All the pleasure of wind-in-your-helmet adrenaline without any of the legwork? If you think zipping around on an electric scooter looks fun, wait 'til you try an electric skateboard.
With reasonable price tags and decent motors, these four-wheeled slabs of rapture are the latest trend in personal electric vehicles, both for entertainment and practical use.
As the interest grows, new manufacturers are emerging with fresh ideas to stake a bigger claim on the eboard market share, and with it, the capabilities of the boards are improving all the time.
Travelling anywhere by electric skateboard is a sure-fire way of improving the entertainment value of the journey, but there are a few things to keep in mind before picking up your first board.
This is where it gets a little bit complicated. Since electric skateboards are considered to be motorised vehicles, it is illegal to ride them on public roads or footpaths in the UK.
There has been a lot of campaigning in recent years for this law to be amended, allowing eboards to be classed in the same bracket as bicycles and the legality changed as such, but for now, the law is still the law
However, UK laws over personal electric vehicle use are slowly relaxing. It is now legal to ride an electric scooter in the UK, providing it’s ridden on the road or in a cycle lane and the scooter has been rented from a government-approved scheme.
Eboard restrictions may also be soon for the chop but stick to riding on private land, for now, to avoid getting in trouble.
How to stay safe
Keep to a safe speed – It’s always tempting to put your foot down, but without any seatbelts to hold you back, a high-speed accident could result in major injuries. Always be sensible on an electric skateboard, match your speed with the clarity of your vision and always slow down around other people.
Wear protective gear – Always wear a helmet at the very least. Eboard crashes have already proven fatal through a lack of appropriate safety equipment, so don a helmet with knee and elbow pads to protect yourself as best you can.
Good conditions – Ride your board when you feel it’s safe to do so. Wet weather will impede the braking performance of your board, with potentially disastrous consequences. To preserve the condition of your board’s motor and indeed yourself, stick to clear days and high-light conditions.
When it comes to electric skateboards, the difficult choice is deciding which to get. Here are our picks of the best on the market right now.
Teamgee Electric Skateboard
Here’s a great place to start. The H5 from Teamgee is equipped with dual 760W hub motors for an overall weight of just under 6.5kgs, offering 11 miles of range with top speeds of 20mph.
It’s built of strong stuff, too: the lightweight board is manufactured using 10 ply Canadian maple and one-ply fibreglass, ensuring rigidity, stability and strength when flying down the road.
The polymer lithium batteries beneath the board are ultra-thin, meaning they can be housed in a low-profile casing without the risk of catching on the ground below.
Out of juice? The high-performance batteries are fast charging, meaning they can be fully charged again in just two hours. Small and light, the H5 would make a great choice for your first board.
Roojer Electric Skateboard
Best entry level electric skateboard
This three-speed electric skateboard from Roojer sports a penny board style design with chunky polyurethane wheels for a stable and smooth ride.
The 350W motor can be operated via wireless remote control from up to 14 meters away, with abilities to determine forward/reverse movement, braking, and speed at the touch of a button. This remote control would especially benefit parents wishing to manage the risk of their children while riding the board, or any other supervisor of young or inexperienced riders.
The deck is built of strong, seven-ply maple, with a max range of 8km between charges. Given the board’s trendy design, decent range, and wireless remote, for just over £120 this board represents great value for money.
VIVI Electric Skateboard
Looking to upgrade your entry-level electric skateboard? Take your riding to the next level with this 700W board from VIVI. At 35.5 inches long and 8.2 inches wide, the longboard style deck of this eboard would make a great choice for languorous cruising in wide-open space, with a 12.4mph top speed and 9.3-mile range.
Like the Roojer, this board also features a wireless control to switch between three-speed modes remotely, allowing supervisors to manage the speed and direction of the rider should they wish, and with an LED indicator to report the remaining battery level.
The deck is built of eight-ply maple covered with non-slip emery sandpaper for great purchase on the board even in damp conditions, and with a carry handle in the frame for portability.
HX Urban Electric Skateboard
Best electric skateboard for low light riding
Do four wheels seem a bit superfluous? This enthralling piece from HX Urban trims the number down to just one. With assisted stabilisation technology and gyroscopic sensors, this board auto-adjusts to keep riders balanced at all times - designed to simulate the sensation of closet surfing on a flat road.
The 250W motor has a range of up to 17km in one hour on a single charge, but carry another battery on you and you can switch them out for another go.
This board can also be controlled from the HX app – available for download on IOS and Android – so performance settings are customizable to suit the needs and capabilities of the rider. This Urban model also sports multi-coloured LED lights on the deck, replicating pure Tron legacy aestheticism when the sun goes down.
Caroma Electric Skateboard
Great for cruising
This electric skateboard from Caroma features a classic wide-deck board design for easy and enjoyable cruising. The board is available in two colourways, both of which feature coarse deck tape for optimum grip beneath your feet.
The deck is powered by a quiet yet potent 350W motor that’s non-resistant, meaning this board can function as a conventional skateboard when the battery runs out, but we especially like this electric skateboard for its pressure-sensitive technology. Stepping onto the skateboard will automatically turn it on, and then after a few minutes of inactivity, the motor will automatically turn off to save power and improve range.