It’s official – electric skateboards are here to stay. Maybe you’ve heard about them, but it’s time you actually stop and take notice. Once considered a pipe dream, the concept of an electric-powered skateboard as a viable means of transportation is here. The boards themselves are incredibly advanced, powerful, and reliable – and they might just represent a paradigm shift when it comes to personal transportation. Seriously, get excited.
You might be wondering.. what is the learning curve like on one of these newfangled e-boards? Well, that’s a great question. Let’s start with something that might seem obvious but is absolutely worth calling out: traveling 22mph on a skateboard is not for the faint-hearted. Thus, you’d be more than a little bit insane to not wear a helmet. Although you do see people riding motorcycles without helmets, and we’re not here to judge.
But is it “hard” to ride an electric skateboard you ask? Honestly, no. I don’t think so. If you have some experience skateboarding, you’ll be fine. And more than pleasantly surprised. If you’re brand new to riding, then yes – there’s going to be a learning curve. It’s a skateboard, not a bicycle. Just like one of those snowboard things, your body is traveling directionally forward, while your feet are pointed sideways. That alone requires a certain degree of balance and coordination, which most human beings come equipped with.That being said, you don’t need to be a lifelong skateboarder to appreciate the technological marvel that lay beneath your feet. Anyone can learn how to skateboard, and everyone can appreciate them.
My advice when starting out is simple: take it easy. Kick push the board as you would with a normal skateboard, and then slowly engage the throttle. Unless of course you want to throw yourself off the board, in which case, by all means – stand completely still on the board and try going full speed. It’ll be fun for everyone watching, that much we can promise you.
Anyways, there’s currently two serious boards on the market that are worth the investment; the M1 from Inboard Technology, and the Dual+ from Boosted. Let’s quickly compare the specifications of each board:
Boosted Dual+ 2nd Generation
|Max Speed||Up to 22 mph||Up to 22 mph|
|Maximum Range||Up to 7 miles||UP to 7 miles|
|Dimensions||37.5” (L), 11.25” (W), 5.0” (H)||11.0” (W), 38.0” (L), 5.2” (H)|
|Weight||14.5 lbs||15.6 lbs|
|Deck Material||Wood-core composite, fiberglass topsheet||Flexible Bamboo|
|Braking System||Electronic Regenerative Braking||Electronic Regenerative Braking|
|Throttle Control||Remote controller or Vision Mobile App||Remote controller / app|
|Charge Time||90 minutes||75-90 minutes|
As you might have observed — at a quick glance, the two boards are fairly similar, if only comparing the specs. But there’s more than meets the eye; let’s break down the two e-boards in more detail, to understand the key differences. After all, if you’re planning on spending this kind of money on a skateboard, you should have all the facts.
Speaking strictly from the perspective of aesthetics, the M1 is nothing short of jaw-dropping. The board itself is custom designed featuring what Inboard refers to as “inverted 3D Poplar wood core” and rocks a fiberglass outer that you might recognize if you owned a premium snowboard. If the goal was to make this board look stunningly modern, then Inboard did exactly that.
The Boosted Dual+ has a nice design as well, sporting a flexible bamboo deck. However, the Boosted board is more “curvy” than the M1, which might work for some people. We just don’t like it as much. Oh, and did we mention that the M1 has LED headlights and taillights, which feature prominently on the board. The lights definitely make you more visible when riding, and also sends the message that you’re traveling on something way different than a regular skateboard.
Winner: Inboard M1. The M1 has a wider board, and looks more hi-tech. The Boosted Dual+ does look nice, but there’s something about it that just looks somewhat quirky. I think it’s safe to say that the Inboard is more inspired by a traditional longboard, whereas Boosted’s board is inspired by a skateboard. To each his own, but the Inboard just looks better.
Both boards are capable of hitting speeds up to 22mph. Again, let us know how you feel once you hit the top speed on either of these electric skateboards. It might not seem like it (if you’ve never ridden one of these), but 22mph is downright fast. It’s one thing to hit 20+ mph on a bicycle, but riding a board inherently comes with added risk. Either way, both boards are more than fast enough to provide a thrill.
Battery + Range
We’re talking about electric skateboards here, so it’s not an overstatement to say that the battery is incredibly important. How long can you ride for? How long does it take to charge? Here’s where the Inboard separates itself from the competition; the PowerShift Battery means that the M1 is down for the long-haul.
The PowerShift allows you to ride up to 7 miles on a full charge, which is downright impressive. But the real magic takes place when the battery runs out. Unlike the other boards on the market, the M1 represents the first electric skateboard with a swappable battery. Travel with an extra battery or two, and you’ll be riding for as long as you want.
Winner: Inboard M1, in a landslide. Both boards have an impressive range, but the battery on the M1 can be replaced if you travel with a spare. When the battery dies on Boosted’s board, you better be prepared to find somewhere to charge it.
As you might imagine, the ability to stop is kind of important when riding anything with an electric motor. Being able to hit the brakes as you’re approaching an intersection is important, for obvious reasons. You’re bound to interact with cars and other humans, and sometimes you have to brake quickly.
There’s an important distinction to call out between these two boards. The Inboard M1 has 2, in-wheel hub motors, whereas the Boosted board has a belt-driven system. This has led to some saying that braking on the Boosted board is a better experience. However, for that exact same reason – the Inboard is far better to ride as a standalone longboard, whereas the Boosted Dual+ is fairly obnoxious to ride when you run out of battery.
Winner: Inboard M1. Both boards are excellent at braking. However, we think the M1 has the most reliable braking system, and it felt smoother than the Boosted Board. Some say Boosted board’s belt-driven power system is slightly more responsive, and we’re pretty sure you’ll find braking to be reliable on either board.
Brum-brum-brum-brum brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. That’s our best impression of what the M1 sounds like when you’re zipping along.
The Dual+ has four different riding modes to the M1’s three. Basically, you’re looking at some combination of Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced.
As far as assessing the riding experience, we took a couple different factors into consideration.
- Does it feel natural to ride?
- What is steering like?
- Can you confidently hit corners?
- Is the board something you could ride in a busy downtown area?
- How does the board sound?
Both boards are a blast to ride, but there’s something about the M1 that just felt right. To draw a parallel, riding the Dual+ is similar to hammering down on a Dodge Viper. Powerful, and provides a surge you can feel when accelerating. The M1 on the other hand, is closer to an Audi R8 – a perfect blend of luxury and power. Whatever Matthew McConaughey is talking about in those Lincoln commercials, that’s what riding the M1 feels like. It’s hard to describe, but it definitely makes you happy inside. Inboard knew that skateboard purists will never truly be comfortable with the idea of an electric-powered board. But that didn’t stop them from trying to make the best possible skateboard, for those times when you simply want to ride without any assistance.
Winner: Inboard M1. This is always going to come down to personal preference, but the M1 felt more natural than the Boosted Board.
Unless you’re trying to climb up an incredibly steep hill, either of these boards should get the job done. That being said, Boosted’s board is hill-graded at 25%, which does represent 8% higher than the hill-rating of the M1.
Winner: Boosted Dual+. If you’re regularly climbing hills on your board, the Dual+ is graded at 25%, and thus handles steep hills slightly more effectively than the M1, which is graded at 17%. Both are impressive hill-climbers in their own right.
Both Boosted and the Inboard M1 are priced competitively. The M1 was originally priced at $1,399 when released, but is now available for $999. The Boosted board runs $1,199. Of course, if you’re planning on dropping this kind of money on an electric skateboard, are you really too concerned about the extra $200? Probably not.
Winner: Inboard M1. It’s simple, the M1 is available for $999, making it the clear winner here.
Our recommendation: which one should you buy?
There are a couple different schools of thought here when it comes to choosing between the Boosted Dual+ 2nd Generation and the Inboard M1. Based on everything we’ve seen, we have zero hesitations with our recommendation.
Winner: Inboard M1. From our vantage point, it’s simply a better board. That’s not to say that Boosted doesn’t offer competition, as it clearly does – it’s just that Inboard has a better overall offering. A lot of people say that Boosted’s board is actually better, but we can’t rationalize that line of thinking. Would you purchase a drone if it didn’t have the ability to swap out the battery, requiring an outlet every time the battery died? Most likely, the answer is no. For us, the swappable PowerShift battery is a clear differentiator, making the M1 our head-to-head winner. It’s also important to state that the M1 is a better hybrid board, meaning its still a blast to ride even without the power. The longboarding community has spoken; set aside the fact that it’s battery-powered – the M1 is an impressive longboard in its own right.
It’s our feeling as well that the M1 is simply designed better as well. For us, the design of the Boosted Dual+ 2nd generation is kind of quirky, whereas the M1 looks hi-tech, futuristic, and crisp.
Each rider has their own individual preferences, and one board may be better than the other depending on what you’re doing with it. But if you’re a longboard enthusiast, or someone who wants a slick new gadget, the Inboard M1 is what you’re looking for.