Here we go again with the electric skateboard hype. The megaphone this time is the Kickstarter’s Technology section, and the miracle electric skateboard is the Leafboard, coming soon to your door step. The tiny electric vehicle is “The Lightest & Most Affordable Electric Skateboard,” its developers says. The crowdfunded electric skateboard has already smashed its Kickstarter funding goal of $50,000 ($115,000+ raised so far) with 29 days remaining.
The first questionable assumption here is that Leafboard is the Most Affordable Electric Skateboard. If you look online right now, you can find electric skateboards for as little as $179.99 ([easyazon_link identifier=”B00KGQ6TL2″ locale=”US” nw=”y” nf=”y” tag=”dailyhover-20″]Dynacraft Surge Electric Skateboard, Black/Green[/easyazon_link]) or as much as $1,959 (Evolve GT Carbon). There’s a reason for that!
“A lot of suppliers buy products from China and just put a sticker on it,” said one retailer based in LA. “All what consumers see is a board and some wheels. But the quality definitely isn’t there.”
Among the first electric skateboards to hit the market (at least in the U.S.) were the Boosted, Evolve, Inboard, Stary, Mellows, Zboard and few others, which happen to be the most expensive and claim to have the best quality.
Many other electric skateboard brands have appeared — but most of them are cheap knock-offs with smaller batteries, less-powerful motors, lower-quality and less sturdy construction. Resellers are buying these in bulk from China and selling them for cheap, and you get what you pay for.
More dubious still is the manufacturer’s claim that the Leafboard is “The Lightest” electric skateboard. As always, the question is: compared to what?
Electric skateboard maker claims that Leafboard weights only 9.7 lbs, that is roughly 5 lbs below the average weight of a regular size electric skateboard on the U.S. market.
Trouble is, though, that most electric skateboards weighing 13-16lbs are larger than the Leafboard and with better performance, superb quality and more diverse functionality.
Lastly, at just 7.7 lbs, Blink Lite is the lightest and smartest electric skateboard currently available on the market. Blink Lite by Acton costs only $399 compared to Leafboard priced at $649.
All this stuff is part for the course with trendy high-tech gadgets. Watch out for vendor-manufactured hype surrounding a new personal transportation technology. If you keep your eyes about you, you or your loved one should be cruising happily on an electric skateboard this holiday season.