, and the back of the deck curves downwards to increase stability. We’re curious as to why there aren’t more boards on the market that use split-angle decks because people seem to really love the Nomad N1’s deck. 

The deck material is a multi-layer composite of carbon fiber, maple, fiberglass, and bamboo. 

Compared to the previous Nomad N1, the deck is somewhat wider on the N3. It also has a nice W concave on it, and we were told that it is less pronounced than the previous N1 to make it more comfortable to stand on. 

The deck is pretty stiff, as stiff as a typical carbon fiber deck. It uses foam-layered grip tape that gives it a more serious and purposeful look. Acedeck also included the N1 version of grip tape in the box, in case that suits your taste better. There are also accent lights on the front and side of the deck, which can be turned on and off using the remote.

ESC and Remote – Custom Acedeck ESC:

As for the ESC, the Nomad N3 is paired with a 14s custom ESC, which, if we have to guess, was based on the tried and true Hobbywing ESC. It comes with four-speed settings and a smart turn-on feature. It’s paired with an Acedeck customized remote with a screen for telemetry where the board power, top, speed, acceleration curve, braking, and even the lights under the deck can be customized through the remote menu.

Battery – 1304Wh or 1554Wh 14s6p battery:

Moving on to the battery, you can choose between the standard version, which is powered by a 1304Wh 14s6p Molicel P42A, or the Elite version, which is powered by a 1554Wh 14s6p Samsung battery, which is almost twice the battery capacity of the Nomad N1. The standard version is marketed to have a range of up to 43 miles (70 km), and the Elite version its marketed range is up to 55 miles (90 km). 

It took us a long while to complete the range test, and we got 41 miles (66km) riding fast.

Motor – 150kV Gear Drive System:

Powering this Nomad N3 is a gear drive system similar to the one on the Nyx Z3 with a gear ratio of 1:4. From our experience with the Nyx Z3, we already know that they are both powerful and have amazing torque. They are also regularly quiet compared to other gear drive systems on the market which isn’t something you see every day.

It is also worth mentioning that this new gear drive system is about 30% more compact, which translates to higher ground clearance, especially when compared to some belt drives. 

We prefer gear drive systems over belt drive systems, as there’s no need for belt maintenance. Also, since this drive system is completely enclosed, it is protected from dust and debris, which makes for hassle-free off-road riding.

Gear drives are also more efficient in terms of power delivery, so they tend to get more mileage out of the battery. 

The Nomad N3 is marketed to have a top speed of 37mph+ (60kph+), which is higher than boards like the Propel Endeavors2 Pro or the Meepo Vader. In our top speed test, we managed to hit 34 mph (55 kph), but some other reviewers had gotten 36mph (58 kph) and you can increase the top speed further by upgrading to 8-inch tires.

Trucks and Wheels – Precision True Kingpin Trucks and 8” AT Wheels:

Next, for the trucks, the Nomad N3 uses precision TKP trucks, which are marketed to have the turning radius of a Double King Pin truck combined with the Traditional Kinpin truck’s stability. They also redesigned the bridge angles and hanger, which are CNC machined and the axles are still 10mm, for improved durability.

We also like the bullbar protection system, which gives the board a distinct, almost military look.  You can use it to ram into others during battle, and during peacetime, it doubles as a handle for you to pull this hefty board around.

The Nomad N3 comes pre-installed with 92A bushings, which are pretty soft. If the truck feels too soft for you, you can always swap it for the stiffer 98A bushings. Acedeck also includes thicker bushing cups, which can give you an even stiffer setup. 

It’s also good to note that the wheel hubs are also CNC machined, much unlike regular plastic hubs you’d see on the market. 

There is also an 1100-lumens integrated light system in the works

Specs Summary of the Nomad N3:

Acedeck has always produced beautiful boards, and this one exudes luxury. 

What is surprising for us is that if you look around the market, $1899 usually gets you a board with a 14s4p battery or less. So, despite presumably spending a good amount of money on R&D and using exclusively high-quality parts, the Nomad N3 still manages to outbid rivals on pricing.

Riding Experience Nomad N3:

One of the first things we notice when riding the Nomad N3 is how nimble it is, which is surprising for such a heavy board. The split deck system, plus this new TKP truck, is a big game changer. It’s really responsive and easy to turn, might even be a bit too loose right out of the box. We tightened it up a little to make it just right for us.  

With this split deck system, the front truck is responsive and has the turning radius of double kingpin trucks, yet it feels more stable than your average double kingpin truck.

The carving was really fun on the Nomad N3, too, which is no small feat for a 44.3 lbs board with AT wheels. A lot more fun than other big AT boards for sure.

And it didn’t compromise stability either. Having a split-angled deck also means the back trucks of the boards are stable and, hence, won’t give you speed wobble. We feel very comfortable going top speed with it. The W-concave also makes our feet feel secure.

The Nomad N3 has the same motors and likely the same ESC as the Nyx Z3, and the speed control, torque, and power are very similar. The torque on the Nomad N3 is super strong, and you will feel the high-voltage system in action. The acceleration is quick and punchy and can effortlessly get you to the top speed. Acedeck did a beautiful job configuring the speed control, and even though the acceleration is rapid and strong, it wasn’t harsh and didn’t have the jolt that many boards with LingYi ESC might have. The braking is equally smooth but strong, and those who like strong brakes would definitely be happy about this.

Another thing about the Nomad N3 is that despite having a rigid deck, the large all-terrain wheels and foam grip tape helped to reduce most, if not all, of the vibrations from the road.

Verdict – Acedeck Nomad N3:

To us, the Acedeck Nomad N3 is like a Sport SUV. It is mainly for urban commuting or even racing, but it can certainly handle some off-road riding. The thing we love most about it is definitely how nimble it is, making it possible to ride on sidewalks or amongst foot traffic.

You can hardly find another board that has this blend of power, comfort, stability, and responsiveness, just like you can hardly find a board this well built, well specced for only $1899.

Our only regret here is that we already made a list of the Best Electric Skateboard of the Year, and it’s too late to put this one in.

If you are interested in buying the Acedeck, 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!

Acedeck Nyx Z3 Review – Best mountainboard!

In 2023, we saw and Lacroix closing shops. Rising from the dust is Acedeck with its Nyx Z1, and this year, they’ve launched the latest edition of the series, the Nyx Z3.

We don’t know why they skipped over Z2, but we do know that the Nyx Z1 was wildly popular as one of the better mountain board builds. The 2024 Nyx Z3 has some upgrades, including a new shock-absorbing truck system, integrated lights, and an option for a bigger 14s6p battery.

Acedeck Nyx Z3 Specs:

Nyx Z3 Off Road (653Wh)Nyx Z3 Off Road (1036Wh)Nyx Z3 Off Road (1295Wh)Nyx Z3 Off Road Elite (1554Wh)
Battery14s3p 653Wh Molicel P42A14s4p 1036Wh Samsung14s5p 1295Wh Samsung14s6p 1554Wh Samsung
ControllerCustom Acedeck ESC
Top Speed37 Mph (60 Kph)
Range24 miles (40 km)37 miles (60 km)49 miles (80 km)59 miles (95 km)
DeckMulti-layer composite deck
Motor6384 150KV 4500W*2 Gear drive
Net Weight18.9kg (41.67lbs)20.2kg (44.53lbs)21.2kg (46.74lbs)22.1kg (48.72lbs)

Deck – Multi-Layer Composite Deck

Starting with the deck, the Nyx Z3 is a mountainboard deck made of a multi-layer composite maple, bamboo, and carbon fiber. The Z3’s flexible deck, which carries over from the Nyx Z1, effectively dampens vibrations. This design is a favorite among off-roaders and die-hard eskaters because it places the battery box atop the deck, allowing for maximum ground clearance. 

The deck boasts a moderate concave and sufficient flexibility, as expected from a build like this.
Pre-drilled holes for foot bindings are included, although Acedeck does not currently provide foot bindings out of the box. Additionally, the front handle adds convenience to the board’s design.

ESC and Remote – Custom Acedeck ESC:

Moving onto the ESC, Acedeck used their custom ESC, presumably modeled after the trusty Hobbywing ESC. It comes with four-speed settings and a smart turn-on feature. The board is paired with the standard Hobbywing remote with a screen for telemetry where the board’s power, top, speed, acceleration curve, and braking can be customized through the remote menu.

Battery – 14s Samsung Molicel:

As the Nyx Z3 is an all-terrain adrenaline beast, it comes as no surprise it’s powered by some beefy battery units. All Nyx Z3 versions have a 14s battery arrangement, ranging from 653Wh to a whopping 1554Wh. 

With a 14s4p battery configuration, our model, the 1036Wh, is marketed as having a range of up to 37 miles (60km). And in our tests, with both a 154lbs (70 kg) rider and a 220lbs (100kg) rider taking turns, we managed to make it to 26 miles (42 km) while riding fast.

Motor – 6384 150kv Dual 4500W Gear Drive:

Now, let’s talk about the gear drive. This is a 6384 150KV 4500W*2 gear drive system. We always expected gear drives from a higher-ended board, and Acedeck is no stranger to putting gear drives into their boards, as all of their premium line-ups use gear drives. It’s also a fully enclosed system so you never have to be afraid of debris getting stuck in the motor system and ruining your ride. Here, the gear ratio is 4:1.

We tested these motors and were able to reach 34.18 mph (55 kph), out of their advertised top speed of 37.28 mph (60 km/h).

Trucks and Wheels – Suspension Trucks and 8-inch AT Wheels:

As for the trucks, the Nyx Z3 features a new and different suspension system, which is different from what we have seen from Propel, Ecombl, and Bajaboard. Unlike conventional trucks, the Nyx Z3 utilizes a compact design based on a channel truck platform, and Acedeck claims that it would be more stable and comfortable than what other brands put out. Systems like this allow the four tires to move up and down independently from each other,  improving the board’s smoothness on uneven surfaces.

There are two ways to change the truck’s tightness.
Replace both bushings with the red 85A bushing for heavier riders, or swap out all of the bushings with the white 75A bushing for more flexible steering.  The screw’s tightness will also have an impact on how tight the truck is; just like with a regular truck, tightening the screw here will pressure the bushings and increase the truck’s stability. It’s helpful to have Loctite with you if you were to tinker with the screws, as if it gets too loose, the truck will be wobbly.

Paired with the trucks are these wheels 8-inch all-terrain wheels, pretty standard here.

The board itself is obviously heavy as well; the lightest version weighs 41 lbs (19 kg), and the heaviest is the Elite version, which weighs 49 lbs (22 kg).

You also have the option to buy a variant with the 1100-lumen premium front lights, but that will set you back another $120 bucks. Ours didn’t come with the lights, but every variant of the Nyx Z3 does come with integrated brake lights, which turn on when you apply the brakes

Specs Summary of the Acedeck Nyx Z3:

If you are buying a $1999, I would assume you are not the type of person who puts too much focus on how much specs you get per dollar you spend. You are probably more concerned with the product quality and the entire ride experience in this case. 

However, we at Electric Skateboard HQ love our charts and numbers and couldn’t resist making that comparison. We expected Nyx Z3 to cost more or have fewer specs than boards at a similar price, since mountain board style decks, gear drives, and suspension trucks are more expensive to design and manufacture than other boards yet what we found is that the Nyx Z3 was actually priced lower than comparable boards on the market.

If you like to do your own research, you can check out the spec chart we compiled for all electric skateboard here.

It’s not too hard to see why Acedeck has been such a rising star when they can put out high-end boards that were built beautifully while managing to price them lower than competitors.

Ride Experience of Acedeck Nyx Z3

With builds like this, we expect torque and power for off-road rides and pray that the board has good speed control to harness that power comfortably.

We expect the suspension trucks and flexible deck to absorb most of the road vibration and be super stable on ‘straight-line’ but hope it’s not too difficult to turn and make it unrideable on sidewalks with tight turns.

And this is what we feel about the board after riding it: Nyx Z3 is definitely a superb mountain board that can handle mountain trails and any road conditions. It has a strong torque, and you will feel the high-voltage system in action. The acceleration is quick and punchy and can easily propel you to the top speed. Acedeck did a beautiful job configuring the speed control, and even though the acceleration is rapid and strong, it wasn’t harsh and didn’t have the jolt that many boards with LingYi ESC might have. 

The braking is equally smooth but strong; those who like strong brakes would be happy about this. However, the brake is not able to lock the board when halting on an incline; it is almost able to, but the board will still slide down very, very slowly.

The suspension system also did amazingly well. No road vibration whatsoever when riding off-road. It is hard for us to draw a comparison between this suspension truck and other suspension trucks, such as the one on Propels, as both did their job completely well. 

But strictly speaking, the Nyx Z3 has an advantage here since, unlike the Propel Endeavours, it also features a flexible deck where you can put foot bindings for bouncy off-road conditions. 

Many riders vouch for foot bindings, not so much for their off-road security as for their ability to shift your body weight aggressively for tighter turns, which brings us to the next point: maneuverability. 

Right out of the box, this is really a ‘straight-line’ box for us. It is heavy to turn, but very easy and stable to travel in a straight line. Keep in mind, we are scrawny Asian here, and it’s not easy for our 155 lbs weight to turn the trucks. However, there are solutions: the trucks were considerably easier to turn and much more responsive after we switched to the white 75A bushing.

At the end of the day,  you can choose a configuration that suits you perfectly. Of course, Acedeck did not miraculously find a way to make suspension trucks that are also easy to turn, but we think this is as good as it gets. With the right configuration, this is easier to turn and more responsive than the suspension trucks on the Propel Endeavors2 Pro. 

In terms of responsiveness, these trucks are somewhere between TKP trucks and Double Kingpin. That’s if you take the time to configure them right.

Verdict – Acedeck Nyx Z3:

Until competition catches up, Acedeck Nyx Z3 is undoubtedly the best option for a mountain board like this. It is a board that will get you a lot of attention during a group ride and then also leaves everyone in the dust during the said group ride. It is a board that is super comfortable and powerful enough to ride alongside road traffic with no fear of potholes, but it may be less practical if you have to maneuver around other people on the sidewalks.

It’s also a board that you can use for off-road trail runs when you’re in the mood for some extra excitement. Essentially, if you have the money, you should get the Nyx Z3, which has all the excitement that an electric skateboard can provide.

If you are interested in buying the Acedeck, 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 X Review: A Premium Electric Skateboard

In March 2023, Backfire introduced two new premium electric skateboards to their lineup: the 849 Backfire Zealot S2. These boards are the latest additions to the wildly successful Zealot series. Today, we’ll be reviewing the Backfire Zealot X, which is poised to become the best premium electric longboard on the market.

Aesthetics: Stunning Design and Eye-catching Features

While the ideal electric skateboard may vary from person to person, one thing everyone can agree on is the stunning design of the Backfire Zealot X.

From the high-quality aluminum remote that exudes luxury to the CNC forged trucks, not to mention the eye-catching LED board lights and the glowing T-emblem on the front that every reviewer can’t wait to showcase, this board is undoubtedly a showstopper.

Performance: Impressive Specs and Top-notch Components

Let’s dive into the specs and see what the Backfire Zealot X has to offer:

Backfire Zealot X – Build and Specs

  • Price: $1,199
  • Deck: 38” x 10.6” Composite Deck – Glass Fiber, Maple. Stiff, minimal concave
  • ESC: 14s Hobbywing ESC; smart turn-on
  • Remote: Halo Remote, OLED display, 4-speed modes
  • Battery: Samsung 50S 14S2P, 504Wh, 50.4V
  • Motors: 1500W x2 – Belt Motors
  • Marketed Range: 34 miles / 55 km
  • Marketed Top Speed: 31 mph or 50 km/h
  • Trucks: 8.5″ Forged Truck (10.6 inch / 270 mm CNC Precision Forging) 
  • Wheels: 96MM / 80A Street wheels
  • Other Features:
    • Ice Blue Board Light
    • Smartphone App

Battery and Range

The Zealot X is equipped with 14S2P Samsung 50S, high-quality 21000 cells, providing the board with a substantial 504 Wh capacity.

The board boasts an advertised range of 34 miles or 55 km, and our 220 lbs (100kg) riders achieved 20 miles or 32 km while riding fast. This is pretty reasonable and on par with the real-world range of other 500Wh belt-driven boards, such as the Meepo Voyager X.

Motors and Top Speed

To ensure optimal power, Backfire has equipped the Zealot X with a pair of 6358 motors; each rated at 1500W. The claimed top speed is 31 mph (50 km/h), which we were able to reach in turbo mode.

As expected, an $1199 board should boast an even higher top speed; however, many riders, including ourselves, may not have access to roads suitable for such extreme speeds anyway.

Wheels and Customization

These powerful motors drive four sets of 96mm 80A wheels.

Backfire Zealot X 96mm wheels

Notably, Backfire has thoughtfully included a Kegel pulley in the package, allowing you to easily swap into Backfire’s 120mm wheels or experiment with other wheel options.

Riding Experience: Power, Speed, and Stability

As you can see, the specs are impressive but not extraordinary, given the price. After all, premium boards come with solid specs; what sets the exceptional ones apart is the riding experience, and the Zealot X certainly delivers an amazing experience, especially when it comes to power.

Trucks and Handling

The Backfire Zealot X is a board designed for fast riding, ideally on a long stretch of smooth road. That’s not to say it can only go in a straight line. No, the Backfire Zealot X features trucks that strike a perfect balance between easy turning and stability.

There’s nothing we can nitpick about these trucks; they enable smooth carving and tight turns and, through some sorcery, remain incredibly stable at high speeds.

Acceleration and ESC

The power of the Backfire Zealot X is truly remarkable. It accelerates more forcefully than any other board at this price point. Compared to another powerful board like the Meepo Voyager X, the Zealot X maintains robust acceleration up to its top speed, while the Meepo Voyager X’s acceleration tapers off after an initial burst. Importantly, the thrill of rapid acceleration doesn’t come at the expense of smooth control, as the Hobbywing ESC remains incredibly smooth and intuitive, even in the fastest turbo mode.

We’re all about unbiased comparisons, so here’s our review of Meepo Voyager X.

Deck and Comfort

The 39-inch composite deck, made of ABS, glass fiber, and maple, is quite stiff, which contributes to stability at high speeds but makes for less enjoyable relaxed carving. We also aren’t fans of the deck’s flatness; the deck has a slight concave at the edges, not where you would place your feet.

This means that it’s difficult to gauge where our feet are without looking, often requiring us to glance down or readjust our footing during the ride. A more pronounced concave would definitely be an improvement here.

Vibration Dampening and Wheel Upgrades

The second notable weakness of the Zealot X is its limited ability to dampen vibrations from rough roads. While the belt drive and four sizable 96mm wheels do provide some vibration dampening, the deck plays a crucial role in this aspect. Unfortunately, the stiff deck of the Zealot X doesn’t do much to counteract road vibrations.

Naturally, switching to larger wheels can help alleviate this issue.

Upgrading to 120mm MO wheels will improve the ride quality and also increase the top speed. Additionally, the larger wheels will also increase ground clearance, which the Zealot X could benefit from as the motor mounts are hanging really close to the ground.

Backfire Zealot X riding shot
Look at the motor mount, so close to the ground.

Final Verdict: A Top Choice for High-speed Enthusiasts

Despite our reservations about the flat deck and our general preference for more flexible decks, the Backfire Zealot X remains one of the top choices for boards slightly above $1000, and the clear top pick for those who love the thrill of high-speed riding. It also sets a new standard for aesthetics, from the stunning Halo Remote to the head-turning lighting along the board’s edge.

Backfire Zealot X Halo REmote

However, maintaining the pristine white color of the enclosure may prove to be a challenge.

All in all, the Backfire Zealot X will likely be the benchmark against which all premium electric longboards will be compared for at least the next few years.

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!

Hoyt St. EL1 Review – Beauty in the Details

Follow the discussion on Reddit here


Before I begin, I must disclose that I’ve had a long history with the EL1.

Hoyt St. first sent an EL1 to me all the way back in May of 2019. At first, they didn’t want me to write a review on it because they wanted to slowly ramp up production and had kinks to work out. Instead, Hoyt simply wanted me to test it really hard and see what I could do with it, then report back my opinions. I was happy to do this, and the conversation back and forth has been constant since then.

Today’s date is June 5th, 2020. It’s been a whole year plus some since I first stepped on the EL1. Hoyt has finally given me the OK to write my review. And I have some thoughts.

It’s All In The Details

The Hoyt EL1 is an unconventional package indeed. From the moment you open the box, the attention to detail is apparent. For example, each EL1 comes with a carrying bag. This isn’t your run of the mill carrying bag mind you. Not only did Hoyt custom design this bag specifically for the EL1, they also had the forethought to make the bag a part of the packaging as a replacement for your typical environmentally unfriendly styrofoam.

Inside the carrying/shipping bag, the remote control and charger is tucked away in their own specially designed pouches. Everything has a place, even the simple, well written, color printed instruction manual. Who even prints instruction manuals in color these days? Hoyt does apparently.

The details don’t stop at packaging. Everything about the board screams attention to detail. From the risk of death warning labels, to the slightly dimpled power indicator lights on the nose, to the tastefully engraved “Handcrafted In Oregon” and “Bamboo Revolution” badges on the underside of the enclosure sandwich which meets the topside to create one single flowing shape.

If it sounds a bit like I’m fangirling already, that’s because I am. I really like the design and shape of the board. I think it’s beautiful. I mean just look at those self tensioning motors mounts!

But all the detail in the world won’t make a difference if the end product is no good right?

Good Skating

What’s my definition of “good skating”? Well, for starters, the board must be comfortable. I don’t just mean the deck, although that does play a big part in it. I mean the wholistic experience. From the geometry in the concave of the deck to the ridefeel of the narrower contact patch and hardness of the wheel, the EL1 as a complete package is simply primed for good skating.

The non-flex, dropdown deck has just the right curves for you to brace against under hard acceleration and braking. The Caliber trucks lend themself to fairly precise carving and nuanced control. The Zoobomb wheels, while not the best urethane I’ve ever ridden, do a fine job of gripping the road and sliding out when you need them to. It’s clear that Hoyt put a major emphasis on designing something that skated well.

But the skate setup isn’t the only thing good here. In electric skateboarding we care about the electronics right? Why else would we be here?

Designed Dependability

Well I’m here to report that the electronics are great as well.

The EL1 (and indeed Hoyt’s entire future lineup) is built on VESC tech. The VESC, or Vedder Electronic Speed Controller, is a super capable, super powerful, open source speed controller design made specifically for applications such as electric skateboards, drones, scooters, robotics, and the like.

Why is this important? Well this means that the hardware in the Hoyt is endlessly configurable and extensible. Want telemetry logging? Stick a Bluetooth module in there. Want more powerful acceleration or braking or a different throttle curve? Just tune it.

Another advantage of the VESC is that it has been vetted in countless test cases by countless people in countless environments. Run within its hardware limits, it’s rock solid and dependable, and Hoyt has certainly harnessed its power well.

The particular VESC revision that Hoyt is running in their boards is the 4.12 hardware revision. This doesn’t really mean much to the end user, but for those who care, it means a couple things. First, it does really well at 10S (42V) but not so well at 12S (50.4V). Second, it doesn’t do well running in FOC (Field Oriented Control) mode, a motor control method that, while more refined in feeling, is more demanding for the controller than the alternative: BLDC (BrushLess Direct Current) control. Hoyt knows this, and so optimized their setup to play to the 4.12 hardware’s strengths. The result is great dependability.

Besides the controllers, the motors are also high quality and built to last. Hoyt sources their motors custom from KDE, a US based motor design and manufacturing firm specializing in military grade motors. These motors are built to withstand way higher than normal operating temperatures while performing at a high level, and I think it’s a testament to its engineering that I’ve never heard of anybody having issues with the motors specifically.

As an aside, this board is so reliable that it’s the one I lend out to experienced riders who ask me to borrow a board simply because I know they won’t break it even if they ride it hard. It’s also simply a great ride but you know. I digress.


Perhaps the most interesting thing about the EL1 is the modularity aspect of its battery pack design.

When Hoyt first launched the EL1, they had gone where no other manufacturer had really gone before, and the EL1 battery packs are, in my opinion, the cleanest solution I’ve seen to the problem of battery modularity. With the main goal being the flyability of the board, Hoyt had specially designed 10S1P battery packs featuring individual BMS and battery level indicators. These battery packs slotted neatly into the belly of the board and connected to the main power rail using blade connectors. In my opinion, this is an incredibly clean, wire-free, and foolproof method for managing modular battery packs.

In an interesting turn of events however, Hoyt has recently decided to abandon the blade connector design for a more traditional XT60 connector for their battery packs. Hoyt tells me that they made this decision due to a small number of users reporting that the blade connectors were wearing out under intense stress and vibration. Although I’m sad to see the blade connectors go, I understand the reliability standpoint. The new XT60 design is more flexible while still retaining modularity. What’s more, it opens up the possibility of easily building your own battery packs.

The EL1 also allows the usual wheel and drivetrain gearing changes that usually comes with a belt driven board, and since you have direct access to the VESC’s settings with the EL1, I would even say that these choices combined with some settings adjustments are even more effective here. Hoyt is even going to offer 5″ pneumatic tire options as well as non-modular battery packs for increased range.


I will say that while it’s not the fastest board on the market topping out at 24mph-ish real world, Hoyt’s investment in engineering has certainly shone through in the end product.

Torque is great. I weigh around 125lb and live in San Francisco, one of the hilliest cities in the world. From my time spent with this board, I can report that this board has more than enough torque to get me up any hill. I’ve gladly let my friends try the EL1, and they all say the same thing. Plenty of power and good braking. Plus, I actually think it is “fast enough.”

And here we get to the only thing that reeeeaaally gets me about the EL1.

The range.

There’s no two ways about it: I think it’s lacking for a $2,000+ board. Realistically riding, I can get maybe 8-10 miles in the city, 12 if I really stretch it. If you’re on flatter ground with less stop and go traffic, that figure will improve, but honestly not by that much. Hoyt’s own range calculator suggests as much about the lacking range, so you should really understand your riding conditions before buying this board.

“But Sof,” you say, “what about flyability?” And that’s a fair question. After all, I did say that Hoyt had designed these packs with flight in mind. To that question I would reply that while the EL1 is indeed flyable, I wouldn’t buy it for a travel board.

There are other great options for travel boards (Unlimited x Loaded kit on a shortboard, Exway Wave) that are lighter and less cumbersome if that is really your main focus. I think the EL1 should be considered more a prosumer board that just happens to be flyable more than anything else, and in that sense, I think maintaining flyability was probably a misstep. You end up with range that doesn’t satisfy the prosumer and a pricepoint that doesn’t really jive with the more casual consumer.

While Hoyt is, as mentioned above, offering a single Samsung 40T 10S3P pack, I haven’t tested it for range. Theoretically, the 40T pack will provide just over 60% more capacity than the original three 10S1P modular 25R packs the board ships with, so extrapolating linearly I may get up to 13-16 of realistic, hard riding miles on a charge with the 40T pack. But I’m a believer of not buying products based on promised future upgrades, even when I have full faith the manufacturer will deliver on their promise, so I’ll make my conclusions when Hoyt starts shipping the 40T packs.

What About The Remote?

Yes, let’s talk about the remote.

The Hoyt Puck is arguably one of the more interesting, if not the most interesting, remotes in eskate. Inspired by slide pucks common in the world of downhill longboarding, the round, curved design is certainly unique and maybe even polarizing to some. When it was first introduced, many wondered just how well this remote would work in practice.

Honestly, I’ve grown to really like it. Despite its strange appearance, it’s comfortable to hold in the hand. I think it’s the first eskate remote to really take into consideration left handedness, with all buttons just as accessible when in left handed mode as in right handed mode. Hoyt offers weight options for the thumbwheel so you can adjust it to your preference as well.

Beyond ergonomics, in typical Hoyt fashion, the remote has proven to be absolutely rock solid in terms of performance and reliability. Ask anybody in the DIY community what remote they would recommend if you wanted a consistently reliable remote, and I’ll bet maybe 90% of them would say the Hoyt Puck. The Puck’s reliability is so well known, in fact, that other premium eskate manufacturers are offering the Hoyt Puck for their boards. Case in point: Lacroix’s customized Hoyt Pucks.

The only minor annoyance I have with the Puck is that there’s no board battery indicator on the remote itself. However, I’m ok with that actually when the Puck is paired with the EL1, as the EL1 features a sleek battery gauge right on the nose of the deck.

Hoyt says you should try the Puck before you knock it, and I really agree. It’s an ergonomic remote with a proven history of reliability. Plus it’s CNC’d out of Bamboo with an aluminum thumbwheel, comes in a variety of stains, and customizable with engravings. What other manufacturer would do this for individual remotes?

In Good Company

I want to take a moment to talk about Hoyt the company. Being a small operation, they can be uniquely personal about the products and services they offer. For example, in addition to the remote customizations, Hoyt offers a range of customization options for the EL1 itself from artwork directly applied on the deck to different wood stains to unique veneers to bespoke whole-deck laser map engravings. You can even get glass frit gripping on your deck: a high class upgrade to the usual boring grip tape offerings.

And that’s not all. A couple months ago, I got the message from Hoyt asking me to send in my EL1 for the blade connector to XT60 conversion. What surprised me was how painless the entire process was. There were no costs involved and the turnaround was fast. I’m told by various customers that they’ve had similar experiences with Hoyt and the services they provide.

I would also like to commend Hoyt for doing this blanket recall. I have many friends in the business of building and selling hardware, and they all tell me that one of their greatest fears is issuing a recall. In addition to the complexity of communicating with the customer and processing the hardware that comes in, Hoyt is taking on a huge financial loss for what seemed to me like a relatively minor issue. However, I think this just further speaks to the character of the company and the people who run it. In the end, they didn’t really have to do this. But they did, and I think that’s pretty awesome.

Hoyt even offers a free tune up service for customers for the first year after purchase. I mean come on! The deference that Hoyt shows to the customer is what really sets them apart in this industry, and I hope as they continue to grow as they maintain their level of service.

Wrapping Up

So what do I think about the EL1?

I think if you appreciate rideability, details, durability, and good engineering, you will like this board. I think if you are prioritizing miles per dollar, you should look elsewhere. I think the EL1 is, in the end, a tantalizing niche offering.

But most of all, I think the EL1 is a stepping stone platform for Hoyt’s future. With the EL1, Hoyt’s basically done a year long engineering verification on their platform, figuring out all the kinks and feeling out their style. I’ve been privy to their roadmap after the EL1, and Hoyt’s definitely gearing up to make a huge splash.

And when they do, I’ll be there to cheer for them.

Backfire releases Backfire G3 Plus

Update: We’ve reviewed the G3 Plus, read our Full Review of Backfire G3 Plus here!

On 16th August 2019, Backfire releases a new line of electric skateboard, Backfire G3 Plus.

Priced at $999, Backfire G3 Plus ventures into the premium segment, a move that not many Chinese brands had attempted. From the teaser video and the details announced, G3 Plus actually wears that price tag well.

Just a quick glance at it and I think we will all agree that G3 Plus is a gorgeous looking board. The familiar black and gold color scheme, the new red plates and the build-in LED ambient light all comes together to give a really stylish look.

New Carbon Fiber Deck

Backfire G3 Plus move away from the maple galaxy deck that we were familiar with to a longer 39 inch(99cm) carbon fiber deck that promises lots of flex. This is also perhaps where the weight reduction came from, despite using in a bigger battery pack as compare to the G2T, Backfire G3 Plus is actually a little bit lighter at 16lb (7.3kg).

Bigger Battery with 12s configuration

Backfire G3 Plus is going with a very large pack of Samsung 21700 40T battery in 12s2p configuration. (346WH). From my experience with Meepo’s ER battery, Samsung 40T is pretty great, and this big pack on the G3 Plus promises good thing. However, not much production board had gone with the 12s setting as higher voltage might cause a higher components failure rate (if those component are not up to par), and it remains to see if a new Hobbywing ESC can handle this configuration.

New 12S Hobbywing ESC

The previous version of Hobbywing ESC could not handle 12S, and hence G3 Plus will debut with a new version of Hobbywing ESC that can do 12s.

On one hand, higher voltage is more efficient; on the other hand, as just mentioned: weak components(if there is any) + higher voltage = high failure rate. I don’t know any production board has done 12S and I am interested to see if Backfire G3 Plus is going to wear this configuration well.

Unfortunately, we will be seeing the return of the Turbo mode. For those who don’t know, G2T has a turbo mode that allows a temporary increase in power and top speed. It lasted for 30second and has a 30-second cooldown. As I said in our Backfire G2T review, I wasn’t a fan of the Turbo mode due to the inevitable jolt when the effect wears off – and my opinion hasn’t changed since then. I hope turbo mode will be implemented better on the G3 Plus, no big deal though, can always just don’t use it.

Stronger Hub Motor

I don’t know how much impact the upgrade from G2T’s 2X 350W hubs to G3 Plus’s 2 x 600W is going to have in term of riding experience, but bigger is better right? The wheels size option is now 85mm & 96mm as opposed to 83mm and 96mm. I expect lots of people switching the front wheels to Caguama now that it is 85mm by default, not that the 2mm different have stopped anyone anyways.

The back truck is now also Caliber II

Instead of just having a front Caliber II truck, Backfire G3 Plus brought Caliber II trucks to the back truck too.

Further, Faster, Lighter.

  • Range = 20-25miles (32-40km)
  • Top speed= 28.5mph (46kmh)
  • Weight = 16lb (7.3kg)


Backfire G3 Plus promises:
1) A lot of range without a lot of weight.
2) A lot of power without compromising the smoothness.
3) A refined look and an even more refined riding experience.

We are going to review it, and I would like to find out if:
1) Is this Carbon Fiber deck any fun to ride?
2) Is this 12S Hobbywing ESC going to hold up?
3) Is there an improvement in the Turbo mode?

Stay tuned!

It is now available for pre-order with a pre-order price of $899 ($100 off).
Click our affiliate discount link here and use ESKATEHQ during check out to receive $10 off.

Please be aware that pre-orders in the Eskate world are more often than not ends in delay. Shit happens, even for a seasoned brand like Backfire.

Only pre-order a product if you can afford the wait.