The best electric skateboards have one thing in common: high-quality components. They’re constructed with long-lasting materials to maintain the system for years.
Still, a responsible skater should know the basic components to manage proper maintenance and common technical issues with electric skateboards[Common Problems with Electric Skateboards & How to Fix Them]. The five main parts of e-skates are the motor, battery, drive train, wheels, and deck.
Table of Contents
- 1 Electric Skateboard Components
- 2 Traditional vs Electronic Parts
Electric Skateboard Components
Brushless motors are better for electric skateboards than the brushed type. They don’t use brushes that need regular maintenance, according to the Power Tech Review. They can also adapt to different speeds despite their smaller size.
Electric skateboard motors give torque and power to help the wheels maintain movement and speed for hours. The Kv of a motor focuses on the amount of torque while the wattage is for power. Torque refers to the measurement of the rotational force.
The Kv of e-skate motors is generally within the range of 120 to 220. However, a few skaters want to try extremely high torque up to 700+ Kv.
There have been attempts to use 800+ Kv as well. But, that’s highly discouraged by experts due to safety concerns and drastic effects on the performance.
A lower Kv will provide the user with more torque. But, its effectiveness still depends on the surface of the ground or road. For example, less torque is better for hot and dry roads.
The person’s riding style and weight are also considered important factors. That’s why some skaters prefer a higher Kv.
In general, a lower number within the 120 to 220 Kv range is ideal. An electric skateboard with more torque offers a wide range of settings.
The basic concept of wattage is straightforward: the higher it is, the more powerful the motor can be. Electric skateboards usually work with 150 to 500 watts.
However, some high-performance options feature incredible power by having dual motors. A dual design can generate thousands of watts. For example, the brand Evolve Skateboards promotes e-skates powered by 3,000 watts in total.
The maximum distance of an electric skateboard relies on its battery’s lifespan before the next recharge or replacement. Battery capacities use milliampere-hour (mAh) or ampere-hour (Ah) as the unit of measurement. A higher number means larger energy storage.
Good electric skateboard batteries have an energy capacity of 5,000 to 10,000 mAh (5 to 10 Ah). A skater can reach five miles with a 5,000-mAh battery. Meanwhile, approximately 15 miles is the estimate for a 10,000-mAh battery.
Just remember that an extremely high capacity doesn’t guarantee maximum longevity. The motor’s performance and the wheels’ quality have a significant impact on the distance.
Lithium is the ideal material for electric skateboard batteries. A lithium battery can be recharged many times until it malfunctions. It can also have a high capacity even if it’s lightweight and small.
This type of battery exists in two different types of compositions: ion and polymer. Lithium-ion is better since it has more cycles and higher stability. It’s heavier and more expensive, which is expected from a battery with superior quality.
The mechanism that combines everything is the drive train. It’s composed of a belt and a set of pulleys to transfer energy to the wheels. The motor mount supports the systematic design of the motor and wheel pulleys as well as the belt for the entire drive.
The first thing that should be considered before designing a drive train is the number of rotations the motor can generate every minute. It’s technically called RPM or Revolutions per Minute. Knowing the RPM will make it easier for the designer to identify the Gearing Reduction Ratio.
Another factor is the wheel circumference. It can be calculated by measuring the diameter. This is essential for estimating the distance for every revolution.
A larger wheel for an electric skateboard adds weight, making it harder to accelerate. Nevertheless, it can still move extremely fast once the rider successfully accelerates to the target speed. It can even retain the speed until it’s time to slow down.
Bigger wheels are also more stable than smaller ones. Stability is crucial to stay safe and comfortable on bumpy surfaces.
The hardness of electric skateboard wheels is represented by two digits followed by a letter. It’s simply called the durometer.
“A” is the letter commonly associated with the durometer rating of e-skate wheels. That’s why skaters focus on the number.
A higher number means a harder wheel. Numbers 70 to 85 have better grip for rough roads, hence their safer design for cruising.
Meanwhile, 80 to 90 give the best slides because of their speed. Lastly, durometer ratings above 90 are the fastest, which is more exciting for extreme skaters.
Rubber and urethane are the common materials for electric skateboard wheels. Pneumatic or rubber wheels are safe for most terrains because of their softer feel, making them ideal for off-road locations.
On the other hand, urethane is popular for urban use. It has less grip than rubber, which contributes to smoother rides on solid surfaces.
Bamboo, fiberglass, maple, and carbon fiber are the most popular materials for electric skateboard decks. Bamboo is the most flexible, but it can be combined with fiberglass to add stiffness.
Meanwhile, maple is the stiffest type of deck. And, if the skater isn’t sure about the level of stiffness needed, carbon fiber is the most balanced option.
A more flexible deck is better for slow carving since it gives rebound. It can also give more comfortable rides.
On the other hand, faster rides are guaranteed with stiffer electric skateboard decks. Those decks are safer as well for off-road adventures because they bounce less.
Deck grips can keep the skater safe whenever the brake is activated or a sharp turn is made. Electric skateboards need extremely rough grips on their top surface to ensure stability during high-speed rides. Too much roughness can hurt the rider’s skin, but it will be fine if rugged shoes protect the feet.
Camber and rocker are the two major profiles of electric skateboards. The first one is higher because of its elevated middle part. Heavier people can benefit from it since the deck will remain flat instead of sagging.
Meanwhile, the latter is lower but more stable. Heavy skaters can still use it, but they should use a stiff deck.
The ply or layer quantity of an electric skateboard affects the stiffness of its deck. More stacked layers make the deck firmer.
However, the deck’s material is a significant factor. A lower number of maple ply can still be harder than a higher number of bamboo layers.
Traditional vs Electronic Parts
The addition of the motor, battery and drive train is the major reason why the electronic type is different from the traditional version. People who build DIY electric skateboards[How to Build an Electric Skateboard DIY] can install those parts on existing decks and wheels.
The original design of the skateboards only includes basic components like the deck and the wheels. It’s supported by parts such as the trucks and bearings to make the wheels move with the skater’s motions.