At the basic level, an electric skateboard looks very similar to a regular skateboard, but are they functionally the same, and which one better fits your riding preferences? Let’s break down this question a bit further.
Like many other compare and contrast questions, the answer to this query is a resounding yes and no because of the simple fact that an electric skateboard and regular skateboard are different and incomparable. Electric skateboards are better than regular skateboards in certain aspects while regular skateboards are better than electric skateboards in other areas. While both are skateboards because of their fundamental body framework, they are powered and operated differently which makes them incomparable.
However, for our purposes, this article will focus on the advantages of an electric skateboard over a regular skateboard.
Rolling in a Breeze
The most obvious advantage of riding an electric skateboard over a kick skateboard is that you can ride in a breeze. You simply step on the e-skateboard, push the throttle on the remote to activate its electric motors and you are ready to roll. In a standard skateboard, you need to kick push to propel the skateboard only up to a certain extent. After a few seconds, you need to keep kicking again to keep the board moving. If you want to go faster, you need to kick harder and faster which entails greater effort and energy. Going faster in an e-board is as easy as ABC by simply pressing the accelerator button on the remote.
Going Uphill Is a Cinch
Kicking your skateboard on an even street road can be fun and enjoyable. But skating uphill is tough. And the steeper the hill, the tougher it gets. By the time you reach the top, you could already be tired. And getting uphill in skates is something you cannot avoid. For one, street roads are not perfectly flat. They follow the varying geographical shapes of the slopes on which the roads are paved. Secondly, skaters need to go uphill to enjoy the downhill ride back, where a skater can go free-wheeling relying on gravity.
In the case of electric skateboards, going uphill is as easy as pie. You can get uphill without a sweat just by pushing the remote and relying on the motors to take you to the top.
If you want to ride the wind, you can count on the electric skateboard. A standard skateboard used by a professional skater can speed up to 7 or 8 mph (11 – 12 km/h) on a flat surface. An average skater would apparently go slower.
In the case of an electric skateboard, you can cruise up to 15 mph (25 km/h). And you don’t even have to be a professional skater to achieve this. As long you can handle balancing yourself in such speeds, you can reach this speed by simply pressing the remote control. Thus, a rider of an electric skateboard can always beat a rider of a standard skateboard to the draw when cruising.
Going the Distance
The distance you can travel using a standard skateboard would ultimately depend on your endurance and resistance to physical fatigue. On average, experienced skaters can travel 1-2 miles (1.5 to 3.2 kilometers) continuously on a flat surface. After this, a rider would need to rest for a while to recuperate. And the longer the distance you have traveled the most likely the shorter the distance that you can cover when you get back on the road because exhaustion is cumulative.
That is not the case for electric boards. You can run up to 20 miles (32 kilometers) continuously in your electric skateboard in a single charge. That is over a thousand times longer the distance that you can cover in a typical skateboard.
One major reason why humans invented transportation is to travel longer distances and to save more time. As mentioned above, electric skateboards can cover longer distances at faster speeds compared to standard skateboards. Adding the need for regular breaks to rest in between travels, it will take a much longer time for riders using a standard skateboard to reach the same destination as those using an electric skateboard.
This is a big advantage of e-skateboards because time is such a precious commodity. The longer the time spent on traveling to your destination, the more time you lose for missed opportunities.
Not Getting Tired
People travel for business or pleasure. You go to school to study, you go to the office to work, you go to a store to shop, or you go to the park to picnic. While traveling can be considered as an end in itself in the case of a road trip, most of the time, it is a means to an end. Thus, it is important to maintain a certain level of energy so that by the time you reach your destination, you have the strength to perform your ultimate goal.
When commuting or traveling using a regular skateboard, you need to exert physical effort to propel the device. Depending on the distance of your destination, you may have exhausted all your energy by the time you get there. You may have drained half of your power to perform actively, energetically or effectively in school or at work. That would not happen if you use an electric board. The power you need to run the e-board lies on its battery.
You save your much-needed energy for your ultimate goal once you reach your destination. You maintain your energy to study, work or play. Incidentally, you don’t have to worry about powering up your e-board. Aside from the fact that it efficiently uses energy and it recharges its batteries when braking, you can easily charge its battery practically anywhere with a DC outlet such as a coffee shop or convenience store.
No Sweating and Staying Fresh
Because operating a regular skateboard entails manually pushing with your feet, the physical effort will most likely cause you to perspire when traveling. This can be a good thing because it is a means of exercise and will make you physically fit. However, that may not be ideal if you are using the skateboard to commute to work or to school. By the time you get to your destination, you could be sweating like a pig or smelling like garlic. That would not only make you feel uncomfortable but it may also make you conscious. In worse scenarios, this sense of discomfort can ruin your confidence. When commuting using an electric skateboard, you won’t worry about sweat or your scent. You can travel with ease and maintain smelling like a rose when you get to school or work.
Braking with Ease
One of the biggest differences between electric skateboards and standard skateboards is braking. Electric skateboards have built-in brake system which you can activate by the switch in its remote control. Most e-boards apply regenerative braking systems in which the electric rotor will spin in the opposite direction once the brake is triggered. This will gradually slow down the equipment.
Moreover, applying the brakes also functions as a way to recharge the battery. No energy is therefore wasted. Once the rotor spins backward, it also generates electricity which is supplied to the battery.
In contrast, the regular skateboard does not have brakes. Instead, you need certain skills to slow it down. You need to put down your foot to the road, scrape the deck’s tail to the surface, perform a power slide or take your board to a rough pavement to elicit friction. If all things fail, you need to learn how to jump off the board or crash skilfully.
Danger is integral in riding a skateboard. It actually forms part of the thrill that makes the ride cool and hip. While electric boards are designed for safety through their built-in break systems, they are nevertheless dangerous because they can reach up to high speeds which can cause serious injuries if a rider crashes. The ease of riding them however makes them ideal for cruising or exploring places.
Meanwhile, it takes greater effort to balance one’s self in a regular skateboard because you need to kick push the board recurrently. Because it requires more movements in your body, there is greater chance for you to getting off-balanced, although you only get to reach manageable speeds which make it safe.
In the case of an electric skateboard, you only need to focus on balancing yourself while your two feet are rested on its platform. Once you get the hang of it, then you can reach greater stability in keeping yourself steady while on the ride.
In both the electric and regular skateboard, riders are always advised to wear safety gears such as a helmet, rubber shoes, knee and elbow pads and wrist guards. It is always better to be safe than sorry.
It’s logically harder to perform tricks with electric boards because they are heavier averaging around 15 lbs (6.8 kg) or more. A standard skateboard board weighs around 7 lbs (3.1 kg). Moreover, the electric boards are longer and lack a kick tail for tossing or flipping, which is practically the basis for most tricks.
There are creative ways which you can do with an electric skateboard to make you ride more exciting and cool nonetheless. Among the tricks that you can do included the hippie jump, early grab, cross stepping or dancing, the boneless, the typical nollie shove it, and the power slide which is actually necessary to learn to manually break the gear.
The tricks that you can do with your electric skateboard are also limited because you must consider protecting the electric motor. For one, you need to avoid getting the electric motor thumped and damaged when doing tricks. Doing grinds becomes out of the question.
Needless to say, electric skateboards also require regular maintenance because of their electric components. You need to clean it dry every after use to prevent dirt and moist from penetrating the electric components. You also need to regularly charge the batteries, among others.
Enjoying the View
When riding an electric skateboard, you get to enjoy the pleasure of seeing your surroundings better than when riding a regular skateboard. This is because using a regular skateboard requires you to be conscious of kicking on the board to propel your board and to look down at your skates when hitting brakes or maneuvering. The demands of riding a regular skateboard will diminish your attention to go sightseeing.
In contrast, you are given more opportunity to look around and observe your surroundings because electric boards allow you to ride in a breeze. You can take a second look at the pretty lass that you passed by or see more details of a beautiful scene. Beauty lies in the details and the electric boards won’t allow you to miss them by allowing you more time to take pleasure in your visual surroundings.
The advantages of electric skateboards will continue to go on as electric skateboard technology continues to progress and get better. This could mean longer-lasting batteries, faster speeds, greater portability, lighter materials, and easier controls among others. And as technology continues to advance, electric skateboards also continue to set new standards for urban transportation.
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