Raptor 2 — Part 2 — The Comprehensive Comparison

Michael Gatti
Nov 3, 2017 · 25 min read

By Michael Gatti

It has been a long time coming but here it is, ‘Part 2’.

The greatest hold up to finishing this comparison proved to be the Jed Board, ‘the new kid on the block’. With its All Wheel Drive (AWD) model, it arguably shapes up to the R2's closest competitor. So it’s inclusion was very important.

Unfortunately finding a Jed Board full range test proved to be a mechanical and logistical challenge (bear in mind they are pre-production boards).

In the end, the range tests on the Jed Boards needed to be abandoned. Nevertheless, I do believe that I have gathered enough data to comfortably qualify this as a ‘Comprehensive Comparison’.

I hope you get something out of it!

DISCLAIMER: I am not affiliated with any e-board company and I do not get paid for sharing my opinions. I bring with me thousands of kilometres of electric skateboarding experience over the past 4 years, on dozens of different e-boards. Despite at times having direct contact with owners of several electric skateboard companies, I do not allow that contact to influence my reviews and do not have loyalty to any one company. I am completely unbiased, and more than happy to call it as I see it, because I know that honest and genuine feedback is valued both by the companies themselves and their prospective customers.

FIRSTLY, AN UPDATE ON MY RAPTOR 2...

CORRECTION AND APOLOGY:

Let me start by making a correction to something I posted in Part 1 of my Raptor 2 review. My scales at home LIED TO ME! When I first weighed the R2 at home, the scales said 11.8kg (26lbs). I was surprised at the time, but that’s what the scales said, so that’s what I posted. Just the other day I weighed it again on the same scales, and low and behold, this time the scales said 10.5kg! I cannot explain the discrepancy, but despite my annoyance at having posted false information, I was happy that the board is actually only 10.5kgs! That’s 1.3kgs (or 3 pounds) lighter than what I first believed, and good news for me and every perspective Raptor 2 owner. My apologies to everyone for the mistake.

TWO ISSUES:

I’ve now travelled a total distance of over 300kms on my Raptor 2, and I’m happy to say that it has generally been working very well. I’ve only really had two minor issues with the board since I last posted.

The first is with the rear wheel skins or ‘outwheels’.

I mentioned in Part 1 of my review that these outwheels were too soft and flexible, and really required a rigid inner ring to prevent warping due to centrifugal force. Well the warping became progressively worse. As the wheels stretched they became looser and floppier to the point where it felt like I was riding on two flat rear tyres. Enertion sent me out ‘Version 2’ of their outwheels which were exactly the same design, but a slightly harder compound. Those outwheels were a marked improvement on the V1 outwheels, as they don’t flare out anywhere near as much, but they were still not perfect. I was still possible to feel that the rear wheels weren’t completely true and round like a standard urethane wheel is. It was most noticeable on a very smooth surface and at high speed, where there were harmonic vibrations felt through the rear wheels. Enertion are about to release their Version 3 outwheels which should properly fix this issue. These V3s will have a rigid inner ring which prevents any flaring or warping completely. I’m definitely looking forward to trying those out.

The second issue I had was with the water-tightness of the electrical enclosure on the board.

I got caught in the rain one night while commuting on the board, and found that a fair amount of water made its way into the electrical enclosure. Not good. The board worked fine at the time, but the next morning the board would not work properly as water must have settled on electrical components overnight. I opened up the enclosure and thankfully I managed to dry everything off with a towel and a hairdryer. There was no permanent damage to the electrical components and the board worked perfectly again. Regardless, it was not something I ever would want to happen again. It appears that a handful of the earliest boards have slipped through with sealing issues. Enertion are sending me out another enclosure lid with extra sealing to remedy the problem. This is the same rubber seal that all new Raptors have now.

OTHER CONCERNS ALLEVIATED

You may recall that in Part 1, I had two main concerns regarding the Raptor 2. Now, after having spent quite a few more hours and a lot more distance with the board, here are my thoughts on those matters.

The first concern was regarding the remote - its fit, its ease of use and its durability. To be honest it has actually grown on me. It’s not perfect, but I’m now quite comfortable with it. I prefer it without the lanyard attached, and I’ve actually found that when if you wear wrist guards, you can actually slot it in between your hands and the guard and it works a treat! Try it and see what you think.

The Enertion Nano controller actually slots in nicely under a wrist guard

My second concern was the stability and safety at high speed due to its shorter wheelbase and higher sitting deck compared to an Evolve. Well I’m happy to say that I’ve had no issues with stability at all. As expected, the more I have used the board, the more comfortable I feel with the stability at high speed. The relatively short (for a longboard) wheelbase hasn’t been an issue, so I could put that concern to bed as well.

MODIFICATIONS:

The one mod I made to the R2 was changing the bushings. I added 95A Venom Barrel bushings board-side and 91A Venom cone bushings road-side to each of my trucks. The R2 comes standard with 2 x 90A Barrel bushings on each truck. The idea behind the change was to try to find a good compromise between stability and maneuverability. I’ve added the hard barrel bushings to aid in stability, and added the slightly softer cone bushings to give an easier turn in than the original double-barrel set-up. It seems to match my current riding weight of about 95kgs well, giving me a better ability to carve and turn, yet still maintain really good stability at high speed. Mind you, the board will never carve like an Evolve, because the Enertion precision trucks were built for speed, not carving, but the bushings have helped.

All in all it was definitely a worthwhile modification and only cost me around $40.

Venom 95A (white) barrel and Venom 91A(Red) cone bushings installed. Well worth the cost.

THE GROUP TESTS

On your marks!

BOARDS TESTED:

  • Enertion Raptor 2
  • Evolve Bamboo GT AT (All Terrain)
  • Evolve Carbon GT Street (97mm and 83mm)
  • Jed Board Dual (pre-production)
  • Jed Board AWD (pre-production)
  • Boosted Board Dual Plus V1
  • Inboard M1
  • Meepo Board
Boosted Board vs Meepo
Raptor 2 vs Inboard M1
Jedboard Dual vs Raptor 2
Inboard M1 and the Raptor 2 have exactly the same wheelbase
Evolve BGT AT, Raptor 2, Evolve CGT Street and Boosted Board D+ V1
Meepo’s hub motors vs Boosted Board belt drive
Boosted and Meepo size comparo
Jed Board vs Enertion Raptor 2 from behind. Couldn’t be more different
R2 and Jed Board undercarriage

WHAT IS BEING TESTED?

1. — Free-roll ability (how far the board will roll when unpowered)

2. — Total Range (100% to 0%)

3.1 — Hill climbing 10% gradient

3.2 — Hill climbing 16% gradient

3.3 — Hill climbing 23% gradient

3.4 — Hill climbing 27% gradient

The beauty of these tests were that they were all done in a scientific manner. Each board was tested in exactly the same conditions, ridden in the exact same manner, with the same rider on board. The results are therefore objective, fair and clear. Opinions on each board can vary, but the numbers don’t lie.

As you could imagine, the tests were time consuming, and sometimes logistically difficult, but it was a lot of fun and I gained some interesting results and insights along the way.

TEST 1.

So why do a free-roll test anyway?

The free-roll (or glide) measures the drag and friction that the motors impose on its wheels’ ability to spin. The less drag, the more the wheels will spin and the further the board will roll under its own momentum before it will come to a stop.

The 3 main advantages to a good ‘glide’ are:

  • a more efficient rolling system leads to a potentially longer range for any given battery size
  • If your battery is depleted and you need to push the board home the traditional way, the better the skateboard rolls, the less of your own effort and energy it takes to push it manually if required
  • An electric skateboard that rolls like a traditional (unpowered) longboard and said to feel more “natural” to experienced (non-electric) skaters and more fulfilling to ride in general

So I lined them up and jumped on each board, one at a time, and gave them one push until I came to a complete stop. It is true that it is not an absolutely precise measure of free-roll because the single push I gave to each board may not be exactly the same strength as the one before. To remedy this I repeated the process several times for each board until I was satisfied in the consistency of each push and the accompanying results.

I started with a ‘Control’ board, or in other words, the board to which all the others would be measured against. For this I used my Loaded Dervish (unpowered) longboard. It rolled 25m on the one push before coming to a stop. If this skateboard represents 100% roll-efficiency, then by measuring how far the other boards roll I could get a fairly accurate measurement and percentage of how efficiently they glide. Each result was rounded to the nearest metre.

Ready to roll…

TEST 1 — FREE-ROLL RESULTS

(Control)

Loaded Dervish longboard — 25m

1st place:

Jed Board Dual — 25m, (100% efficency)

2nd place:

Meepo Board — 17m, (68% efficiency)

3rd place:

Inboard M1–16m, (64% efficiency)

4rd place:

Raptor 2–15m, (60% efficiency)

5th place:

Evolve CGT Street (83mm) — 14m, (56% efficiency)

6th place:

Boosted D+ V1–13m, (52% efficiency)

7th place:

Bamboo GT (AT) – 12m, (48% efficiency)

A photo of where each board ended up on the roll test. The Meepo, M1 and Jed Dual are not pictured but did perform the same test at a different time.

These results were more or less what I expected, with one standout, the Jed Board! Bear in mind that these results are approximate and not perfectly scientific but nevertheless, I’m quite confident that the results give a very good indication of the type of friction or drag that each board’s wheels produced (give or take 10%).

You can see that the belt-driven boards tend to have the least free-roll ability, due to the inherent drag caused by the belt driven system. Hub motors are better in this regard, creating less drag than their belt driven counterparts but it seems by only about 10–20%. Any brand with a hub motor that states that it rolls exactly like an unpowered board is pulling your leg. At best, they are about 70% efficient compared to an unpowered board, most likely because the hub motors are heavy and that weight of the motor inside the wheels tends to slow it down. I’m no engineer, so correct me if I’m wrong.

The most impressive performer in this test was obviously the Jed Board Dual. With its smaller motors, combined with its unique helical gear system and high quality bearings, the Jed seems to all but eliminate drive-cog friction, allowing it to roll equally as far as the unpowered Loaded longboard in this test, giving it pretty much 100% efficiency. Such a great free-roll is quite the achievement and no doubt why Jed Boards are claiming around 30kms range (unverified) from a relatively small battery. I didn’t get a chance to add the Jed Board AWD for this particular test but you could assume that the result would be pretty close to the Jed Board Dual.

So well done Jed Board! You’re the clear winner of the free-roll test.

TEST 2.

TOTAL RANGE

Sunny morning, new helmet arrived, and a big day of range testing day at Westerfolds Park. It’s a tough job but somebody has to do it!

Ideally, I would have included the Jed Boards in the range tests (and I did try on several occasions) but unfortunately, for one reason or another as mentioned earlier, I was unable to complete a full range test due to various mechanical issues. It was a shame because it would’ve been interesting to see how much range can be accomplished by a board that free-rolls so well.

I set out to make the test as scientific and even as possible, so my range tests focused on comparing each board back-to-back under identical conditions. I’m confident that I achieved that and so the results should be quite accurate. Each ride had exactly the same route, same average speed, same rider, same style of riding and same weather conditions.

The temperature for each test was around 16 degrees with a light wind. The location is quite hilly and the rider weight was around 95kgs fully kitted. I maintained a overall average of 24-25kmh on each board whilst maintaining as even a throttle as possible, to maximise range. My stance on each board was just standard (no tucking), and my clothes were quite loose. All these factors play a part in range, and most importantly, were consistent for every test.

Each board was charged up to 100% and each range test was conducted in one of my favourite quiet spots, ‘Westerfolds Park’ in Templestowe. I ran each board from 100% to 0% battery and considered true 0% to be when each board could no longer maintain a 10kmh pace on flat terrain and/or was unable to scale even a small incline. My distance and speed were tracked on my iPhone using the Endomondo app.

In order to achieve a 25kmh average speed on the Evolve GT models I kept it in “Fast” mode. “Eco” mode was not an option as I would not have had enough torque to get up some of the hills on my route. “GT” mode was avoided to maximise range. All other boards were ridden in their fastest mode for the same reason with the lower modes not being powerful enough to maintain a 25kmh average speed, nor get the boards up some of the gradients on the course.

TEST 2 — TOTAL RANGE RESULTS:

1st Place — ENERTION RAPTOR 2……25.1kms

2nd Place — EVOLVE CARBON GT Street (97mm)..22.2kms

3rd Place — EVOLVE BAMBOO GT Street (97mm)..15.8kms

4th Place — EVOLVE CARBON GT AT….15.7kms

5th Place — EVOLVE BAMBOO GT AT…11.6kms

6th Place – MEEPO BOARD...11.5kms

7th Place — INBOARD M1….7.1kms

8th Place — BOOSTED BOARD DUAL PLUS V1…6.8kms

DNF* — JED BOARD DUAL:…(range test incomplete)

DNF*— JED BOARD AWD…..(range test incomplete)

*denotes ‘Did Not Finish’

The Raptor 2 wins the ‘Total Range’ test by 13% to the nearest competitor, the Evolve Carbon GT Street. Well done Enertion!

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Summary of the Raptor 2’s range test at Westerfolds Park. All other boards used the same route.

FINAL NOTES ON THE RANGE TESTS

If these max distances seem low, bear in mind the conditions that they were ridden in. There are always ways to increase your range for any given electric skateboard. Variables such as air temperature, the terrain and road surface, your speed, your clothing, your weight, and the way you accelerate and brake, all play a part in how far you can travel on a single battery charge. Things like bearing condition, drive-belt tightness and tyre pressure can also affect your range.

Whilst I didn’t have a Boosted Board V2 available for testing. But all reports suggest that it’s range is virtually identical to the V1, ie around 7kms. Boosted’s soon to be released long-range battery should exactly double that range to around 14kms.

It is significant to note, that as the two longest range boards, the CGT and the R2, approach low battery, they behave very differently from one other. The R2 is much better in this regard thanks to its better quality batteries and better programmed BMS (Battery Management System) than the Evolve boards. In my opinion this is even more important than the range itself.

So what am I on about?

Practically speaking, as the R2's battery depletes towards 0%, it gradually reduces its top speed and torque over the course of the last few kms until it ultimately slows to a crawl, then safely to a stop. This is the way Boosted Boards and several others work and it is how it should be. This is in direct contrast to the Evolve boards, which just shut off suddenly at some point. Cold weather makes matters worse, as does the age of your battery.

The displayed battery percentage goes up and down like a yo-yo, depending on current load, and if it drops to 0% you need to prepare for a sudden shut-off. I’m not exaggerating when I say I probably checked the battery percentage 50 times during my range test on the CGT. The latest Evolve firmware, which I do use, goes some way to addressing this by dropping down to ECO mode at 10% battery, but that is a band-aid solution at best.

The way the R2 behaves as the battery depletes is not only far safer than the Evolve boards, but it makes riding the Raptor 2 down to 0% a much more confident and enjoyable experience than on the Evolve. You can actually relax and focus on the ride, and not on your remote. Let’s hope Evolve look at fixing this on future models.

THE HILL CLIMB TESTS

  • I took all boards to a 4 different local hills in my area to test their hill climbing ability. They were tested on a 10% gradient, a 16% gradient, a 23% gradient and a 26% gradient. I marked out a start and finish line for each hill and timed and recorded each board, one at a time over that same exact distance
  • Each hill climb was done with 100% battery (recharged for each hill), with the same rider (95kg), using full throttle from start to finish. The tests were done twice on each board, to keep the tests as scientific, accurate and fair as possible. The times are as accurate as I could get, without being a robot, so perhaps allow 0.5 second margin of error either way
  • I used the standard 32T drive wheel for all Evolve GT 83mm and 97mm tests. Using a 38T drive cog, particularly on the steepest test, would have likely resulted in slightly faster times for the Carbon GT, but I didn’t have the 38T drive wheels available to me at the time
  • The Bamboo and Carbon GT, should produce the very similar results to one other, so not all tests were duplicated with both boards.

TEST 3.1— 10% HILL

First hill test – constant 10% gradient

The hill is almost exactly 10% gradient for 250m in a quiet, smooth and dead straight road. The perfect location for testing. Whilst 10% may not sound like much of an incline, it is actually steeper than you may think. Try running up a 10% hill and see how long you last!

In some ways, this was actually the most important of the 4 hill tests. Firstly, because every board was able to participate and scale this hill and secondly because it’s probably the most likely gradient people will encounter on a regular basis, therefore being the most relevant.

Here are the results, from slowest to fastest…

Jed Dual (pre-production, latest firmware)

…49.8 seconds

Evolve Bamboo GT AT (Fast mode)

…46.8 seconds

Meepo

…44.2 seconds

Inboard M1 (Latest FW — Advanced mode)

…42.0 seconds

Evolve Carbon GT 97mm (Fast mode)

…41.9 seconds

Evolve Carbon GT 83mm (Fast mode)

…38.5 seconds

Boosted Board D+ V1 (Pro mode)

…38.4 seconds

Evolve Bamboo GT AT (GT mode)

…29.3 seconds

Jed Board AWD (pre-production)

…26.3 seconds

Evolve Carbon GT 83mm (GT mode)

…26.3 seconds

Evolve Carbon GT 97mm (GT mode)

…26.1 seconds

Enertion Raptor 2 (R-Spec mode)

…20.6 seconds

TEST 3.2— 16% HILL

This hill rises up to a 16% gradient at its steepest. The picture doesn’t really do it justice.

This hill starts out fairly flat and then rises up to a significant gradient of 16% at its steepest point, before tapering off again towards the finish line.

Results were, from slowest to fastest:

Meepo Board

…38.0 seconds

Boosted Board D+ V1

…34.2 seconds

Jed Board Dual

…33.2 seconds

Evolve Carbon GT AT (Fast mode)

32.8 seconds

Inboard M1 (Advanced mode)

…32.1 seconds

Evolve Carbon AT (GT mode)

…23.9 seconds

Jed Board AWD

…23.2 seconds

Evolve Carbon GT 83mm (GT mode)

…23.0 seconds

Evolve Carbon GT 97mm (GT mode)

…22.5 seconds

Enertion Raptor 2 (R-Spec mode)

…19.5 seconds

TEST 3.3 — 23% HILL

This hill is pretty insane. It is 300m in total, gradually winding up to a very steep 23% gradient, then levels off to almost flat for about 50m before winding up again to 22% for the last part. Two of the boards, the Meepo and the Jed Dual, did not have enough torque to conquer this hill. I suspect the Inboard may have (just) made it up, but did not have it available at the time of this test.

Results:

Boosted Board Dual Plus…….71 seconds

Evolve Carbon GT AT ………..63 seconds

Evolve Carbon GT 97mm…….56 seconds

Jed Board AWD……………….55 seconds

Evolve Carbon GT 83mm…….51 seconds

Enertion Raptor 2…………….37 seconds

Meepo………………………….…DNF

Jed Board Dual …………………..DNF

Inboard M1 …….(not available for test)

TEST 3.4— 26%

Ryans Rd is a popular challenge for cyclists, personally I think it’s more fun on a Raptor 2!

Ryans Rd, Etham, (above) is one of the steepest hills in Melbourne, and is only 3km from my place. It has a 130m (430ft) section of up to 26% gradient. Any electric skateboard that can get up this monster has my respect!

There are only 3 boards on this list that can do it. The Raptor 2, the Jed AWD and the Evolve GT. The rest didn’t stand a chance.

I scaled this hill twice with each board in 2 different ways, firstly with a 40 metre run-up, and secondly, from a standing start at the bottom of the hill.

Here are the times for each:

170m distance total with 40m run-up and 130m climb:

Evolve Carbon GT 97mm (32T) …43 seconds

Jed Board AWD…………36 seconds

Carbon GT AT……35 seconds

Enertion Raptor 2……24 seconds

130m climb from standing start:

Evolve Carbon GT AT……62 seconds

Evolve Carbon GT 97mm(32T)…62 seconds

Jed Board AWD………….50 seconds

Enertion Raptor 2………34 seconds

It is pretty clear which board wins the hill climb tests. The Enertion Raptor 2 is an absolute beast up hill and absolutely annihilates the competition here! The fact that it does this so silently and with hub motors, makes it all the more impressive.

Well done Enertion, the hill climbing champion!

So there you have it, all the results in black and white.

I hope these tests have given you a better idea of the capabilities of each board. If you’re considering buying an electric skateboard with the intention and pushing it to the limits, then read on to see how some of the main players compare.

FINALLY, MY GENERAL OPINION OF EACH BOARD…

There is a wealth of information on the internet about each of the boards I’ve tested. I don’t want to repeat that information here, but after having been fortunate enough to have spent a decent amount of time on each of the boards listed above, I thought a quick summary of each could prove useful.

Take it for what it’s worth..

A really nice, user friendly board that is put together really well. It has enough power and speed for most people and has generally proven to be very reliable. Version 2 is an incremental improvement over Version 1 with slightly more torque and other minor changes. If you plan on riding more than 6–10km (4–6 miles) you will want the long range battery which will double your range.

PROS:

  • great quality components
  • really nice, flexy Loaded deck
  • 4 speed modes
  • well designed remote
  • good torque
  • relatively light to carry
  • useful and well designed iPhone App
  • very smooth acceleration and braking
  • super reliable and easy to ride
  • ability to swap battery, or use long-range battery in V2 (soon)
  • great customer service and now sold in Australia

CONS:

  • pitiful range on standard battery
  • max speed of up to 35kmh may not be enough for some
  • battery swap requires tools and a few minutes.
  • quite expensive ($2200 AUD)

To be honest I didn’t like it. To me it’s just a less enjoyable version of the Boosted Board. It has a slower take-off, harsher ride, less reliability, and is also heavier to carry. The only advantages that I can see over the Boosted is the faster battery swap and slightly better free-roll. If you’re chasing a ‘stiff deck’, I reckon there are better options out there.

PROS:

  • Looks sleek
  • Nice iPhone App
  • Pretty nice remote, that vibrates
  • Multiple speed modes
  • Quick swappable battery

CONS:

  • Short range (about the same as the Boosted)
  • Power and torque only average
  • Ride is quite harsh on anything other than perfect surfaces, due to smallish wheels, hub motors and stiff deck
  • Questionable reliability and customer service

The most versatile electric skateboard out there, no question. The ability to change wheels and gearing is handy and the ability to change from solid urethane ‘street’ wheels to pneumatic tyres really gives you 2 boards in 1. Whatever ‘flavour’ of Evolve GT board you choose, they are designed to be a lot of fun to ride, and they are. The wide Evolve ‘super-carve’ double kingpin trucks give it a really nice carve. Power, especially in GT mode, is more than enough for most people (albeit quite abrupt in acceleration and braking). Question marks remain over the reliability due to the quality of some of the parts used, especially the electrical components and the customer service seems to be ‘hit and miss’ depending on who you talk to. Personally I have required multiple repairs to my Evolve boards over the last few years, but for me at least, Evolve has repaired the board each time and usually for free.

PROS:

  • Super versatile board, especially with the 2 in 1 option
  • A lot of fun to ride (when they work)
  • Great power and torque, especially in GT mode
  • Super nice carving feel and tight turning-circle thanks to the wide double-kingpin trucks
  • Sexy looking machines
  • Low and wide stance due to the drop-through trucks
  • 4 Speed modes
  • Long range battery compared to most other boards

CONS:

  • Some parts used by Evolve are not as good a quality as you may expect at this price, leading to multiple reliability issues
  • Battery-sag can lead to sudden cut-outs at low battery or when under load
  • Customer service could be improved on the whole
  • The remote control’s sensitive trigger design is not unliked by many

This is absolutely the best value board on the market at the moment for someone who doesn’t want to spend thousands of dollars. The company has only been around for a few months yet they have sold over 3,000 boards already! It is no wonder. They use cheap but well selected Chinese parts to keep costs down. It may not be as polished looking as some other boards, but it works well. It’s quiet, zippy, dual drive motors are really nice, the board is reliable enough and the battery should last you at least 10kms or so. If there was a weak link, it would be the cheap deck, which doesn’t feel quite right to stand on. It actually feels convex as opposed to the more desirable concave shape. The beauty of this is that with a bit of handy work you could mount the Meepo hardware on the deck of your choice and make a really nice piece of kit for very little money. Add some higher quality bearings and bushings and you have 90% of a Boosted Board for 25% of the price!

PROS:

  • Incredible value for money, less than $500 AUD delivered
  • Relatively reliable and beginner friendly
  • Decent power and torque
  • Cheap replacement parts
  • Quite light and easy to carry, especially with built in handle
  • Better range than a Boosted Board
  • Silent motors
  • Decent brakes
  • Handy auto-start feature which means the board turns on automatically with a push
  • Ability to change decks yourself for an even better experience, if you’re willing and able

CONS:

  • Not as polished or well finished as some of the more expensive boards
  • Won’t get up really steep hills
  • Original deck is not to everyone’s taste

There has been a lot of hype generated about the ‘Jed Board’ over the last few months, and many big claims, however, in my opinion, so far the product itself hasn’t quite lived up to the hype.

Yes, it has exceptional free-roll, and claimed efficiency (due to Jeremy’s pioneering helical gear design), but the Jed Boards have produced so far is too loud for my taste, and somewhat unreliable. Let me reiterate though, that I’m talking about ‘pre-production prototypes’ here and the whole point of the pre-production boards is to test and identify problems to fix prior to mass production.

Jed Boards claim that the production board will be much better the the pre-production boards, but right now, possibly only a matter of weeks before first deliveries, these boards are still all we have to go on.

Some people aren’t bothered by the sound, but I certainly am. In fact, to be honest, I kind of find it embarrassing to ride around the streets due to the noise it generates. I like to keep a low profile, not draw stares from anyone within a 50 metre radius. The finished product would have to be a hell of a lot quieter for me to consider it. Jed is claiming a 30% reduction in noise on the production model, so that will be interesting to see (and hear).

Furthermore, the power and torque are nothing groundbreaking. The Jed Dual has a similar performance to the Meepo, and the case of the Jed AWD, comparable performance to the Evolve GT. Fast? I guess so, but nothing to write home about.

Again, Jed claim that production boards will be better. Time will tell I guess.

The thing is that there are a LOT of pre-orders placed this year. When will these boards actually be delivered? There still seems to be monumental amount of work to do before they are ready. Actual production versions of the helical gears, the enclosures, the deck, the remote control, the charger, the App (and I suspect a lot more), still need to be manufactured, assembled, tested and then shipped.

Are Jed still promising that this will all be done in less than 2 months? That’s a big ask. Manufacturing a new product from scratch is an incredibly difficult process and it is usually fraught with unavoidable delays – that’s just part of the process. This explains why literally every other electric skateboard manufacturer has endured many months, and often years of delays between their promises and their actual delivery.

Will Jed Boards somehow bypass these delays? I doubt it. For that reason, my prediction is that customers won’t be riding their Jed Boards until some time in 2018 at the earliest. Hopefully I’m proven wrong.

One thing is for sure, next year will be an exciting and challenging year for Jed Boards.

PROS:

  • Excellent free-roll ability
  • Relatively light weight
  • Good torque and power on the AWD, adequate on the Dual
  • Unique remote control (coming on production boards)
  • Top quality materials and components used
  • IP65 waterproof rating
  • 2 year warranty
  • Fully refundable deposit for pre-orders

CONS:

  • Noisy helical gears give the board a ‘unique’ sound
  • Reliability concerns? (Hopefully sorted by production)
  • Limited ground clearance, especially on 80mm wheels
  • Could be a long wait to get one

My absolute favourite board at the moment. Silent and deadly! The Enertion Raptor 2 is simply thrilling to ride and unrivalled in its performance. The way it accelerates, even up hills, borders on obscene!

For all of those people waiting to receive theirs, I feel for you, it must be very frustrating. Just like every other electric skateboard manufacturer, there have been unforeseen delays but the word is that many more will be delivered before the end of the year. So if I were you, I’d hold out that little bit longer because I think it’s worth the wait.

PROS:

  • Amazing power and torque
  • Virtually silent motors
  • Long range battery (20–40kms for me)
  • Nice grip tape
  • Kick tail
  • Good ground clearance
  • Smooth ride – especially for a hub drive
  • Handles for carrying
  • ‘Crossover’ wheel option (soon)
  • High level of customisation and monitoring from phone App
  • Excellent customer service and warranty (has been for me anyway) with 24 hour support

CONS:

  • Relatively heavy (10.5kgs)
  • Remote control not to everyone’s taste
  • Still delays in delivery to customers

I hope my contribution has added something of value.

Thanks for reading.

My current quiver. My next little project will be to mount the Meepo hardware onto the Loaded deck, along with upgraded bushings and bearings. The Meepo/Loaded hybrid should be a just about perfect for short range commuting and cruising!

About the author…

Michael Gatti is an unashamed technophile who has a keen interest in electric vehicles. After discovering electric skateboards on-line in 2014, he went on to his first e-board, an Evolve Generation 1 Snubnose, and was instantly addicted. Since then he has expanded both his knowledge and collection, amassing thousands of kilometres of board-time, both for personal transport and recreational use. As one of the more experienced and knowledgable e-skaters, he has become a well known and respected member of the electric skateboarding community. Michael lives in the leafy outer-eastern suburbs of Melbourne with his beautiful wife Melinda and loving family.

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