Today we take a lookie at my spanking new electric skateboard called the Yuneec E-GO Cruiser - probably the best 700 USD I've ever spent.
Here it is being taken for a whirl around Akihabara.
I've been looking for an electric skateboard since I started to commute to our new office which involves going up and down a very long steep hill in Meguro. Search results brought up the Kick Starter funded Boosted Board which at the time was 2000 USD and didn't ship outside of the US - they told me that they didn't have "certifications required to ship internationally" - have no idea what that meant but helped rule off that product for me.
Seeking alternative electric skateboards, I came across the Yuneec E-Go Cruiser which was way cheaper at 700 USD.
The reason why I didn't go for the E-Go Cruiser immediately was because of my perception of the Yuneec Vs Boosted Board.
Boosted Boards have extremely strong branding sense and strategy - despite it costing much more, I wanted a Boosted Board instead of the E-GO. Thankfully, they didn't want to ship to me so I bought the E-GO instead.
If you take a lookie at the Yuneec site, you can see that its not as polished as Boosted Boards with broken links here and there - customer support was non responsive and I had no idea whether my board was going to ship or not.
My board did arrive quicker than I thought about 2 weeks later and this is what it looked like after arriving. The splogy bits under the board was just me removing the warning stickers.
The E-Go Cruiser has inspired me to make electric skateboards too - but for 60cm tall Smart Dolls ^o^
Smart Dolls come with a Support Socket in their backs which will enable them to ride without falling off. They will be Smart Doll sized and controlled via a mobile phone via bluetooth.
The Yuneec E-Go Cruiser comes with a remote control that connects to the board via Bluetooth. Incredibly easy to use - just turn on the board, turn on the remote and you are done - no pairing needed. The remote lets you know how much battery is left in the board and the remote through a flashing light - 4 blue flashes means the board is full, 4 green flashes means the remote is full. 1 flash for each color means both board and remote is nearly out of juice.
The remote can be charged via USB and from a USB port on the side of the boards battery.
The E-GO has two speed modes - one is 12 km/hr (7.5 mi/hr) and the other is 20 km/hr (12.5 mi/hr) - choose depending on your level of expertise. In the previous photo you saw the turtle and hare switch which should be changed to enable either mode.
Looking at talk about the E-GO from folks who were considering to buy, many of them said that 12KM is slow. I personally think that 12KM is more than enough to give me enough control of the board and feel safe at the same time. The board does do higher speeds when going downhill and I feel uncomfy when it does go too fast.
Luckily there is a built in brake which is just fantastic - just pull back on the remote knob and the E-GO starts to brake depending on the mode you choose - Sports or ECO. Sports mode gives you abrupt bursts in speeds and braking while ECO is gradual. I have mine set to Sports.
The E-GO has regenerative charging too when you brake.
The E-GO can supposedly travel for 22km - 25km (13mi-15mi) on one charge although I've never had to travel that long of a distance. The first day I got it however, I went around my neighbourhood in a circle about 20 times for an hour because it is just so incredibly cool! Used up about half of the board battery.
That night I had motion sickness and went to bed early ^^; The inertia caused when you throttle up to full speed is strong and I guess my body wasn't used to it.
For now I've only customised my board a bit with - I put rubber tape at the sides of the board because the grip tape was wearing away my fingerprints when carrying it - it weighs about 6kg (13 lbs) which does get heavy when carrying it around for a while which I would do when on a train.
At the time of writing, Boosted Boards had two motors but the E-GO only has one. Not having much knowledge about electric skateboards, I would have thought that 2 motors are better than one but probably not so judging from performance - the single motor does a great job going up and down hill - even steep ones although it does slow down (just a wee bit) when going uphill.
After taking a look at Boosted Boards while writing this, I see that they also released a single motor board and now offer a more competitive price - doesn't matter though as they still don't ship outside the US and I'm a happy E-GO user anyway.
Check out the video below of it in action - you can't hear it in the video but it makes a cool whirring noise when cruising.
Photo taken in Coronado America after picking up my first manual longboard.
I've always been interested in skateboards and have always thought that they were cool ever since seeing them in action in Back To the Future.
I then watched the incredible movie "Walter Mitty" - a movie about a day dreaming salary man who breaks out of his comfort zone and ends up doing stuff that many of us have only dreamed of.
There is a scene where the main character is on a longboard going down a looooong winding path which is just so liberating to watch. Great movie go watch it.
Walter Mitty inspired me to finally go and get a longboard. Before I did however, I was doing research on YouTube about boarding as I had no idea how to brake - then all I saw where people falling off breaking their bones.
Fear prevented me getting a longboard for a while but I thought to myself - why should I worry about falling over and breaking a bone (or even dying) when there are worst things in life - like dying knowing that I lived a life of fear - fear of taking risks and giving up on things that would make my life fulfilling and challenging.
After I got the board, I just did what I saw others do - one foot on the board and the other foot on the ground to kick myself forward. It did take a while to get used to but after a few weeks realized that I was using a lot of my stomach muscles to help me balance on the board each time I kicked on the ground to propel forward - it wasn't a conscious thing and realized that my body just got used to wanting to be in control of the board.
Learning to skate on the manual board gave me time to manage weight distribution and steering so that when the E-Go came along, I was able to get used to it in a jiffy.
Tanabe-san at PopBox done the deeds for me with the printing and all I had to do was remove the trucks and apply the sticker.
I've uploaded the original data for you to give your longboard the Mirai treatment too!
Ah, another small customization I did was to attach a light at the bottom of the E-GO.
The build quality is solid and not tacky in anyway although their product photos do make it look so. Through researching up on Boosted Boards and Yuneec - I learned a lot about how branding can make or break a company and shift the favor of one company to another.
Its about a 20 min walk to work but the E-GO helps me cut that time down to less than half. I do try to strike a balance of walking and skating to work but I seem to be strapped for time a lot and end up using the E-GO a lot ><
Wifey says that I will get fat if I use the E-GO too often but I tell her that at least I'm using my balancing skills so that when I get old I can still ride one ^o^
Do any of you ride a manual or electric longboard? What brand do you have? Any interesting stories about your boarding? Thinking of getting one?