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How to Select an Electric Skateboard

Electric skateboards are becoming popular due to their compact size and ultimate performance. They don’t carry extra weight, except for the battery and the motor which is a big plus for overall efficiency. Their small diameter wheels, coupled with a powerful motor are able to propel a rider to speeds of up to 40 km/hr. Their amazing torque easily carries a 200 pound rider up steep hills with as much as a 30 degree slope. Downhill is very safe as well, with wireless dynamic braking. The acceleration is also exceptional at zero to 30km/h in four seconds. This may sound more dangerous than regular skateboards, but when used wisely, they have far better control. This is because quality electric skateboards are equipped with a sophisticated remote control system ensuring reliable and responsive braking. And you don’t have to worry about wearing-out brake pads because there are none. The electric motor itself stops the skateboard in as little as a few meters by adsorbing the kinetic energy to actually recharge the battery. This electric-adsorbing-brake system is similar to Hybrid automobiles like the Toyota Prius electric braking. With a small light movement of your finger you can safely brake on a downhill to reduce your speed from 40 to 0 km/hr in about 20 to 30 ft.

What are the main features characterizing an electric skateboard? The primary features are power, speed, torque, range and weight. The secondary features are the type of control, turning radius, charging time, maintenance, wheels, deck, driving transmission, brake type, etc.

power– As you probably know the power is a multiplication of the voltage and the consumed current. So if you have for example a 600W motor, running on 24V batteries, the consumed current at full power will be 600/24= 25A (Amperes). The same power motor but running on 36V battery will consume 16.6 A current. This means that the batteries will be drained slower, a healthier condition. This will result in more driving range and better battery life. The motors of our JetDek AT800 and JetDek XT are running on 36V and have four brushes. This additionally reduces the current going to the motor commutator by half and reduces the possibility of electric arcs inside the motor, extending the motor and the brushes life.

speed– JetDek skateboards go 25 km/h for JetDek XP, 30 km/h for JetDek XT and 40 km/h for JetDek LT. A skateboard going over 40 km/h we consider as unsafe and we would not encourage or assist our customers in modifying the skateboards to go faster. The faster the skateboard, the bigger the wheels should be. That’s why our JetDek LT which goes up to 40km/h has nine inch inflatable wheels to adsorb vibrations. For small wheels with the same diameter wheel the one which is more elastic performs better at higher speeds when the road is not smooth. This is the case with using urethane and rubber wheels for our city JetDeks

torque– This is the feature which defines the uphill climbing capability of the skateboard. Our JetDek AT800 and JetDek XT have the highest torque: 55N/m. Many people are misled that the torque is a function of the wheel size only. The torque is measured on the motor shaft and it is a particular number for every driving system. Of course, when the size of the wheel is smaller, your climbing capability increases. But this doesn’t change the torque. The climbing capability is then inversely proportionally to the wheel diameter. So you need to consider your top speed too. You can imagine if an electric scooter with 16” wheels has a climbing capability of 15 degrees, how much better the climbing capability of a skateboard will be with equal torque, and a 4” wheel. This is also related to the start on hills from a dead stop. With JetDek XT a rider of 160Lb can start the skateboard on a hill of 20 degrees and climb a hill of 30 degrees.

range– The less power, the more battery capacity, and the smaller load you carry on a skateboard, the farther is the range. You probably don’t want, however, to sacrifice the power for range. There are three options – to carry more batteries, to have an extra battery always on charge so when your battery is dead just to swap them and charge the skateboard as often as you can. The first option can have two choices – to carry the same lead acid battery and double the range, but to also double the weight and to switch to a lighter NiMH or Li-Ion battery. If you want to spend extra money, the second option is better because the weight of the skateboard will only increase 15% but the range will increase by 70%, or you will decrease the weight by 40% for the same range.

weight– The weight is a function of how long you want to ride under power. The weight of JetDek XT is 17kg with the standard battery and 11kg with the NiMH battery. As for the load weight, JetDek XT and AT800 can carry up to 300 pounds, but the specified range and climbing capability decrease for riders heavier than 160 pounds.

REMOTE CONTROLL – The remote control for a JetDek is digital and eliminates any possible interference which makes it safe to be used in the city. An unique feature of our remote controllers is the built in speed governor which allows you to set the maximum speed limit for JetDek XT. There is a beginner, intermediate and expert setting of 0-8 km/h, 0-15 km/h and 0-30km/h. The JetDek AT 800 has 0-10 km/h, 0-15 km/h and 0-40 km/h settings. The speed control is not done in steps. Both braking and acceleration are infinitely variable within the limits set. The remote control is powered by a 9V alkaline or rechargeable NiMH battery and has a power-saver feature (automatically shuts off if not used for 5 min) It also scans the motor controller functionality and gives a warning sound if anything is not set properly or batteries need charging. Ten minutes before the remote hand throttle battery needs replacement (usually once a month) beeping is heard.

WHEELS – JetDek XP can come with 85a urethane wheels and 60% rubber wheels. The advantages of the first ones are that they are more durable, but they don’t adsorb vibrations very well. They are also flat in shape and wider than the rubber ones which make the ride more stable for dry conditions. The rubber wheels have better traction, especially on wet surfaces, they provide a softer ride but they are less durable than the urethane ones. However, you don’t need to buy a whole wheel. You can change only the rubber part, similar to a car tire. The JetDek AT800 has an inflatable wheel which makes the ride very comfortable and allows you to go easily over bumps. The wheels are also 3 ¼ inches wide which makes it an all terrain vehicle.

TURNING RADIUS – JetDek XP and JetDek XT have the best turning radius, at 6 ft which makes them suitable for city conditions. This tight radius coupled with the immediate brake makes them very flexible when used in a crowded area. JetDek AT800 has a larger turning radius for better stability at higher speeds and off road use on the grass and gravel. JetDek and JetDek XP have a special turning pendulum system designed by BMW which makes them extremely maneuverable. In a turn, their wheels lean to help the rider offset the centripetal force without banked corners

DECK – Our JetDek XT and AT electric skateboards may come with a flat, classic style deck, or the JetDek XP can be assembled with a concave, pintail deck made from eight plied layers of Canadian maple. A pintail deck would allow you to do kick turns, jump the curb, and to drag the skateboard on its front wheels using it as a handle. Both deck types are grip taped with the tough RHINO skin grip tape.

RELIABILITY AND MAINTANANCE – The electric skateboard, compared to other vehicles, is subjected to more abuse and yet reliability is still comparable or better, even with these extreme conditions. There are no brake pads to wear out. Replacing any part on an electric skateboard should be simple. So although JetDek electric skateboards have very sophisticated systems they are none the less packed in modular design, so replacement of any worn parts is easy. The electric system consists of three modules – battery, controller and motor. If anything goes wrong with any of the three modules it takes only a few minutes to replace any of them. The two mechanical parts are well protected as the belt is in a case and the bearings are sealed. These are also a snap to replace using the tool kit provided with your purchase. We keep the full range of spare parts which can be picked up in the store or ordered at any time online from www.jetdek.com or www.e-ride.ca

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