While electric scooters have become the most visible urban trend in automated transpiration over the past several years, there’s another option that more and more folks are turning to in order to enhance their commute while remaining eco-friendly. As it stands, electric penny boards hold the potential to become the next big thing in the electric skateboarding community due their excellent hybridization of two innovative board types.
From their core construction to their functional operation, an electric penny board can provide you with the unconventional and environmentally clean commuting option you’ve long searched for. If you’re interested in these revolutionary boards, then this guide’s in-depth reviews of the best electric penny boards of 2019 will help you pick the best model for your needs and your budget.
Take some time to learn about what makes an electric penny board special; you won’t regret it after you take your new board for its first swift ride through your city or across campus.
Electric Penny Boards Reviewed:
What Makes a Penny Board Different?
Origins of the Name
First and foremost, let’s clear the air regarding the name “penny board.” This style of skateboard – with its footprint-shaped deck, wide wheels, and waffled surface – originates from the Penny Skateboards, an Australian-based company that started putting out its unique manual boards in 2010.
Since that time, this style of skateboard has picked up a great deal of popularity with commuters both in cities and on college campuses across the world. This broad popularity led to competition that imitated Penny’s original architecture, causing the term to become genericized. As such, a “penny board” in broad terms refers to any skateboard – either manual or electric – that draws inspiration from Penny’s originals and is designed primarily for cruising (as opposed to tricks).
Deck Construction and Performance
In terms of construction, penny boards are unique for their use of plastic throughout their deck in order to imbue their boards with lightweight properties. Moreover, penny boards are easily identified due to their footprint-shaped board style, often with a raised tail. Overall, these aspects make penny boards flexible yet durable.
This being said, some variations on this classic design exist, especially as this style sees more hybridization with electric skateboards. For example, some electric penny boards use wood decks to provide a familiar degree of responsiveness to regular electric skateboards.
Wheel Construction and Performance
Nearly all penny boards make use of plastic-cored polyurethane wheel around 59 mm in size. This size allows for a greater amount of traction while the board rolls over rough urban surfaces. This smooth-riding quality is complemented by their 83A durometer rating wheels, which additionally provide a greater deal of momentum preservation as the board moves.
What are the Advantages of an Electric Penny Board?
Best of Both Worlds
With an electric penny board, you get to take full advantages of the best qualities of both manual penny boards and standard electric skateboards. For example, an electric penny board allows you to zip up hills and through urban environments with minimal effort thanks to the built-in motors and battery pack.
Meanwhile, the penny board side of many models provides you with a streamlined architecture that is designed to maximize momentum translation when taking turns and coasting. Taken together, an electric penny board is simply one of the best options for commuters who want to minimize their physical effort while maximizing their enjoyment while on their board.
A Green Commute
Not only are electric penny boards an enjoyable and efficient method of commuting, but they also play into the overall green revolution. More specifically, electric skateboards at large are able to translate mere cents worth of electricity into many miles worth of transportation potential, rather than burning fossil fuels and clogging up already congested city streets.
Even the batteries in most electric penny boards are designed with eco-friendliness in mind. When one battery expires after a certain number of recharges, you’ll be able to easily remove it and replace it while also turning in the old battery for recycling at a local dealership.
How to Ride a Penny Board
Riding a penny board takes some practice given its unique deck style and overall streamlined handling. The same goes for electric skateboards, which require practice in low-stakes conditions in order to master. Taken together, you’ll need to learn the basics required for both methods before you can safely and efficiently ride your new electric penny board.
As with any form of personalized transportation, your first step towards learning to ride is to ensure that you’ll be fully safe in case something goes wrong. As such, you’ll need to procure a properly-fitting helmet at the very least. Also, you should consider investing in a pair of shoes designed for gripping a skateboard deck in order to decrease the chance of slippage.
With safety precautions in hand, you can move towards preparing to ride. To start, determine which foot you will place at the front of the board while you ride and which foot will remain back to “push” (if necessary, on an electric board). Once you’ve determined your foot orientation, set yourself on the board with feet apart and parallel (to enhance your balance).
From there, you can begin moving through manual pushing (for traditional penny boards) or through use of a wireless controller (for electric penny boards, as described below). In both cases, you may need to manually break in order to slow your momentum. This can be accomplished by placing your weight on the raised tail to perform a “skid stop” or by placing your back foot on the ground to slow yourself with a “heel brake.”
Though electric penny boarding is slightly different than manual penny boarding, you can learn a lot of the movement basics from this informative YouTube video –
The largest difference in accommodating for an electric penny board is the automated motion as controlled by the wireless remote. Though these remotes will differ from model to model, most include an in-line method of manipulating your movement speed ranging from slow to fast. When you first try out your electric penny board, be sure that you can handle all speeds while practicing on a flat, obstacle-free surface.
Reviews of the Top 5 Best Electric Penny Boards in 2019
As one of the most popular electric skateboards on the market today, it’s no wonder why the VOKUL V1 would show up on any “best of” industry list. But even among its competitors, it is one of the most affordable options to also carry the “penny board” distinction. While making use of a deck designed with aerodynamics in mind, this model can travel up to 10 miles at a comfortable 13 mph thanks its 350 watt hub motor.
This model’s range is also a credit to its implementation of a 4.4Ah lithium battery. This battery’s charge is well-maintained while the board is in use, also, due to its implementation of a regenerative braking system. While some long-time penny boarders may feel uneasy on its 7-ply maple wood deck, new converts will definitely take its durability in hand (or under foot, as the case may be).
- Can reliably reach 13 mph with 350 watt hub motor
- Ergonomic wireless remote can seamlessly switch board speeds
- Regenerative braking system maintains battery life beyond 10 mile range
- 7-ply maple wood deck may not appeal to traditional penny boarders
- 200 lbs. weight limit may not suit some adult riders
Boosted Mini X
In many ways, the Boosted Mini X can be called the next evolution of electric penny boards. This model is a step beyond the competition in a variety of specifications, including the implementation of a 1,000 watt hub motor that powers this model at up to 20 mph. At that speed, you’ll even be able to travel up to 14 miles astride this smooth-operating electric penny board.
The Boosted Mini X’s architecture also deserves a second look. Boosted Boards redesigned this board to take cues from traditional penny boards in terms of aerodynamics and grip. They combined those qualities with their own “deep dish” architecture to improve durability without cutting out responsiveness while turning.
Taken together with its ultra-responsive remote control, this model is well worth its higher-than-average price tag.
- Remote uses cutting edge firmware to provide responsive controls
- Deck combines “deep dish” architecture with penny board durability and aerodynamics
- Can travel at up to 20 mph within 14 mile range
- Very expensive compared to competition
- Doesn’t absorb shocks from uneven surfaces effectively
Swagtron Swagboard Spectra
Despite its braggadocios name, the Swagtron Swagboard Spectra brings some impressive capabilities to back up its titular claims. For example, this model is capable of 12.4 miles at up to 15.5 mph on a single 90 minute charge. Should you need to stop along the way, this model manages to shorten breaking distances by up to 47% by way of its built-in MagBrakes.
The Swagtron Swagboard Spectra doesn’t use a traditional electric skateboard remote control, which might turn some devoted riders away from this model. Instead, this model moves all of these functionalities to a smartphone app, wherein a rider can perform diagnostics and manipulate speeds settings. Also, this app taps into this model’s five sensors to give the 3D Posture Control system recommendations to improve the user’s riding style.
- Innovative 3D Posture Control helps you learn to adjust movements to maximize effort
- MagBrakes shorten braking distance by 47%
- Can travel up to 12.4 miles on a single 90 minute charge from proprietary MagCharger
- Requires smartphone for diagnostic capabilities
- Lacks a physical remote, making it harder to manipulate while moving
Maxfind MAX C
The Maxfind MAX C may not look like an electric penny board at first. But in fact, this model has been specifically designed to accommodate the special needs of taller riders and those with larger feet. Even for its elongated style, this model only weighs 8.1 lbs. and is capable of traveling up to 8 miles at 14 mph. After running out of juice, this model also recharges in just one short hour.
The Maxfind MAX C has found several useful ways to stand out from the pack as well, in terms of durability and practicality. Regarding its durability, this model carries an IP65 waterproofing certificate that allows it to safely travel outdoors during adverse road conditions. As for its practicality, this board can even be used as a manual board when the battery runs dry because its regenerative brakes don’t lock up.
- Elongated penny board architecture ideal for taller boarders with larger feet
- IP65 waterproof certificate allows for use in adverse conditions
- Regenerative braking system doesn’t lock up, allowing for non-powered use
- Slow customer support response for replacement parts
- Remote controller is cumbersome to hold
BLITZART Mini Flash
Finally, the BLITZART Mini Flash has found the ideal method of combining an electric penny board with a wood deck to maximize overall quality. This can be seen in the fact that this model’s maple and bamboo deck allows for riders up to 250 lbs. Longtime traditional skateboarders will even feel comfortable on this model through its use of standard grip tape.
In terms of core capabilities, the BLITZART Mini Flash can perform at a level perfected for new electric skateboarders. For example, this model’s 250 watt brushless hub motors can drive a rider at up to 12 mph while still maximizing conversions from the 4.0Ah lithium-ion battery pack. While this model does carry some connectivity issues regarding its wireless controller, you shouldn’t hold it against this fully capable electric penny board.
- Maple wood and bamboo deck allows for up to 250 lbs. weight limit
- 12 mph top speed ideal for new electric skateboarders
- 250 watt brushless hub motors cut down on friction to maximize conversion from 4.0Ah lithium-ion battery pack
- May require some DIY fixes
- Some connection issues present with remote control
All in all, every single one of these electric penny boards is a credit to their ever-expanding industry. But only a few of them can rise above the pack when it comes to maximizing everything both penny boards and electric skateboards have to offer.
For example, the best overall electric penny board remains the Boosted Mini X. While it’s the priciest choice in the pack, this price tag represents an investment in a model that can go faster and farther than its competitors while still providing all of the aerodynamics and control you’ve come to love in a manual penny board.
Meanwhile, if you’re shopping on a budget, you’ll find the best electric penny board for your money to be the Swagtron Swagboard Spectra. For its affordable price, you get a bunch of added quality in this model, including its implementation MagBrakes and its innovative 3D Posture Control personal diagnostic system.
Don’t delay in picking up your first electric penny board! Every minute you wait is a lost opportunity to explore your city or commute to work on your new favorite form of eco-friendly transportation.