Top 5 Tips - Build your own high performance lightweight electric skateboard

21st Jul 2014

Read: New Comprehensive Electric Skateboard Buying Guide 2017

Building a DIY electric skateboard has never been so easy. 

With these 5 tips you can easily design & build your own really fast, long range, electric longboard that will easily climb all the hills & terrain in your local area.

TIP 1 - Do some initial planning - What do you want to achieve?

This might sound obvious, but it is extremely important to get your design goals clearly defined in your head before you buy parts & start your build. The most common mistake is trying to build a board that is awesome at everything! It is possible but will get very expensive. Trying to be the best at everything will complicate your build & you might end up with something that is just not great at anything.

> Take a mobile phone for example, Most people would accept that if you want really long battery life your phone tends to be bigger & heavier. Same with eboards! If you want best long range electric skateboard it will weigh more due to the additional batteries, meaning it will be a pain in the arse to carry it if you ever needed to. However Long range can still be achieved with smart design, swappable batteries or perhaps faster chargers so you can take a quick pit stop at the pub & recharge.

> If you want to haul massive loads, I talking to all the dudes who way over 100+kgs [220pounds] up hills all day you need more torque - which normally means less top speed. So you should think about electric skateboard drivetrain, things such as your motor KV (<=250kv) & gearing ratio (>3:1). However If you just want to outrun the (police) cars down the street you need to focus on designing for top speed (>250kv with 2:1 gearing ratio) and hope during your getaway you do not encounter a hill. Analyse your local terrain, Think about where will you be riding the most? Once you understand your needs the build will become easier to achieve.

Work out what is most important to you and create a simple design to achieve it.

TIP 2 - Join the conversation 

Once you have a good idea of what you want to achieve take some time to discuss your ideas with people who have been there & done it before you. Online Forums such as endless sphere are a great resource of information. Be sure to do some research first and if you can't find the additional info you need to finalise your version of the 'best electric skateboard in the world' you can submit your questions as a new thread and within hours you may have the answers you are looking for.

Please be open minded & willing to learn, because sometimes people will come out and tell you your design is no good, so be willing to ask analytical questions & be understanding... These people are more than willing to help you if you listen.

TIP 3 - Understand the false economy.

A FALSE ECONOMY is an action that saves money at the beginning but which, over a longer period of time, results in more money being spent or wasted than being saved.

An example of this when building an electric skateboard would be to buy the cheapest wiring, motors & electric components, recycling under spec'd parts from other electric things, retrofitting & cutting corners so you can save some coin. Trust me I tried doing this when building my first eboard... Yes its cheaper at the start but just not worth it in the long run. Your design needs to be purpose built with the best quality parts you can find. 

Of course most people respond with "I actually enjoy fiddling in the garage" - Yes I enjoy it also, but its not as fun as flying around the streets of on your awesome powered longboard.

So find a happy medium, consider buying a DIY electric skateboard kit that is pre engineered and designed to work reliably, you will still get the enjoyment of 'building something' and you will avoid the troubleshooting headaches because it will work first go. Best of all it will probably save you money in the long run.

Remember - 'Time is money' so buy your gear from a specialist electric skateboard parts supplier as they should offer free product support to get you up & running.

TIP 4 - Minimize the cost where you can

At this stage you should have a really good idea of what you need to buy, so now you should try to minimise your costs to acquire the necessary electric skateboard parts.

One of the easiest ways to save money is buying all (or 'most of') your parts from the one supplier, this will result in a big saving on freight costs. Don't forget anything either! Be sure to buy everything in one hit because if you forget just one item it could easily add $50+ extra to your costs. 

Recycling can be worth it for somethings... Such as your deck. Using an old deck thats laying around can be a good way to initially save $150+ the reason I suggest this is because riding an electric skateboard is very different than riding a normal skateboard... So it could be difficult to buy the correct deck for your first eboard until you have experienced the power of your eboard. Its also a good to be able to ride your local terrain first to see what board might be suitable, maybe there are lots of cracks where you will ride so having a deck with a kick might make maneuvering through the terrain easier...

I'm onto my third deck... It can get expensive if you keep swapping decks out... So try to get it right the first time.

TIP 5 -  Be Safe

I have ridden skateboards for well over 20yrs and over those years never wore any safety gear... maybe I'm just stupid. However the good news is during those years the amount of times I have had serious stacks is surprisingly very little. But now I definitely DO wear protective gear, at least a helmet. Electric skateboards are a game changer! These boards can accelerate you to over 40km/h in under 5 seconds. This means that if you do come off your electric skateboard the chances are it will be a high speed crash! So as a minimum buy a helmet & wear jeans or other long pants with thick material when riding.

Watch a video tutorial on how to build electric skateboards

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