I grew up in sunny Southern California where you know it’s the morning not by hearing the rooster crow, but by the sound of skateboard wheels hitting Venice Beach pavement. Flips and tricks, spins and high speeds, it’s always amazing to see what can be accomplished with a tiny board and a complete lack of fear. My favourite was always seeing the little kids; the two-year-olds clutching a dad or older brother’s hand, while slowly wobbling past, decked out in protective gear.
I loved watching the skaters on Venice Beach dodging between the eccentrics that congregate there. Of course, since the advent of electric skateboards as early as 1997, the skateboard has slowly been hitting the market not just as a toy or trick show, but as a legitimate form of transportation.
While the electric skateboard was initially too expensive to be anything more than a novelty device for the rich elite since 2015, the technology has become much more affordable and advanced. The speeds of nearly up to 30 mph are made possible.
The e-skateboard has taken off fairly rapidly in the US, UK, and Australia. This is partly due to mainstream enlightenment. Technology can provide convenient transportation other than a car or public services like the bus or train, making the morning commute much quicker, cheaper, and easier.
While the general image of a skateboarder tends to be a guy who is tall, lean, and has serious swagger, the electric skateboard makes it possible for people of all different shapes and sizes to be transported quickly, efficiently, and exhilaratingly to their destination. In this article, we’ll discuss different aspects of the skateboard, clarify some points, shatter some myths, and discuss the top brands and the best electric skateboards for heavy riders on the market today.
How much weight can an Electric Skateboard hold?
The first thing to understand about skateboards is that they are not created equal, meaning how much weight any skateboard can bear directly corresponds to what materials it is made of and its shape and size. Additionally, skateboards fall into different categories based on different design details.
For instance, a classic skateboard is between 28-34 inches long, can be anywhere between 7-10 inches wide, and can bear up to 220 lb on average. A longboard can get up to 60 inches long, is 9-10 inches wide, and, depending on the materials and design, bear up to 300 lb. The weight the board can hold has a lot to do with the board’s width; wider boards can bear more weight and provide more stability for riders, while the thinner boards are veer more easily and are more aerodynamically suited to performing tricks.
All of these distinctions hold true for electric skateboards. While the type of battery affects the speed and distance it is possible to travel, the width of the e-skateboard directly affects how much weight the board can bear, and which board is most suited for you based on your body type and purpose.
A fun caveat of the e-skateboard experience is that while propulsion is taken care of by the electric motor, the ride is still activating the core and lower body muscles. These are involved in keeping the rider balanced and safe on the skateboard. For those who are looking for an effective means of transportation, but want to move a bit, this is an ideal balance between the two.
Are Electric Skateboards easy to ride?
Electric skateboards are purported to be excellent ways for beginners to take up skating. Data indicates that beginners who started with an e-skateboard picked up skateboarding techniques more quickly than those who started with a regular board. This is not to say that there isn’t an adjustment period, but allowing your body to focus only on balance instead of balance and propulsion, allows it to master boarding more efficiently.
The adaptation process is shortened. Learning to ride a skateboard can take anywhere between a day to a week, depending on the person, locale, time allotted, and other smaller contributing factors.
Can you use an Electric Skateboard as a regular Skateboard?
You technically can use an electric skateboard as a regular skateboard, but if you should, that depends on the type of motor powering your board. This is because your e-skateboard often has mechanisms between or attached to its wheels that power them and force them to move as well as break.
Using the skateboard without activating the motor could damage the hardware. Additionally, attempting to use an electric skateboard for tricks is technically possible. Still, it can be rough on the hardware and damage it in ways not protected against by its creator.
Electric skateboards usually store their batteries on the board’s underside, either in an additional compartment that distends slightly outwards or fitted seamlessly into the board’s shape itself. Regardless, it is a bad idea to slam down repeatedly and with force on these batteries, as would happen when performing tricks where the board itself comes in contact with the pavement.
Electric longboards specifically are not designed to be good trick boards. This is because they are not built to be aerodynamic and easily manipulated into tight turns and spins. Their purpose is to provide a smoother, more balanced ride, as well as bear more weight. Heavier riders should steer clear of attempting to use their longboards to show off to their friends.
Can Electric Skateboards go uphill?
This depends entirely on the quality of the electric skateboard. The higher-end ones can manage greater inclines, while the cheaper models with lesser battery power will pack much less power, directly affecting the uphill climb. The question essentially boils down to three parts; the incline, motor power, and the rider’s weight.
The incline is usually measured in percentage. A 10% incline is approximately 5.7 degrees. Motor power or battery power is measured in Watts and refers to how much power a motor can put out at any given time. Anyone below 80 kg (176 lb) will be just fine on an average skateboard with minimal battery power, say anything between 100W-350W. Heavier riders above 80 kilos will want to invest in a better, more high powered board for those tough inclines.
Best Electric Skateboards For Heavy Riders
To determine the best heavy-duty skateboard I looked up all the available models and read through them one by one, eliminating along the way based on low user satisfaction, less offered in the design, lower long-distance capability, less power, etc., always comparing the data to find the best available on the market.
The main criteria I used for this analysis were price, performance specs, warranty, and reviews. Since electric skateboards have circulated commercially since 2015, I managed to pull together a pretty diverse list of different makes and models.
However, in this article, we’ll focus on electric longboards for big guys and beginner riders, as these designs tend to share commonalities when it comes to width and length of the board. It’s important to note that these designs are intended for adults, and in a separate article we can discuss which models are best suited for kids, as these models run at lower speeds than the higher risk adult designs.
Teamgee H5 Electric Skateboard
The Teamgee H5 is a cool frame that combines a classy feel with an edgy design. 37 inches long, the H5 is 0.59 inches thick, making it thin and convenient to carry. Built with 10-ply Canadian maple and 1-ply fibreglass, the H5 has medium give, perfect for a smooth ride.
Selling at middling price when it comes to electric skateboards, the Teamgee H5 requires a mere two hours recharge and can travel a maximum range of 10 miles, or 16 km, more than enough for the commute to work or to impress your neighbourhood buddies. Its max speed is 22mph/38kmh and has multiple speed settings so that you can cruise or race. Weighing in at 14.5 lb, or for my overseas friends 6.6 kg, the maximum load for this baby is 220 lb/ 99.8 kg.
With regenerative braking and a high-speed brushless motor, it has efficient energy output and its motors and wheels are easily replaced. Split between the two front wheels, the H5 has a 760W battery power, putting it on the higher end of the e-board community’s energy capability. Able to climb 25% inclines, the H5 comes with a year of customer support if purchased through the GAZE SECURITY store, and a 1-year manufacturer warranty on the batteries.
Teamgee Video Review >
Finally, the customer reviews were extremely positive, saying that it performed well on hills and that rain or wetness had no effect on the machinery. Additionally, many commented that the customer service was excellent. Overall, this is a great board for those who want a reliable board to get them around with no tricks, or for those a bit on the heavier side looking for some extra security and support while commuting.
Skatebolt Breeze II E – Longboard
The Skatebolt Breeze II is a snazzy piece of equipment, with its black deck and wheels laced with electric blue; however, it is the maximum weight capacity that puts it over the top for some of the bigger guys (and girls). With a maximum load of 265 lb or 120 kg, this e-board is a heavy-duty skateboard built for some heavy lifting. Weighing in at 21 lb (9.5kg), the Skatebolt can go a scary 28 mph (45 kph) at maximum speed and has 4-speed settings, so no need to be intimidated by the more daring capabilities.
The Skatebolt Breeze II is significantly more expensive than the Teamgee, and while not coming near $1000, definitely leaves the wallet a little lighter than it was before. That said, it does outstrip the Teamgee in virtually every category, among them maximum load capacity, top speed, maximum distance (15 miles or 24 km), and grade percentage, as the Teamgee maxes out at 25% grade.
At the same time, the Skatebolt can manage an incline of 30%. Additionally, the intuitive design in the Skatebolt makes it ideal for beginners and professional skaters alike, as the Slide Start function allows the user to kick off as you would with a normal board; the motor starts automatically after a couple of sliding steps.
Skatebolt Breeze II Video Review >
The motor is split between the two front wheels with a total 700W output, charging time is between 2-3 hours. The four braking settings and the added benefit of regenerative braking help conserve energy and give you a smooth, controlled ride. With a company-provided 6-month service guarantee after purchase and great reviews, if you can afford to spend a little more for a truly high-quality board, the Skatebolt Breeze II is the board for you.
Blitzart Hurricane Longboard
The Blitzart Hurricane Longboard has more of an urban, playful vibe, with a standard black grip-tape top, wooden bottom, and neon-coloured wheels that come in a variety of colours. Selling much more on the affordable side than any of the boards discussed here, the Blitzart is a nice gateway board, if you’re interested in getting your foot in the door when it comes to boarding and specifically, e-boarding. With a maximum speed of 18 mph/29 kph and a range of 6-8 miles, the Blitzart is much more suited for shorter commutes.
The lightest of all three boards already mentioned, the Blitzart can support a maximum weight of 250 lb or 113 kg (not bad for such a little guy) and requires a charge time of 3 hours before ready to be up and skating again. Made of maple wood with a bamboo deck and premium grip tape, the board, is shock absorbent and even has a hold function to assist in mounting or dismounting from the board.
Another brushless motor, so minimal to no sound and more efficient energy use, the Blitzart has multiple speed settings. Our beginners with minimal riding experience, or even just the users who want to take it easy, can feel comfortable riding this board.
Blitzart Hurricane Video Review >
Finally, the consumer response indicated that while many people loved how easy and intuitive this board was, it did not take the place of more durable and long-lasting boards like the Teamgee and Skatebolt, and should be kept more for casual use, as the batteries wore down over time. On the upside, many said that the customer service headquarters located in Southern California was very helpful and quick in their responses and problem management.
A nice beginner board or a board for someone with a shorter commute, newcomers, casual users, and the tall giants among us should give this board a look when searching for a means of transportation more efficient than the bus or on foot.
URBANPRO E Skateboard
The URBANPRO is a fun one; once again black but with a sick tiger design sketched on the top half, the board is understated yet trendy. A bit more expensive than the Blitzart, the URBANPRO is still very much on the affordable side when it comes to a quality electric longboard skateboard for heavy riders, and has a total weight capacity of 265 lb or 120 kg.
The URBANPRO has a top speed of 20 mph (32kmph) and three-speed settings, for a casual, refreshing, or daredevil ride. It can go as far as 10 miles on cruise speed before recharge, which is completely respectable for an electric skateboard and requires 3 hours recharge time between rides. This board can tackle a 20% grade and has 400W battery output. Super sturdy, with 11 layers of maple and fibreglass, and PU wheels, this board is made for smooth riding.
Urbanpro Video Review >
Many consumers had a positive experience with the URBANPRO. Similarly to the Blitzart, I highly recommend it as a gateway e-board for those getting into longboarding and not wanting to put out a lot of money on a toy they’ve never tried before.
So no matter what shape or size you are, nothing is stopping you from grabbing yourself an electric skateboard and get rollin’!