John Madden has set up a crowdfunding site looking to sell an eskateboard for the whopping low, low price of $299 + $50 shipping right here. Ironic that the name he picked for his eskateboard ‘Storm’ is the same name that Ivars Sondors originally picked for his insane crowdfunded electric fat bike campaigns that ended up raking in about $12 million dollars in about a year with two separate crowdfunded campaigns. Will John Madden reach that level of success, or is this crowdfunding campaign just a scam?
The skateboard is saying that it runs at 24v with a 400 watt motor which means the built-in hub motor is running at 15 amps. Will 15 amps of power at 24v get you up many hills? Not if you’re a fat tub of lard like me and tip the scales at over 200lbs (my wife is going to sentence me to countless hours of Brazilian Buttlift when she gets back from photographing homeless people in Vegas). For $300 though it seems like a worthwhile investment just to get the hub motor and the battery case. If you can overvolt the controller to 36v then you might have something that is actually really fun, instead of something that is just ho-hum.
Purchasing crowdfunded stuff is basically gambling with your money. Once you donate John does not have to send you anything at all, you’re counting on his honesty and forthrightness to end up sending you a perk that he’s probably making less than $100 on and not just keeping all your money and flying to Tahiti. Is it worth the gamble? Only you can decide that for yourselves. If I were running an IndieGoGo scam I’d pick a name of a famous person so no one could find any information about me on the internet.
I spent $300 on my last car which was newer than all my other cars and now the frame is rusted through so bad I’m having a real hard time getting it to pass inspection. That gives you an idea of how frugal I am.
So I did a little shopping to see where John is sourcing this skateboard from China and I came across this listing on Alibaba. It’s essentially the same board with a more powerful 36v battery, but everything else looks identical. Since the min order qty is 1, why would I buy a Chinese skateboard from someone in the US when I could just buy it from China for about the same price and NOT have to wait for 4 months or more to get it? It also makes me a little unsettled that this factory also seems to produce a lot of hoverboards, which have been known to spontaneously combust with little or no provocation. For their full Alibaba store and all their eskateboard offerings click here. They have tons of hoverboards in the $100-150 range in case you want to burn that nice house to the ground you can get a bunch of them and just leave them on the charger when you’re at work. I think I’m gonna pass.
If given the option of buying a $349 shipped skateboard from someone I don’t know on a crowdfunding site that I don’t really trust and just buying a more powerful 36v skateboard directly from Alibaba for about the same price, I would choose Alibaba every time.
Sorry John, I’m sure you’re a great guy and all.