WINboard Lynx Infinity Review
A little board that leaves a big impression
WINboard… Who’s WINboard? In case you need catching up, WINboard is an electric skateboard original equipment manufacturer (OEM) based in Wuxi, China. They’re the OEM behind a lot (and I mean A LOT) of the parts you find on many (and I mean MANY) of the more famous budget and mid-tier electric skateboards that have been doing the rounds over the last year or so.
Electric Skateboard HQ have already taken the time to do a deep-dive on the ‘Who is WINboard?’ question. If you’d like to find out more you can check out the article covering the subject in greater detail here. Whilst you’re at it you may as well check out the existing reviews for the Panther and the Lynx Challenge.
So, as you no doubt would have guessed, WINboard are venturing into the retail space. They’ve recently released three boards direct-to-market. These boards consist of the Panther dual-drive longboard and the two Lynx carbon fiber short boards, the dual-drive Challenge and the single-drive Infinity.
It is my pleasure to bring you the first ever independent review of the WINboard Lynx Infinity.
A TL;DR is available at the end of this review.
This article was originally published on samjadelaide.com. Click the link to see the original article with many more accompanying images.
When you look at the two Lynx models, it’s clear that the single-hub Infinity is the baby brother of the dual-hub Challenge. So why would one consider the baby brother over the bigger, badder brother? What advantages are there? Well, let’s not beat about the bush — the advantages are lower cost, less weight and increased range. Quite simply the Infinity is cheaper, lighter and goes further than its bigger brother. If these things are higher up your list of needs and wants than torque, acceleration, top speed and hill climbing, then read on!
To make matters interesting, I should say that I am one of those guys that traditionally does tend to favor torque, acceleration, top speed and hill climbing, so when the opportunity came up to review the Lynx Infinity I was slightly taken aback; for no other reason than it is far and away removed from the typical type of board that I would usually choose for myself, which kind of only intrigued me more.
So what does the cheaper, lighter and reduced-power version of the Lynx Challenge have to offer someone like me? I was keen to find out, so I went in with an open mind.
You can check out my unboxing video here.
THE SPEC SHEET
At the time of writing this review there was some disparity between the different retail websites regarding the specs of the Lynx Infinity. After some back-and-forth with the WINboard team, we agreed that the listed specs should probably take shape around the following numbers (some websites may still need to be updated):
- Top Speed: Upto 22mph (36kph)
- Range: Upto 15.5mi (25km)
- Hill Climbing: Upto 15%
- Weight: 13.4lbs (6.1kg) [confirmed]
I’m sure you’d agree these are some pretty hefty specs for a little, single-hub board! The specs you see are made possible by the 10s2p Samsung 30Q battery pack (6Ah) powering a single 90mm, 1500W hub motor, making for a ballsy, but energy efficient drivetrain with cells that people trust.
The battery pack totals 216Wh, which means it is not airline safe.
Some regions also offer a 10s2p Samsung 35E (7Ah) battery pack option. Here’s a great discussion from the builders forum regarding 30Q vs. 35E cells. In short, the 35E pack might get you a little bit more range, but you’ll lose torque and probably suffer from earlier battery sag. Horses for courses. For my mind the 30Q pack is the far better all-round option, but if you want a little bit more range and are prepared to make some other sacrifices in order to get it, at least the option is there.
Carbon fiber… Need I say more? Damn, it’s sexy! How about this, a carbon fiber, 15.5mi (25km) range board for under $700 USD? Ah, now you’re starting to see value in the Infinity, yeah?
At 28-inches it’s certainly the smallest electric skateboard deck I’ve ridden on. It’s basically an inch longer than the length of a Penny Nickel. The Lynx decks are obviously much wider and more symmetrical than a Penny Nickel though; and with no kicktail the trucks are essentially pushed to the edge of both the nose and tail, meaning the wheelbase length stretched to the max, which makes the ride surprisingly stable as a result. The board’s stability is further assisted by the flared edges of the deck, which acts as a sort of pseudo-concave to cradle and lock-in your feet.
The term WINboard (and several of their clients) use for this deck is “unibody,” meaning the deck and the enclosure all come from one mold — it’s all one piece. The only way you can access the battery and ESC is by removing the griptape. It makes for a stealthy looking ride.
The hub motor and remaining three wheels are 90mm in size and come equipped with Bones Reds bearings, which is a nice touch.
The remote is new for the release of the Panther and Lynx models. Simple and light, it’s been ergonomically shaped to fit nicely in the hand and features an LCD display. The remote features four speeds, a forward and reverse switch and cruise control (something I haven’t used before).
The trucks are familiar looking pieces of hardware for obvious reasons. I’ve seen these on many boards now and am personally yet to have any issues.
THE LOOK AND FEEL
So, here’s the thing: I’ve pretty much fallen in love with this board. I really didn’t expect to either. I’m not much of a short board guy. Even the Riptide didn’t fully convert me, but the Lynx Infinity has! Now I want to get my hands on more short boards to do more comparisons.
Honestly, this board is just too freaking convenient! It’s currently the smallest and lightest board in my fleet. Small and light is usually code for a “cheap and under-powered toy.” Not so with the Lynx series. This is a serious board. It’s sleek, carbon fiber, unibody chassis is some of the highest quality in the game. And power? The Lynx series has it in spades! The Challenge obviously has power on tap, but what about the Infinity? Look at it this way, riding the Infinity took me back to the days of riding my Evolve Gen2 Bamboo. As many of you know, the Evolve Gen2’s were single motor boards. You know what you don’t have to worry about with single motor boards? Excess torque, jerkiness or “kick” throwing you off of the board, or overly-sensitive brakes that also want to throw you off the board at the slightest touch! It was a nice change of pace to almost be able to completely “disengage brain” and just ride!
Due to the single-hub drivetrain of the Infinity, indeed there is far less torque and acceleration available to you when compared to the dual-hub Challenge, but with the Infinity you’re also able to drop the throttle from zero to full, and also go from full speed to full brake and NOT get thrown off! In either case the curve is gradual and super-forgiving. There’s almost no way the Infinity could possibly buck you off, which is a welcome feature on such a short board.
Although the 90mm wheels grant a lot of positives (speed, comfort etc.), they do indeed look like monsters on such a little board. Not that I care. 80–83mm might be more befitting of the overall aesthetic, but because one of these wheels doubles as the motor, you need every bit of performance that solitary motor can give. I’ll take the 90mm, thanks!
It’s funny, because of the short deck, huge wheels, the essentially hidden powertrain, and the fact that the board can still reach 22mph (36kph), I turned more heads on this board than I have on any other board before. People simply have no idea what to make of this thing — it’s hilarious!
The new WINboard remote is a neat little number. They pack a surprisingly large amount of information onto the little screen including a speedometer, trip meter, odometer, board battery meter, remote battery meter, speed setting and remote signal strength. Having an odometer read-out right there on the remote display is probably the feature I like the most. The remote’s buttons and features are otherwise simple and obvious. The usual thumb roller is there for throttle and brake, a physical switch is there to toggle forward and reverse, then there are three simple buttons, on/off, speed mode selection and cruise control.
I also have to say, I was super surprised at how safe and stable I felt on this board. The size and shape of the deck doesn’t inspire confidence at first glance. It looks like a pretty sketchy ride, let’s be honest. But it’s not! Plant you’re feet at either end and I guarantee you’ll feel locked in and secure. The dialed-back nature of the single-hub does all of the hard (or is it easy?) work for you. All you have to do is jam the throttle on full and carve your worries away… It’s awesome!
For this section please note that I weigh about 203lbs (92kg) these days and I ride flat-out as often as possible.
Top Speed: The WINBoard Lynx Infinity does indeed hit 22mph (36kph). I hit 35.9kph on my sports tracker app, which has always served me well; backed-up by the fact that the speedometer on the WINboard remote also regularly also hit a max of 36kph during the same rides.
Sub-200lbs riders can certainly expect to go even quicker on this board the lighter and lighter they are.
Check out a short video of one of my top speed tests here.
Range: I got 12.6mi (20.4km) out of the Lynx Infinity. Considering the battery specs, my weight, riding in only H+ (and a little bit of H towards the end) and riding flat out as often as possible across a variety of terrain and several mild inclines, I give this board a solid pass in the range department.
Lighter riders and/or less aggressive riding (in perhaps M mode) would certainly yield the claimed 15.5mi (25km). I’d hazard a guess perhaps even more so in some cases (for you feather weight humans out there).
Check out a short video of my range test here.
Hill Climbing: The claimed capability of this board is 15%. It just so happens that my regular test incline is 15.7%. Sweet!
Were it not for our inclement weather at the moment resulting in less than favorable surface conditions, I’d say 15% hill grade for a guy my size on this board is definitely achievable. On this occasion though, my attempt was thwarted by soggy, slippery gum nuts on the ground, which made the board lose grip and momentum.
In any event, with 15% achievable under normal conditions with a guy my weight, I expect lighter riders could expect to achieve 18% or even more. Remember we’re talking about a single-hub here.
Here’s a short video of my incline test.
Sag: This is where the Samsung 30Q cells really shine. Check out the ride data in the picture gallery from my range test. I was still able to hit close to top speed well into the last third of the battery pack’s power. It’s only in the last 20'ish% that the battery pack begins to sag. This is awesome performance.
The only issue I’ll make comment on was the alert system once the board only had about 20% power remaining. I’m sure we’re all familiar with the beeping this type of ESC makes when it gets close to low power, but this was next level! The new WINboard remote mirrors the audible alert coming from the ESC. The sound alert coming from the remote is excruciatingly loud and completely unnecessary.
Portability: To mall grab or not to mall grab, that is the question… Screw it, I’m mall grabbing! Mall grab this little board and she’ll swing nicely by your side without scraping the ground, and she’s light enough to carry around without any spot of bother. This makes the Lynx Infinity by far the most convenient board I’ve ever tested.
This board can come with you on buses, trains, trams, be stored in school or gym lockers, it takes up almost no room at all and is not a pain in the ass to carry like a regular longboard esk8 can be.
Stealth: Hub motor boards with minimal (or no) enclosures are all the rage right now. With the Lynx series’ unibody chassis, this board is sure to confuse and amaze!
Easy and safe: For me the only way to ride this board is in H+ (the highest speed mode). This mode allows you to milk the most out of the board, but due to the single-hub configuration it’s still incredibly gradual, forgiving and easy to handle. This makes it a great choice for experienced riders looking for a grab-and-go, set-and-forget type of board. The lower speed modes combined with the forgiving nature of a single-drive also makes the Lynx Infinity perfect for beginners as there’s almost no chance of being “bucked off.”
Light and extended range: Look around at the competition. Can you find another 22mph (36kph), 13.4lbs (6.1kg) board capable of 12.4–15.5mi (20–25km) range under under $700 USD? No, no you can’t. She’s carbon fiber too! Nuff said? Yep.
Water and dust resistance: I personally don’t put a lot of stock in any self-proclaimed or even official water and dust resistance ratings when it comes to electric skateboards. My personal rule is simple: Avoid water at all costs. Skateboards, electric or otherwise, and water don’t mix. However, the Lynx series’ unibody chassis lends itself to a higher likelihood of water resistance than most other boards I’ve tested. I mean, it’s all one mold with the top sealed by griptape. How can water actually get in? The whole design is completely sealed.
There is a minor drawback to this design though, which I’ll cover in the Lowlights section.
The remote: I agonized over this one. I mean, it’s a pretty good remote, but if I had to pick a weak point for this board, honestly the remote is it. Why? Let’s go through it bit-by-bit.
The LCD screen is nice to have, but it’s super small. So small that you have to bring it right up to your face if you are to make out anything on it, which is pretty dangerous. Also, the LCD screen is rendered all but useless if you hold your remote in your left hand. Next is the amount of travel/throw the thumb roller has to control the throttle and brake. It’s about the least of any remote I’ve tried. This isn’t a major issue on a such a forgiving board as the Lynx Infinity, but I’m just stating the facts. Next is the cruise control feature. It’s tough to put this as a lowlight because in the right situation it’s actually pretty awesome, but in the unfortunate circumstance that you might come off your board and drop your remote, it’s bye bye board! The cruise feature only disengages when you apply new pressure to the throttle or brake, but if you’ve dropped your remote you can’t do this (no dead man switch), so the only thing that’s going to stop your board in this situation is a car, bus, wall or pedestrian. This isn’t good.
In my opinion a cruise control feature should only be applied in tandem with a dead man feature of some kind.
Also, see my comments regarding the audible noise the remote makes under the previous Sag section.
No full brake: One of the main drawbacks of a single-drive board is although the throttle is nice, gradual and gentle, so are the brakes, which in it’s own way also a very good thing, except in the most extreme of circumstances where you need to throw the board into a full brake. A single-drive board isn’t really capable of this. You’ll almost always need to foot brake in some way, shape or form to bring the board to a full stop. In some ways this is probably a good thing as it brings us back to “skate basics,” but at the same time Murphy’s Law suggests that the one time you could have used full brakes is also the one time when you’re on a board without them…
Restricted access to battery and ESC: In order to gain access to the battery and ESC you need to remove the griptape. Not a deal-breaker, but something worth pointing out.
It’s safe to say that I’m surprisingly enamored with this board! No, it doesn’t have a kicktail and it lacks the sort of “punch” I look for in my usual boards of choice (if you’re after “punch” you should consider the Challenge rather than the Infinity). But in sacrificing a bit of “punch,” you gain a lot in reduced weight and range (and life tends to go on, kicktail or no kicktail).
This is an awesome board that could suit a variety of people. Perhaps you have an inexperienced partner you want to try and get out esk8ing with you, maybe even your kids? The Infinity is a great option for them, particularly if they’re cool starting out on a short board, and you’re getting a high-quality, carbon fiber, full-spec board for your money here — this is no toy, so it’s a better, longer-term investment over some of the cheaper and/or poorer performing options.
The board performed to my expectations considering its specs and target market. It’s one of the few boards out there that is marketed with a realistic spec sheet. It’s likely that most people will actually get even more than they bargained for if they’re below 195lbs (88kg).
For me the Infinity really serves two purposes, 1. As my local area errand runner, and/or 2. It may just find it’s permanent home in my office in the city as the board to grab for the short trips I have to make from building to building, appointments as well as lunch and coffee runs.
Either way the Infinity has one me over because I know that no matter how violent I am with the throttle or brake, no matter how many dumb mistakes I as the user might make, the Infinity will forgive me and will always respond gently (the bigger brother Lynx Challenge might not be as forgiving or as gentle as the Lynx Infinity), but at the same time the Infinity still gives me some of the best speed and range specs in the short board market and at an ultra competitive price, and that’s nothing to sneeze at, at all.