I didn’t skateboard that much in high school (I wasn’t that cool) although a lot of my friends did skateboard all the time. As I grew older I found myself involved in a lot of ‘extreme’ sports but I never really got into longboarding. About 3 years ago I broke down and bought a Comet longboard because my friends and I were starting a new ‘sport’ we called kite skating. A nicely paved brand new recreation path was built in Ithaca that ran for about 2 miles across the South end of Stewart Park, out usual stomping grounds for kiting. A friend of mine named Wing actually bought a Kitewing which is a large sail that you hold in your hands and go really fast on a skateboard or skis/snowboard with. Think of it like a windsurfer without the windsurfing board and the attachment. Since we are all super cheap we copied the Kitewing out of crutches, PVC and plastic or Tyvek. My friends and I have no shortage of crutches laying around.
When the wind really comes blowing down the lake you can hop on your longboard and get screaming down the recreation trail at around 25+ mph without much of an issue. It’s pure adrenaline fueled madness. If you lose it there is absolutely no way to run it out, you just aim for the grass and wish for the best. Riding the Boosted 2000W dual drive eskateboard reminded me of my experiences with the Kitewing, pure adrenaline fueled madness faster than any sane person would really want to go on a skateboard.
After riding the Dual+ on a variety of surfaces for about an hour or so I realized which Boosted has been so successful at dominating the eskateboard market. They have created a refined package that doesn’t feel cheap or chincy. The motor control feels intuative and the braking system works surprisingly well. Was it worth the whooping $1500 price tag this board carries? That will be up to you to decide.
My Comet longboard has about the same wheelbase and wheelsize, but it is made out of 8 ply canadian maple which feels much stiffer than the Bamboo does. At around 15mph the Dual+ board feels loose and carvy but over 20mph it starts to feel a little squirely. Most people will never take this skateboard up to over 20mph for the simple reason that 20 mph on a skateboard is really fast. Above 20mph you lose the ability to run it out if you lose control and you are much more likely to end up doing a faceplant or superman. Hard.
A helmet is not optional, wrist guards are recommended
If you want to ride this eskateboard the way it was meant to be ridden a helmet is mandatory. At some point you’re going to lose it at speed or get hit by a car and you’re going to feel pretty stupid if you aren’t wearing a helmet. I also strongly recommend using rollerblade style wrist guards that wrap around to your palms. I have a pair I use when Mountain Unicycling or high-speed skateboarding and it really saves your paws geting turned into hamburger and your wrists breaking on a bad fall.
The braking system rocks
One of my favorate feature that I have not seen on other production boards is the roller wheel for acceleration and braking on the handheld controller. I really liked how it worked well even when riding with wrist guards. The roller wheel you have to push harder the more it rolls forward. To make the board go backward or brake while moving then you just roll the wheel the other way. The Dual+ brakes about as well as a decent set of V-brakes on a cheaper Walmart style bike which is way more than what you expect on an eskateboard. It helps to squat down a bit an move your weight back on the board before you start to brake. I’ve owned some crazy boards like the Dirtsurfer that had a rear mounted calf brake that you had to lean your calf against to brake. It reminded me of the braking process on the Dirtsurfer as far as the body position you needed to get into before you brake.
Do you really need the Dual motor Boosted board?
One place the Boosted board really shines is on the hills. Most of the cheaper Chinese knockoff eskateboards on Alibaba are grossly underpowered. If you have hills that are more than a 5-10% grade then you’re going to need a skateboard that puts out a lot of power. If you’re going to spring for a Boosted and you live in an area with hills, I’d recommend the Dual+. Be aware that riding up hills consumes an absolutely insane amount of power. You’re never going to get the claimed 7 miles of range if there are many hills in your commute. I didn’t test the range of the board, but the guy that loaned it to me to test said that he got between 5-6 miles to a charge (depending on how hilly it was).
The board is useless when it runs out of battery power
This is my biggest complaint about the Dual+, I tried to leave the motor off and kick it around and it just wasn’t happening. The motors produce way too much drag, so if the batteries die you’re going to be carrying it. There are a bunch of new hub motor eskateboards hitting the shelves in China and I’m betting that these tiny hub motors are going to revolutionize the eskateboarding industry ina big way.
On gravel and torn up roads the fun factor suddenly disappears
The Boosted Dual+ really likes fresh pavement that is smooth. I purposefully took it through some parking lots with lots of loose gravel and road damage and it was a miserable experience. On the plus side the 75mm wheels are very large for a skateboard and that really helps. They are also on the softer side so that does a little to absorb cracks and damage in the road. If you want to go at high speeds and ride on the shoulders of the road then I strongly recommend going with a larger mountain board style board with 8 or 9 inch pneumatic tires. The feeling of stability and safety at 20+ mph cannot be compared with a small 75mm hard wheeled skateboard. If you want an eskateboard made out of a mountain board then you’ll probably have to build one yourself as of right now there is no one selling these boards electrified to the public in the US (there will be eventually though).
4 power levels to choose from
This is a feature I really like, and I think most users of this eskateboard will never use more than level 2 or 3. Setting this to a lower power level is a good way to ensure beginner riders are not going to accidently go faster than they probably should be. I think this feature should be available on every eskateboard.
The exposed motors
The motors are air cooled and you can see the windings though the holes on the casings. It doesn’t look like the motors are varnished and waterproofed (although I could be wrong). It also seems like it would be pretty easy for dirt or sand to work its way into the motors. Because the motors are so tiny and they are putting so much power through them they have to cool them somehow, but I’m not crazy about the way it is done. If you’re looking to commute with this board I would say that it is more of a fair weather friend whose days are numbered if you’re going to take it out and ride it in the rain (it also voids your warranty). I would also blow out the motors with compressed air after every ride.
Beware of steep hills and a fully charged unit
My friend Wing owns a boosted board and lives at the top of a large hill. He can’t charge the battery to 100% and then skateboard down his steep hill because the unit will beep incessantly and then shut down. He charges it up to about 75 or 80% then heads out down the steep hill. Be aware that this could be a problem if you live on a steep hill as well. If you are not going down a steep hill fresh off a charger then it should not be an issue for you.
Should I buy one?
That really is the million dollar question. The Dual+ right now represents the fastest and most refined eskateboard on the market. Although several million dollars have been collected from various crowdfunding campaigns for eskateboards, Boosted seems to be the only one who has created a viable business out of the emerging eskateboard market. They did this by focusing on quality over cheapness and created a product that on every level screams quality.
If I wanted to buy an eskateboard today, then the Dual+ would probably be the one I’d get. It has plenty of power and decent range. The biggest problem in Ithaca is that the cops hate skateboarders (In Ithaca … skateboarding is a crime). For whatever reason it is not uncommon to get harassed by cops in Ithaca for riding a skateboard. I would have to assume that with an eskateboard the problem would be even worse. This varies from area to area though, and if you live in a place that is hilly and the cops are not as vigilant about ticketing skateboarders then the Dual+ might be a smart purchase for you. If you don’t have big hills and are a lighter rider then you can easily get buy with $1000 Single or $1300 Dual eskateboards instead of the $1500 Dual+.