While regular skateboards can go fairly fast, what happens when you attach a motor to a skateboard? This is exactly the case with electric skateboards.
Of course, this begs the question: How fast is an electric skateboard? And what is an electric skateboard’s top speed?
The answers to these questions are of course going to vary a lot, depending on factors like the electric skateboard model, motor strength, weight of the rider, environmental conditions, and more.
Below I’m going to answer both of these questions in detail, plus talk about some other issues related to electric skateboard speed.
Related: How Fast Does a Hoverboard Go?
How Fast Does an Electric Skateboard Go?
Electric skateboard max speed can range anywhere from 9 MPH (15 km/hr) to 68 MPH (110 km/hr). That’s a huge difference, right?
Generally speaking, the slowest electric skateboards are ones designed for kids, such as this one or this one. Children’s electric skateboards like these usually max out at a speed of 9-13 MPH (15-21 km/hr). Obviously, this is safer for young kids. Slower speeds also require smaller motors, allowing the boards to be built smaller and lighter for kids. These slower boards aimed at younger riders also tend to be the cheapest electric skateboards.
For regular and higher end electric skateboards aimed at adults and more serious riders, 15-30 MPH (24 to 48 km/hr) is the normal maximum speed range. For example, the popular Skatebolt Electric Longboard will get you to a commendable top speed of 25 MPH.
Anything above 30 MPH is crazy fast for an electric skateboard, and not common. What’s more, electric skateboards going that fast are undoubtedly going to be crazy expensive and unbelievably powerful beasts. For example, check out the Bioboard Plutonium. When put together with a 4-wheel-drive all terrain motor, it can reach a maximum speed of 50 MPH (81 km/hr).
At the absolute extreme max end, the NGV Nextboard has reached a speed of 68 mph (110km/h), setting a Guinness World Record! But boards like this are practically like little cars, and cost almost as much as one, too!
What affects electric skateboard speed?
The maximum speeds for electric skateboards are always indicated by the skateboard’s manufacturer. However, these numbers should be taken with a grain of salt. In reality, the maximum speed a skateboard can achieve depends on various factors.
In some cases, the maximum speed simply means the highest speed that a skateboard’s display will show. In fact, under the right circumstances, you may even be able to go faster. In other cases, you may find that no matter how hard you try, you won’t be able to reach your electric skateboard’s supposed top speed.
Having said that, it’s important that I point out something here. Maximum speeds aren’t there so that you can strive to reach them. In most cases, you won’t be traveling anywhere near your electric skateboard’s maximum speed. What’s more, it can be extremely dangerous to try to push your skateboard to its top speed. Never sacrifice safety for the sake of trying to push your skateboard to its limit!
Going back to the point, here are some of the factors affecting electric skateboard speed:
- Brand/model of skateboard
- Motor size (indicated in Watts, ranging from 100W to 4500W)
- Wind (this can act as an opposing force and slow you down)
- Road surface (bumpier surfaces slow you down)
- Weight of rider (a heavier rider requires more power to reach the same speed)
- Degree of incline (obviously you’ll go faster when going downhill)
- Battery level (a fully charged battery may output more power)
Because of all these factors, two different riders in two different places may achieve totally different maximum speeds, even when riding the exact same electric skateboard!
Other Questions about Electric Skateboard Speed
While we’re on the topic of electric skateboard speeds, here are some other related questions that you may want to ask:
What determines electric skateboard speed?
Besides the environmental factors and rider weight which I already mentioned that can affect maximum speed, the single most important electric skateboard feature affecting speed is the motor.
There are actually three types of electric skateboard motors, and any given electric skateboard can make use of one or more of them.
A wheel hub motor is a motor that is encased in the wheel itself. An outrunner motor is one that is mounted close to (but not right in) the wheel. It is linked to the wheels with a toothed belt and pulley system. Last, a direct drive motor is attached between the wheels and the trucks, and is also linked to the wheels.
When looking at these motors, we should pay attention to their size, KV, and Watts. A size is usually indicated with four numbers, with the first two representing the diameter in mm and the second two representing the length in mm. While you would think that a largely size motor is always more powerful, other factors are more important, so that is not always the case.
KV refers to the number of revolutions per minute achieved with one volt of power without any load. This can range from 80 to 220 KV. A higher KV will give a higher top speed.
Finally, Watts is the indicator you are probably already familiar with, and the most likely to be displayed on the skateboard’s product specs. For children’s electric skateboards, you could expect Wattage around 100-350W. At the extreme top end in terms of speed limits, you may see skateboard motors with Watts as high as 4000.
You don’t have to get too bogged down by these features, though. The electric skateboard speed limit indicated by the manufacturer is usually a good enough indicator for comparing different skateboards and what they are capable of.
Are electric skateboards faster than regular skateboards?
The short answer to this question is yes, electric skateboards can go faster than regular ones. That should come as no major surprise, given that when you ride an electric skateboard, you’ve got a motor to propel you along.
On a regular skateboard, most skaters can reach a maximum speed of about 10 or 12 MPH (16 to 19 km/hr) on flat ground. As I’ve already mentioned above, even most children’s electric skateboards can reach similar speeds, while adult electric boards and especially high end ones can blow regular skateboards out of the water in terms of speed on flat surfaces.
When it comes to going downhill, it’s a totally different story. You’ve surely seen videos of people racing (non-electric) long boards downhill and achieving insane speeds, that is, thanks to the assistance of our good friend: gravity. In fact, downhill longboarders are able to reach speeds in the ballpark of 60 MPH, which is right up there with the top-speed electric skateboards.
Of course, you can also use gravity to your advantage on an electric skateboard. However, there is a very important safety issue that must be pointed out here. When riding an electric skateboard, users come to rely a lot of the handheld brakes.
The problem with this is that electric skateboard brakes have been known to malfunction when riders are going downhill. It turns out that when an electric skateboard’s battery is fully charged, and then you try to use the brakes while going downhill (which also requires power), it can lead to an overcharge and the brakes just won’t work.
Therefore, in your quest for high speeds, it’s important not to try riding down any hills that you wouldn’t be willing to handle without your electric brakes. You need to know how to stop without them, just in case.
Besides that, it is not even recommended to try to exceed your electric skateboard’s maximum speed limit by racing downhill. The safest way to handle downhill is to gently and smoothly apply the brake while going down, rather than pressing the brake button on and off to try to control your speed.
You’ll also want to wear safety gear at all times when riding an electric skateboard, especially when you are testing out your electric skateboard’s speed limits! On that note, here are the five best wrist guards for skateboarding!
Finally, when riding your electric skateboard, it’s also in your best interest to find out whether electric skateboards are legal where you live.
Final Thoughts on Electric Skateboard Speed
I hope this article has gone above and beyond clearing up any questions you had about how fast electric skateboards can go. Thank you if you’ve made it this far in the article, and enjoy chasing some speed on your electric skateboard, safely of course!