The electric skateboard, as a portable and swift mode of electric transportation, is becoming increasingly popular in our daily lives. You can enjoy the freedom and beautiful views while riding an electric skateboard on the street, that is a novel and much fun transportation to travel around. However, have you ever considered how your electric skateboard works?
The working principle of your e-board isn't as complex as you might imagine. The performances of electric skateboards are controlled by their electric components, including a remote, battery, ESC, and motor. Other accessories of the electric skateboard, such as the deck, wheels, and trucks, may also affect the performance and the riding experience. After reading this blog, you will understand how each accessory and electric component cooperate to keep an electric skateboard rolling on the road. It would be helpful for you to choose the right electric skateboard suitable for your riding style, or even if you can build a DIY electric skateboard by yourself.
What Is an Electric Skateboard?
An electric skateboard is equipped with various electric components, enabling it to move faster, cover longer distances, and possess more power than a regular skateboard. You can control an electric skateboard with a wireless Bluetooth remote. Speed can be adjusted by accelerating and decelerating, while the direction can be controlled by shifting the body's center of gravity to the left or right.
Why Are Electric Skateboards So Popular?
1. Convenient and Eco-Friendly Commuting
Electric skateboards are generally more lightweight and easier to carry and store than electric bikes. With an electric skateboard, you don't need to waste time waiting for public buses or stations. Simply hop on your electric skateboard, accelerate using the wireless remote, and you're free to go anywhere without the limitations of "first mile" and "last mile" commuting. Moreover, you won't have to worry about the cost of expensive car gas and save money on transportation fuel. Besides, an eboard allows you to navigate through traffic jams with ease, and save time on your daily commute. Additionally, electric skateboards contribute to eco-friendly commuting by reducing carbon footprints. They are a novel and sustainable mode to travel through streets and towns. With zero emissions and a minimal carbon footprint, riders can feel good about reducing their impact on the environment.
2. Fun and Fitness
Besides providing convenience for daily commuting, electric skateboarding is also an incredibly enjoyable activity. Imagine riding the skateboard while freely appreciating the beautiful scenery along the way – it's truly a delightful experience. If you are a pro rider, you can practice various skateboard tricks, enhance core muscle strength, and improve body coordination and balance, contributing to overall physical and mental well-being.
What Are the Components of an Electric Skateboard?
An electric skateboard typically consists of several key accessories and electronic components, each playing a crucial role in its functionality. In addition to the regular components, which are the same as regular skateboards, such as the deck, trucks, and wheels, electric skateboards are also equipped with some electronic components to control their speed, braking, and performance.
1. Electric Skateboard Deck
Electric skateboards come in various deck sizes and materials, each influencing the riding experience. According to the different deck sizes of electric skateboards, they can be divided into electric shortboards and electric longboards. Electric shortboards are typically about 30 inches, offering better portability and maneuverability; they are suitable for riders who prioritize agility and plan to carry the board frequently. Electric longboards are about 38 inches, providing greater stability at higher speeds; they are suitable for riders who prioritize cruising and downhill riding. Additionally, the different shapes of the deck would affect the riding experience and electric skateboard performances. There are various deck materials for different electric skateboards, typically including the following materials:
• Maple Wood: The most common electric skateboard or regular skateboard material, offering a combination of flexibility and durability. It can provide a comfortable riding experience. Although maple is heavier than bamboo and lacks the shock-absorbing ability of bamboo, it is more robust and stable.
• Bamboo: A lightweight and flexible deck material for electric skateboards, providing a smooth ride experience. Absorbs shocks better than some other materials. But it is too soft and flexible, lacking the sturdiness and stability of maple.
• Fiberglass: It is often used in conjunction with other materials for enhancing flexibility and responsiveness.
• Carbon Fiber: It is a lightweight, rigid, and durable electric skateboard deck material, offering excellent strength without adding much weight. However carbon fiber material is the most expensive among these common materials.
2. Electric Skateboard Truck
Different truck configurations have distinct characteristics, influencing the ride, stability, and turning capabilities of electric skateboards. Here's an overview of the differences between TKP (Traditional King-Pin), RKP (Reversed King-Pin), DKP (Double King-Pin), Channel trucks (also known as C-trucks or Chamber trucks), and 3-link trucks:
• TKP (Traditional King-Pin) Trucks: Regular skateboard trucks with the kingpin facing towards the center of the board.
• RKP (Reversed King-Pin) Trucks: Kingpin faces outward, away from the center of the board. Common on longboards and electric skateboards. Greater turning capabilities compared to TKP, suitable for cruising and carving.
• DKP (Double King-Pin) Trucks: Two kingpins per truck, allowing for extreme turning angles. Excellent maneuverability but may sacrifice stability at high speeds. Often used in electric skateboards designed for tight turns and tricks.
• Channel Trucks (C-trucks or Chamber Trucks): Have a channel or groove in the hanger, allowing the board to tilt more. Provides a unique turning feel, often associated with surf-style riding. Suitable for carving and cruising.
• 3-Link Trucks: Feature three links connecting the hanger to the baseplate. Offers a combination of stability and carving capabilities. Designed for a responsive and lively ride, suitable for various riding styles.
3. Electric Skateboard Wheels
• Street Wheels
1) Durometer: Typically ranges from 78A to 99A.
2) Size: Smaller diameter for quick acceleration and maneuverability.
3) Usage: Suited for smooth surfaces, ideal for commuting and tricks.
• All-Terrain Wheels
1) Durometer: Generally softer, around 75A to 78A.
2) Size: Larger diameter with treaded or pneumatic design.
3) Usage: Suitable for various terrains, including rough roads, gravel, and grass.
• Cloud Wheels
1) Durometer: Typically around 78A.
2) Size: Large diameter with a unique honeycomb design.
3) Usage: Offers a smoother ride, absorbing bumps and cracks, suitable for commuting.
• Off-Road Wheels
1) Durometer: Soft, usually 75A or lower.
2) Size: Large diameter with a pneumatic or treaded design.
3) Usage: Specifically designed for off-road adventures, providing traction on uneven surfaces.
4. Electric Skateboard Battery
Electric skateboard batteries provide power and energy to the electric motor and other electronic components, ensuring the electric skateboard rolls on the streets. The most common battery type used on electric skateboards is Lithium-ion batteries due to their energy density and relatively lightweight. Besides, the capacity of the battery would affect the range of the electric skateboard. If you want longer range riding in your daily commute, you should choose a larger capacity battery. In recent years, swappable batteries have become popular in the electric skateboard industry. It is a good design to solve the limited range of electric skateboards, providing riders more long-distance riding with the removable batteries design on electric skateboards.
5. Electric Skateboard Motor and Drive System
The most common drive systems on electric skateboards include the Hub Drive, Belt Drive System, and Direct Drive System. They are responsible for providing power to the electric skateboard, letting your eboard smoothly pass through the street and other terrains.
• Hub Drive
1) Location: Hub motors are integrated into the wheels of the skateboard, replacing the traditional wheel hub. They are compact and hidden, providing a sleek and minimalist appearance.
2) Drive System: Hub motors have the wheel's outer shell directly attached to the motor, eliminating the need for belts or gears. This design simplifies maintenance and reduces noise.
3) Advantages: Hub motors offer a streamlined and maintenance-friendly design. They are generally quieter than belt drives and provide a more traditional longboard appearance.
• Belt-Drive Motors
1) Location: Belt-drive motors are mounted on the skateboard's trucks. They have a pulley system that connects the motor to the wheels using a belt.
2) Drive System: The belt and pulley system allows for more flexibility in terms of gear ratios, which can affect torque and top speed. Belt-drive systems are often used in high-performance electric skateboards.
3) Advantages: Belt drives provide flexibility in adjusting gear ratios, allowing for customization of torque and speed. They are often found in high-performance electric skateboards.
• Direct-Drive Motors
1) Location: Direct-drive motors are also mounted on the trucks, but instead of using belts, they directly drive the wheels.
2) Drive System: Direct-drive systems aim to combine the advantages of both hub and belt-drive systems. They eliminate the need for belts, reducing maintenance, while still providing a more traditional longboard look.
3) Advantages: Similar to hub motors, direct drives reduce maintenance requirements by eliminating belts. They aim to combine the advantages of both hub and belt-drive systems.
6. Electric Skateboard ESC
The ESC, just like the brain of your eboard, is an important component in the functioning of an electric skateboard, It is responsible for controlling the speed, acceleration, and braking by managing the power output from the battery to the motor.
7. Electric Skateboard Remote Control
The electric skateboard remote acts as a commander and can control speed, acceleration, braking, and sometimes additional features. The acceleration and braking are typically achieved through a throttle wheel that the rider can manipulate with their thumb or index finger. Additionally, most electric skateboard remotes have forward and reverse functionality. This is particularly useful for maneuvering, parking, or adjusting the board's position. Besides, you can read the board's information on the LCD on your electric skateboard remote control, such as battery power, speed, brake, cruise mode, and range.
8. Electric Skateboard Braking System
The braking system of an electric skateboard is an important component that allows the rider to slow down or come to a complete stop. It is typically controlled by the rider through the electric skateboard's remote. Here are the main types of braking systems found in electric skateboards:• Regenerative Braking
1) Description: Regenerative braking is a feature that turns the electric motor into a generator during braking. Instead of dissipating the braking energy as heat, the system converts it back into electrical energy and feeds it back into the battery.
2) Advantages: Regenerative braking enhances the overall energy efficiency of the electric skateboard, extending the range of the battery.
• Electronic Braking
1) Description: Electronic braking involves using the electronic speed controller (ESC) to reduce the power supplied to the motor gradually. This controlled reduction in power creates a braking effect.
2) Advantages: Electronic braking provides a smooth and controlled deceleration. The braking force can be adjusted based on rider preferences or the specific design of the electric skateboard.
• Mechanical Braking (Friction Brakes)
1) Description: Some electric skateboards incorporate mechanical braking systems, similar to traditional longboards. This can include disc brakes, drum brakes, or other friction-based braking mechanisms.
2) Advantages: Mechanical brakes provide strong and reliable stopping power. They are often found in electric skateboards designed for higher speeds or more aggressive riding.
How Do Electric Skateboards Work?
1. When you push the throttle on the remote control forward, it sends a signal to the Electronic Speed Controller (ESC).
2. The ESC interprets the throttle signal and adjusts the power output from the battery to the electric motor accordingly.
3. The motor receives the adjusted power and starts turning, transferring mechanical energy to the wheels. As the motor turns the wheels, the electric skateboard starts moving forward.
4. When you need to turn or change direction on an electric skateboard, you adjust your center of gravity to alter the course. By leaning your body to one side and applying pressure with your toes or heels, the trucks beneath the skateboard will pivot, causing the board to turn. Therefore, the tightness of the trucks significantly influences the maneuverability of your skateboard. It is advisable to adjust the tightness of the trucks according to your preference before embarking on your ride for a more comfortable and controlled experience.
5. When you pull the throttle back or use the brake on the remote, the ESC may activate regenerative braking, converting some of the kinetic energy back into electrical energy and sending it back to the battery, improving overall energy efficiency.
ESC acts as the brain, orchestrating the dance of power between the battery and the motor. Meanwhile, the remote control becomes the rider's conductor's wand, allowing them to navigate speed, direction, and braking effortlessly. The braking system, with its regenerative, electronic, or mechanical prowess, adds a layer of control and safety to the exhilarating journey.
Understanding how electric skateboards work isn't just a technical insight; it's a gateway to personalization. The choice of components, the modes they offer, and the subtle nuances they bring to the ride allow riders to tailor their experience. As riders push the boundaries of speed and skill, the electric skateboard remains a testament to the fusion of technology and lifestyle, offering a ride that's not just efficient but also an expression of individuality. So, whether you're commuting through bustling streets or carving along scenic paths, the electric skateboard becomes not just a mode of transport but a companion on a journey of fun, fitness, and sustainable living.
1. Are Electric Skateboard Worth It?
2. How Long Does an Electric Skateboard Battery Last?
3. How Much Does an Electric Skateboard Cost?
4. Are Electric Skateboards Safe?
5. How to Choose Electric Skateboard Deck Material?