Electric Skateboard vs Hoverboard. No, they are not the same thing!

So if you have been paying attention, over the last few years we have seen a rapid evolution of last mile transportation vehicles. Electric scooters, hoverboards,electric skateboards (‘esk8’) etc. They have all been coming out of the woodwork.  Today I will be comparing two of these vehicles. The electric skateboard vs hoverboard. Both have their strengths, weakness and most appropriate uses. Read on below to find out more.

The way they both work.

Hoverboards are actually more complicated than esk8’s. They have more parts and electrical components. They have gyroscopes, pressure pads and tilt sensors to name a few. By leaning backward or forwards, you can control it. The pressure pads detect this lean and send info to a wheel for it to start rotating.

The electric motors contain the tilt and speed sensors which detect the rpm of each individual wheel. They send this info to the gyroscope and logic control board which then tells which wheel what to do. For eg., if it is spinning too fast it is told to slow down … it’s pretty complicated and it’s amazing how it all comes together. It’s very simple but very clever.  Finally, all the components encased in a plastic shell which is not too durable.

Electric skateboards are pretty straightforward. You control the acceleration and braking via a remote. The remote uses a 2.4ghz Bluetooth connection to send this info to the Electric control system (ECS) of the board which then tells the motor to draw a given amount of energy from the battery. You control how it turns by leaning the left or right.

What are the main differences?

Electric skateboards have more momentum and they will go over cracks, pebbles, and small curbs better. They are also more suited to going over long distances as they are more comfortable to ride and stand on. They are safer and it’s easy to ride an electric skateboard.

The electric longboard motors and battery aren’t limited to the size of a plastic shell, they can be as large as you like. Thusly esk8’s are a lot faster, they are also safer and easier to balance on. They are more customizable, you can have different decks, wheels, trucks,  grip tape, motors, batteries, remotes etc. They can all be changed. However, this is also reflected in the price. Though the quality also ensures the skateboards durability.

All hoverboards are generic, to be honest. They all use the same concept, design and all have similar power and battery lives. Most go as fast as 6-10 mph with some models reaching 12mph and have good battery life lasting around 4-6 hours. They come in different widths but the standing platform remains around the same size. They usually weigh around 25lbs, which is pretty heavy. The two wheel electric skateboard must use some really dense components.

Comparatively, most electric skateboards come in at 14lbs. It’s pretty surprising because of how much larger longboards are. Esk8s are also much faster with some of the more expensive models going as fast as 30mph. There are a lot of different lengths, widths and even weights of esk8’s available.

Is the cheaper hoverboard better?

When it comes to the cost, you have a lot more options with electric longboards. Because you can choose to have on with one or two motors, or a large or smaller battery, the costs can vary. The quality is often reflected in the price. However, thanks to a lot of different manufacturers there is healthy competition. This leads to competitive pricing which keeps costs low for the consumer, but in general, the prices are higher than hoverboards but you get better quality in return. An electric skateboard for less than 200$ will be better than a hoverboard and have similar performance.

As mentioned earlier, because hoverboards are more generic their prices will usually be the same across different companies. It also means it’s harder to tell what is quality and what isn’t. Some that are expensive simply have inflated prices and add no real quality for the customer to enjoy. In general, they are also less durable because of the cheap plastic shells they use.

In what environments do they perform the best?

Electric skateboards are far more suited for transport and crossing the city. They are a lot faster, have more range and are more comfortable. Hoverboards are more like toys. They are fun to use indoors and over short distances, but they are heavy and require a lot of energy to use them. Both are super fun to use though.

For kids, I would recommend a hoverboard if they are gonna use them indoors or if they will be supervised. However electric skateboards are more durable, safer and easier to use. They could even use them to commute.

The winner!

I think all around the electric skateboard is better if you are gonna use it on roads and if you want to use it daily. The hoverboard is arguably better as a toy and more fun. That said electric skateboards are also really fun plus they’re safer, more durable and are easier to use. I believe an electric skatebaord is the better all rounder.