Backfire G2S Review: Top-tier quality on a mid-tier budget

by Chris | Last Updated: December 6, 2018

Backfire has been rocking the market since 2009, which means they’ve officially become decade-long experts at creating electric skateboards. Is the proof in the pudding?

If it’s true that the devil is in the details, Backfire’s nailed it with its G2S. Choosing the right skateboard is one of the most subjective activities – yet – in this case, it’s not too presumptuous to say this board is the king of its class.

Key features of the Backfire G2S

While this is still a medium-level board in terms of what’s on the market, Backfire has chosen the longer and more expensive manufacturing processes to provide you with a better board and a better ride.

The overall specs make the board a mid-level choice, but each is made with such attention to detail, the Backfire G2S actually delivers outside of its class.

What makes the Backfire G2S different?

They say “the devil is in the details” and this board demonstrates it – with precision.

The fact that a board of this price comes with Caliber II™trucks demonstrates their attention to detail. The free 96mm wheels included in the box will give you a smoother ride that handles bumps better. They’re designed to give you great maneuverability, but, the larger wheels are less maneuverable.

Performance-wise, the Backfire is capable of competing with any other mid-range board, but the attention to detail takes it that one step further in terms of comfort and enjoyment.

The Backfire G2S works for those looking for a commute, but it makes a really smooth and enjoyable ride. The fact that you’re not able to adjust your speed while you’re in action is disappointing.

This board is ideal for those riding for pleasure as well as those needing a cost effective and practical mode of transport.

Will it work for me?

There are a number of important factors to consider when you’re shopping for an electric skateboard. It’s not about the best specs, it’s about understanding the role of each feature and choosing the features that you’re looking for.

I’m new to this, is the backfire G2S easy to use?

It’s recommended for ages 14 and up, although it is so easy to use, a young person could handle it. The start is even, so the likelihood of falling is reduced.

The braking is very responsive even on a strong downhill, so if you’re new to e-boarding you won’t have to try the reverse trick to get it to stop. The controller is similar to the Boosted board’s, but it has two speeds.

Can I ride on wet days?

The Backfire G2S is suitable for riding through occasional puddles but avoid using it during heavy rains, never submerge it. The rubber casing protecting the ESC is great quality but heed the recommendations given by the manufacturer.

How does the Backfire G2S perform uphill?

This board’s lithium-ion battery pushes out 36V, 5Ah. The batteries are compiled in a honeycomb arrangement to ensure they don’t shift due to the vibrations during riding and lose power. This board climbs a 25% incline with ease.

Cold temperatures are known to affect the power capabilities of any form of technology – this is no exception. Tested in pretty frigid conditions, this board still delivered on its promise.

This makes it great for longer commutes!

Is this board light enough to carry?

14 pounds / 6.5kg, that’s how much two cats weigh (I know, random, but effective right?), it is easy to transport. Being a longer board, you’ll have to tuck it under an arm, stashing it in a bag will be difficult. It’s definitely lightweight for the specs it offers, light enough to carry.

Being a low-budget board, should I worry about its quality?

Where do we even start? This board deserves a bonus point out of 5. The deck has 8 layers hard maple, pressed and glued with advanced Epoxy, giving it great flex.

*As a side note: When choosing a board, always examine the different layers within the deck. Each one should be equal in color and thickness to indicate quality. Backfire even added their old brand colours to every second layer, making a black-red-black pattern which is a nice little custom touch.

It’s also kitted with superb bearings. Backfire pulled all the stops in manufacturing their trucks, choosing more expensive processes for better results. The rear trucks are made with CNC technology and cold forging processes to ensure they’re more reliable and provide longer life.

We also appreciate the lovely aesthetics, the purple stripe on the belly. Don’t be fooled by the Made in China bit, it’s very well manufactured.

Warranty and customer support: The Backfire G2S comes with 180 day warranty. If you want to return your board, it must happen within 7 days and in perfect condition. You will also be liable to pay for the return shipping, but the product will be refunded by Backfire. For more information, visit the website’s FAQ.

Update: Backfire apparently is not selling the Backfire G2S anymore (not even on Amazon). Instead they’re now selling the G2 Black which is the same if not better than the G2S in terms of specs and at a lower price!! Check it out.

How does the Backfire G2S compare?

In theory, it’s a mid-tier board based on its specs, but, once you’re on it, it competes with the top market Chinese boards and middle market US boards. Let’s see how it measures up to some of its competitors:

Backfire G2S vs WowGo 2s:

Price: The WowGo 2s comes in at 469 USD, the exact same price at the Backfire. How do the boards compare in terms of value for money? Let’s look at their specs and then unpack their performance out on the road.

Specs: Their specs also come in almost identical, with a range of 12 miles, a top speed of around 23 mph, a charge time of 3 hours, dual in-hub motors, regenerative braking, and removable batteries. On paper, they could be twins.

Electric skateboards are not made for paper, however, so how do they compare when they’re in action?

Performance: A ride test reveals pretty significant differences. The Backfire’s attention to detail in the manufacturing process pays off in a big way.

It’s a far smoother ride, thanks to those fantastic trucks. It handles bumps better, we can add superior shock absorption to the list. The trucks also give it the upper hand in tight corners. Precision is your best friend.

Also, it’s pretty difficult to ignore the free 96mm wheels you get with the Backfire.

Conclusion: It’s usually quite difficult to say for sure which board is the superior choice, these decisions usually come down to personal choice.

In this case, while the specs and the price are almost identical, Backfire’s attention to detail and incredible quality pays off. The manufacturing process together with the high quality materials provide a smoother ride.

The WowGo 2s will do if you’re simply looking to commute – the Backfire G2S is for those looking for more than just a commute, a little thrill and an overall joyful ride. Read our review

Backfire G2S vs Boosted Board 2nd Gen Dual+ Standard Range

Price: The Boosted board retails at 2000 USD, the Backfire comes it at a fraction of that – 469 USD. It may seem odd to compare boards that are in such different categories, but the Backfire’s quality demands that it’s put up against a higher competitor.

Specs: Interestingly, the Boosted board’s specs are not that much more impressive than the Backfire’s. It’s top speed is 22 mph to the Backfire’s 23 and a 12 mile range in both boards, but the Boosted board’s flex is unrivalled, as is its responsiveness when you accelerate.

Whether or not this is a good trait depends on your skill level – there is an increased risk of falling.

Performance: The Boosted board offers more torque than the Backfire and in terms of reaching top speeds comfortably, the Boosted board takes the first prize, again.

We know that a faster board is not necessarily a better board. In terms of comfort, the boards are even – which means the Backfire is way outperforming for its class.

In this comparison, it’s not about which board is better.

The performance differences are marginal when compared to the massive difference in price – yes – the Boosted board outperforms, but, if you’re on a budget, you could call the Backfire the poor man’s Ferrari.

In conclusion

This Backfire G2S is designed with the rider in mind. It’s smooth, reliable, and the superior quality materials give it an aesthetically pleasing look and an extended life.

It’s a great starter board too, if you’re aiming for Boosted but looking for a budget-friendly option to get going with, the Backfire will help you find your feet. Compared to many boards, it’s responsive, but it won’t run away. Consider its light weight (for a longboard), it’s a convenient one to tuck under your arm should you need to do the walk of shame.

Update: Backfire apparently is not selling the Backfire G2S anymore (not even on Amazon). Instead they’re now selling the G2 Black which is the same if not better than the G2S in terms of specs and at a lower price!! Check it out.

Backfire G2S

8

Portability

7.2/10

Speed

8.5/10

Brakes

8.0/10

Range

8.6/10

Versatility

7.8/10

Pros

  • ESC (the brain of the skateboard) is sheltered from moisture with a smart housing, so you can ride through puddles and it handles wet roads fairly well. When the board is turned on, you may hear a tiny hissing sound, this is normal, it is the ESC.
  • When you first give it a go, you will notice it has a small kicktail so you can use your foot to lower it to the ground gently. This may seem minor but the devil’s in the details. It’s careful touches like this that ultimately extend the life of your board.
  • We love the longboard form, it may not be for everyone but if you’re traveling long distances, a longboard is superb.
  • We love its low center of gravity. If you’re a newbie finding your balance, this detail helps.
  • The remote vibrates when the battery is low – handy warning systems are always appreciated.

Cons

  • The key features listed on the box did not match the specs listed on the website. They were a little too generous. The website’s features were accurate.
  • When you first unbox the board, you might notice the front wheels are standard skateboard wheels while the back wheels feel shiny and plastic. At first, you may worry about how well they’ll grip the road but it turns out once you get going they get roughed up fairly quickly. The initial smoothness is due to the manufacturing process.
  • Traveling at lower speeds cause quite a heavy vibration. Your feet may get quite tired after a while. Getting off the board after that can leave your feet feeling a little tingly.
  • You can’t change speed while you’re moving – not great if you’re commuting for a long distance.