My honest experience with an electric longboard

I received my Evolve bamboo board Gen 2 (street version) on may 13 and on the next day it was already broken. Here is my story of addicting pleasures and unceasing frustrations.

Shipping costs

Lets begin with shipping. I brought mine from the USA store because it was the nearest (I live in Canada). The price for the board at this time was $989.00 USD + $95.35 USD for the shipping. This meant a freaking 1 400$ CAD for a longboard. To that you must add the 400$ CAD that UPS charges you - for whatever reasons. Ending up with a total of 1 800$ CAD bill to pay.

But I didn't care. I don't own a car. It's the first time I invest in self transportation. ...so here, take my money.

Then I received it 23 days after. I happily gave my credit card to the UPS guy, opened the box and I was satisfied.

First try

When I tried the board, it only took less than 10 minutes for it to stop working properly. It couldn't accelerate, It was like the brakes where jammed.

I couldn't imagine sending it back and waiting forever to receive a new one... so I opened it and found that a wire was disconnected :

Broken wire

Broken wire

It wasn't properly soldered initially (in my own opinion). So I re-soldered it, put some shrink tube and I wrote to Evolve USA to inform them of the defect (in case they produce many boards with the same defect that could be dangerous to someone, somewhere).

I putted that incident aside in my head and I finally got to use the board for real on my way from work to home (1 hour straight).

Mind : blown.

How can this little thing transport me for 1 hour straight and still have energy ?? How could I have lived so long without it ??? It was a big revelation to me. For the first time, I looked at the way from work like a voluntary action. Instead of "I must go back from work and continue my life when I reach home". Now I was liberated. I could go anywhere, undertake the path that I wanted. I was just having fun riding and then, in that process, I was reaching home. It was one of the best feeling I've felt since I started working there, years ago.

The feeling of carving down the streets at ~30 / ~40 km/h is so addicting too. All that force you manage with your body weight only.

Without speaking about that feeling of awesomeness you got when avoiding obstacles in the road with just a quick and beautiful carve. It's empowering.

That pleasure was continuing (unexhausted and ever increasing) until the day where my motor plate broke... (1 month later) :

Broken motor plate

Broken motor plate

I couldn't imagine a bold aluminum piece like that would break. But after looking at it unassembled, I realized that most of the force created by the weight of the motor must be applied to that precise location where it broke... I'm not an engineer, but it looks like a poor design to me.

I wrote back to Evolve USA, they sent me a new plate charging me only for the shipping ($9.50 USD). Ok fine. Some days after I received it, installed it and continued to have fun.

Then one month since the motor plate broke, the timing belt broke too !

Broken timing belt

Timing belt

Dang, I should have ordered some spare ones because it's not really covered by the warranty... So I had to order some, but they where out of stock ! So I waited about a week until I could order some. It cost me $150.00 USD for 3 timing belt (counting the 50$ that UPS decided to charge for some reasons...).

(...waiting period until I receive the belts...)

Then, about 2 weeks later, the drive gear is so worn that It can barely brakes...

Worn drive gear

Worn drive gear

Why is that thing not made of aluminum anyway ?? The belt is slipping on it when I brake too fast... I endured it for a while. I was able to avoid slipping by starting to brake gently long before an intersection. But now it's just too dangerous. I'm not able to reduce my speed properly down hills. I would not be able to brake fast enough to avoid an accident.

This is where disappointment kicks in

I'm tired of paying more and more money every months and waiting for parts that can only be brought where I brought the board. I feel scammed. I've spent about 2000$ CAD for a device that is now broken. A device that will break again without warning, risking my life in the process...

I could have brought a super high quality Adventure bike instead for the same price. It would have been faster, more robust, smoother on cracks and safer. I would have been able to go off-road (even on rainy days !). But nope. I've chosen an electric longboard.

In the end, it's the feeling of freedom that I really loved. It's not the electric longboard itself. Please consider this before buying. Specially if you want this to be your main transportation device. Because now I see this thing more like a source of intense pleasure that must be used with parsimony instead of a fully qualified transportation mean that you can trust and use tirelessly.


PS: here is other annoyances that I just didn't mentioned :

  • I can't just plug the charger in to recharge my board. The green light is supposed to turn red (indicating that it's charging), but it doesn't. I must unplug the charger from the wall, wait some seconds then plug everything.
  • The instruction manual says that the green light of the remote is supposed to stop blinking when paired with the board. But it doesn't.
  • The front trucks doesn't seems to be aligned properly. It has a slight angle to the right. That doesn't seems to affect riding, but it makes the board look approximately built.

Try out my latest game !

Screenshot of solitaire game