How to build an electric skateboard
Electric skateboards are becoming more and more popular amongst people these days, and it’s easy to understand their appeal. It’s a relatively simple and inexpensive technology that allows people to save money and it’s also a “green technology” that can make commuting to work definitely more fun!
There are electric skateboards available to purchase on the market, but if you are interested in embarking in a new, green, DIY project, we decided to put together some simple steps to get you started.
However, it’s important to bear in mind that the ones below are only general guidelines. If you decide to embark in this challenge and build your own electric skateboard, you should always remember that this is still a form of transport and that you should take all the necessary precautions like wearing a helmet and other protective clothing when using it!
Content of the article
Your deck and wheels
The first big decision to make when it comes to electric skateboards is what deck to choose. You could opt for a standard skateboard deck but this option, because of its lightness, could be more difficult to control.
Most people would advise using a longboard deck as it would offer more stability, a larger surface where to install the components, and overall smoother drive. There are many of these board available to purchase on the market but if carpentry is also one of your skills, you could try to build one on your own!
Wheels with a large diameter and medium softness are also advised as they will give you a nice, smoother, ride.
Electronics and motor
Again, even for this part of your project, you could decide to buy motor mount kits or power kits. This is probably the safest and quickest choice to complete your electric skateboard and could save you some headaches trying to find all the different components.
However, if you are on a budget or fancy a bit of challenge, you could build your own motor from scratch trying to source all the components online or in your hardware shop.
Here is a list of the essential elements you need for an electric motor:
- A Brushless Motor
- Electronic Speed Control (ESC)
- Transmitter (to keep it in your hand and control the motor) and a receiver
- Battery charger
- Cable connectors
Your drive train
The drive train of your electric skateboard is essentially the part that connects your motor to the wheels and that, in essence, makes the skateboard move. There are two options available for your skateboard drive train: a chain drive train or a belt driven one.
They are very similar in terms of performance, but it could be argued that a chain pulley is noisier, but it’s also more durable and will probably last you longer. The belt pulley is quieter and smoother, but it’s also more susceptible to snapping and might wear out faster compared to a chain.
Even in this case, you can purchase some good drive trains online and motor kits that might already have one included with them.
Protect your electric skateboard!
Now that you have sourced, assembled and tested your new electric skateboard you want to make sure to install a form of protection for its most delicate and valuable parts.
This case should have good airflow, should be of sturdy construction and needs to hold all the electronics securely.
Like for the deck, you could make your own if you have the necessary know-how, otherwise you can have a look at the various already-made models available online.