Are you looking for an electric skateboard that can not only hit the pavement but can also take on some rougher terrain? Its impressive how far the e-skate movement has evolved. This is some concept art to what futuristic boards will look like but for now we still have boards that can ride over sand, mud to snow and everything else in between. There are a lot of great all terrain electric skateboards out there. But with several options available, it can be hard to know which one is right for you.
That’s why we’ve created this guide to help you find the best all terrain board for that off-roading experience. We’ll discuss what features and specs you should look for when choosing your board, as well as the different types of terrain these boards can handle. With this information in hand, you’ll be able to choose an electric skateboard that will take your riding experience anywhere!
What is an all-terrain electric skateboard?
An all-terrain electric skate board is suitable for a wide range of terrains as well as street riding. Many of the electric skateboards out there can handle street riding only. Street boards are often faster however are limited to pavement and/or smooth services. off road e-boards can cruise over forest trails, dirt tracks, off-road trails, rough trails, you name it.
Models vary in size, power and speed. All terrain boards can typically reach up to 20 to 25 mph and climb 20% to 30% grade hills with no sweat. With an all-terrain electric skate board (or e-skateboard) you can take the board into the backroads and the trails leading into nature. You can get fresh air and challenge yourself on how tough of terrain you can ride. The boards are also great for commuting around the city as they tend to have a range of 10-30 miles on a one charge. With anti-lock brakes and regenerative braking, they tend to be a relatively safe form of commuting no matter the terrain or weather condition. Electric skate boards are not only convenient, they are also eco-friendly!
What’s the difference between off-road / all-terrain and standard electric skateboards?
All-terrain (off-roading boards) usually have a larger wheelbase, beefer tires, double kingpin trucks and larger batteries. Some are equipped with suspension whereas some just have large tires that tend to act as a shock absorber. A standard e-skateboard usually is similar to a non-electric longboard. These are skateboards with smooth tires that are significantly smaller in size. If you are in the market for purchasing an electric skateboard and your intent is to take it off road then one of the major considerations will be tire diameter, pneumatic tires, large battery capacity and suspension. All terrain mountain boards do have some of these components however an all terrain mountain board is not as agile as a Onewheel.
In case you are unaware of what pneumatic tires are they simple are tires that are pressurized. Traditional pneumatic tires are ones that are pressurized with rubber and are secured around a hub. Many regular and electric skateboards utilize a polyurethane wheel which is simply no good for most terrains as they have no “give” to the tire which doesn’t let for much grip of the surface terrain unless its smooth.
Pneumatic tires however can flex around terrain. Depending on the tire pressure, not only can a tire be adjusted for terrain but it also acts as a form of suspension. Notably in this category the Onewheel has a large oversized pneumatic tire which provides for both grip of the terrain and suspension. They often come treaded as well which is just more grip for loose terrain.
What to look for when buying an all terrain electric skateboard?
A traditional skateboard has limited options so when shopping for one, its pretty clear cut. All terrain electric skateboards however have many components to consider. These are listed in specific order however all are important for not just a good all around e-skateboard but for one that is ready for off road terrains:
- Battery range (optimally a battery that is rated for over 12-15 miles (19 – 24km).
- Motor power
- Top speed of at least 15 mph (24kph)
- All-terrain wheels (pneumatic tires and or built-in suspension)
- Concave or concavity within the deck or footpads
- Aftermarket availability
- Warranty Coverage
The battery life in the electric skateboarding space is commonly referenced by range. Sometimes manufacturers will be more specific and reference battery capacity in watt hours (Wh) which is even better however to simply grab the eyes in most consumers, battery capacity is marketed as battery range. I recommend a battery that is at least rated for 12 to 15 miles and/or greater than 300Wh in size. The rational for this is, depending on terrain electric skateboards will lose anywhere from 10 to 50% of their reported range due to terrain. The percentage gets even higher when climbing steep hills!
Also, depending on your weight, it may be more taxing on the battery that is why seeking a large battery (within your budget of course) is priority one. If you are a newer rider, don’t think you can never complete a 10+ mile trail ride because eventually you will and find that off road riding is so much fun. Riding skills will improve over time so spring for a long range battery if its within your budget.
Top Speed and Power
While I’m not suggesting being reckless, the speed factor is part of the excitement. Generally speaking most all terrain e-skateboards are not as fast as ones made for street. This is the typical trade off. You are sacrificing a lower top speed for enjoyment of a more varied selection of trails. The top speed has much to do with the wheels and motor power. All terrain wheels can handle some rough roads however they are not made for max speed. Street boards can go over 30mph however they typically have solid tires.
Electric skateboard motors are rated in watts. Basically anything with at least 500 watts to climb hills or climb rocks will be needed. Its important to remember that some boards come with multiple motors. Simply put- more motors equals more power. Evolve boards now come equipped with 6000watts of power (2×3000 watts). Onewheels have 750 watts. Both have amazing hill climbing ability and have enough power to shred trails. Smoother surfaces tend to favor four-wheeled off-road boards whereas a rough trail can be worked with a Onewheel.
This is a great video demonstrating the power difference between an off-road e-skateboard (mountain board) and a Onewheel. The ride feel is completely different. On smoother surfaces, a traditional four-wheeled off-road board will smoke a onewheel however with some rough and tough terrain, the onewheel is an off-road king.
All-terrain Wheels – Pneumatic tires and or Built-in Suspension
As we covered above, pneumatic tires are going to soften a trail ride. Off-roading transfers much of the terrain’s vibration into your feet. Having tires that are moderately inflated and having some form of suspension (shocks), will ease much of the vibration from trails. The bigger wheels soften vibrations.
From dirt tracks to riding rocky and overall rough ground, the best off road electric skateboard is going to provide either a larger pneumatic wheels or wheel and or articulated suspension. You will see that even an off-road electric skateboard with articulating suspension has only so much ability to flex around the terrain. Onewheels are actually pretty incredible in rolling over and maneuvering through many obstacles.
Concave or Concavity within the deck or footpads
Foot Fatigue is real no matter the e-skateboard you ride. The purpose of a concave footpad is so that you feel “locked-in”. This also stretches the foot out so that it becomes less prone to foot fatigue and cramping. Taking your electric skateboard off-road you will inevitably come across camping in the feet. Seeking a deck or foot placement solutions that allow for a concave surface goes a long way when off-road riding.
Parts are going to be something you will want available to you. Being able to personalize the electric-skateboard is part of the cult… I mean culture. Boosted, Evolve and Onewheel have a great aftermarket that lets you really personalize the board with custom footpads, decks, rails, suspension etc. It its not worth purchasing a cheaper generic off-road board only to damage it and have no way to replace it. Aftermarket accessibility also is a good way to measure the popularity of the board.
Types of terrain
Now that you know what to look for when choosing an off road electric skateboard, let’s take a closer look at the different types of terrain these boards can handle. For starters, electric skateboards are designed for smooth surfaces like paved roads or driveways. However, some models have been adapted to tackle rough forest trails, steep hills, gravel paths, sand even mud and snow.
The Onewheel is unexpecting and again take the helm when it comes to the wide gamut of terrain it can handle. You would think that with four larger wheels on an e-skateboard would have more traction than one large wheel however when it comes to rough terrain, the large go-kart tire of the onewheel just grips around the terrain. Smoother terrain or smooth ground however is completely dominated by your traditional e-skateboard.
Features and Specs – Explore what features and specs you should look for in a board to get the most bang for your buck
When it comes to selecting an off-road electric skateboard, we already talked about the key features and specs that you should pay attention to in order to get the most bang for your buck. Here are the top 3 recommendations for boards that shred the off-road but can also cruise the town.
- Onewheel GT – This board will not only go through the roughest off road paths. It has an incredible sub-culture. Tons of customizations, aftermarket and can handle the roughest terrain an electric skateboard can handle. Technically its considered to be a self-balancing electric skateboard however at $2,200, you can ride up to 32 miles into the wilderness.
- Evolve Carbon GT Series All Terrain Electric Longboard – Perfect for adventurous riders who want something lightweight yet still powerful enough to handle any terrain, the Evolve Carbon GT features dual motors that offer an impressive maximum speed of 26mph as well as four different ride modes depending on what type of terrain you’re riding over. This will start at $1,399 and upwards. Not as off-road adventurous as the Onewheel however it can go faster on street and is more affordable.
- Evolve GTR Bamboo 2in1 – Its two boards in one! You can slap on the offroad tires and hit trails or slap on the polyurethane wheels and hit the streets. This board is packed with 2×3000 watt motors. Thats 6000watts of madness. This is currently priced at $1,649.
There are so many options out there when it comes to choosing the right electric skateboard for your needs. It’s important to consider the terrain you’ll be riding on, and find a board that has the specs necessary to handle them all. Check out your local scene. Where do you see yourself riding this board? If the terrain is rough, go with a Onewheel or a boiard with larger offroad wheels. Something with more powerful motors.
You want to avoid a regular electric skateboard as they will not ride well on even a dirt road. An off road board better have wide trucks or large tires. You also need a battery that is as big as you can afford for the maximum range (at least 350wh or more). Smaller batteries will not be able to do long range trail rides.
Of course it should also be said that you have to ride safely. Alway wear protective gear and learn to ride. A proper riding style and technique will help avoid injury. Be safe and happy trail riding!