Let me guess -- you've seen a longboarder fly past you effortlessly, with only the quiet hum of the motor and the rumble of wheels to tell you they were coming. Maybe you've been boarding your entire life and wanted to try something new, or maybe you've been looking for that vehicle to make your commute easy, and even fun. An electric longboard seemed like just the thing. So you checked online but, either the price was too high, or you weren't sure if the low cost meant low quality as well. If that sounds familiar, you're just like the founders of Lectric Longboards.
When Lectric Longboards founder Levi Conlow saw a student zip by him on an electric longboard at Grand Canyon University, he knew he had to have one. What stopped him was how much the board cost. At $1,500, the cost of an electric board was too much for Levi and classmate Nathan Cooper. So, the two decided to make a board that would compete with the more expensive boards, at a better cost to college students.
Lectric Longboards LS
An electric longboard is an investment. It's a vehicle that gets you through the last miles of your commute or even takes you all the way. You want it to be speedy, reliable, and not break the bank. This is the balance Lectric Longboards set out to find, and in 2017 the company introduced the LS. The Lectric Longboard LS advertises higher speeds and sturdier construction than competitors, while still offering a lower price tag. Made with Canadian maple, in-wheel motor hubs, and two different speed modes, the Lectric Longboards LS provides the same features as many of its competitors at a cost more riders can afford.
Lectric Longboards LS specs
The most remarkable feature of the Lectric Longboards LS is its ability to reach 25 miles per hour. This speed couples with a maximum range of 15 to 18 miles. The rider can choose between Eco and Ludicrous settings. With these, the rider can set the board to reach top speed or preserve energy for greater distance. Lectric Longboards manages both speed and durability in part through its motor design. The LS includes two 300-watt motors in the wheel hub. Hub motors are more efficient and more powerful than alternate setups. With these, there is more room on the board, as a central motor would take up more space. It also makes the board quieter and allows the Lectric Longboards LS to use regenerative braking. With regenerative braking, the motors act as generators when slowing the board.
The Lectric Longboards LS weighs 13 pounds, and you can ride it even when the battery is dead. So, if you exhaust its 18-mile range, carrying or riding the board is still a viable and easy option. A reverse mode means that the board can easily move in both directions on its motors alone, and a 20 percent hill climb capability will send you and your board up all but the steepest hills.
The Lectric Longboards LS costs between $580 and $600, with a 90-day warranty. Shipping is two to three days in the United States and Canada, and four to eight weeks for European shipping. They are only available via the Lectric Longboards website. Lectric Longboards makes and assembles their boards in Phoenix, AZ.
Lectric Longboards' LS model comes into a highly competitive market. Some of its top competitors include Boosted Boards, Koowheel, Inboard, and Acton. Since Lectric Longboards' top selling point is its cost, most of the competitors fall behind in this regard.
At a glance, Boosted Boards' Boosted Plus offers the best-known brand name, as well as the highest price tag. Its smaller Boosted Mini S offers more mobility and portability while losing some of the power and range of the Plus. Koowheel's D3M and the Acton Blink S-R offer the most competitive price points to the Lectric Longboards LS, although they sacrifice construction and range. The Inboard M1 is squarely in the middle of both price and performance among the three competitors.
How does Lectric Longboards stack up? Well, we'll take a look at each board's price, range, speed, and weight. We'll also highlight some of the more unique factors of each board. All ranges and speeds are listed as the maximum the board can reach, and all vary depending on how the board is ridden.
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3.5 of 5 stars
The Boosted Plus is one of the best known electric longboards on the market, earning comparison from several other electric boards. The company has been refining its product since 2012, resulting in the highest price tag of those reviewed. It is also the most extensively engineered. Boosted Boards have developed and improved on several iterations through the years. Most notable is the Boosted Plus's body construction, which includes a poplar core surrounded by high-density foam and fiberglass to provide for a smoother ride and stronger deck. The board also features four different speed settings.
The Boosted Plus earned 3.5 out of 5-stars from Amazon customers. Reviewers widely celebrated the board for its speed and stability. The few critiques focused on its tendency to lose charge when it has not been used in a while, requiring riders to charge the board manually.
M1 Electric Skateboard
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4.4 of 5 stars
Inboard's M1 Electric Skateboard occupies a middle ground among the competitors, yet is still the second most expensive. Made to be a durable and easy ride, the M1 offers many ease-of-use features. It includes a splash-resistant case, three-speed settings, and a smartphone app. The smartphone app provides firmware updates, a dashboard to check the board's power, and even a throttle if the remote is charging. The M1's beginner setting tops out at five miles per hour, meaning new longboarders can get comfortable before reaching full speed. While the range is lower than others, Inboard also offers a changeable battery so the rider can simply switch and keep riding.
Online reviewers rated the M1 4.4 out of 5-stars. While most appreciated the board's power, especially on hills, its seven-mile range was too low for some riders.
Boosted Mini S and X
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4.1 of 5 stars
The Boosted Mini S offers a budget option to balance out the cost of its sibling board, the Boosted Plus. At almost half the price of the larger Boosted board, the Mini S swaps out range and power for a light and agile board. Built with a scooped deck to help riders keep their position on the relatively small board, the Mini S is marketed as a commuter board that carries and stows easily. It also includes tail construction that allows its rider to move smoothly among commuter traffic. For additional range and speed, the Mini X includes upgrades that run the same price as the Inboard M1. On Amazon, customers gave the Boosted Mini X 4.1 out of 5 stars. For many riders, the board's power coupled with its small size was a strong point, although critiques address the weight of the board as a drawback.
On Amazon, customers gave the Boosted Mini X 4.2 out of 5 stars. For many riders, the board's power coupled with its small size was a strong point, although critiques address the weight of the board as a drawback.
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2.9 of 5 stars
The Koowheel D3M advertises a price around $60 higher than the Lectric Longboards LS at its lowest end. Similar to the M1, it offers an easily replaceable battery, so riders don't have to worry about running out of charge mid-ride. Other than this, the Koowheel seems to be comparable to its competitors and offers nothing especially unique. Simply put, the Koowheel is a standard board which includes much of the core functionality of its competitors without bringing much innovation. 71 percent of Amazon customer reviewers gave this model either 3 or 5 stars. It's worth noting, however, that the remainder gave it one star, citing reliability issues.
Amazon reviewers gave the Koowheel D3M 2.9 out of 5-stars. The speed and range were competitive with other, higher-priced boards. Conversely, the construction of the board required a few reviewers to repair their board as a result of everyday riding.
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3.6 of 5 stars
The Acton Blink S-R competes with the Lectric Longboards LS on price and offers competitive technology in a small package. This board is the smallest, lightest, and least expensive. It also includes a top speed of 16 miles per hour and LED lights in the front and rear. The Acton provides a low-cost, lightweight board that targets commuters who need a board that won't get in the way.
Online customer reviews for this board were 3.6 out of 5 star.
Lectric Longboards Pros and Cons
When Lectric Longboards was conceived, its purpose was to provide a cost-effective, high-quality alternative to the $1,500 electric boards that were already on the market. It has met the price tag requirement, but does the lower cost bring a product worth buying? The Lectric Longboards LS has a lot to offer regarding durability, range, and speed. While it matches a lot of the core capabilities of more expensive boards, it also leaves out more advanced functionality.
Lectric Longboards LS a Solid Choice
The Lectric Longboards LS occupies a unique niche among the electric longboard market. While it lacks the bells and whistles of established competitors such as Boosted Boards and Inboard, it promises core functionality similar to these boards. The LS is remarkable for its range and speed, which are closest to the Boosted Plus -- one of the most extensively engineered boards on the market. At the same time, it features handmade boards at a price point that suggests factory production. The balance between these two makes this a board that should be useful for both beginner and experienced boarders.
The Lectric Longboards LS falls behind regarding engineering. Other boards, like the Boosted Plus and the M1, feature boards that skew closer to snowboards in construction. Wooden cores with flexible foam and sturdy fiberglass provide boards that are resistant to breakage and smoother rides. The M1, in particular, has advanced functions such as lights and a phone app that provides support and control for your board. It also only features two different speed settings, meaning the learning curve is steeper. This contrasts with the Lectric Longboards LS's low price tag, which should otherwise make the board appealing to longboarders just getting into the sport.
Ultimately, the Lectric Longboards LS is a serious competitor in the electric longboard market. Between its range, which meets or exceeds that of other boards, and a price tag less than half of its most popular competitor, I think any rider should consider this board. It neatly fills the niche of a commuter board without too much extra functionality. This fits with its origins as a board for college students.
Do you have a favorite electric longboard? Tell us about it in the comments!