Tech Is Cheap: esk8 for the budget conscious <$1000 range

Let’s say you want a capable electric skateboard, but don’t have $1000 to spend. Maybe you’re curious about electric skateboards, but don’t want to risk spending a ton on something you might not enjoy later. If you’ve seen folks of all ages on $1500 Boosted Boards with smiles from ear to ear, you might wonder what the fuss is about. Good news, there are other electric skateboards on the market that can give you that same smile for half the price.

What about quality?

It’s hit or miss with with any mass produced product. They’ve only recently started mass producing electric skateboards, and there’s always the possibility of ending up with a dud or defect. There’s a stigma of poor quality attached to boards manufactured in China, and we get it. That being said, they are leading the way for light electric vehicle (LEV) production and are quickly defining the standard. I dig watching the videos that come out from Chinese LEV manufacturers, testing their latest esk8 boards, e-scooters, hoverboards, electric drift trikes, you name it. It’s great to see all kinds of people having fun on electric vehicles.

What happens if your board has a defect? You can either return it, get a refund and file a complaint with the company, or troubleshoot and fix it yourself. The best approach in any case is to take responsibility for yourself — practice safety and learn how to handle board malfunction.

Alright, let’s get to it. Here are the best budget boards available today:

#5 Acton BLINK Lite

For just under $300, the BLINK Lite is a mini commuting champ. It’s small enough to strap to your skate backpack, like on one of these.¬†You have five miles of range in a single charge, which would be more than enough to get you around campus or to your nearest corner store for a beer run. There’s enough power in that single hub motor for a laid back casual group ride day, or night, thanks to its integrated LED lights.

#4 Maxfind Max-A

The dual hub motor Maxfind Max-A is more than a decent last mile solution. It features a 10 mile range, which you can multiply with swappable batteries. The Max-A claims a max speed of 17 mph, just enough to keep up with the latest Boosted Dual+ at about half the price. It’s also two pounds lighter. Need a budget beater board for daily use and abuse? The Maxfind Max-A just might be it.

#3 Yuneec E-GO2

The E-GO2 is the perfect starter board for just under $400. This entry-level esk8 is the perfect board to get the hang of riding an electric skateboard. The acceleration is pretty smooth and has a fairly trustworthy regenerative braking system. The E-GO2’s top speed of 12.5 mph is just enough to keep up with casual group rides all while maintaining a safe, yet extremely entertaining speed. The deck itself exudes style and has a kicktail for easy maneuverability in tight spots.

#2 Liftboard/Benchwheel

The Benchwheel and Liftboard are great for the weekday commute and weekend group ride. They offer belt driven single and dual motor configurations that are pretty comparable to Boosted Board’s latest offerings, with enough power and speed to casually keep up. The Liftboard’s all-black motif looks really slick and the carved out handle on the deck ups its portability factor. The Benchwheel also offers decks with carved out handles.

#1 KooWheel/Genesis

The Koowheel/Genesis D3M checks all the boxes when looking for the best budget electric skateboard. Its dual hub motor direct drive system has enough speed and performance to keep up with the Boosted Dual+. Another bonus — the speed is hackable. There’s a way to unlock and unleash the true speed of the Koowheel system, and this baby flies. Multiply your range with batteries that are easily swappable without tools. The latest models have their electronic motherboards plotted making them completely waterproof. The all-black onyx edition looks super stealthy and comes with Bones red bearings. Not too keen on the shape of the deck? Swap it out for your favorite custom shape. The best part about the D3M is that you can transfer the drive, battery and electronics to any longboard of your choice.

Getting into the esk8 scene has never been easier

A few years ago, you’d need to DIY and build your own to ride the electric skateboard that suited your needs. Now, the variety to choose from is growing daily, and so is the community. Budget boards aren’t for everyone — if you’re an experienced thrasher, it’s worth it to shell out for the higher performance Boosted, Enertion, Evolve or Metroboards. Stay tuned for our next list — the top-end boards for every type of rider.