Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Boosted Board 1,160 km review


Introduction

The boosted board came into being via Kickstarter back in 2012 - and you can view it here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/170315130/boosted-boards-the-worlds-lightest-electric-vehicl

The original board had almost the same specs as the V2 dual+ board, except the bluetooth is much, much better. V1 had terrible disconnect issues if there was interference. In 2016 Boosted announced the availability of the V2 board. So I decided to pre-order the board in March and it arrived in early April. The shot below is before I desecrated it with nail polish and colored the letters with horrible higlights. Yeah, I trashed my board. It's only grip tape.


Because the board is bamboo and a bit of maple, it rides extremely well. You can jump up and down on the board and never worry about breaking it. I know, I've tried.

And while it's true, you could throw the board down like Casey Neistat does and it'll likely work. But I paid a hell of alot of money for this thing ($1,500 USD) so there is no way in hell I'm doing that. I gave up babying the appearance after 400 km. It's useless to keep cleaning the wheels, they'll get black. Your grip tape will get scratches and shit. The sooner you accept this the better.

The best point about this board is the power and control. I can literally start at zero and race to 32km/hour in a few seconds. Very few (if any) cyclists can keep up at this pace. Many are astonished at being taken by a measly skateboard.

Dual 1,000 watt motors make a huge difference. I'm glad I went for the Dual + model, it gives you 22 mph at 24 % incline.

Over the course of 1,150 kilometers, I went through 6 belts, and a completely new set of electronics. It died at 850 km and wouldn't move anymore. They replaced the belts, motors, controller, motor controllers, and battery. It rides quieter and a little slower (and safer I believe).

Value for money. Is it worth buying? No. You would be better off buying a small scooter or maybe a bicycle if you want decent range. The battery just isn't big enough for my commute. Eventually boosted will send me the double capacity battery - in friggin December.

Do I regret buying it? Never. Yes, it's a very expensive toy. But its' sure cheaper than a mid-life porsche. Forget about motorcycles for now. I'm going to spend a couple of years clearing debt and then think about what to do. I bet boosted will have a V3 by then and will have more speed and power.

Safety is a big concern when riding these gadgets. You have to ensure you have the proper gear - helmet, pads, wrist gaurds, knee guards... otherwise you're going to have a real bad time if you fall. I installed lights and a bike bell on my backpack. It's helped tremendously.  You really have to watch where you are riding. Any new areas I go, I always go slow until I've gone over it at least once to know my route. Keep your eyes and ears peeled for pedestrians, cyclists, and cars. Always assume people do not see you. Use your hands to stop traffic or people. Use your voice and bell. Be cautious and always expect people to do the unexpected.

Let's be honest. You'll look a little ridiculous riding a powered skateboard if you're my age (late 40's). But seriously, nobody has given me any flack. I've had thumbs up, people yell 'casey neistat' and even cheer. Cyclists have been pretty decent too, although I did get a nasty look from one a few months ago. Fuck that guy.

Maintenance wise, you're looking at bearings every 3,000 km or so. Wheels will last as long as you want, generally I would change them at 3,000 km unless they're absolutely chewed to shit. The battery should last for 4 thousand charges at least and only cost about $199 to replace. The rubber grommets on the trucks can be changed once you notice the ride getting hard, but in reality they should last the life of the board. Boosted has designed this board to be repaired. Every single component can be remove and replaced.

New grip tape can be purchased online for about $40 in a vast amount of custom designs. I think I'll replace the grip tape first if and when the traction becomes a problem. So far it hasn't proven anything bad. I use grip gum to clean the tape (basically a huge rubber eraser).


Final Thoughts:

* Super fun toy
* Not practical for commutes longer than 6 km UNLESS you have the big extended battery (12km range)
* Dangerous but if you love adrenaline this baby is for you
* Friends, wives, and co-workers will think you're nuts

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