I have a lot of electric skateboards and people often ask me which one is my favorite. My answer is the answer that everyone hates: it depends. But if we’re talking about which one I use the most, it’s the Exway Wave, and normally with the 99Wh travel battery option.
For me, as someone who lives in a crowded and flat city (Shanghai), the Wave is the most practical and convenient electric skateboard that I own. It’s lightweight and easy to pick up, and I have to pick up the board a lot for stairs, public transit, traffic police, etc. The 99Wh travel battery is slightly smaller and lighter than the standard 180Wh, so I actually use the travel battery more often.
Going the (short) distance
Even though the travel battery offers less range, it’s more than enough for my most frequent use case: riding from home to work. My studio is 5.5 km (3.4 mi) from my home, so the 99Wh battery is actually enough for a round trip ride, though just barely. (More about that later.)
But normally I actually take the subway since I live right across the street from a station. I would carry the Wave and walk to the station, ride the subway, and then ride the Wave the remaining 1.1 km (0.7 mi) to the studio. If I were to ride that way to work five times a week, I’d only have to recharge twice a week. (I actually recharge even less than that since I don’t always take a board, and sometimes take a different board, and I work from home a lot.)
I can get anywhere from 9 to 11 km on the travel battery from full to empty. That’s pretty good for such a small battery and my weight (about 75 kg or 165 lb). I can get that distance because I ride slow on this board, like 15 to 20 km/h (9 to 12 mph). And I ride slow because I don’t normally wear any protective gear on these short trips.
Grab and go
I know, I know… Safety first and all that, but I see riding slow for a short distance without gear as a reasonable amount of risk to take. I mean I also don’t wear protective gear when just cruising on a regular longboard or bicycle. (For reference, walking is about 5 km/h and sprinting is about 20 km/h and up.)
For longer and/or faster rides, I would definitely wear protective gear. And for those rides, I don’t use the Wave. The Wave is my convenient grab-and-go board for last-mile commutes, going somewhere that’s too far to walk but too close to drive, and meeting people without putting on a bunch of armor.
Can’t I do that with other shortboards that are just as portable? Sure, but there are a number of reasons I prefer the Wave.
Board with benefits
The Wave has the nicest swappable battery system I’ve seen on electric skateboards. (The Revel kit’s swappable design is quite nice too.) Most electric skateboards that claim to have swappable batteries actually require you to undo six screws and unplug one or two cables. On the Wave, you just push a button while sliding out the battery. No tools required and takes just seconds to swap a battery. It’s sometimes a little difficult to get the battery to actually detach but it works well enough and feels very secure.
The Wave is air travel-friendly. Most electric skateboards cannot board passenger airplanes due to their battery capacities being too high. Some airlines allow up to 160Wh, and all allow up to 100Wh, so the Wave’s 99Wh travel battery is compliant for all airlines. Motorized vehicles are generally not allowed on planes but if you take it apart, it’s no longer a vehicle. With the front truck hanger detached, the Wave fits inside my checked baggage.
The Wave has a built-in brake light and optional headlights, both powered by the board’s battery and controlled by the board’s remote. The brake light also has customizable RGB options for those who care about that. I can’t think of another shortboard with integrated lights like these.
The final reason I prefer the Wave is simply that it’s better looking and better made than most other electric shortboards. At the moment, I can think of one other e-shortboard that is arguably as good looking but it’s only available with hub motors and it doesn’t have any of those features mentioned above. The Wave’s feature set is actually quite unique.
Right for you?
The Exway Wave certainly isn’t for everyone. If you live in a hilly area or you’re very heavy, or you want a very powerful and torquey shortboard, it’s probably not for you. If you’ve never skated before, I also don’t suggest learning with this one unless portability is very important to you. If you need long range, this isn’t for you.
I have different boards for different purposes and the Wave is the most convenient eskate for my short rides, making it the eskate I use more frequently than any other. And it’s the only electric skateboard I bring when I travel by air. (I’m actually writing this article in California and brought the Wave with me from Shanghai.) If you have similar use cases, definitely consider the Wave.
If you’d like to get one, feel free to use my referral code
DKWAN at Exway’s website to save some money. I have referral accounts with most of the major eskate brands and earn a small commission when you buy through my links. Thanks!