Now is the trend of electric skateboards; we can see these hovering everywhere in our surroundings. Either it’s the city, suburbs, or backcountry off-roaders, we can see electric skateboards pop up everywhere.
Despite the popularity of these electric skateboards, we know the fact that these boards aren’t going to be carrying a cheaper price tag. But guess what? We have good news for you – you can make these electric skateboards yourself! Yes! Why pay a hefty amount when you can be the creator of your skateboard? We have researched on the subject a bit and have carried out the best method to make your own DIY electric skateboard. Man, how cool is that?
Collection of the goods to make your very own DIY Electric Skateboard
Before actual hopping on to build your own DIY electric skateboard, there are a few different ways to approach. The first option is you get your hands on an electric skateboard kit with every other item of need, but deck. Another option is that you go the Mellow board route and get your hands on a pre-packaged device. Or you could collect all the parts from different sources and then make our own DIY skateboard. But before actually getting deep on the subject, there are a few things to consider and take note of:
- The right kind of deck
- Suitable mount ratio between the motor and deck
- Single or dual motor
- The right kind of battery
- Setup of wheels and drive pulley
- The right kind of controller
- Calibration of the controller
Board and Hardware
Considering the above-mentioned factors to take note of, the very first thing to get into is the kind of deck you should go for. Usually, people would recommend you going for a longboard deck over a skateboard, and they will do it for the right reasons. Why? Because longboard deck are capable of providing you with more stability, a smoother ride and, a wide space for additional hardware components. Remember to always to go for flat decks or the slightly concave one.
To be honest, smaller and lighter boards are always a good idea. It is better to go for 28” – 30” length and 5-7 ply than going for an 8-9 ply of some standard boards. The entire philosophy of going for a lighter and smaller skateboard is because you will be adding more weight with the battery pack and electrical parts, so you really don’t want to make your skateboard heavier.
The second thing for your consideration is the kind of material. You should prefer solid items rather than something more inclined toward flexibility. Moving forward, you will also be needing trucks that are top-mounted than drop-through.
For trucks, you should be careful about the potential dangers of the shape and design. You will be needing space for mounting the motor and battery pack. However, if you have the option of choosing the Abec 11 Flywheel, go for it. Though they carry a cheaper price tag, the reason everyone likes to get their hands for their electrical skateboard is that they are spoked. You must be wondering what does that mean. That means that it provides attachment of large drive cog with ease along with the rotation or change of the wheels to reduce any risk of uneven wear. Moreover, these Abec 11 wheels are large enough to pass through cracks and other debris without even bothering you to exert force.
In case of the unavailability of the Abec 11 Flywheel, you also have the option to grab the Bigfoot 90mm Cored Wheels by TGM. Again, what makes them so perfect for your DIY electric skateboard? The spokes!
You would find a whole new variety of motor designs on the market, but the difference lies between single and dual motors. Now, let’s come on the difference between single and dual motor.
Setting up a single motor costs way lesser and is ideal for commuting on flat roads. Majority of the electric skateboard riders will be happy and satisfied with the performance of a single motor.
As far as the double motor is concerned, they tend to provide more speed (sometimes more than 25 mph) and power (and drain batteries pretty quickly). However, double motors carry an expensive price tag than a single motor. Some other benefits of getting a double motor is that it increases traction, braking power, and longevity, as the motor tends to be in a good condition for a longer period.
Motors need high amount of power and torque. Brushless outrunners like the ones in remote control and planes work pretty well.
Now, when you make a purchase, make sure to get your hands on a kit with motor mount, drive wheel pulley, motor pulley, trucks, belt, wheels, bearings, spaces, risers, and other hardware.
To be honest, this is going to be the most challenging part. Why? Because if you do not match the motor with a controller set, you would have to find a controller with high amps. Generally, this is identified by an HV in items names. Besides, make sure to always go for a quality controller, as those with a cheaper price tag tend to burn out faster.
Other method that were successful were going for wireless Wii controllers and phones with Bluetooth capabilities.
Sources to Find Items
Now that items are sorted out, you know what is required to make your own DIY electric skateboard, let’s hop on to another part – where to find all the items required. For your ease of selection, we have mentioned ideal equipment options so that you can create an amazing masterpiece. Before hopping on to the equipment, be sure that fluctuations in price happen all the time. Prices mentioned are just an estimate that is based on market information.
Following are the sites that include good collection of motors:
- DIY electricskateboard.com
You don’t have to worry about forgetting any important item, as these places will ensure providing every package neatly.
Following are some list of items that are available:
Alien Power Systems 120amp 2.0Kw Sensored Single Motor E-Board DIY Kit:
This motor kit is compatible with APS drive systems and consists of motor, shafts, and a USB cable to program the controller. It is valued at $156.00.
DIY Electric Skateboard Single Motor Mechanical Kit
With this mechanical kit, you will get varieties for wheel colour, mounts, pulleys, risers, bearings and trucks. The best part is that all of the hardware components are manufactured with military spec 7075 – T6 Aircraft Grade Aluminum. It is valued at $199.00-245.00. Also, you can go for a dual motor mechanical kit for $300.00.
MaxFind Dual Motor Drive Kit for Electric Skateboard/Longboard
It comes in 1000W, 36V motor with an included adapter. It has the capability to reach up to 26 km/h and is waterproof. It is valued at US$550.00.
We have also mentioned some of the separate motor options:
The 5065 260KV EPower Motor
This is specifically for setting up single motors. It has a 6S Battery that gives a 16/36 gearing ratio, and its speed can reach up to 24 mph.
The 6355 190KV EPower Motor
This goes with both single and dual motor setups that have a higher voltage (44.4V). With this pairing, you will have the option to glide over 20%-30% gradients without even losing power. Great, no?
Deck and Hardware
As we learned earlier in the blopost, longboards with top-mount trucks are good to go in the beginning. You will be able to find good models on Amazon.com or even at a local skateboard shop in your neighbourhood.
XCSOURCE DIY Electric Skateboard Parts and Pulleys for 80mm Wheels
It comes with brackets, bolts, mounts, and other hardware for mounting wheels and motor, at a price of US$22.99.
Batteries and Chargers
For batteries, the standard option is a Lithium Polymer (LiPo) battery. When it comes to its size and weight, the power output is the best thing, for sure. A standard 5000mAh battery packages will last for 6-8 miles per round of charge.
Few important things you should know are the mAh, which is the lasting duration of power, the C or discharge rate. So, you might see on the pack 4S1P 25C 5000mAh, indicating four cells in 1 pack with a 25V discharge rate. One disadvantage of Lithium batteries is that they are known to be volatile; they tend to catch fire when overheated.
So, one thing to be sure of while purchasing batteries is to get hands-on those with UL testing certification, like LG and Samsung.
Always remember that more volume means more power. However, this case means you have to pay a hefty amount.
Zippy Flightmax 5000mAh 3S1P 20C Battery
It is a 5000 mAh Lithium Polymer battery along with three celss and a 4mm bullet connector. It comes at a price of $21.82
HobbyKing B6 AC/DC Compact LiPo/NiMH 50W Charger
It is ideal for beginners. Moreover, this charger is easy to use and carries an affordable price tag.However, these charge at a slow pace. It has a price tag of $18.85.
The combination of HobbyKing ECO6-10 200W Charger ($34.99) and HobbyKing 350W 25A Power Supply This combinations come at a price of $39.73. Though it is expensive, the combination of both gives off ten amps of charging power. That’s a lot! It means that this charger combo is 2x times faster than other cheaper alternatives available on the market.
The bottom line is that where to go for the items required to make DIY electric skateboards?
The following links will route you to website having equipment for making custom electric transportation:
- Torque Boards
- Enertion Boards
- Hobby King
- Alien Power Systems
If you have any local craft shop in your neighborhood, you won’t have to face the hassle ordering online and face the ambiguity of getting incomplete or incorrect items.
What is a Mellow Board?
What is a Mellow Board? This method is alternative and is called the Mellow Drive. It includes a motor that is pre-constructed and a trunk that are attachable to literally skateboard or longboard on the market.
The procedure of Mellow Drive prevents the hassle of creating everything from the scratch. Simply, remove a truck from the board and replace it with the patented dual in-wheel motor that produces 3NM power every wheel, reaching up to 25 mph.
The included motor and battery is graded with IP65, so basically, it is all intact against rain, puddles or dust. The Mellow Drive also includes a remote control that is itself slim and ergonomic. Also, you will also have the advantage of keeping track of battery life, speed and other elements via an app.
One cons that comes with the Mellow Drive is that it carries a price tag that is similar to a standard electric skateboard, which is around $1635.
You must have heard that it is far cheaper to make an electric skateboard piece by piece than going for a premade model. To check if it is true, let’s compare. Following are some of the most popular skateboards on the market:
- Mellow Board or Mellow Drive — $1,500-1,600
- Marbel 2.0 — $1,200.00
- Yuneec E-GO 2 — $700.00
- Inboard M1 — $1,399.00
- Metroboard Stealth — $1,149.00
Following are the assumptions of our hpothetial DIY electric skateboard:
- Longboard — $80.00
- Single Motor Kit — $200.00 (contains all the pulleys, nuts, bolts, and other essential hardware)
- Hobby King Combination of Charger and Power Supply — $74.72
- ZippyFlightmax Battery — $21.92 x2 (two battery packs are required)
- Torque Boards 2.4ghz Nano Remote Controller — $60.00
You may choose to go for separate pieces, but the overall cost shouldn’t exceed $600. And that is half of what you pay for a standard electric skateboard.
DIY Electric Skateboard
Now, we will walk the road to how we can make a DIY electric skateboard. If you want a more detailed version on how to put everything together, you may want to watch a YouTube video for better guidance. If you are planning to purchase a kit, you will find every detail in the instruction manual.
Here are some of our recommendation on YouTube videos on how to craft a DIY electric skateboard:
- DIY Electric Skateboard Build – Better Than A Boosted Board Tutorial
- DIY Electric Skateboard For Students Tutorial
Following is the step-to-step guide on how to piece every item together:
- The first step is to cut and mount. There are two options for the motor: either clamp or weld to the board and the choice depends on your skillset and your kit type. In usual cases, one of the wheels on the back is chosen to be powered.
- Now is the time where you have to position the mount properly. The key is keeping it as far as it could be onto the trucks and angling down without actually touching the board.
- By attaching the wheel to the pulley, the 40T pulley will connect to the wheel on the back. Moving forward, go for either a 6-hole or spoked wheel. If there is any need to drill, go for six ¼” holes at a distance of 1.75 from the large pulley centre, 2.5” washer, and the 2.25” washer. You may have to drill through the pulley centre for the truck to fit through.
- Moving forward, slide the ¼” by 2.5” bolts through the pulley, 2.5” washer, wheel, and lastly the 2.25” washer. Finish off this step with the right nuts. The truck should spin easily when you put the wheel on it.
- This step requires you to mount the motor to the board with M4 x 12mm bolts and washers. Mount the small pulley onto the motor’s shaft by tightening the set screw. Pull the belt over the small pulley then the large pulley. Tighten the truck nut that holds the wheel down.
- The electronic components get connected as follows: Motor to ESC; ESC to both battery packs, switch, and receiver.
The batteries will be connected in series by flipping a connector. You will see that the ESC accompanies two links to interface it to both battery packs. Attaching your batteries along these lines will deliver the 6S or 22.2 volts required for the ESC. On the off chance that you have a T-Plug, the ESC additionally gets snared to that. The T-Plug is for charging the batteries.
From that point, you likewise append it to the collector’s channel 2. The catch that accompanies the collector will have an on/off switch that makes it simple to turn the whole off or on for either security purposes or while the batteries are unplugged.
The batteries, ESC, and engine get snared utilizing 4mm banana jacks and 10 AWG wire. You should weld the banana jacks to the right pieces. Make certain to protect the banana jacks with heat-shrink tubing as well.
- At this point, you have to ensure everything inside a case. A few bundles do accompany a waterproof case, yet if you don’t like that case, you can generally buy your own from craft stores or on Amazon.
- To charge the board, just connect the male T-Plug charger and 6S balance cable to the charging port, set it to 5 amps, and let it power up. To what extent it takes to charge the battery relies upon the charger and the power supply. For instance, the speed might be restricted by a 50-watt power limit.
As we mentioned, electric skateboards are getting increasingly popular means of commuting, particularly in city areas, where buses, trains, metros or taxis may take longer to get to the destination.
However, as with the popularity, the prices are also touching the sky. Top-selling models of electric skateboards are not cheap and you have to pay a hefty amount to get those. But wait! With proper supplies, tools and tutorials, you can make your own DIY electric skateboard with the longboard ou already own.
DIY-ing electric skateboards reduce the amount by half without any compromise on quality and performance.