Blitzart Electric Skateboard Review
Growing up in New York City in the 1970s my yellow banana skateboard was my prized possession. I was a sidewalk surfer. I still recall a Saturday in Central Park when I first saw a motorized skateboard. It was a longboard skateboard with a gas powered engine fixed to the back. The rider was cruising through the park and up hills at about 15mph without having to push. Wow! In the 1980s I graduated from my banana board to a wider board with high performance trucks and wheels but still no engine. The image of that gas powered skateboard never left my mind.
Fast forward thirty plus years to the 2014 Consumer Electronic Show (CES) in Las Vegas where I was helping a client, Rachio with the launch of their smart sprinkler controller. I was outside getting lunch at the food trucks when a guy cruised by me on a longboard skateboard. He was not pushing, yet the board was silent. This was my first introduction to the electric skateboard. I followed him back to the Yuneec booth where I signed up to test ride the Yuneec E-go electric skateboard. It was amazing. A slim skateboard with a lithium ion battery pack mounted under the board, a belt drive electric motor and a wireless remote. The board was so fun to ride. At $699 it did not seem so expensive, yet a bit out of my price range for such a luxury item. Since that time I have kept my eye on the evolution of the electric skateboards and they appear to improve every year and have come down in price or have gone up in features such as range, speed and controls. An electric skateboard has been on my wishlist since that first ride at the Consumer Electronics Show. From time to time I will search the web to view the latest and greatest electric skateboards. Indiegogo and Kickstarter have hosted several campaigns for new designs. The hoverboard craze with the boards that were catching on fire and a recall on a leading electric skateboard may have slowed some of the consumer adoption, but each month I see more and more models available with better and better specs.
I am a big fan of Casey Neistat's YouTube vlog which often features him cruising around New York City on his Boosted Board. After enough research on the available boards and conversations with some of the manufacturers, I bought a Blitzart Huracane Electric Skateboard from Amazon.
The board was priced at $299 which is at the lower end of the market, but Blitzart promised solid performance. The board arrived within less than a week and was well packaged in a padded Blitzart box. Included were the fully assembled board, the remote controller, a usb micro cable for charging the remote controller (no wall plug) and a power brick for charging the board. Blitzart's specs say the 36 volt lithium ion battery will fully charge in 3 hours. The board includes a charge indicator with power levels. The remote charges more quickly and is said to last 1.5 hours on a charge. Before testing the board, I charged both the board and the remote fully.
My initial impressions on the board is that it is a well built, quality product. The wheels are beefy and the bearings seem good. The deck is an 8-ply maple wood with one ply of bamboo as the base layer. The top is coated in a nice grip tape. The battery spans most of the bottom of the board and has a wire running from the battery to the rear truck and into the wheel hub. This board has a hub motor versus a belt motor which is preferable and likely more durable. The wireless remote is smaller than I expected and feels rather cheap. The remote features a power switch, battery level indicator, forward/reverse switch, pairing button and throttle brake lever. While cheap in feel it works quite effectively.
At forty six years old, I know my limitations and falling off an electric skateboard at high speed could spell disaster so I have committed to taking it easy. My first ride around the neighborhood was excellent. I was really impressed with the way the board performs. The throttle works well and the brake is great especially when going down hills. I got the board to hit a top speed of 18.3 mph according to my Garmin Fenix 3 HR GPS watch. This is 3 mph over what Blitzart quotes on their website. The range is listed at 17 miles on a charge. I have not ridden that far yet. My longest ride was 2.6 miles. The board performs quite well on flat pavement. I did find hills with more than a 10 degree incline to be a struggle and anything over 20 degrees caused the board to stall. I am 155 lbs so maybe a lighter rider could power up a hill. This is really my biggest disappointment so far, but for $299 I can't expect performance on par with boards costing 4x. The top speed of 18 mph is plenty fast for me. I would not feel comfortable at my age riding any faster.
My 2.6 mile journey was to the local supermarket where the check out guy was intrigued with the large wheels on the board. When I told him it was electric he was surprised because the board really looks quite similar to a typical longboard. Riding on the sidewalk I saw several passing cars checking me out. Definitely still a novelty to see someone on an electric skateboard. With the prices falling and the technology improving, I expect we will be seeing more on the streets in the coming years. Man do I wish I was a teen again to ride fearlessly.
I intend to use my Blitzart electric skateboard for cruising the neighborhood and quick trips to the store. It makes for fun and efficient transportation and at $299 the price is right. Blitzart has a cool line of boards available in different sizes and shapes. Check out www.Blitzarts.com to see their full line.