As a 41-year-old guy with zero boarding experience I’m hoping you can give me some advice for myself as well as the board itself.
Here are some steps I suggest for a complete beginner:
Get a helmet that fits well. If you buy online, check the return policy in case it doesn’t fit well.
Watch some YouTube videos on how to ride a longboard so you learn foot placement and weight distribution, etc. (I should probably make a video on this.)
Practice riding slowly – slower than you can run. Take as long as you need. You might find that you need to work out your legs more.
Before you start riding faster than you can run, I suggest getting gloves, elbow pads, knee pads, and maybe even hip pads, and practice falling with them. Start by just standing on the ground and touching the ground with your hands, and then rolling on the ground. Getting familiar with how it feels to be on the ground helps a lot. I’m 39, I normally wear all the pads (except hip pads) if I’ll be riding faster than I run.
Understand that falling is a normal part of skating. You’ll fall at some point so practice and ride accordingly!
For maintenance and other tips, I suggest watching the videos in this playlist:
Shanghai – and possibly all of China – doesn’t allow personal electric vehicles to be used on public roads, and not even sidewalks. The enforcement of that rule varies a lot. Sometimes the traffic cops ignore me, sometimes I get a warning, sometimes I get fined. Yesterday was the first time they took away the board. It was the Exway Atlas during my 2WD street wheels range test.
The officers told me I need to go to a police station on Monday to get the board back. Sounds simple enough. That means I have to postpone the big comparison shoot I had planned for Monday. The problem is that while the board is confiscated, it will likely be kept outdoor along with the confiscated cars and scooters – and the next couple days will be raining.
That is a huge problem. Electric skateboards and other PEVs (and most electronics in general) should not be left out in the rain, even if they claim to have some kind of IP rating. Water finds its way into places if you give it enough opportunity.
Best case: some replaceable parts get rusty. Worse case: something gets corroded and the board loses performance or fails. Even worse: the board catches on fire while charging or riding. And the very worst case: everything seems fine but weeks later the board starts shooting flames at home while unattended.
When I go get the board back, I’ll find out if it was left outside in the rain. If so, I’ll have to take everything apart as much as I can and carefully inspect them. Sigh.
Yesterday I measured the range on my pre-production Exway Atlas in 2WD configuration with the stock 160mm all-terrain wheels and 56T pulleys. Remember, lots of things affect range so please read through the ride conditions. This post isn’t a full review. This is only covering my recent range test.
This test was performed with the original 518 Wh battery with 12S4P 18650 Samsung 30Q cells. Due to a shortage of 18650 cells, the Atlas has switched to using 21700 cells in 12S3P, and still 518 Wh. The performance of the new battery is expected to be similar.
I rode from 98% battery down to 8%. My unit has an issue with the BMS or something so it wouldn’t let me charge to 100%. At 8% the board stopped letting me accelerate but I could still brake – this is normal on Exway boards.
For this test I was riding in speed mode 3 the entire time. (Mode 4 is the highest.) I would expect lower range in mode 4 and higher range in mode 2. The acceleration and brake strengths were set to max in the app.
About half of my ride was in full throttle, which was limited to 34 km/h (21 mph) in mode 3. (Mode 4 gets me to 43 km/h or 27 mph.) The other half was in slower traffic with more stops and starts. I carved a bit but was mostly riding straight. The terrain was mostly flat asphalt roads with some gentle slopes on bridges.
My weight was about 74 kg and the weather was an unusually warm 24º C (75º F). Shanghai sometimes gets warm and humid right before a bout of rain.
On Exway’s app, which measures speed and distance based on the numbers you enter for the wheel size and gearing, I got 32.2 km (20.0 miles). On the Ride app, I got 30.9 km (19.2 miles). Exway’s website claims 30 km for 2WD all-terrain but doesn’t state the ride conditions. I was a bit surprised but pleased to see that my numbers are close to their claim.
Again note that this range test was on the 160mm all-terrain wheels and 56T pulleys, which are what most buyers will use since those are the stock parts.
Atlas 2WD’s 2-in-1 combo includes 90mm urethane wheels with 36T pulleys, which Exway’s website claims would get up to 54 km (33.6 miles). Exway also sells separately wheels in 85mm and 80mm, and pulleys in 26T and 44T, so you can further fine tune the board’s performance.
If you plan on getting an Exway Atlas, don’t miss my special deal: $30 off, plus a pack of stickers, plus a $25 DFFECTIVE gift card! Using my offer also helps me earn a little commission.
I recently got the pre-production Exway Atlas back from Exway after they installed the bigger final motors and changed a couple other things. I wrote down some thoughts which I was going to post on Instagram, but if I write anything about Atlas there I’ll be asked a bunch of questions that I don’t know the answers to yet. So I’m posting here instead.
Atlas! I had a blast with 2WD and Turbo! This is the first board with double kingpin trucks and all-terrain wheels that I’m comfortable riding at over 40 km/h. Didn’t tighten the trucks or anything. At one point I hit a bump that would have caused a more violent wobble on another DKP AT board but instead Atlas just swayed a bit and straightened out.
This was 2WD with 160mm wheels and 56T pulleys, and the bigger final motors. Unweighted top speed shows 46 km/h on the remote and I topped out at 43 km/h. I was 77 kg during the ride.
Used up 60% of the battery and rode 21 km, so a depleted battery would have been about 35 km (100 * 21 / 60). I know that’s not the best way to estimate range – I’ll range test another time.
First half of the ride was in mode 3, doing some carving. Second half was in mode 4 with Turbo and being a slight dick to cyclists and other motorists. Sorry but I had half a cup of coffee this morning and I’m not a coffee drinker. I wanted to see how fast I could go and how fast I could corner, so lots of hard brakes and hard acceleration (during second half of ride).
I generally don’t like DKP trucks for more aggressive rides but Atlas’s trucks are a surprising exception. And these pre-production trucks aren’t even CNC machined yet – the bushing seats look all lumpy – but I feel they perform well anyway.
For those who want DKP trucks for low speed carving, I think some people may feel like they need to change the bushings to softer ones or cones. No biggy, that’s really easy to do. For me the stock setup is just right.
Get $215 off the Exway Atlas, plus a pack of stickers, plus a gift card!
Q: I’m planning on purchasing an Exway board later this month. I’m just split between the Flex or the Wave. I work 4 miles away from my house so it’d be an 8 mile commute total. My town is pretty good for skating. I’m just not sure which one would fit my needs better.
A: 8 miles roundtrip should be doable on both boards if you’re under 200 lb and have no hills. (This may be useful.) Otherwise I suggest just charging the board at work. As for Flex or Wave, I personally find the Wave to be more convenient and I use it more than other boards. But I like carving more on the Flex, though the stock bushings are a bit hard for me.
Q: I recently purchased a meepo v3. I was only able to ride it twice until I had to pack into a non-climate controlled storage in December. I made the mistake of packing it away with fully charged batteries. Unfortunately, I won’t have access to it until March or April due to Army stuff. Do you think it will be fine when I’m finally able to unpack it and ride it again?
A: For a Li-ion battery, you can assume roughly 20% loss of battery capacity per year if stored at full charge in room temperature. In low temperature the degradation should happen more slowly. If your electric skateboard will be left unused for more than a week, try to store it at around 50% charge, preferably in cool temperature. Best to double check with your board’s manufacturer.
Q: I seem to remember that in a comparison video you made between Zealot and Flex, you said that on Zealot, due to the shape of the deck, the 120mm wheels are not good because they would touch the deck when cornering, right? Do you generally think that 120mm ones make riding on rough roads much more comfortable than 105mm ones or does it change little?
A: I don’t feel like the 120mm Cloudwheel is much more comfortable than the 105mm size. The 105 size is lighter and has slightly more contact patch, so personally I would prefer that one. I would only choose the 120 size if I were to put it on a board that could use some extra ground clearance.
Exway has started taking pre-orders for their highly anticipated Exway Atlas. I went through their product info page as soon as it was live and recorded my thoughts in the video above. I don’t have a sample board yet but I will be reviewing it soon.
Ready to buy?
If you’re set to buy one already, you can use my referral discount to save $165. When checking out at Exway’s website, enter two discount codes: DKWAN and EXWAYATLAS150.
If you have any trouble getting the discount, please contact me.
Exway has released some teaser content for the upcoming Atlas all-terrain electric skateboard. With these photos and video they’ve essentially confirmed that there will be a 4WD version. I think I can mention that there will be a 2WD version as well.
Smart placements for the ShredLights as they’d always light up where the wheels are pointed. Imagine a pair of SL-1000s on there. Blind everyone heehee.
By the way check out my discounts page for the best deals on ShredLights, Exway boards, and more!