If you don’t fancy walking or using any sort of human-powered vehicle, you have plenty of choices these days. From “hoverboards” to electric unicycles, there’s some weird and wonderful machine that will happily whisk you to whichever big brand coffee shop you want to work on your novel that day.
With all the fancy electric conveyances, you’d be forgiven for overlooking the humble electric skateboard. Yet without the need to self-balance and with the proven longboard design, there’s a lot to like about these battery powered wheel planks. Except, they always seem unreasonably expensive, so I’ve picked out three electric skateboards that come in at a less painful price point, but are each worthy in their own way.
You may know the name “Yuneec” from their line of professional drones, but the company dabbles in other areas as well. The E-GO2 made waves for it’s reasonable price, yet upmarket specs and design. Yes, seven hundred bucks might not seem reasonable for a skateboard, but it’s actually pretty good in this context, since prices over a grand are common.
One of the reasons for the lower price is the relative lack of speed. The E-GO2 only hits 12 miles per hour with its single 400W motor, but makes up for it with great endurance. Under the right conditions, you can get 18 miles of range from this puppy. Which should cover most people’s typical commute.
Yes, there are some things you have to give up compared to more expensive boards. It can’t handle steep hills all that well, the battery takes over three hours from empty and it’s not removable. Still, for half the price of the high-performance premium boards, this is a reliable cruiser worthy of your consideration
SWAGTRON SwagSkate AI Penny Board
Swagtron made their name producing affordable versions of the first-generation hoverboards that wouldn’t burn your house down. The company did well enough to diversify and now we have this very well-priced SwagSkate penny board to sink our teeth into. As you now know, $249 is a low, low price for one of these. So what are you getting for your money?
The SwagSkate AI is touted as the first AI-powered electric skateboard, which is cool I guess. The claim is that onboard learning software adjusts automatically to your riding style. Penny boards are very small, even compared to normal trickboards, so perhaps this is really a way to make it safer and more comfortable to ride. Being so compact is of course a major advantage for storage and transport.
Instead of a remote, you control the board by shifting your weight. Pressure sensors detect your posture and react accordingly. The board can also be controlled from a mobile app. For its size and price, range and speed are pretty good. You get about five and a half miles on a charge, which takes as much as two hours for a full battery. Top speed is just over nine miles per hour. Plenty fast on a smaller board. An interesting and fun introduction to electric skateboards, although perhaps not suitable for commuting.
Razor are of course the people behind those legendary Razor scooters, which incidentally also has an electric version now. The RazorX is definitely a toy-grade board and no one is pretending otherwise, but at $239 that’s understandable. Aimed at ages 9 and up, it can handle 220 lbs of weight, which covers most adults too. Top speed is ten miles an hour with about 40 minutes of battery life. You aren’t going very far, but it’s bound to be a fun ride while it lasts.
Surprisingly, you get a remote and neat features like a gentle kick-start. Razor have designed a geared system that can disengage from the board when the battery is empty, converting it into a normal skateboard, so at least you don’t have to carry it back. There’s definitely a lot of strong competition at the budget end of the market, that’s for sure!