- Durable construction across deck and wheels
- 3 operation modes for beginners to experts
- Lightweight and easy to transport with handles
- Can reach up to 18 mph
- Braking recharges battery through kinetic energy
- Familiar skateboard elements like kick tail
- Can travel on airplanes
- Environmentally conscious functionality and operation mode
- Proprietary wheel type may be hard to replace
- 7 mile range could be higher
From its humble origins among surfers in California to the present, skateboarding has gone through a great deal of evolution while still holding fast to the basic principle of emulating the surfing experience on land. Today, skateboarders use their boards in new and interesting ways as they compete and glide about their urban environments.
As expected, skateboards have become more customizable over the years to fit the creative personalities of their riders. This customizability has even expanded to material components, allowing boards to become more lightweight and resilient to crashes.
But few modern customization options compare to one of skateboarding’s most popular contemporary trends – motorization. Taking a page from the cycling community, skateboarders around the world have begun to experiment with motorized skateboards like the Riptide R1 in order to maximize their transportation and recreational efforts.
Out of the entire market, the Riptide R1 is one of the most broadly enjoyed motorized boards likely because it strikes a balance between technological innovation and classic boarding architecture. Users of the Riptide R1 are able glide about town effortlessly on a board that mimics the look and feel of a traditional skateboard. The Riptide R1 is even eco-friendly, making it a friend to the environmentally conscious skateboarding community.
- Bluetooth control with three modes (beginner, eco, & expert)
- 1800w dual belt drive engine
- 7 mile range on one charge
- Maximum speed of 18 mph
- 13 lbs. at 31” (L) x 9.5” (W) x 4.5” (H)
- 3.5 hour full charge time (with faster charger available)
- 83mm urethane wheels (78a)
- Integrated kick tail like regular boards
- Braking regenerates the battery
- Two built-in handles for easy transport
- Battery is airline-friendly
- Also available in R1 Elite and R1X
Design & Construction
Often, so-called “eboards” like the Riptide R1 are derided for their modified look and feel when compared to manual skateboards. The Riptide R1 rises above this stereotype, though, as its full architecture and construction style speaks to traditional skateboard components and balance.
Much of the Riptide R1s construction quality starts on the deck, which is constructed from durable Canadian maple wood and a laser cut grip tape. Weighing in at just 13 lbs., you’ll be able to easily pick this board up and carry it by one of the two deck-cut handles. At 31” long, you shouldn’t have storing it away when it’s time for a break.
Also, of note, the Riptide R1 includes an integrated kick tail that imitates the same functionality of traditional kickboards. Though the Riptide R1 is not made for such stunts by nature, you’ll still appreciate the feeling of this design element when switching over from a manual board.
Riptide provides their own in-house 83mm urethane wheels for the R1, allowing for full compatibility and a smooth ride right out of the box. These proprietary wheels are also surprisingly durable, allowing for months of riding on just one set.
Motor & Technology
At its core, the Riptide R1 is powered by a 1800w dual belt drive engine that is both reliable and powerful when it comes to maintaining top speeds. While this motor doesn’t allow for nearly as much maneuverability as some other models, it makes up for it by providing an extra load of hill-climbing power through its internalized gear architecture.
Control for the Riptide R1 is fully in your hands with this model’s Bluetooth control system. While this palm-sized controller is primarily used for acceleration and braking, you can also use this handy controller to toggle between the R1’s three user modes: beginner, eco, and expert. Each mode modifies the acceleration speed and max speed slightly, allowing you to comfortably adjust to motorized boarding.
This model’s controller is also worth noting for its ability to provide braking power to your board while it is in motion. This includes applying the regenerative while you ride down steep hills, as toggled through the Bluetooth controller. This built-in functionality can add an extra degree of safety to both new and veteran boarders alike.
This Riptide skateboard is also unique for its eco-friendly properties. Few other boards offer any eco-friendly components, while the Riptide R1 has provided several across its primary functional core.
One of the most nоteworthy green features comes from the braking system, which is equipped with a “regenerative braking” component that provides energy to the battery as you apply the brake. This translates your kinetic energy into battery power, meaning you won’t need to waste nearly as much energy to recharge your board fully.
Battery & Charging
All things said, the Riptide R1 provides a pretty solid standard battery and charging system that will fit the needs of most motorized skateboarders. Though the battery is designed to fully recharge in 3.5 hours, Riptide also offers an optional charger that can refill the battery in even less time.
Once the R1 is juiced up, it is able to ride for up to 7 miles without needing another trip to the charging dock. That’s a pretty impressive range for a board this size, especially when taking into account this model’s ability to self-charge through its braking system.
Also, this model’s battery is airline-friendly, meaning you’ll be able to fly around the country and still be able to bring your new favorite transportation method with you.
At the end of the day, the Riptide R1 is a solid choice for first-time and veteran motorized skateboarders alike. While it may not be the absolute top of the line, it provides a great deal of power for its price tag. This in turn allows more budget-conscious riders to get in on the new craze that is motorized skateboarding.
Durability is a non-issue with the Riptide R1, owing largely to its Canadian maple deck and its proprietary 83mm urethane wheels. While these components provide a great deal of durability, the R1 manages to only clock in at a comfortable 13 lbs. – ideal for transport by one of its twin carrying handles.
While the R1 is generally light on technology, its few core systems go above and beyond to provide an enhanced riding experience. Using the hand-held control module, you’ll be able to easily control your speed and braking efforts while focusing your eyes on the road. The R1 also comes with three operational modes, allowing you to ramp up your speed and acceleration as you grow more comfortable on the motorized board.
Altogether, skateboarders shouldn’t overlook the Riptide R1 as it may very well provide the smoothest rides many new and returning boarders alike have ever felt.
How Does It Compare?
As noted, the Riptide R1 isn’t alone in the motorized skateboard market. In fact, this model has a handful of competitors that offer similar features and specifications that are worth comparing side by side.
These are just a few of the boards you may also be considering while looking at the Riptide R1. Check them out and decide for yourself which model fits your eboarding needs and budget:
Riptide R1 vs Riptide R1 Elite
While they’re both prime offerings from the Riptide, the R1 and R1 Elite are slightly different in more than just name. While the R1 is designed to reach an 18 mph top speed, the R1 Elite can zoom on a little faster at 20 mph.
The R1 is not traditionally made for tricks, while the R1 Elite allows for some degree of trick action using its micro-concave deck. Many users really appreciate the R1 Elite’s built-in tail lights as well, which the R1 lacks entirely.
Taken together though, the R1 is broadly more affordable than its Elite cousin, making it a better option for new motorized skateboarders. Read our review
Riptide R1 vs Riptide R1X
The Riptide R1 and Riptide R1X share a lot of the same DNA when it comes to comfortable motorized skateboarding. That being said, the R1X manages to further refine what the R1 alone started by providing up to 14 miles of riding range on top of cushy 90mm ABEC11 ReFly wheels. Of note, that range is twice as far as the R1 alone can provide.
The R1X’s 22 mph top speed is impressive but may be too much for some first-timers. When taking into account high-end features like in-line headlights and tail lights, the R1X is best left to the motorized skateboarding pros.
Riptide R1 vs Skatebolt S5 Mini
The Skatebolt S5 Mini is surprisingly light for its class, clocking in at only 8 lbs. compared to the R1’s 13 lbs. body. While this makes the Skatebolt S5 Mini easier to transport, it also makes it flimsier when compared to the R1’s durable Canadian maple wood deck.
The Skatebolt S5 Mini’s motor simply cannot compare to the R1 in terms of power, with the R1’s 1800w motor far outstripping the Skatebolt S5 Mini’s 250w motor. While the Skatebolt S5 Mini can travel up to 9.3 miles on a full charge, you won’t be able to climb hills almost at all when compared to the R1’s geared motor architecture.
The Riptide R1 may not look like much when compared to other boards. But that’s because the R1 is focused on providing a balanced motorized skateboarding experience that amateurs and pros alike can enjoy at their own pace.
The R1 is just the first in a line of leading motorized boards from Riptide, who sourced their very first funds through IndieGoGo. Their commitment to their customers continues today as they pack industry-leading durability and performance into each of their skateboard tiers.
With a few key features packed on board like regenerative braking, the R1 is a go-to choice for those looking to get in on this new skateboarding evolution with the help of a well-regarded manufacturer.