From the first electric skateboard that was created about 20 years ago, eboards have come a long way. Now they look like straight out of “Back to the Future”; however, we all get nostalgic at times and that’s the look that Riptide went for with the R1 Elite board.
While the R1 has pretty good technical specs it is not what makes it a great board. What really sets it apart is that it’s a lot of fun. Riptide went back to the basics with this board and created a simple board that can compete with some of the most popular eboards on the market right now.
One of the best parts about the R1 Elite is that it was created by actual skateboarders – people who actually know what matters about the ride.
Let’s have a quick look at the special features of the Riptide R1 Elite.
There are not a lot of electric skateboards with kicktails nowadays. This makes the R1 really special. With this feature taking sharp turns and maneuvering through crowded streets is effortless.
Easy to carry around
If you have ever owned an electric board before or even just a regular longboard, you probably know it by now that you can not ride it everywhere. Whether it’s rough terrain or a busy sidewalk, sometimes you just have to carry it around.
This can become a real issue if the board is heavy. Not only is the R1 super light (14 lbs), but it also comes with handles that make it very comfortable to hold.
The board also comes in a compact size and is only 31” long. So, if your commute includes carry-on sections, then this might just be the board for you.
The Nano clone remote
Riptide is really going for a minimalist philosophy. Even their remote is super small and simple. While it might not have some over-the-top features, it does what is necessary for a safe and fun ride.
A special ring grip makes sure the controller stays in your hand without having to have a firm grip on it at all times.
You can use the remote to switch between standard mode (top speed 12 mph) and pro mode. On the R1 board, you can actually switch between ride modes as you go without stopping. While it might not be the smoothest experience, it’s still great to have it as an option.
There is also a separate button on the side for the reverse mode. Usually, on other eboards you would access this mode simply by pulling back the throttle lever, so not sure why they used a single button for it here.
Drop & Go!
One of the things I love the most about this board is its smart turn on feature. Just drop the board on the ground, jump on it and go.
Time to look at what’s inside the board, the specs, the built, the ride feel and everything in between.
The R1 Elite is not the fastest board on the market, but in its price range, it still delivers pretty impressive results. The board has a top speed of 20 mph and a range of 8 miles.
This speed is more than enough for both beginners and pros; however, the range might be a little limiting for those who would like to ride on longer routes.
As for the motor, the R1 board sports dual 270kV 5055 belt driven, satellite motors. The 6s3p battery pack totaling 97 Wh is not the most impressive one among competitors; it takes about 3 hours to charge fully. But the good news is that it is flightfriendly. So, if you are in the habit of traveling with your eboard, this is a great option for you.
The R1 board comes with ABEC11 90mm Flywheels and front and rear Shreadlights. This makes the board much safer to ride at night when you can finally enjoy hopping on pedestrian-free sidewalks.
The good news is that most of the parts of this Riptide board are very easy to find on the market. So, while the board is quite durable, in case of some malfunctions, little tweaking won’t be a big headache.
The Look & Feel
The best word to describe a ride on Riptide R1 Elite is probably playful. It is really maneuverable and lively. This is mostly achieved by the short deck length and added width.
The mild concave makes the deck quite stable and comfortable to stand on. And the dual belt drive makes it very dependable. There is close to zero lag and build up. The response time of the board is simply impeccable.
As for the braking, it really depends on what you prefer for your electric boards. Some like when the board comes to a full stop pretty fast, while others prefer to ease into it. The R1 Elite has regenerative braking that might take some time to get used to. It stops the board a little sharply, but once you get used to it, it no longer is an issue.
Let’s see how it stacks against competitors
The Riptide R1 Elite does not look much like all the futuristic electric boards that we’ve been getting lately; however, it’s interesting to see how they compare in terms of specs.
Riptide R1 Elite vs Slick Revolution Max-Eboard
This Slick Revolution Max board has the same regular skateboard vibe going. The two boards have exactly the same top speed limit of 20 mph.
However, when it comes to the range this max board has almost double capabilities. Slick Revolution Max board has an 11-13 mile range, depending on your weight and ride style.
The board costs a little more than the Riptide R1, but it does exceed it at some points, including the battery charge time.
You might prefer to stick with the R1 Elite if you plan on carrying the board around with you all day. This Max eboard does not have handles and weighs a little more than the R1. Also there’s no kicktail here so maneuverability could suffer.
Riptide R1 Elite vs Slick Revolution Min-Eboard
As long as we are at it, we might also have a look at another Slick Revolution board. This time the mini one. What’s really interesting and exciting, is that despite the difference in the size of these two Slick Revolution boards there is no big difference in their specs. In fact, they both have a top speed of 20 mph and 11-13 mile range.
However, this mini eboard is even smaller in size than the R1 Elite. It is only 23” long and weighs around 13 lbs. But no handles here either.
If you want something classic then Slick board all the way, but when it comes to fun it’s definitely the Riptide board.
Riptide R1 Elite vs Marui Electric Cruiser
This Marui eboard looks a lot like the Riptide R1 Elite. It has the same fishtail design that really makes a difference in maneuvering.
At a little higher price, you get a top speed of 25 mph and 11-mile range. The deck is made of 2 layers of bamboo-fiber.
While there are plenty of similarities between Marui Cruiser and Riptide R1 Elite, there is a bit more class to the Marui board and an old school vibe to the Riptide. So it’s really a matter of your taste here.
Riptide R1 Elite vs Epicstuff EB-1 HYPERBOARD
If you are looking for a budget electric skateboard that is more on the old school side, you might also consider the EB-1 Hyperboard. The board is made from soft touch high-grade polypropylene fireproof composite. One of its great features is that it is IP65 rated waterproof.
The top speed of the board is only 13 mph. If you are a beginner or thinking of getting a board for your kids, this can be a good place to start at.
This board is probably one of the most lightweight electric skateboards out there, weighing only 9 lbs. The EB-1 has the same 7-mile range as the R1 Elite.
Riptide R1 Elite Pros & Cons
ProsWhat we love
- Supports head and tail lights
- Air-travel friendly
- Smart turn-on
ConsWhat we don’t love
- Unsmooth acceleration and braking
- Basic controller
- Short range
To sum up…
The Riptide R1 Elite is a great board for those who are looking to have some fun riding around parks and alongside the beach. However, you might want to consider other options if you live in a hilly area or have to cover rougher terrains on regular bases.
If you need a compact board for your daily errands that you can also fly with, then the R1 Elite will not disappoint you. I would not get my hopes up too much if you are looking for a board for some heavy load.
So, in order to decide whether or not the Riptide R1 Elite is for you, you should think carefully about the routes you are planning on covering with the board and the overall experience that you are looking for.