When it comes to commutes, walking and cars are equally passe these days. A lot of people prefer to use different methods of transportation to get through urban commutes that don’t require massive amounts of distance. Between biking, boarding, and scooters, there are tons of much more affordable ways to get around than cars.
One of the more popular options has been electric skateboards. For long-distance commutes, the motor and wheels save your feet from trouble and get you there a bit quicker. For short distances, you can really ramp up the power and quickly reach your electric skateboard top speed.
Whether you’re interested in a commuter board or a racing board, the top speed will be different. This article is going to look into the different factors that contribute to the electric skateboard top speeds. By the end, you’ll know the 5 fastest electric skateboards and what went into making them.
Guinness World Record for fastest electric skateboard
For a look at the full potential of electric skateboards, you definitely need to check out the fastest electric skateboard in the Guinness Book of World Records. The current record for the “fastest speed on an electric skateboard” was set in 2016, by Mischo Erba. (1) He used a longboard that was heavily modified to speed his way to the record-setting pace of 59.55 miles per hour! This means that the fastest electric skateboard on record can travel at about 60 miles per hour!
To be fair, this is not typical. This record attempt was quite risky. He undertook the challenge at a Slovenian airport using a NEXTBoards that was customized heavily by Next Generation Vehicles. This board took years to develop and utilized 4 separate motors. The range is between 6 to 9 miles, but not going at that speed. This record was made on a flat surface going 100 meters, so entirely motor, without the assistance of a downhill slope to gain speed.
The company, NEXTBoards, have since been developing racing competitions for electric longboards. This speed record has inspired an entire generation of custom electric skateboard builders, all wanting to create the fastest, by increasing their top speed. Still, this is atypical of usual boards. It is simply an example of what can happen when the limits are pushed and riders are not interested in distance skating.
What components contribute to the electric skateboard top speed?
Almost every electric skateboard rider has a need for speed. Even commuters like to have faster boards whenever possible. In fact, once a budget has been set, most people feel that the range and top speed are the biggest determining factors when making an electric skateboard purchase. Although there are a ton of things to consider, these two data points, “How far can I go?” and “How fast can I go?” are the most important.
Let’s look at some of the components that contribute to making the fastest electric skateboards. Typically, an increase in speed requires an increase in power, but extra power also adds extra weight. The weight reduces the portability of a board, which is pretty important once the battery dies.
Weight of the rider
One of the things to consider when it comes to how quickly your electric skateboard will run is the load it has to bear. The heavier a rider is, the slower the top speed of the skateboard. The engine has to work harder to carry more weight, especially when moving uphill, which will burn through the battery, killing both the rage and top speed of your board. Try to buy a board that was built to handle your weight range.
For commuters, speed and distance need a good balance. If your board is fast but the range is only 3 to 5 miles, then it won’t work well for commutes because you’ll still be walking for a lot of it. If, on the other hand, your board has wicked range but the top speed is about 5 miles per hour, then simply walking would get you there faster than the board.
Thus, you rely on the motor for the power needed to get you across decent distances at quicker speeds than walking would take you. A powerful motor is necessary for higher top speeds. The more power that you put into your motor, the faster it will accelerate and the better the top speed. Choose your motor carefully.
Believe it or not, the size of your wheels also affects the speed of your commute. Let’s take a look at how the differences in wheels can affect an electric skateboard’s top speed. For all of these comparisons, we will assume that the wheels are turning at the same revolutions per minute (RPM).
First, the size of the wheels matters a bit. Larger wheels take a lot more power than smaller ones to turn at the same speed, but once you get them moving at the same rate of speed as the smaller wheel, it will allow the board to cover much more distance at much greater speeds.
That’s why it’s not unusual when you mount wheels that are around 10 to 20mm wider in diameter, to get an increase of 1 or 2mph in top speed.
So to compare them, the electric skateboards with large wheels will have less torque and accelerate much slower, but they will eventually have a much faster top speed. Smaller wheels on your electric skateboard will have lower top speeds, but they will accelerate much faster and have more torque for difficult climbs, and since they aren’t using as much power may be able to cover greater distances.
If you want to ride off-road or have an all-terrain electric skateboard, you will need special wheels. These all-terrain wheels will make your ride much more comfortable ad ensure fewer problems with your ride, but they will also decrease your speed and won’t be able to cover as much ground because of the drag on the wheels.
Controller and batteries
The electric skateboard can’t work on its own. It needs some help from the computational power, controls, and batteries. These all work together to power your electric skateboard. In the fastest electric skateboards, you need a battery capable of handling the power you will need to put in to accelerate to your top speed. This is especially true if you want to use the top speed for longer periods of time.
Your battery’s power output needs to match the power of your motor. If you have a very powerful and aggressive motor but a weaker battery, you will use up all your power just trying to accelerate. The motor is only able to work as well as the battery can power it to do.
The controller is the piece that communicates with everything. This will tell your electric skateboard what you want to do. This device is what can tell your skateboard that you want to go faster, faster, faster!! It supplies the motor with the necessary power to follow your commands and speed settings.
Battery charge and voltage efficiency
While we are talking about batteries it is important to discuss the charging capacity. The faster you travel, the more power you will use. This requires you to carry spare batteries or be willing to sacrifice your range for top ride speeds. The charge in your battery directly impacts how quickly your board will travel. When the power starts getting low, your top speed will also decrease.
Voltage sag also occurs. This is a decrease in your voltage based on overloading, short-circuiting, or starting your motor. This will affect your acceleration, which impacts your ability to hit top speed quickly enough. It also affects your speeds if it dips when your power decreases. (2)
A lot of people will mix up the remote control with the controller (or ESC). These are different. Think of the controller as your electric skateboard’s CPU. It’s basically the brains of the operation, command central. The remote control, on the other hand, is like the mouse or keyboard that you’re using to tell the controller what to do.
Controllers frequently come with preprogrammed settings. They usually have an Eco mode. This mode and Beginner modes will limit your top speeds. These are designed to teach you to use a board and to maximize the range for longer commutes. Many of these controllers move to Pro, Advanced, and sometimes Beast style modes. These are the modes that will chew through the advertised range much quicker but will also make sure you are flying down the road at the fastest possible top speeds.
Get in gear
Now let’s get into nerd territory. Another important factor in attaining top speeds is the gear you use. Engines on electric skateboards don’t function the same way as engines that power cars. Electric motors only need a single gear. You just need to make sure that the single gear can rev well, and go up to 20,000 revolutions per minute or so. It needs to be efficient enough to handle any revolution per minute (RPM) setting and produce enough torque to accelerate well, even from lower RPMs.
Electric motors can be customized with gears that handle top speeds with ease. Just make sure that your gears are built to move quickly rather than for range. The gears need to be high-speed gears that can still accelerate and torque well.
The ratio will affect this calculation. A 1 to 1 ratio of the gear to the hub motor will be very fast in terms of top speed, but it won’t offer great acceleration and torque. Essentially, larger ratios offer more torque and acceleration but lower top speeds. Standard drives offer 16:36, or 1:2.25 as compared to the torque of a direct voice.
If you’re curious about how the various aspects of gears and motors will affect your top speed, check out this cool calculator. (3) This was designed to help you find a maximum speed capacity for your electric skateboard using motor input and eight RPM and top speeds. Simply input your battery, motor, and gear information and it will calculate your speed.
Sometimes you get what you pay for
It can be very tempting to buy the cheapest possible parts to save some money, but if you want the fastest electric skateboard top speeds without sacrificing too much range, you will need to balance the price of parts with their quality. There are a lot of companies with great deals and parts, but there are just as many that are able to charge base pricing because their parts are cheaply sourced and made, which won’t do your budget any favors because they will constantly be breaking or need replacement.
Make sure that you are building a board that has quality parts because this will affect your top speeds. When you’re riding quickly, your components are going to heat up a lot more because they’re working much harder. They are also more likely to get jostled around a lot because you won’t be able to dodge obstacles as well, and they won’t have the energy for shock absorbancy. Your wheels, trucks, and motor need to have the quality it takes to stand up against these bumps and temperatures.
Safety first! Fastest top speeds aren’t always safe
Safety is also a concern when it comes to parts. The balance between speed and safety is a very fine line, but it is an important one. When you take your board 20 miles an hour or more, over hard asphalt, you’re putting yourself at huge risk. The human body is not meant to travel at that velocity, so if you fall you are going to break something without enough protection to keep you safe.
Kinetic energy increases according to your speed, and it’s proportionate. This means that moving 20 miles per hour is 4 times more dangerous in terms of crash damage than traveling at 10 miles per hour. By 40 miles per hour, you will have 16 times more danger upon impact!! (4)
Fastest electric skateboards for sale
Obviously, the Guinness World Record is the fastest anyone has ever gone on an electric skateboard, but there are a lot of boards capable of hitting insanely high top speeds, too. You just might have to spend a pretty penny to get one. More often than not, insanely fast top speeds are the product of DIY and custom electric skateboard builds. Customizing your design means paying for pieces individually and having the skill to assemble them.
Even commercial boards with fast top speeds average about $1,500 or more. This has led people to look for options that are much more affordable while still offering decent speeds. You can always find wicked fast boards for affordable prices if you’re willing to give up on things like range and portability, but there are other things to consider when buying an electric skateboard that may be more important.
As far as production models go, you are usually topping out around 25 miles per hour. To get 40 or 50 miles per hour, you will need to look into racing electric skateboards instead. Let’s take a look at the fastest electric skateboards on the market right now! (5)
Next Generation Vehicles manufactured the Nextboard, which is the one that was used in the record-breaking speed run for the Guinness World Record we mentioned at the start of the article. This is the fastest electric longboard on the market, and it can reach speeds of nearly 70 miles per hour!!
This board was made with a carbon chassis, so it’s extremely light compared to other materials. It’s also got 4 motors (one for each wheel) that are all controlled by proprietary software that was programmed in house.
These boards are designed for advanced and professional riders, not for beginners, so it may not be a great choice unless you’re well used to riding electric skateboards. This design consideration means that acceleration and top speed will depend on the battery you choose. Your board won’t come with one, so you can choose the power you want.
Each board is made to order, so you will need to wait about a month and a half to receive yours after you buy it. Nextboards have BLDC motors, so they’re optimized for high performance at speed. The motors are designed to rotate with 9,000 revolutions per minute. They used a 28 magnetic pole motor to ensure that your torque and precision at lower speed won’t suffer when you’re not racing. Each wheel has a motor, which reduces the stress put on any one motor and increases responsiveness and stability at fast speeds.
One of the fastest that is already fully assembled and available for purchase is just over $4,000 when ordered from the manufacturer. The Bioboards Thorium X4 board can reach top speeds of 45 miles per hour! It’s also a great commuter board because of the range of nearly 30 miles.
This board can go 40% uphill and is built for 4-wheel drive. It has multiple motors, which allow it to perform with 14,000 watts of engine power. The motors are also sealed, so it’s resistant to bad weather conditions! The battery is able to deliver 120 amps of power because it uses the Samsung 30Q, which has been rated the best battery in the world for electric skateboards.
It includes a 4A fast charger, display to let you know how much battery power you have remaining, and an extreme BMS capable of handling up to 150 amps of discharge. It is easy to use, with a simple push to start feature that automatically starts the board once it begins to roll on the ground. The Bluetooth connection even lets you view and change settings from your phone, allowing for rides to be saved! It’s got a weight capacity of over 300 pounds and a 1-year warranty guarantee.
The Lacroix Nazare is a seriously impressive board! With a top speed of 45 miles per hour and a range of nearly 40 miles, this board is an all-around superstar. It can handle 350 pounds of weight and comes with a 3-month warranty.
The company took its time with this design, ensuring it was done correctly. The deck alone went through over 13 different designs before they perfected the flex and concave feel of it. About 10 motors were tested before they decided upon the 6389. Even the screws were considered, ensuring that all of them are titanium and connect perfectly with the machine.
The Hypertrucks were developed by the market leader in the technology, RipTide Sports, and they allow the board to feel like it’s gliding on rails no matter how fast it’s going while also allowing for great carving at lower speeds. It even self corrects any instances of speed wobbling! This board was designed to feel like a smooth surfing experience while on land.
They craft each board to order, so shipping times vary based on orders, but they update their estimation with every new order to ensure that the time you are quoted is the time your board will ship. They never make these boards in batches. The board has an insanely impressive set of specs, with integrated removable front lights, titanium hardware, 8-inch tires that can handle off-road drives, dual motors with high-speed gears, and a top-shelf battery with a custom connector!
The Bajaboard G4X drops the speed a bit, but it still reaches an impressive 37 miles per hour with a 21-mile range capacity. Although this board is heavier than others, it can perform at 45% uphill and handle 350-pound loads. It also comes with a 1-year warranty.
This board is the cornerstone of the Bajaboard family because of its sheer power. It uses 4 motors, so each wheel has its own dedicated power source. The acceleration goes from 0 to 31 miles per hour in 3 seconds!!! If you just want to cruise for range, then you can turn the front motors off to save your battery life. They will remotely switch back on for you if you hit a tough spot and need the boost.
This board comes with built-in traction control and is capable of electronic differential. This makes it a great board for both speed demons and commuters! It’s got an alloy battery box, 10-inch tires, adjustable rebound, an alloy suspension structure for ride dampening, and optional lighting for dark rides.
With the small battery, the range is 13 miles but the larger battery will carry you 21 miles away before losing charge. It uses a standard belt drive transmission and regenerative braking to recharge your battery using potential energy. The controller is wireless and includes encryption for maximized safety.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are a few questions that pertain to skateboard speed. These questions are asked pretty often, and knowing the answers will contribute to your overall knowledge of electric skateboard speeds.
Why do electric skateboards wiggle when you move really fast?
Skateboards will start to experience speed wobbles at quick speeds because of oscillation. When you put too much weight on your back leg, this is more common. Make sure you keep your back truck higher than the front when you move so your rear isn’t affecting your speed wobbles.
If you start to carve and turn continuously, you can stabilize your board and prevent oscillation. Leaning over your foot while letting off the throttle can also help. Loosening tight muscles will offer you more control.
Is electric skateboarding more dangerous than regular skateboarding?
Yes, and no. A regular skateboard isn’t built for the same speed. It’s made to do a lot of different park and street tricks. Electric skateboards were built as commuter vehicles for transportation, not tricks.
The venue makes all the difference. If you’re trying to do tricks with an electric skateboard, this is more dangerous than traditional ones because it wasn’t made to do that. Likewise, if you’re traveling on roads instead of sidewalks, it’s more dangerous by default of sharing space with cars.
On the other hand, electric skateboards have brakes, so they can stop much faster when necessary and control their speed going down hills. A normal skateboard will pick up tons of speed and be entirely unable to handle hills safely. Electric skateboards also have wheels that are made to roll over rocks whereas traditional skateboards will send their rider flying at the slightest bump in the road.
Skateboards are usually smaller than electric skateboards, so they’re safe in crowds of people. They can dodge much more nimbly and respond quickly to obstacles (if you have the skills) compared to electric skateboards, which are much heavier and can’t turn as rapidly.
At the end of the day, your safety gear also matters. It doesn’t matter which option you choose if you’re not wearing a helmet and protective pads. If you lose control and crash, neither option is as safe as walking. This is especially true of electric skateboards because the kinetic energy at a higher rate of speed means you will have a much harder impact when you do crash. For this reason, it’s recommended that you wear appropriate safety gear when riding.