I have the direct drive version of the Onsra Challenger. I have a lot to say about it. Let’s begin with the deck.
This deck is 90cm long and – I’ll measure the width and update later. Feels pretty wide. Since it’s a deck with a kicktail and without wheel cutouts, the entire top of the deck is available standing area. It feels huge.
Speaking of which, this is not a short board. If you only look at pictures of this board without anything next to it, it looks like a small cruiser, but it’s not. Just want to be clear about that. I have thoughts about its portability farther down this page.
The concave is a deep U-shape. It’s too much concave. Normally I’ll say it comes down to personal preference, but since this board gets wheelbite, you don’t benefit much from the added leverage from this deep concave.
It can be uncomfortable too if you can’t adapt your feet placement. I normally ride with both feet pointing sort of forward when I’m going straight, but on this board I need to point my front foot even more forward for it to not get uncomfortable.
This is different from the Exway Flex which also has deep concave but only at its wheel well flares. On the Flex, if your front foot is at a 45-degree angle, you can avoid those flares. On the Challenger you just have to point your foot forward more.
The kicktail is nice for pivoting movements and picking up the board. I don’t know if you can step on the tail to pick up the board on the belt drive version – I think the motors are in the way.
The deck is long enough that you can decide if you want to stand with your front foot closer to the front truck or with your back foot on the tail. Stand closer to the front for better carving control, or closer to the back to make frequent use of the tail.
The foam grip tape reduces road vibration a little.
The wheelbase is adjustable by a little bit. Seems like they could have added more adjustment options. There’s plenty of room in the front for more holes.
This board uses the same type of double kingpin trucks as most other electric skateboards that use double kingpin trucks – the bad kind. Or you can call it the normal kind, depending on how you feel about them.
Since this board gets wheelbite, you can’t make full use of the tight turn radius from the DKP trucks. All right let’s talk a little about that wheelbite.
There are a number of ways to get rid of or minimize the risk of wheelbite, and none of them are ideal on this board.
The first is to add risers, but this board is already quite high off the ground so I’d rather not do that.
The second is to use smaller wheels, but the direct drive motors are so big that they already scrape the ground in some situations with the stock 105mm Cloudwheels. The smaller the wheels you use, the more the motors will get knocked around.
The third is to use more restrictive bushings to limit the turn radius. The bushings are already 100A so you can’t go harder. But you can switch out the cone bushings for barrels and cup washers, right?
Wrong! Longboard barrel bushings won’t fit on the road side positions on these trucks, just like most other DKP trucks. In this case, the kingpins aren’t long enough. On some other trucks, cup washers won’t fit.
And the final solution is to just change the trucks, but that’s not a simple thing to do on an electric skateboard because of the motors.
What I ended up doing was changing the cone bushings to short barrels, and changing all the washers to precision cup washers. I still had to make the trucks very tight, but I managed to minimize the risk of wheelbite. I can still force it, but it’s not likely to happen in normal riding.
I think a simple design change could have minimized or eliminated the wheelbite: reverse kingpin trucks. With RKP trucks you have way more options for truck setups and can limit the turn radius pretty much as much as you need without resorting to over-compressing the bushings. There’s no need for double kingpin since you can’t take full advantage of the turn radius anyway.
To be fair, here’s Fabi demonstrating that wheelbite isn’t very likely on the stock setup.
The stock wheels are 105mm Cloudwheels. Compared to Onsra’s stock 115mm rubber wheels on the Black Carve 2, Cloudwheels are harder and louder, but still do a good job of absorbing road vibrations.
For comfort, Cloudwheels are already much better than normal urethane wheels. Cloudwheels also give you better range than the rubber wheels, but worse range than urethane wheels.
You can change all four wheels on direct drive boards, but on this one you can’t go larger because of wheelbite (not that you’d want to on this board). You can go a little smaller but just need to be aware that the motors would encounter more impacts.
On the belt drive version, I’m guessing you’d have more options for smaller wheels.
The battery is 432Wh, 21700 Samsung 50E, 12S2P, 10Ah. That’s quite a large battery for a board that doesn’t use pneumatic tires.
The battery charger is only 2.5A. To fully charge a 10Ah battery would take about 5 hours. A more powerful charger would be nice.
The direct drive motors are the same ones used on the original Black Carve. The motor diameter is 70mm. Expect the motor housings to get scratched up. That’s how it is with direct drive. They are very quiet.
For the belt drive version, I think the motors are the same smaller ones as on the original belt drive Black Carve, but I’m not sure so don’t quote me. They’re definitely smaller than the belt drive Black Carve 2’s motors.
Speed Controller & Remote
30A Hobbywing ESC, Hobbywing remote with telemetry display. My unit doesn’t have the standby feature but all units since June 4 should have it. Good, accurate, intuitive ESC and remote used by many many brands.
Speed & Brakes
The acceleration and brake performance are ok. I would prefer stronger brakes. Heavier riders may be impacted more and should probably go for the belt drive version.
I didn’t measure the top speed. Onsra claims 47 km/h with the 105mm Cloudwheels.
In my range test from 100% down to 10% battery I got 32 km on my watch and 36 km on the remote. That’s a bigger difference than I normally get. When I use different devices, they’re normally not off by more than around 2 km. My watch measurement is normally pretty consistent with other devices so let’s go with its 32 km.
90% of 432Wh is 389Wh. Divide that by 32 km and we get about 12 Wh/km for the efficiency. That’s better than I expected for Cloudwheels.
That was riding on mostly flat ground, speed mostly around 25 to 35 km/h, normal acceleration most of the time. My weight was 77 kg with everything. Weather was 31 ºC.
It’s a fairly good looking board. I don’t love the grip tape design, but it’s all right. Enclosure looks nice with that logo as part of the shape. The screw holes and design work well together. Matte black is nice.
I don’t really like the charge port cover but it’s good enough. At least it’s not difficult to access like on the Black Carve 2.
This is one of the least portable boards that I have. You’d think that a shorter board would be easier to carry, but again this isn’t a short board.
I’m 182 cm tall. If I carry this board by holding the front truck, the tail would scrape the ground. You can’t pull it the same way you pull most electric longboards. And because of the shorter wheelbase, you can’t comfortably pull it using the back truck either.
At places where I can’t ride (like the metro station), I just have to pick up the whole board. Onsra’s website says it’s 9.8 kg, so it’s noticeably heavier than most street boards which are around 8 kg nowadays. Carrying the board sucks on hot summer days.
On the belt drive version you can probably lift up and pull the motor guard since it sticks out in the back, but I’m not sure.
I think this board is for people who want both a kicktail and long range. Most kicktail boards are short, and short boards have short range. Well this one is both long range and has a tail. Not the first electric skateboard like this, but it’s uncommon.
The wheelbite issue should have been resolved before going into production though, imho. Some people might be able to tolerate it, because wheelbite is just one of those things you deal with in skateboarding. And it really only happens at very low speeds, like walking speed. You’re never going to turn that sharply at cruising speed. But on the other hand, none of my other boards get wheelbite this easily in stock setup.
Fabian says he’s trying to have 2-year warranty worldwide, which would be awesome, assuming the warranty is handled well.
Anyway watch my video – I share more thoughts in there.
I have discounts if you decide to buy this board.