Given the notoriety already attained by our roads, it is difficult to fault anyone who is leery about using any motorsport vehicle in these climes. So, when a MobilityArena follower on Twitter shared his concern about the durability of electric skateboards via-a-vis our roads, it had to be acknowledged that he raised a germane concern.
With our bad roads?
— Oyedele OYETADE A. (@CovenantOyetade) October 5, 2018
However, we hasten to add that there are alternatives. Actually, our blog post about electric skateboards last week focused on the budget versions. Those pocket-friendly e-skateboards are stripped down, therefore, fit for convenient use on smooth road surfaces. However, with the feedback, we now present some off-road e-skateboards in the market.
Not all car races take place on smooth racetracks. Contemporary extreme sports even involve monster truck competitions. These pickup trucks and SUVs are radically modified with massive suspensions and gigantic tires for motorsport activities such as Mud bogging and stunts.
Motorsports lovers satisfy their craving for rugged sports by creating off-road versions of regular activities. Skateboarding lovers are no different. The quest to extend the bounds of the sport to rugged terrain has led to the design and creation of off-road electric skateboards. Pretty much like the off-road motorbikes and cars.
Off-road Electric Skateboards
OK, let’s be frank, not all our roads are terrible. However, given the fact that most roads are not very motorable, off-road electric skateboards which have been designed for rugged sports use will be our ‘normal’. Inadvertently, off-road e-skateboard manufacturers created a vehicle ‘purpose-built’ for our terrain. Pretty convenient, but no complaints! That said, bear in mind that off-road e-skateboards perform just as well on smooth roads. They simply have an advantage on rugged roads, grass, gravel, and dirt.
What’s the difference?
Three very critical components of the e-skateboard are the motor, deck, and tires. Given its all-terrain purpose, the skateboard sports larger and more powerful motors than its regular counterpart. This feature has obvious downsides, as increased power causes faster battery drain. Manufacturers may include larger battery packs to counter this challenge, but that would increase the charge time. Howbeit, it may be an acceptable trade-off. Some skateboards may even come fitted with four motors to ensure sufficient power and speed.
The skateboard deck is typically constructed from maple wood, which is the material of choice for this vehicle given its durability. Tires are singularly critical for these skateboards, as the regular tires have a tendency to break or crack when driven on rough (not necessarily rugged) surfaces. Manufacturers remedy this issue by using large pneumatic rubber tires, typically as large as 10-inches. Sitting between the tires and the deck is an alloy suspension structure that absorbs the movements caused by the rugged terrain. In all, the off-road e-skateboard is a match for any roads anywhere in the world.
Top Three Off-road Electric Skateboards
There are quite a number of off-road electric skateboards out there but drilling down to three poses quite a task. So, using build, battery longevity and cost (we cannot avoid that, can we?), we picked three for you. Here they are:
The sight of the massive pneumatic tires should inspire confidence in skateboarders. Its power comes from a single 1200W motor fuelled by a Lithium-ion battery that guarantees more than one hour or approximately 26 km range. Given its motor power, this skateboard is capable of reaching speeds of 48 km/hour on a smooth surface while carrying a fairly lightweight person.
To crown it, its price is quite attractive too, at $400. Crunching the numbers in Naira shouldn’t leave the skateboarding aficionado breathless. The price for those specs is certainly not bad. Bear in mind, however, that it takes up to five hours to get a full charge on its battery. Surely, even that isn’t a deal-breaker.
Perhaps the feature that immediately jumps out at you is the size of its tires; large rubber affairs. If you are familiar with skateboards, you realize that rough terrains are no match for your sense of adventure once you get strapped in. Featuring a Sony Lithium-ion battery, it can reach speeds of 20 km/hour.
Charging the battery takes just two hours and on that full charge, it can travel a range of 20 km. Sadly, this e-skateboard is not waterproof so going riding during the rainy season might not be a good idea, but then, its price of just $433 is too attractive to turn down for its specs.
Maverix Border X
This is one massive, rugged off-road skateboard with a build that can intimidate the rough countryside terrain. Fitted with large, 10-inch, air-filled tires and an 800W motor, the Border X is not intimidated by rugged surfaces. Its specs are terrific; a three-speed system, ABS brake system in addition to a magnetic safety leash.
Speed on this skateboard can reach 30 km/hour depending on body weight and road surface. It can also travel a distance of 14 km on a single battery charge. This is one of the most rugged e-skateboards out there, especially at the price point of $711 only.
Hopefully, would-be skateboarders plus green energy advocates will see the joy and adventure in these skateboards.
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