In the previous article we covered some of the most popular electric skateboards under $300 and as we've seen this market corner was very diverse – some great picks out there, some solid, some of them not so great. Still, they always came with an asterisk. "A great skateboard, BUT…"
That’s ok, in order to reach the low price, you need to make some compromises. And now we’ll take a look at some of the best electric skateboards under $500. While still not premium units (for that pleasure, you’ll need to spend a couple of hundreds of dollars more), these boards offer solid quality and make very few unpopular trade offs along the way.
So, let’s take a dive into the e-skateboard mid-range goldmine with these picks.
Best 3 electric skateboards under 500$
|Backfire G2 Black
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|TOMOLOO Dragon Knight H3
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|Cool&Fun UrbanPro Electric Skateboard
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How to choose between mid-range electric skateboards
Although the units we are going to cover on our list make a huge leap forward when it comes to the quality (at least compared to the previously reviewed products) we have still not passed the point where we'll be able to make the choices based solely on the design and advanced features.
So, pay attention to the following factors when making a purchase.
Generally speaking, electric skateboards are the units that take a lot of beating over the course of their lifetime. This comes especially true when we talk about the off-road units that need to traverse difficult terrains like dirt and gravel. It is in your best interest to find the board that will be able to sustain such abuse.
Also, you should do your best to find a product that includes a comprehensive warranty to make sure manufacturing errors don’t get in the way of your riding experience. Also, read the fine print to see what kinds of malfunctions are covered.
Although the one-year warranty would be an ideal solution, any manufacturer that allows you at least six months to test the unit should come under your radar.
Of course, the overall quality of an electric skateboard doesn’t depend only on the craftsmanship - the choice of the materials plays just as big or even a bigger role. Let’s take a look at some of the usual suspects we will most likely see in this range.
- Maple – Usually coming from the forests of the Great White North, maple is a material that’s very durable, offers great stiffness and thus good control over the board, but also has natural vibration dampening properties. Some of the more premium models also feature two layers of bamboo sandwiching the maple core, which makes the deck more flexible and compensates for the maple’s stiffness.
- Carbon – Carbon is a composite material that is characterized by high-stiffness and low weight, which makes a solid choice for electric skateboarding. The good thing about the material is that its properties can be drastically affected by changing its core, which gives the designers more room to play with. On the downside, carbon is much more expensive than maple.
When it comes to the wheels, the things are much simpler. Most of the offers in this range feature solid polyurethane wheel capable of managing city terrains. However, if you are buying an off-road unit, make sure it features high-quality pneumatic tires cause the wheels alone will provide a very rough ride.
Battery capacity is one of the most important properties of an electric skateboard. The more powerful the battery is the greater will be the distance the board will be able to traverse in one charge. Unfortunately, a bigger number of ampere hours don't always translate to a wider range.
How much the board will be able to pass in one go is largely impacted the weight of the board, the motor power and, finally, the weight of the rider.
Therefore, when you check the specs of the board, take a look at the range that describes how far the unit will be able to go in kilometers rather than ampere hours. Although this number can be affected by the weight of the rider and the speed you're going at, it presents much clearer info about the unit's overall capability.
The electric skateboards' motors can be divided into two major groups:
- Hub motors – Hub motors are very light, compact and cheap. They also contain very few moving parts which makes them rather quiet and less prone to damage. On the downside, hub motors are built directly into the wheels so they produce less torque. Still, they perform more than well when mounted on street units.
- Belt drives – As the name suggests belt drives turn the wheels through connecting belts. This solution is far noisier and harder to maintain but produces excellent torque. Since you get more bang for the same amount of juice, this also a more power-economic option.
Which one of these two options you are going to opt for largely depends on your driving preferences.
Strength and flexibility
We already mentioned this topic when we talked about deck materials but it's worth repeating. Stronger and stiffer decks allow you great control over the wheels and board in general. They do, however, provide a pretty bumpy riding experience.
On the other hand, more flexible boards are very pleasant to stand on, but at the same time feel floppy while riding.
A perfect board lies somewhere in between these two extremes.
If all the topics we covered above were something we could call skateboard’s core features, advanced features are all the small details that improve riding experience but are not essential for the unit’s overall quality.
Some of the features you can expect in this range are:
- Reverse more
- Grip tapes
- Remote access
- LED control display
- Carrying handles
- ABS technology
We have finally come to the point where we can introduce a bit of variety into the selection. We are, of course, talking about the off-road skateboards. Let’s break down some of the main differences between them and the street boards.
- Street boards – Lightweight and reasonably powerful, street skateboards are designed with casual commuting in mind. Because of that, they usually have a pretty good range that can go all the way up to 25 kilometers.
- Off-road skateboards - As opposed to their street counterparts, off-road skateboards are tough, heavy, they feature more powerful motors, and have a set of oversized wheels wrapped in pneumatic tires. Because they are quite heavy, their range usually suffers as a result.
In-depth reviews of each product
1. Backfire G2 Black-Best Overall
Although Backfire’s business is not mainly focussed on skateboards, this company impressed with the release of their second offering in their line of budget electric skateboards. Thanks to a combination of high-quality specs, the G2 Black has proven to be an industry favorite and one of the best electric longboards under $500 you can get in the market today.
The superior workmanship associated with the Backfire brand is evident right from the construction of the board. It sports a charming all-black deck (which I guess is where its name came from) that will appeal to both younger and older generations. Throw in a few animated stickers and you get a customized board that will stand out from the crowd.
The G2 is quite portable at 15lbs and features an 8-ply maple deck measuring 37 inches long. This results in a flexible platform that facilitates your agility when twisting and turning.
For heavier riders, the flex might feel in excess of what is required. Fitted with huge 96mm wheels, the board shines on bumpy rides as the vibrations are greatly dampened.
Powerful motors propel this electric longboard to decent high speeds and the acceleration is robust enough to let you scale 20% gradients with relative ease. Thankfully, the ride is super-smooth to keep you on your twos the whole time.
You’ll appreciate that the motors have been fully sealed to offer a water-resistant performance in all kinds of weather. Overall, this is a nice option for beginners who are still dipping their toe in the water.
When it comes to the range, the G2 Black battery will offer you just enough juice to enjoy your ride; nothing out of the ordinary. On the downside, you won’t find many extra features on this otherwise high-performance electric longboard under 500.
The G2 Black is a swift skateboard powered by a pair of high-grade 350-watt motors. The brushless motors will push you to a top speed of 24mph and you’ll enjoy the low sound profile when you ride this board. Backfire chose to go with a 5.2Ah 42V Samsung battery pack on the G2. It is pretty energy efficient and will last around 12 miles on a single charge before running out of juice.
However, the actual range will be dependent on your selection of the two riding modes you can use. You can choose between economic and standard modes, with the latter offering more power. The battery will also require 3.5 hours to fully recharge when it runs out of juice.
All in all, the performance of the board remains smooth in the modes because of the responsive Hobbywing remote the manufacturer provides.
As mentioned earlier, there are no extra features on the Backfire G2 Black that can enhance your ride. But one thing that stands out is the integration of regenerative braking on the board.
This is a unique feature that serves to recoup some of the energy lost during braking, ensuring that the duration of your ride is slightly extended.
2. TOMOLOO Dragon Knight H3
Tomoloo Hover Board is a product that exists completely in its own world. Comparing it to other products from this list wouldn’t make any sense. But, the unit is an electric board and it packs some very unique features, so it’s definitely worth talking about.
So, let’s move some of the things off the table first. Tomoloo’s Hover Board should be considered more as a three-wheel electric scooter than anything else. Riding it will require to suppress all of your skating urges and leave the flips at home.
Second, the design of the product is… Well, let's call it controversial. The manufacturer claims the design language was inspired by the dragons of Norse mythology.
We claim the unit looks like a piece of How to Train Your Dragon merchandise. Still, the kids are going to love it and the people who take their image less seriously will certainly draw more than a couple of curious looks.
Now, we are very happy to say that the look of this skateboard/scooter is very deceiving. We are talking about a genuine beast with specs taht reflect the manufacturer's intentions much better than the misguided design.
This bad boy is fast, lean and durable. And out of all units we covered so far, this is the one powered by replaceable Tesla battery. The mainboard program also does an excellent job at balancing the scooter so riding will be safe for children even with all that power under the deck.
The skateboard’s wheels are also pretty substantial. Sure, you won’t get any luck with the tough mountain tracks, but the unit is more than capable of traversing the common city obstacles.
All in all, we are talking about a genuine oddball if there ever was one. Still, Dragon Knight offers surprisingly strong performance that can easily stand toe to toe with the stronger contenders we pointed out earlier. Of course, there are some limitations that are the direct consequence of the product’s type and design philosophy.
But, if you are ready to take it for what it is, this Dragon Knight may be the most pleasant surprise on the list.
Although it looks pretty bulky, Dragon Rider H3 is surprisingly light. It weighs only 10 kilograms which is more than reasonable taking into account all the goodies the unit has to carry (more on that below). Dragon Rider is powered by the 250W brushless motor, it can reach the speed that goes up to 15.5 mph/25km/h and is capable of traversing 20 kilometers in one charge.
The max load is more than commendable – the board can carry up to 120 kilograms of weight.
If some of the previous units under 500 dollars we covered suffered from the lack of advanced features, Dragon Knight H3 packs too many to count.
So, you get shock-absorbing springs, built-in Bluetooth speakers (we're dead serious), built-in LED screen that showcases the relevant info about the board's status, a couple of different riding modes, front and back lights, and the bunch of LED lights that are packed that are there just for the sake of fun.
The fact that all these things are squeezed into such an affordable price range is truly praiseworthy.
3. Cool&Fun UrbanPro Electric Skateboard
The guys at Cool&Fun wanted to create a fun, affordable electric board that’s fun for both beginners and pros. And I’m happy to report that they succeeded with flying colors.
Sure, this is not the best electric skateboard around - but it comes with a decently powered motor and a nearly indestructible deck.
Speaking of the deck - it’s built out of 11 layers of Canadian maple and plexiglass. This material combination gives the deck incredible flexibility and durability.
In fact, it’s so durable that it can handle riders up to 265 pounds in weight. And when it comes to flexibility, during my time with the board, I barely felt any road vibrations - all thanks to the board.
The wheels are just as good as the board. They’re built out of polyurethane and are pretty soft, which makes them perfect for cruising on all types of pavement and asphalt.
The only thing I don’t like about the board’s construction would be the bushings on the trucks. I don’t have 50 miles on this board, and they’re already starting to wear out. The wear is minimal, but I fear it will only worsen in the near future.
Besides that minor hiccup, the rest of the UrbanPro is pretty okay.
For one, I love how roomy the deck is. Even if you’re on the taller side, you won’t have much - if any - trouble keeping a stable and comfortable stance.
While I’m not a fan of the tiger graphic on the grip tape, I’m happy I can simply put my foot over it, so I don’t have to look at it.
The thing I love the most about the UrbanPro is how much torque the motor produces. While you won’t feel it in the first speed mode, the second you start upping the speed, you’ll begin to feel it.
And you’ll especially feel it when you start breaking.
Another minor complaint I have about this electric skateboard is the control lag. The second the battery gets under 50% charge, you notice how it takes a second for the board to register your input from the remote.
While this is not a big problem when you're cruising down a straight road, it becomes an issue when you start turning.
Cool&Fun UrbanPro electric skateboard comes with a 400W motor. Don’t let the lower power output fool you, though; this motor is extremely torquey. You’ll be cruising at a speed of 20 miles per hour in mere seconds.
On top of that, the motor can conquer hills with 20% inclines - which is ridiculous for a “budget” board.
The only bad thing about the motor on this board is the brakes. They’re far too soft and nearly useless when riding downhill.
The UrbanPro doesn’t come with any additional bells and whistles. You get a torquey motor and a decent deck - that’s it.
Besides the two, you also get a pretty ergonomic remote that tells you how much battery charge you have left.
4. Teamgee H5 38" Electric Skateboard
Featuring outdated tech in a fast-advancing market, the Teamgee H5 doesn’t pack cutting-edge components. However, its design makes it a very interesting electric skateboard.
The H5 is actually the world’s thinnest electric skateboard, making it one of the best boards to carry around. And if you’re commuting in an urban environment, this board is a godsend.
The LingYi ESC controller provides ample braking power and modest acceleration, although the control is a bit hectic.
You’ll quickly adapt to an unstable ride if you're a seasoned rider. But if you’re a beginner, it will take you some time to get comfortable with this board.
The overall design of the H5 is sleek, stealthy, and minimal. The low center of gravity provides an excellent cruising feel if you overlook the hectic controls. The riding and carving experience is pretty decent, and the board remains stable at modest speeds.
The acceleration and braking are a bit abrupt, though, which might be a problem for beginners.
The only drawback to this board is the controls. While the board is perfectly capable of breaking and accelerating, the execution of the controls is incredibly jolting.
This kind of riding experience won’t inspire confidence in new riders, that’s for sure.
Thankfully, the build quality on this board is pretty top-notch. Of course, because this is a budget board, the trucks and the bushings aren’t the best - but they’re far from the worst.
After 70 miles on this board, the wear on the trucks and the bushings is minimal.
The best thing about the board is how portable it is. It’s the thinnest board on the market, and it weighs just under 14 pounds. That makes it a fantastic candidate for those backpacks that have board straps.
I especially love the deck on this board. The tape is incredible, and the concave design is more than welcoming. The long drop-through and low hang make carving on the H5 a real treat, too.
While I’m not the biggest fan of their log design, I do appreciate the bottom color gradient on the deck.
The Teamgee H5 comes with a 760 Watt dual brush motor. And as a cherry on top, the motor is incredibly torquey. You will be able to reach the max cruising speed of 22 miles per hour in mere seconds.
It’s powered by a 36 Volt, 3.5 Ah battery, which gives you a range of around 11 miles. As such, it seems perfect for short commutes. Oh, and the recharge time of just two hours is nice, too. You can take this board to work and have it at full charge long before you end your shift.
As with most budget boards, the H5 doesn’t come with any special features; bells and whistles are the first to go in this price range. The only remarkable thing about this board is how thin it is.
Q: Are mid-range electric skateboards suited for professionals?
It really depends what you consider under the word professional. Still, you will be glad to know that most of the corners that are being cut in the mid-range segment are cut in the features department. If you can live without built-in LED screens and other useful but not necessary additions, you will be able to find the unit that will win you a race or two.
Q: Can kids ride electric skateboards?
Sure, but the units that are too fast may be a bit dangerous for the youngsters. If you want to introduce your kids to the world of skateboarding, give them a couple of rids on the regular board, before they are capable of handling higher speeds.
Q: How do electric skateboards benefit from raised kick-tails?
Although not a mandatory part of an electric skateboard raised kick-tails certainly have a strong influence on their overall performance. Namely, they allow for much faster turns and easier breaking. More experienced riders use kick-tails to perform more complicated tricks.
Q: How electric skateboards benefit from LED lights?
LED lights can prove to be useful to riders in more than one way. First, they can provide quick and easy to understand feedback on battery status. Second, they make you and the board more visible in the dark, thus improving your safety.
Last but not least, depending on their position, LED lights can light a small area around you, helping you to avoid immediate obstacles.
Q: What is the range of mid-range electric skateboards?
The market is changing very rapidly so it’s really difficult to provide the exact number. The boundaries are being pushed with each passing day.
Still, most of the units that are currently available fall somewhere between 12 and 20 kilometers, which is substantially more than what you would get from the e-skateboards we looked at in our affordable electric skateboard mega-review.
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