You will have an eco-friendly and fun way to travel around and explore fun by riding an electric skateboard, more and more people have joined the esk8 community in recent years, owing to the convenience, freedom, and a lot of fun riding an electric skateboard. You may have wondered this question if you are a beginner riders: "Can I ride my electric skateboard go uphill?" The answer is "Yes, you can ride an electric skateboard to climb the hill." In this blog, we will explore if electric skateboards can climb the hill, understand how electric skateboards work, and discuss what factors would affect the electric skateboard climb hill capabilities in this blog. I believe this blog can help you select an electric skateboard that best suits your riding needs from numerous electric skateboards in the market after reading this blog, you will have a more clear understanding of electric skateboards.
How Does Your Electric Skateboard Work?
Let's first briefly understand how electric skateboards work before we delve into whether electric skateboards can climb hills. This will help you grasp the factors we will subsequently analyze that affect the hill climb ability of an electric skateboard. When you use the remote to accelerate, the ESC receives a command: "I need to draw this power from the battery and then transmit it to the motor of the electric skateboard." Once the electric skateboard motors receive the energy transferred from the battery, they drive the wheels to rotate, propelling the electric skateboard forward. The ESC serves as the brain of the electric skateboard. After receiving commands from the remote control, it regulates the distribution of battery power, allowing the electric skateboard to accelerate and decelerate. Similarly, when braking is applied, the ESC receives a command to manage the flow of energy back to the battery, slowing down the electric skateboard. There are currently two main types of electric skateboard motors on the market, and their working principles and the riding experiences they offer to riders are entirely different.
Hub Motors v.s Belt Motors
Hub Motors: The hub motors are designed within the electric skateboard wheels, these hub motors can't be seen unless you remove the tires of the wheels. These inner motor designs are protected by the electric skateboard tires, so the lifetime of the hub motor is long-last than the belt motor. You don't need to spend too much time and money to maintain and replace the hub motor. However, Hub motors have lower torque compared to belt-driven motors, which can affect their performance on steep inclines or rough terrains.
Belt-Drive Motors: The belt-drive motors are installed outside the wheels, they can offer more torque when compared with the hub motor. You can climb hills and pass through the off-road terrains easily by riding a belt-drive electric skateboard. The external motor design of belt-driven boards allows for better heat dissipation, potentially prolonging the motor's lifespan and maintaining consistent performance. But the belt-drive electric skateboard requires more frequent maintenance. Belts, pulleys, and gears in belt-driven systems electric skateboards are easy to wear and tear, you need to occasionally replace and maintain these accessories.
What Factors Will Affect the Electric Skateboard Uphill Performance?
Electric skateboards consist of many electronic components and mechanical accessories, these components and accessories play their respective roles in their positions, enabling their electric skateboards to perform at their best. The factors that affect the electric skateboard's uphill performance include motor power, battery capacity, rider and board weight, rider skill and technique, and gradient of the slope.
• Motor Power
The power and torque capabilities of the motor play a significant role in uphill performance. A higher-wattage motor can provide more power to the wheels, the electric skateboard can smoothly pass through the steep terrains and hills after the wheels receive more power. As a result, the higher-wattage motor typically provides better climbing ability.
• Battery Capacity
A large-capacity electric skateboard battery can deliver more consistent power to the electric skateboard motor, and your electric skateboard will have a better uphill performance. If you plan to ride the off-road terrain or climb the hill today, please make sure the electric skateboard battery is fully charged. That would be better if your electric skateboard is designed with removable batteries. You can bring some spare swappable batteries in your backpack, your electric skateboard will have enough power to climb the hill and provide an enjoyable riding experience for you.
• Load Weight
Both the rider weight and electric skateboard weight would directly affect the load on the motor. In electric skateboards with totally the same wattage power motors, a heavier rider and electric skateboard may be more challenging to maneuver uphill, as the motor has to work harder to propel the added weight uphill, and the battery needs to provide more power to the motor, keeping your electric skateboard rolling.
• Proper Riding Skills
Pro riders may navigate inclines more efficiently than beginners. Proper riding skills and a balanced stance can significantly impact the uphill performance of your electric skateboard. Keep practicing, you'll be able to effortlessly navigate various terrains on your electric skateboard, just like experienced riders, enjoying the fun and freedom it brings.
• Gradient of the Slope
Many electric skateboards can handle moderate uphill slopes with gradients of up to 10-15%. Some high-performance electric skateboards can handle 30% uphill slopes.
Understand Electric Skateboard Hill Grade and Gradient
Hill grade and Gradient refer to the steepness or slope of a hill and are typically expressed as a percentage. It represents the vertical rise of the hill over a certain horizontal distance.
The Formula for Hill Grade:
Grade (%)=(Vertical Rise/ Horizontal Run)×100
For example, if you climb 10 meters vertically over a distance of 100 meters horizontally, the hill grade would be (10/100)×100=10%
Tips for Uphill Riding
• Ride A Suitable Electric Skateboard
If you need to ride an electric skateboard through the terrain with numerous hills, choosing an electric skateboard with more powerful motors, larger battery capacity, large wheels, or a belt-driven system electric skateboard will provide a more comfortable riding experience for you. When the components of your electric skateboard are powerful enough to conquer most of the terrain and climb hills, you don't need to worry about your electric skateboard being overloaded.
• Lean Forward
You can lean forward slightly when climbing the hills with an electric skateboard. Your weight will distribute more towards the front of the board, helping the wheels of your electric skateboard grip better. A proper stance can give your electric skateboard a little extra push and maintain traction.
• Keep Maintain Speed
Before you reach the incline, try to build up some speed and maintain a consistent speed as you climb. Constantly accelerating and decelerating can strain the motor and drain the battery faster, affecting the performance of the electric skateboard.
What Disadvantages Does Continuous Uphill Riding Have On An Electric Skateboard?
Although most electric skateboards are capable of climbing hills, prolonged uphill riding can accelerate wear on the electric skateboard components.
• Motor and Battery Strain
As we discussed before, climbing hills require more power from the motor and battery, frequent and extended uphill rides can impact the longevity of both the motor and the battery.
• Reduced Range
Uphill climbs consume more energy from the battery compared to flat terrains. Consistently riding uphill can significantly reduce the overall range of your electric skateboard, affecting the performance of your electric skateboard.
• Impact on Riding Experience
The motor and electronic components can generate more heat when working harder, especially during uphill climbs. In the electric skateboard market, some brands equip their electric skateboards with motors designed to resist high temperatures, which helps to extent in preserving the motor's performance. However, continuous and excessive uphill riding can lead to temperatures surpassing the safety limits. This might reduce power or temporarily shut down the skateboard, thereby affecting the overall riding experience.
• Increased Maintenance Needs
In summary, extended periods of continuous uphill riding place additional stress on the wheels, belts (in belt-driven electric skateboards), and other components. This can accelerate their wear, and you may need to more frequent maintain or replace these components. The max range and top speed of electric skateboards would be impacted by the excessively worn components.
How to Minimize the Effects on Electric Skateboard When Uphill Riding?
• Cool Down Battery and Motor Temperature
Keep an eye on the temperature of your electric skateboard, especially during prolonged uphill climbs with your electric skateboard. Overheating with the electric components would affect the riding experience, and may even cause the electric skateboard to shut down automatically. Stop to ride until your electric skateboard's temperature cools down.
• Alternate Riding Routes
If possible, vary your riding routes to include a mix of terrains, not just uphill climbs. Selecting a high-performance electric skateboard to ride if you plan to ride on off-road terrain or adventure on the hill.
• Regular Maintenance
Check your electric skateboard regularly to ensure each component is in good condition. Allows each component to perform at its peak in each ride, and then you can fully experience the comfort your electric skateboard has to offer.
In essence, while you can ride electric skateboards to climb hills, choosing the right electric skateboard that is suitable for your riding style is important for a smooth and enjoyable riding experience. After understanding these factors that affect the hill climb ability of the electric skateboard, you're well-equipped to make informed decisions and embark on exhilarating riding! Always wear a helmet and protective gear to protect yourself! Happy and Safe Riding!