As part of Exway’s 7th anniversary celebration, they are letting me give one of my YouTube subscribers an Exway Ripple electric skateboard for free! Use the form below to participate. If you can’t see it, go here instead.
ShredLights has recently released their new smart lights which include a bunch of new features, and one feature that I’ve wanted for years. I’ll briefly explain what ShredLights are, what the new smart lights have to offer, and whether I think you should get them.
What are ShredLights?
If you have an electric skateboard and you’ve joined any of the various esk8 groups online or offline, you have very likely come across ShredLights. They are basically different types of LED lights that you can easily attach to your skateboard.
They can also be mounted on your bicycle, helmet, backpack, pants, massage gun, and anywhere that can use a GoPro mount.
The lights are not cheap, but because of ShredLights’ S-Lock system, you only need one set of lights for all of your boards, bicycles, and PEVs. Moving a light from one mount to another is quick and easy, and requires no tools.
There are definitely cheaper lights that you can get, but none of them have all of the new features that come with these new smart lights.
The new smart lights are called the SL-300+ for the headlights, and SL-R1+ for the brake lights. Note that I said brake lights and not just taillights because they do become brighter when you brake.
That’s just one of the new features and probably the least interesting one. Let me go through the rest starting with my favorite feature.
The smart lights have Bluetooth and can be grouped together any way you want. Lights that are in the same group can be controlled together by using just a single light. You no longer have to adjust each light one by one.
For example, if you have a set of four lights, like the combo pack, you can turn all of them on at the same time by turning on just a single light instead of turning on all of them separately. The same goes for turning them off or changing to another mode.
This feature makes using ShredLights super convenient and I don’t know of any other add-on lights for bicycles or skateboards that can do this.
The smart lights can be added to groups with or without ShredLights’ mobile app. I’ve tried both ways and using the app definitely feels more intuitive. It’s a really well-designed app – I was impressed. You can see which lights are in which groups, and even drag them into different groups.
You can then customize the different modes for each group and even rename the modes and the groups.
I just kept it simple and set my main lights’ modes to low, medium, and high.
For my second group of lights, which is a pair of SL-FX+ RGB lights, I set the modes to have different colors and effects.
In the app, you can also see the remaining power of all the lights as percentages.
If you think bending over is disgusting, you can control the lights entirely with the app if you want.
And for those of you who don’t want to bend over and don’t want to use the app, you can enable the Auto On/Off feature.
When Auto On/Off is enabled, the lights turn on automatically if they detect motion and if they’ve been off for longer than 2 minutes.
And when the lights have been on with no motion for 2 minutes, they’ll automatically turn off.
For my use cases, because I carry my board into the subway and stuff, and I mostly ride during daytime, I don’t want them turning on automatically. So I personally keep this feature disabled.
But for those of you who only ride at night and only bring the board inside when you’re done with it, this feature would probably be really useful.
At the moment, ShredLights has labeled these new smart lights as beta, meaning they may still need some testing and refinements. I felt the Auto On/Off was a bit finicky, and the brake lights reacted a little bit slow, but everything else worked fine for me once I learned that the lights need to detect motion to be able to turn on as a group.
In other words, if the lights are off, you need to move the board a little bit before you can turn on the lights as a group.
The lights’ firmware can be updated over the air. So if ShredLights decides to make some improvements in the software, you can get them for free.
Even though these smart lights are in beta, I feel they’re definitely good enough for customers to buy. If they weren’t labeled as beta, I wouldn’t even have a problem with that.
Who they’re for
As I said earlier, ShredLights are not cheap. For the regular ShredLights, I feel they’re a good deal mostly for people who will use them on multiple boards. If you only have one board, nowadays there are several other skateboard lights you can consider.
But when it comes to these smart lights, I don’t know of any other lights that even come close in features and convenience.
Being able to turn on a group of lights using just one light is super convenient and saves time. For that reason alone, I think these lights are worth the premium.
That’s if you want lights on your board for aesthetics or to be more visible to motorists. If you want lights because you want to see the road, a powerful flashlight in your hand is probably better.
But again, if you’re looking for lights for your board that are easy to install and remove, convenient to use, and full of features, I think these smart lights are probably the best right now. By far.
Propel is known for their off-roading electric skateboards, namely the Endeavor series which I previously covered on this channel. They’ve recently entered the 2-in-1 market with the Pivot series, and they gave me the option of trying out the more affordable Pivot S, or the higher performance Pivot GT.
I chose the Pivot S, and I’ll explain why.
I’ll also go over the differences between the two models, and what I like and dislike about them. By the end of the video, hopefully you’ll be able to see if either of them is right for you.
Let’s start this review by talking about the battery design, which is probably the Pivot’s biggest unique selling point aside from the low price.
Battery packs for electric skateboards are made up of individual cells connected together, usually with spot-welded nickel strips. Most of the time, this is ok, but spot weld joints in poorly assembled battery packs can break apart due to vibrations. And, as you can imagine, electric skateboards receive a lot of vibrations compared to most other types of vehicles.
On both the Pivot S and GT, the battery cells are instead mounted onto nickel strips fixed on a flexible circuit board, making this design free of any easily compromised spot weld joints. In addition, the cells are spaced apart for greater heat dissipation, and to prevent any rubbing that can eventually lead to a short circuit.
The entire pack is then protected in a plastic shell, which together with the flexible PCB help absorb vibrations before they reach the battery cells.
In other words, compared to many battery pack designs, this design is less likely to break from everyday use. Boards that use this battery design typically cost at least a few hundred dollars more than the Pivot S.
The Pivot S battery is 518Wh and made up of 4000mAh Lishen cells in a 12S3P arrangement. And the Pivot GT is 864Wh using 5000mAh Samsung cells in 12S4P.
So the GT battery has about 33% more weight, but also about 67% more energy.
According to Propel, using their 97 mm urethane wheels, the Pivot S should give a 75 kg rider about 44 km of range, and the GT about 87 km of range. I myself weigh about 75 kg with everything on me. And based on my previous experience on other boards, Propel’s estimates sound reasonable to me. Just remember that many things affect range, so your mileage may vary.
Propel calls their Pivot deck “BVR,” which stands for “bad vibe reduction.” It’s a carbon fiber and fiberglass composite and, according to Propel, gets an average of 15% more vibration dampening than a rigid carbon fiber deck. While I was riding it, I guess it did feel like 15% more dampening than zero dampening… I’ll let you do the math. It’s basically a stiff deck, but Propel did post an impressive video of their deck taking a beating without snapping.
Even though I couldn’t notice any dampening from the deck itself, I don’t have any complaints about its comfort. I personally don’t mind a stiff deck anyway, but the foam grip tape and flat platform do help make the ride easy on the feet.
In my opinion, though, the deck is way too wide, especially with the middle being completely flat. I found myself constantly checking my front foot’s position because I couldn’t feel any concave until I moved my foot way too far to the side. I might have to stick something underneath the grip tape to resolve that.
To be fair, I find most decks on 2-in-1 boards to be too wide and flat, but this deck is the widest I’ve seen. Some of you might prefer that though.
Both the Pivot S and GT use the same deck. The only difference is the color of the logo.
The Pivot S and GT both use the LY-FOC speed controller with the standard remote. Propel says they’re working on a remote with a color display that will be compatible.
The LY-FOC on the S is rated for 55A, and the GT is 70A. I’ve only tried the S model and it’s more than powerful enough for me. For context, most 2-in-1 boards from just a couple years ago used 30A ESCs, and to me they were already very powerful for street use.
For most people, I think the Pivot S would be more than powerful enough for street use, as well as off-roading and large hills.
Like most boards using LY-FOC, the control doesn’t feel as precise or natural as most boards I’ve tried that use other ESCs. Acceleration and brakes feel totally fine, but fine-tuning the speed can feel jerky at times.
For example, if I’m cruising at 21 km/h and want to gently increase my speed to 22, the board lurches forward a bit and brings me to 23 instead. If I try to slow down to 22, I’m brought down to 21 again.
I wouldn’t say that this issue is a deal-breaker, but it is a uniquely LY-FOC issue that I wish they’d fix.
Of course LY-FOC does have its own benefits like push-to-start and adjustable brake strengths on the remote.
The motors are a pair of DXW 6374, which are pretty standard today but also very big. They allow the board to go up to 60 km/h according to Propel. Please only attempt to hit that speed with the appropriate safety gear and road conditions.
The stock wheels on the Pivot S are 97 by 52 mm urethane wheels. The front wheels use the Abec clone core pattern, and the drive wheels have the pulleys built-in – as in you can’t take them apart. According to Propel, this is to make things easier for first-time owners. I guess some people have trouble sticking a pulley into a wheel? In any case, they said they’ll have separate pulleys and wheels in the future.
On the Pivot GT, the stock wheels are these fancy-looking machined alloy wheels with 155 mm pneumatic tires. They even have wheel weights attached for counterbalance.
For both the S and GT, you have the option of getting both sets of wheels when you place your order.
The pneumatic wheels are very nice, but I personally prefer the urethane wheels. I can’t properly articulate why – I just feel more connected with the board when the smaller wheels are installed. My guess is that it has to do with the board being slightly more responsive and closer to the ground.
The pneumatics are of course more comfortable and can roll over more stuff, but I definitely enjoy the 97s more. And just to be clear, this is how I feel about pneumatic and urethane wheels in general, not just Propel’s wheels.
The trucks are your standard Evolve clone double kingpins, but with slop stoppers. They feel pretty much like most other e-skate double kingpin trucks.
Both the Pivot S and GT have a brake light built-in.
A pair of 2000-lumen headlights are optional on both. Propel sent me a set but I ended up taking them off because they kept rattling. It wasn’t that noticeable with the pneumatic tires, but it was quite loud with the 97s. I did try to tighten them up but they very quickly started to rattle again. I suggest getting them only if you’ll be using pneumatic wheels.
The GT comes with a pull bar that’s very easy to install. If you’re getting the S with the 97 wheels only, the pull bar won’t be very useful for you because the motor mounts end up on the ground when you pull.
For the appearance, the Pivot is mostly good-looking, but it’s a bit of a mixed bag. Parts of the board look premium, like the finishing on the deck, the baseplate covers, and the GT’s alloy wheels. Other parts however look surprisingly basic and even cheap, like the ESC plate, the trucks, belt covers, and cable management.
Compared to its closest competitors, I would rank the appearance as somewhere in the middle. It’s far from the worst looking, but I’ve also seen much better.
The fit and finish is nowhere near the Propel Endeavor series, but the Pivot series is about half the price, after all.
Who it’s for
And price is likely where the Pivot S and GT stand out the most for the majority of customers – especially the Pivot S at its pre-sale price of $799.
The 12S3P battery on the S is smaller than most 2-in-1 boards’ batteries that you see today, but 518Wh should be enough for most people, especially if sticking with the 97 mm wheels. For myself, 20 km would already be enough, and the Pivot S would get me about twice that range.
The 50A power is plenty. The PCB battery is a plus for peace of mind. The brake light is a nice bonus. Everything else is pretty standard for this type of board. No frills, but no giant price tag either.
So basically, the Pivot S is a more affordable option for people who want an Evolve-style street board.
As for the Pivot GT, it’s also a great deal especially if you care about the PCB battery and alloy wheels. But once the pre-sale price ends, there will be quite a few direct competitors to consider.
Personally, I think the Pivot S is the better deal.
If you’d like to get either the Pivot S or GT, use my referral link and code for an extra discount.
I think it’s great that Propel has offered a more affordable board with a practical level of performance while other brands continue with their deck-swinging contest in this 2-in-1 category.
With that said, I’m so done with this category. And until there’s some significantly noteworthy innovation, I think this is the last time I’m covering a board that weighs over 10 kg.
Another brand recently asked me to cover their board that’s 11.8 kg, which is coincidentally exactly the same weight as the Pivot S. I told them I’ll cover it if they can make me a customized version that’s under 10 kg.
Finally, a truly lightweight and affordable electric skateboard that feels like a regular cruiser board!
At just 5.9 kg, the Exway Ripple is even lighter than my most frequently used board, the Exway Wave. It’s also about half the price at just $399.
With similar dimensions to the Wave, the Ripple is essentially a Wave Lite. Or, for Apple users, a Wave SE.
There are definitely a couple of things about this board that will make it a no-go for the e-skate hobbyists forever hungry for more range and power. But for those outside of the e-skate bubble, the portable and affordable Ripple may be exactly what you’re looking for.
Or maybe not.
Let’s go through every part of this board and my thoughts on it. And by the end, hopefully you’ll be able to decide for yourself if it’s right for you.
Let’s start with the appearance because that’s something that immediately stood out to me.
Unlike other electric skateboards, the Ripple looks like it belongs with my regular foot-powered boards.
In fact, the geometric artwork on the deck, as well as the cutouts on the grip tape, remind me of Loaded Boards.
For those who don’t know, Loaded is one of the more premium brands of longboards, with completes generally costing around $300 to $400.
The Ripple’s deck design looks more like a traditional cruiser than the techy look that e-skate brands, including Exway, usually go for.
And I’m definitely glad that it’s not another Boosted Mini style shortboard.
I’ll talk more about the appearance as I get into each of the components.
The Ripple’s maple deck is 780 mm long and 240 mm wide. Compared to the Exway Wave, the wheelbase is shorter by about 40 mm, making this board noticeably more nimble.
780 × 240 mm
480 mm axles wheelbase
435 mm deck wheelbase
765 × 235 mm
520 mm axles wheelbase
475 mm deck wheelbase
Even though the wheelbase is shorter, the kicktail is quite a bit longer so the overall length is slightly longer than the Wave.
The concave is in a very gentle radial shape with a slight flare for each wheel.
Like the Wave, the tail has a replaceable translucent puck to protect the deck and light up at night when you brake.
The trucks are gravity cast versions of Exway’s 7” 45º Trist trucks. They handle just as well as the Wave’s trucks and use the same 90A bushings.
The rear truck for the hub motors looks much nicer than what we often see on hub motor boards. Instead of motors that are held onto a pseudo-truck with a bunch of screws, this is an actual truck with axles that stick into the hub motor wheels.
I also appreciate that the motor cables are tucked away and barely visible.
The stock setup works well, but I switched out the soft risers for harder and taller ones to allow the board to be even more nimble without getting wheelbite.
If you’re just starting out, I suggest you get used to the stock setup first which I would say is more stable than most regular boards that size, but more nimble than most electric skateboards.
Check out my video on how tight to set your bushings.
The Ripple’s wheels are 75 mm in diameter, which is slightly on the large side by longboard standards, but very small by e-skate standards. Most electric skateboard wheels are 85 mm and up, with 90 to 100 mm being the most common size for urethane wheels.
The back wheels are a pair of hub motors, which have their pros and cons.
As far as I know, of all e-skate drivetrains, hub motors have the least amount of resistance, making them perhaps the most appropriate drivetrain for a hybrid board.
Hub motors are also quiet compared to systems that involve gears.
The downside is that hub motors have only a small amount of urethane to dampen anything.
And you also don’t get to choose from a large selection of aftermarket wheels. While the urethane sleeves on the motors are replaceable, I don’t think there are different sizes and styles to choose from.
The wheels are black, which is fine, but I wish they had come in a different color. Black wheels are common on electric skateboards, but not very common on normal skateboards and longboards.
Exway uses orange wheels on some of their other boards, and I think that would have worked well on the Ripple. Just for fun, I changed the front wheels to these OJ wheels.
The battery for the Ripple is labeled as 99Wh. The major benefit of this size is that it’s compliant for boarding any passenger aircraft. And by “it,” I mean the battery, and not necessarily the board.
I’ve been on several flights with the LOU Board and Exway Wave, and ran into different issues with different airlines.
Some airlines classify an electric skateboard as a motor vehicle or, even worse, a Hoverboard. And some specifically don’t allow skateboards. So now, whenever I travel with the Exway Wave, just to save myself some hassle at the airport, I remove the wheels in addition to the battery so that the board no longer looks like a skateboard or any kind of vehicle. And then I reassemble the board at the destination.
With the Ripple, because of the hub motors, it’s not as simple to take off the back wheels. Hopefully you won’t have to when you fly, but if you need to, it’s still doable. It’s just not as convenient as taking off the wheels on a belt drive Exway Wave.
99Wh is pretty small by e-skate standards, so you might be wondering how far you can even go with it.
Of course many things affect range, but if I were to cruise around on the Ripple like I would on larger boards, I estimate I would get around 8 or 9 km. But because this is a smaller and much more nimble board, especially with the way I have it set up, I ride it at a lower speed which also uses less energy.
On my range test, I got 11.5 km according to my GPS app, and about 13 km according to the Ripple’s remote.
I certainly wouldn’t go on a long group ride with it, but I can ride it to my studio and back, which is just 8 km roundtrip.
So for my most common use case on an electric skateboard, 99Wh is more than adequate, and anything more than that is just extra weight that I don’t want to carry.
Even with the Exway Wave, I normally use the 99Wh battery option just because its slimmer than the 180Wh option.
Of course 99Wh won’t be enough for everyone, but I just want to show that not everybody is eager to give up portability for more range.
The board comes with a puny 42W charger, which I think should charge the board from empty to full in about 2.5 to 3 hours.
I’ve never actually used it because I have the 170W fast charger for the Wave, which is compatible with the Ripple. With the fast charger, recharging 99Wh should take less than 45 minutes.
ESC & Remote
Now let’s get to the ESC and remote. This was a bit of a shocker.
For many years, Exway was one of the only brands to have a highly customized ESC with features that nobody else had.
Some of those features have made their way to Hobbywing and other ESCs, like standby mode and customizable performance, while other features remain exclusive to Exway.
For the Ripple, Exway chose not to use their own ESC, and not even a Hobbywing ESC. They went with the LY-FOC.
For those outside of the e-skate bubble, this is like Apple releasing a new computer with Windows instead of MacOS. Not even Unix, but Windows. It was really unexpected.
The LY-FOC has its own pros and cons.
There’s no Standby Mode, which means you can’t put the board to sleep and turn it back on with just the remote. However, you can turn on the board just by pushing it, and it’s quicker than waking the board up with the remote.
Another benefit of LY-FOC is that you can have the board stay still on a slope while other boards would slowly roll down even with brakes fully engaged.
And with the LY-FOC remote, you can change the brake strength without going through an app or digging into any system menu.
A downside of LY-FOC is that you can’t really fine-tune the speed and distance calculations the way you can with Exway and Hobbywing ESCs.
And there are no over-the-air software updates like with all of Exway’s other boards.
The most notable downside of the LY-FOC is something that fortunately doesn’t affect the Ripple.
Boards that use the LY-FOC tend to be a little jerky when you try to fine-tune your speed in the High and Pro modes. That was my biggest concern with the Ripple using the LY-FOC, but I didn’t encounter that problem. The acceleration and brakes feel as smooth and intuitive as any board using an Exway or Hobbywing ESC.
I asked Exway if they did anything special to make the jerkiness go away and they said they didn’t. So it might be because this is a lower power board, or maybe because it’s using hub motors. I really don’t know, but I’m just glad that the biggest problem with LY-FOC doesn’t exist on the Ripple.
The remote is the standard LY-FOC remote. Like many other e-skate remotes today, it has a control wheel, a couple buttons, and a display that shows you your speed, remaining battery, distance traveled, et cetera. The usual stuff.
And it charges with a Micro-USB cable. Does Lingyi just have a huge surplus of Micro-USB ports or something?
The Ripple comes with RGB lights built in.
Multiple effects are available and you can toggle through them using the remote.
I personally just keep them off because I feel like they make the board look too much like a toy. But many people like to add aftermarket RGB lights, and on the Ripple they’re already built in.
The board also comes with a pair of brake lights. They’re hidden under the tail but at night they’re more visible because of the translucent tail puck.
Who it’s for
Now let’s go over who I think this board is for and not for.
The Ripple is definitely not for any type of long distance ride because the battery is quite small.
It’s not for someone who’s looking for a comfortable ride because of the small wheel size and hub motors.
And it’s definitely not for off-roading or any kind of rough terrain.
The Ripple may be good for commuting to work or school, or between classes. That kind of depends on how far you have to ride, and what the terrain is like.
If there are a bunch of rough tiles, you’ll probably have to pick up the board. But if the roads are smooth, then it may be a fun commute and a mild workout at the same time.
If you already have a powerful long-range board where you ride with all the gear all the time like on a motorcycle, the Ripple may be good as a second board for those short casual rides.
When I ride the Ripple, I normally just put on gloves, and I keep the speed below 20 km/h.
The Ripple would be great if you want something as a last-mile vehicle. Like if you have to go to the bus station but the station’s too far to walk.
If you live in a crowded city where you have to pick up your board all the time, or your city or campus doesn’t allow skating, picking up a lightweight board feels so much better than lugging around a heavy board.
I can even stick the Ripple in my messenger bag, which is so much faster than packing it into any e-skate backpack.
And finally, the Ripple would be a great learning tool for someone who wants to ride regular skateboards and longboards.
On regular boards, you have to learn to balance, and push, and foot brake all at the same time. For many people, that’s an incredibly steep learning curve.
But with an electric skateboard, you can learn those things one at a time. You can learn to balance and start carving before you even learn to push and foot brake.
And because the agility of the Ripple is more similar to regular boards, it’s a better learning tool compared to most other electric skateboards which tend to be configured for higher speeds.
For those of us inside the e-skate bubble, it’s easy to forget that we are a very small minority, and what we want are oftentimes very different from what the average consumer wants.
Skateboarding is so omnipresent in pop culture that everybody would be skating if it weren’t so dangerous. Electric skateboarding, however, does not have the same appeal at all.
The biggest advantage of the skateboard form factor – compared to bicycles, scooters, cars, et cetera – is its portability. The biggest disadvantage is its versatility.
I understand that e-skate brands and customers want solutions for that disadvantage, but the problem I see is that many other forms of transportation are already versatile in ways that skateboards just can’t compete.
People outside of the e-skate bubble won’t choose skateboards to travel fast and far. Bikes, scooters, EUCs, motorcycles, cars – they’re all better vehicles for that.
And yet power and range are the only key selling points that most e-skate brands can come up with these days. And those key selling points, I believe, make electric skateboards less appealing to the people outside of our bubble – outside of our echo chamber.
Think about it. What are the biggest objections about electric skateboards that you frequently hear from people who don’t ride electric skateboards?
Number one: they’re so heavy. Even the LOU Board, which is one of the lightest electric skateboards at just 4.4 kg, surprises people with how heavy it is compared to regular skateboards that size.
And number two: these seem dangerous, I could die. And they’re not wrong – electric skateboards are dangerous. That’s part of the appeal for some people.
They’re more dangerous and more heavy today than they were a few years ago. And we wonder why e-skating isn’t more popular.
I’m not saying that powerful long-range boards shouldn’t exist, but I feel like we’ve come to a point where we have many options for those types of boards, and very few quality options for affordable lightweight boards that would be more accessible and more appealing to the general masses.
It’s unfortunate that most people who bought an electric skateboard probably bought one for a couple hundred dollars from a random brand on Amazon. And they probably think the terrible handling and the jerky controls are what the e-skate experience is like.
So I’m glad that Exway is offering a better option for those who would never spend more than a few hundred dollars on an electric skateboard. And I’m glad that the Ripple looks and feels so similar to a regular cruiser, which I think would be more appealing to people outside of the bubble.
I’m not sure how the Ripple will compete with the flood of random low-cost boards on Amazon, which I think will be its main competitors. I don’t think it’ll be easy, but I hope the Ripple does well and gets more people into e-skating.
The Tynee Mini 3 introduces a new feature to belt drive systems on electric shortboards, as well as an app for customizing board parameters. Tynee also released a Mini 3 Pro for ungodly power on a short electric skateboard.
I’ve tried both boards. Watch my video for my complete thoughts.
The Propel Endeavor is one of the most unique series of electric skateboards ever featured on my channel. And their latest model, the Endeavor 2 GT, has just been released.
What is the Propel Endeavor?
The Propel Endeavor is a series of off-road electric skateboards that first came out in 2021. Although various types of all-terrain boards existed long before the Endeavor came out, the unique implementation of its suspension system keeps its overall size relatively compact compared to other suspension boards on the market. Propel calls the system their “Urban Independent Suspension”.
Aesthetically, in my opinion, the Endeavor was the first suspension board that didn’t look like somebody’s DIY project. To my untrained eye, suspension boards before the Endeavor looked like Lego vehicles.
But more importantly, the Endeavor was – as far as I know – the first suspension electric skateboard to be priced as little as $1200. The Pro model was closer to $2000, which was still a terrific value for a suspension board with more than a kilowatt-hour of battery capacity.
What’s new in the Endeavor 2 series?
Roughly a year after the Endeavor came out, Propel released the Endeavor 2, also in an S and a Pro model. The Endeavor 2 is, for the most part, the same board but with improvements here and there based on customer feedback.
For example, my biggest gripe with the Endeavor 1 was how it didn’t turn well at low speeds. And not much could be done about it because different bushing options were not available at the time.
With the Endeavor 2, the board ships with softer bushings and now turns very well at any speed. Three different bushing options are now available, and the method for swapping them has become way easier.
Other improvements include precision hubs, upgraded springs, a repositioned antenna and charge port, and built-in ports for powering headlights.
And just recently, a new variant was announced: the Endeavor 2 GT.
What are the differences between the S, Pro, and GT?
In a moment, I’ll go through every part of the Endeavor 2 and explain the differences between the three models.
For those already familiar with the Endeavor 2: the GT uses the same battery as the Pro, but instead of the Flipsky ESC, it uses the LY-FOC. Headlights are included and can be switched on or off with the remote, and a brake light is built-in.
Now let’s go through the entire board.
The S, Pro, and GT are all the same size.
The overall length of the board is 1 meter long, which is slightly shorter than most 2-in-1 all-terrain boards.
The width, including the wheels, is 45 cm, roughly 50% wider than most 2-in-1 boards, and contributes to the board’s excellent stability.
As another point of reference, the dimensions are quite similar to the LaCroix Barrel.
The Pro and GT models use a carbon fiber deck, while the S model deck is made of a maple composite. The two decks are the same size, but not exactly the same shape, and are not interchangeable.
I’ve only used the carbon fiber deck, and it has a comfortable radial concave. There are finger wells on the sides of the deck to help with grabbing the board while riding.
While the board is 1 meter long overall, the deck is just 73 cm, and the standing area is a bit less than that.
Because of the way the suspension parts connect with the deck, I find the standing area to be a little more cramped than I prefer. It’s partly because I like to cruise with both feet angled forward instead of perpendicular to the deck.
For those with a particular fetish, foot bindings are available as a separate purchase.
The stock knobby tires are 8 inches or 200 mm in diameter and mounted on Propel’s precision alloy hubs. Propel claims on its website that these are the best-performing stock e-skate wheels. Slightly smaller street tires in 7 inches or 180 mm are available as a separate purchase.
For street use, I don’t really feel a difference between the two sizes, but you should get a bit more torque with the street tires. For off-roading, the knobbies would be more appropriate.
All three models use Propel’s Urban Independent Suspension system with adjustable coilover shocks and turning tensioners.
The shock absorbers dampen the impact of bumps and cracks. They also keep the wheels in contact with the ground on uneven terrain.
And the turning tensioners, I think, are similar to making your bushings tighter or looser on regular skate trucks. But don’t quote me on that – I could be totally wrong.
For regular street use, I don’t feel much difference in ride comfort between the Endeavor and boards using similar-sized wheels on skate trucks. But in off-road situations like grass or cobblestone, the difference is quite remarkable. Certain paths that were completely unrideable on the 2-in-1 boards become at least tolerable on the Endeavor.
There’s of course a limit to the types of terrain a board can handle. Generally speaking, bigger wheels and bigger suspensions can handle a bigger variety of terrain. The Endeavor’s off-roading capability sits somewhere between the 2-in-1 boards and the much bigger off-road boards like the Propel X4S.
At the same time, the dimensions of the Endeavor are closer to the 2-in-1 boards, allowing it to fit inside the trunk of a sedan.
The Pro and GT models are 18.5 kg, and the S is 17 kg.
To put that into context, most 2WD all-terrain boards are about 14 to 15 kg. The 4WD Exway Atlas Pro with belt drive is 17.7. So compared to the 2-in-1 boards, the Endeavor is at the upper end of the weight spectrum.
On the other hand, when compared to suspension boards, the Endeavor is similar in weight to the smallest Bajaboard, which is 18.3 kg.
And when compared to the Propel X4S, the Endeavor is much lighter and a lot more portable.
For myself though, the Endeavor is heavy enough to prevent it from being one of my frequently used boards. While my building has elevators, I still have a few stairs to deal with. And maneuvering such a heavy board through the hallways between my studio and the elevator is a bit of a chore.
If I were still living in suburbia and could just park the board inside a garage, then I suppose the weight wouldn’t be an issue at all. But for me, living in the inner city of Shanghai where I have to deal with stairs and avoid traffic police, I need my board to be very easy to pick up.
With that said, the majority of people who attend group rides in Shanghai have heavy boards. Misery loves company!
The Pro and GT models both use a 1080Wh battery, and the S uses 648. So the Pro and GT have about 1.7 times more battery capacity than the S.
I’ve tried the Endeavor 1 Pro and the Endeavor 2 GT. On both of them, I didn’t finish the range test because, well, a thousand Watt-hours is a lot.
But on both boards – riding on various terrains at a somewhat casual speed – based on my incomplete measurements, I roughly estimate I would get around 50 km. Your range could be a lot more or a lot less.
As always, a whole bunch of things affects range – and that’s especially true for a board that’s meant to be ridden off-road. But in most cases, I think you would get tired before the Pro or GT runs out of power.
The 648Wh of the S, however, is more on the modest side compared to most of today’s all-terrain boards. Assuming the same efficiency as the Pro and GT, the S would get me somewhere around 30 km.
The charger is rated for 5A, which is not bad but I definitely wouldn’t mind a more powerful charging option for a 25Ah battery. Charging the Pro or GT from empty to full would take over 5 hours, and the S would take over 3 hours.
The motors are the same on all three models, each with two 63 by 74 rotors. It’s a pretty standard size nowadays for all-terrain boards, and more powerful than most people would need.
And all three models use belt drive.
ESC & Remote
The speed controllers for all three models are different. The S uses a Lingyi ESC. The GT uses a more current Lingyi, the LY-FOC. And the Pro uses a Flipsky VESC-based ESC. All of them were customized for the Endeavor. I’ll explain what all this means for the layperson.
Lingyi is one of the two most popular manufacturers of speed controllers for electric skateboards, and their ESCs have a number of characteristics – both good and bad – that make them stand out.
One is the feature to turn on the board just by pushing it so you don’t have to press a power button on the board. You can press the button if you want, but that requires bending over – and that’s disgusting.
Another popular Lingyi feature is the ability to have the board stay in place on a gentle slope. Most electric skateboards using other ESCs actually cannot do this when you’re standing on it, even the ones with very strong brakes.
Lingyi controllers also allow the user to adjust brake strength right on the remote and without going into any settings menu.
But the one characteristic that stands out the most is that their throttle control sometimes feels jerky compared to Hobbywing and VESC-based ESCs.
Even with the LY-FOC on the GT, the third and fourth speed modes have a noticeable amount of jerk when you try to fine-tune your cruising speed.
While this probably wouldn’t be a dealbreaker for most people, it is a noticeable difference that’s worth pointing out.
The ESC also determines what remotes you’re able to use, as they’re not all interchangeable. For example, you can’t use the Endeavor Pro’s remote with the GT.
But you may be able to use other Lingyi remotes with the S and GT, which you may want to do at some point because of a couple of annoying things on the stock remotes.
The button labeled “Reverse” doesn’t actually put the board into reverse. You have to double-click the power button to go into reverse.
That doesn’t affect the ride at all once you figure out that the label is wrong. I just feel that a board that’s otherwise so well-polished – and priced at $1000 and up – shouldn’t have such a chabuduo mistake.
Imagine Sony or Apple or any other major consumer electronics brand putting the wrong label on a button. It just wouldn’t happen!
The Pro model uses a VESC-based ESC, which is ideal for DIY and RC hobbyists who want to tweak settings or make major customizations to their boards. It’s also for those who care a lot about having a smooth throttle control that you don’t get from Lingyi controllers.
The Pro model’s remote is the Flipsky VX2 Pro. It’s an ambidextrous remote with a color display. And when you pull back the control wheel at a full stop, the board goes into reverse without you having to press any button.
The remotes for all three models unfortunately use a Micro-USB charge port. Come on.
The final difference between the three models is the lighting. The GT is the only one with integrated headlights included and a built-in taillight.
The two headlights are 1800 lumens each, or 3600 lumens combined. That’s really bright. They can be turned on and off using the remote.
The taillight is a built-in brake light, and I appreciate that it looks like it was designed to be there from the start, as opposed to looking like an afterthought.
On the S and Pro models, the lights are optional add-ons.
The optional headlights look the same as the GT’s lights and are powered by the board’s battery, but they use a separate power switch instead of turning on and off using the remote.
The optional taillight is a separate unit with its own battery and does not look like the GT’s taillight. It does have a brake sensor though so it too works as a brake light.
Which one would I get?
Now that I’ve gone through the similarities and differences between the Endeavor 2 S, Pro, and GT, and how I feel about them, I hope I’ve helped you decide which one, if any, would be best for you. If you’ll be getting one, feel free to use my referral link and coupon code for a big discount.
If you’re still undecided and want to know which one I’d choose for myself, it would be the Pro or GT. And considering the price difference during the GT’s presale period, right now it would be the GT.
Even though I’m not someone who cares a lot about power and range, I do care about how I’ll bring a heavy board home when it runs out of power. This would not be an easy board to take on public transit, and I don’t think ride-share drivers would appreciate dirty tires in their trunks. With the bigger battery capacities of the Pro or GT, I would be far less likely to run out of power than with the S.
I like the smooth throttle control and the auto-reverse feature of the Pro, but I also like the smart turn-on and the integrated lights on the GT.
The GT model’s noticeable jerkiness in the third and fourth speed modes is a bit of a bummer, but it’s predictable and mild enough that I think I can just get used to it.
If they were the same price, it’d be a bit of a toss-up, and I hope future Propel boards would combine each model’s advantages into one model. But right now, with the presale discount, I’d choose the GT for sure.
Today we’re looking at the Meepo Hurricane Ultra all-terrain electric skateboard. There are several things I really like about it, and one thing I really dislike.
Like the original Hurricane, the Hurricane Ultra is really powerful – more powerful than most people would ever need. But exactly what are the differences between the Hurricane and Hurricane Ultra?
Honestly, I was quite confused about this because the Hurricane Ultra is not exactly an upgrade. Some might even consider the new battery a slight downgrade.
I think the difference is that with the Hurricane Ultra, you have more options to choose from, such as different decks, trucks, drivetrains, and wheels.
I’ll talk about the configuration that Meepo sent me, and also the options that are available.
The Hurricane Ultra that I have uses a flexible bamboo deck. The other deck option is the stiff carbon fiber deck, which is the same deck that’s on the original Hurricane.
Which one is better comes down to personal preference, but the carbon fiber deck seems to be 200 to 300 dollars more expensive, depending on what the sale is like.
The carbon fiber deck is very strong, and the battery is protected inside an aluminum shell. So if you think there’s a good chance that a car will drive over your board, you might want to consider the carbon fiber version.
On the other hand, if you prefer a flexible deck for a more comfortable ride, like if you’re riding over cobblestone, get the bamboo version.
I was pretty happy with this deck. Most, but not all, other all-terrain bamboo decks have hardly any concave. There are pros and cons to that. With a more shallow concave, your feet don’t get as tired on longer rides.
But I personally prefer being able to feel the edges of the deck with my feet at all times, so I prefer the more pronounced concave of this deck.
I would consider the flex to be a medium flex. It does flex noticeably, but it wasn’t too bouncy for me like certain other boards.
The grip tape is really grippy. It took me a while to get used to it.
The trucks on my Hurricane Ultra are all-terrain traditional kingpin trucks. They’re pretty similar to most other e-skate all-terrain TKP trucks on other brands.
Double kingpin trucks, like the ones on the original Hurricane, are still available as an option.
I prefer their TKP trucks, which are more stable at high speeds compared to DKP but sacrifice a little bit of turn radius at low speeds.
The wheels on my Hurricane Ultra are the 165 mm tubeless tires.
First of all, these hubs look really cool. I think they’re the best-looking parts of this board.
These tires are really wide compared to most other e-skate pneumatics. They are 72 mm wide and have a relatively flat contact patch. Most others are about 50 mm with a rounded contact patch.
With this flat and wide contact patch, the grip is incredible as you would expect. But compared to a more rounded and narrow contact patch, you get less ride comfort and also less range. So be aware of the tradeoffs when choosing wheels.
The other stock options are the 175 by 50 mm tires, and the 165 by 65 mm racing tires.
If comfort is your priority, go for the 175 mm tires. These are also more affordable than the other two options.
I imagine the racing tires would perform similarly to the tubeless tires. They are less wide, but still very wide.
On my Hurricane Ultra, I have Meepo’s new gear drive, which uses the same motors as the original Hurricane.
I’ll basically just read to you what Meepo wrote about their gear drive versus belt drive on their website.
According to Meepo, with their gear drive you get more torque.
There’s something about an exclusive buffer protection that protects the gears. I don’t know what that is.
It’s maintenance- and trouble-free, according to the webpage. Is it really maintenance-free? Or is it low maintenance?
Less sliding resistance, more smooth acceleration. I’m not totally sure what that’s referring to, but it’s probably about how a board with gear drive supposedly has less rolling resistance compared to belt drive.
I gotta say though, it did not feel that way to me. Every time I let go of the throttle, I feel like I’m thrown forward a little bit.
That might be because of the really wide tires creating more resistance. I’m really not sure. Even if that’s the case, I thought the ESC is supposed to smooth out the deceleration.
But anyway, for most of us, I think belt drive is already very low maintenance and very high torque. Belt drive is also a lot more customizable.
My opinion at the moment is that the only people who should get gear drive are people who ride in situations where stuff is always getting inside their belt drive system.
With gear drive, the gears are protected inside a sealed housing. To me, that’s the main selling point of gear drive. It’s also the one thing that Meepo doesn’t mention on their webpage.
The new battery is 691Wh made up of Samsung 40T cells in a 12S4P configuration. That’s about 5% less Watt-hours than the original Hurricane, which used a 726Wh pack made of Molicel P42A cells, also in 12S4P.
Aside from the 5% smaller capacity, the bigger downgrade is that the original P42A cells supposedly perform better in extreme temperatures. However, Samsung 40T is still a highly reputable battery cell.
Nowadays I don’t actually read too much into the battery cell model, and I’ll explain why in a future video. The only reason I mention it here is because I made a big deal about how great the P42A was in my original Meepo Hurricane video.
For the range, I got 31 km. I was about 79 kg with everything I was wearing. The weather was 8 ºC. And the tires were at about 30 psi.
As always, remember that many, many, many things affect range. Meepo’s website says 50 km, which is probably possible under the right conditions and with the right parts.
The speed controller of the Hurricane Ultra, the LY-FOC, is where I have very mixed feelings about this board.
In my Hurricane review, I said that the LY-FOC is getting pretty close to Hobbywing in terms of how smooth and intuitive the controls feel.
On my Hurricane Ultra, the board felt quite a bit more jerky to me, even in ride mode 3 out of 4. You can accelerate smoothly, but you have to be very gentle on the throttle compared to most other boards.
To be clear, this is not because powerful boards are naturally jerky. You can have a very powerful board with smooth and intuitive controls. You can also have a very weak board with jerky controls.
In this case, just like the Meepo Voyager, I feel like the ESC needs much better tuning.
And it’s not just the acceleration. As I said earlier, letting go of the throttle felt a little bit like braking.
The brakes actually feel totally fine – that’s different. It’s just that the board doesn’t coast as well as you would expect when letting go of the throttle.
Another quirk of this board is that the torque seems to really kick in at around 30 km/h. It’s like the mid-range torque felt stronger than the low-end torque. For people who like to ride at top speeds, maybe that’s a good thing.
For myself, my comfortable cruising speed is around 30 km/h, so I personally don’t like having so much torque there. But I’m also not sure if it was just the jerkiness affecting how I felt.
The jerkiness aside, I actually really like a couple of this ESC’s features.
I think push-to-turn-on is great.
Most other boards nowadays have some sort of standby or one-button turn-on feature, which is also great, but I feel like pushing the board to turn it on is at least a couple of seconds faster.
There’s another benefit of push-to-turn-on that I never thought about until I rode this board. At one point I think the board turned off by itself. But because the wheels were spinning, it turned itself back on right away.
I only know it turned off and on because I heard it beep, and also because the trip meter on the remote went back to zero.
Another feature I like is that the board can hold itself in place on a slope. Most boards actually cannot do this. Not having this feature is not a deal breaker at all – you just have to put down your foot – but it’s also very nice to have.
Who it’s for
The Hurricane Ultra comes with different part options for lots of different configurations.
If you frequently go off-roading, I suggest you get the bamboo deck with gear drive and the 17 5mm tires. DKP and TKP trucks are equally fine here.
If you want a board for racing or just riding very aggressively on asphalt, I suggest you get the carbon fiber deck and TKP trucks for better control. And for the wheels, get either the tubeless tires or the racing tires for extra grip. Gear drive and belt drive are both fine. With belt drive you’ll be able to change pulleys and use smaller wheels. With gear drive, you don’t have to replace belts.
If you want a board for just casually cruising around and carving, I would get the bamboo deck for more comfort. Either type of trucks are fine, but I personally prefer the TKP over the DKP. For casual riding, I don’t think you should waste the board’s energy with the wide contact patch wheels, so go for the 175 mm wheels. And go for belt drive so that you have more aftermarket wheel options.
And of course you can mix and match however you want depending on your own use case.
This board is of course not for people who want portability. My configuration, for example, with the bamboo deck, gear drive, TKP trucks, and the tubeless tires, weighs just over 17 kg. For context, that’s close to the weight of two Meepo Shuffles.
After I finished my range test on the Hurricane Ultra, I was really happy that I could go back to riding a different board. Because the Hurricane Ultra is not for people who care a lot about having a smooth and intuitive feeling throttle control.
I don’t want to make it sound worse than it is. If this is your only board, don’t worry about it. You’re probably used to it already. And the jerkiness is not nearly as bad as Meepo boards from 2017.
But at the same time, I haven’t been on another board in this category that felt this jerky.
So overall, pretty much everything on the Hurricane Ultra was great except for the jerky controls.
In this video, I’ll go through the pros and cons of Exway’s gear drive kit for the Atlas Pro electric skateboard. I’ll also answer the questions you guys asked me about it on Instagram.
Pro: the looks
Aesthetically, Exway’s gear drive kit looks awesome. I know this is a very superficial feature, but it is a legitimate selling point. Exway’s gear drive is not cheap, and visually it does look like money. The gearboxes, skid plates, motor cages and wheels all look very well designed. I think Exway has some of the best industrial designs among e-skate brands.
Con: not as versatile
The gear drive kit comes only as a kit, and you can’t buy the pieces separately, at least not from their website at this time. Even if you could, you can’t adjust the gear ratio with different size pulleys like you can with belt drive, and your wheel options are limited to the tires that are compatible with Exway’s Precision Hubs. If you want to use urethane street wheels, you can’t. There aren’t any adapters for small wheels, and the gearboxes are too big for small wheels anyway.
Pro: heavy duty
Exway’s gear drive is designed to take a beating. The CR-MOLY steel gears are enclosed in an alloy housing. The motors are protected in alloy cages. And replaceable skid plates come included. With belt drive, the belts and gears are vulnerable to pebbles and other debris getting inside, causing damage to the system or freezing up the drivetrain. One time I even had a surgical mask on the ground get sucked into a board’s belt drive and cause the board to suddenly stop. Stuff like that wouldn’t happen with Exway’s gear drive.
Exway’s gear drive is heavy duty, but it’s also just heavy. 4WD with belt drive was already 17.7 kg. 4WD in gear drive came out to 20.6 kg according to my scale. About 3 kg more than belt drive. With gear drive in 4WD, the board is still light enough to occasionally pick up and put in the trunk of a car, but it’s not something you’ll want to frequently carry up and down stairs, or even pull behind you in a subway station.
The motors in the gear drive kit remain the same as the belt drive kit, but the gear ratio is different. On belt drive, it was 14:56 or 1:4. And on gear drive, it’s 12:57 or 1:4.75. In other words, the gear drive is set up to have even more torque than the belt drive. So it’s really designed to use the 175mm knobby tires that it comes with, on grass or mud, or whatever else requires more torque. Big booties.
Con: lower top speed
Because it’s geared for higher torque, the top speed is lower. With belt drive, the top speed in the stock configuration is 60 km/h. With gear drive, the top speed drops to only… 53 km/h. Ok honestly, that’s still faster than I would ride on an electric skateboard on public roads. But for those of you who care about top speed on the Atlas Pro, technically you can go faster with belt drive, especially since you can trade torque for speed.
Pro: low maintenance
With belt drive, you can be sure that a belt is going to break at some point. You just don’t know when. Some people have belts break all the time. With gear drive, there are no belts. And for maintenance, generally you just add a bit of grease at regular intervals. Exway’s recommendation is every 2000 km. Depending on how far and how frequently you ride, 2000 km could be a very long time. For example, if you’re a casual user and ride about 40 km per week, that comes out to 2000 km after a full year.
Con: time-consuming maintenance
Even though gear drive should be low maintenance for most people, changing a broken belt on belt drive is actually really easy. You just take off a wheel and put on another belt. For gear drive, you add grease, and you do it for every gearbox. It’s not difficult, but neither is changing a single belt. And if something does get inside the gearbox or if you have to change out the grease for any reason, opening up the gearbox and scraping off the grease sounds like a pain in the butt. Especially if you have to do it four times on 4WD.
Now that I’ve gone through the pros and cons, hopefully I’ve given you a good idea of whether Exway’s gear drive is right for you.
Q & A
Now let’s go through some of the questions people sent me on Instagram. I’ll only go through the questions that weren’t answered in the pros and cons.
By the way, the questions were sent through my Instagram story, not by DM. Don’t send me a DM. I won’t see it.
Is it really worth $500?
Well the price is actually even more than that. But the answer to this question is of course going to be different for everyone. My advice is if it’ll be a financial burden for you, don’t even consider it.
Belt drive vs gear drive range?
All the electronics are the same, so if you use the same wheels and gear ratio, I’m guessing the range will be similar. Supposedly gear drive has less rolling resistance but it didn’t feel that way to me. In any case, I wouldn’t have range be the deciding factor for your purchase because I expect any difference to be marginal. But I have not done an actual comparison.
How well sealed is it from the elements? Does dirt get in?
It seems to be pretty well sealed. We rode the board in some conditions where I would generally avoid, including mud. With belt drive, I think I definitely would have had to clean stuff out of the system. I am curious about how well it would keep out sand because sand has a way of getting everywhere. But for keeping out stuff like small rocks and mud, it did really well so far.
Is it loud?
I’ve heard that gear drive is loud but these seemed to be about the same as belt drive to me. The noise is different for sure, but I didn’t feel like one was noticeable louder than the other.
Is it really more efficient like generally? Maintenance, cost, torque, drag, etc.
I think that depends on your use case. If you’re like me and you generally ride your board on streets and bike lanes, and you don’t go off-roading, and your belts hardly ever break, I think belt drive is the much better option. But if you frequently ride in conditions that could benefit from a sealed drive system, using the gear drive is probably better than having to clean out your belt drive system all the time.
How and what to lube with?
You would use gear grease. And you can squeeze it in using a syringe. I have not tried this myself. This is just what Exway told me. As for exactly what type of gear grease, that I don’t know. Electric skateboard gear drives have been around for years so hopefully someone with experience can leave a comment about that. Thanks in advance.
The installation was really easy. You just undo the kingpin nut, take off the belt drive hanger with everything attached, and unplug the motor cables. On the gear drive kit, everything is already attached to the hanger so you just put it on and plug in the motor cables.
Flex Pro compatible?
This is only for the Atlas Pro at the moment. I have no idea if they’ll make a smaller version for street boards.
How scraped is the bottom of the gear drive enclosure?
After some off-roading, it got pretty scraped up but there is a replaceable skid plate on each gearbox. It doesn’t completely protect the gearbox, as you can see here, but it does at least prevent the bottom of the gearbox from getting continually banged up.
How does the braking and acceleration feel?
Compared to belt drive, I didn’t feel a difference. Technically they should both be a little stronger on gear drive because of the different gear ratio, but without a big hill or a heavy rider, it’s a little hard for me to tell.
Is it easy to clean?
Well if you’re comparing to cleaning stuff off belts and pulleys on belt drive, then yes it’s easier to clean. I still have kind of a hard time cleaning the grip tape, but that’s a separate thing. See this is partly why I don’t like going off-roading.
That’s about it. I’m very new to gear drive so if you have additional info or any questions, feel free to leave a comment.
And if this video was informative, please give it a like.