Raith Rocket Review

Made by Raith, the company that set the world record for the fastest electric skateboard, the Rocket is the lower-specced, consumer-friendly version of their record-setting board.

But what made this the board I’d been most interested in covering over the past few months are its unique remote controller, its tiny direct drive motors, and its weight of just 7 kg.

Let’s talk about those things first before we move on to the specs and performance. And then I’ll get into who I think this board is for and not for.

Knuckle Duster

This remote, which Raith calls their knuckle duster, is the most unique remote I’ve seen for an electric skateboard. The way it’s designed allows for the use of longboard gloves with slide pucks.

But this design also adds a lot of convenience to using an electric skateboard because it frees up your hand to hold other stuff while the remote remains on your hand. Let me give you some examples of situations where you normally have to first turn off your remote and put it away before you can do something else.

If you pick up your board with your right hand, you can do so without having to remove your remote.

If you’re getting a drink at a convenience store, you can grab the drink while the remote is still on your hand.

If you’re fiddling with your selfie stick, or camera, or phone, the remote doesn’t get in the way.

It’s a small but not insignificant feature, kind of like keyless entry for a car. You don’t need it, but it makes your life more convenient.

I don’t think convenience was even the original intent for this design. The founder of Raith is a downhill skater so it makes sense that he’d want a remote that’s compatible with slide pucks. I myself have tried various ways in the past to use a remote and puck at the same time.

And yes, I did try doing glove-down slides on this board with this knuckle duster remote, but I failed. I haven’t done this kind of stuff in a long time, ok?

This remote does have some downsides though compared to most other e-board remotes available today.

Even though the guts of the remote is a Flipsky VX1, there’s no display to show you basic info like your speed and odometer.

When you do need to put away the remote, it’s quite bulky so it may not fit well in your pant pocket.

And finally, the control wheel on this remote came off on one of my first few rides, and I had to glue it back on. It was a very easy fix, but I think it’s still worth noting because this has never happened to me with other remotes.

So be aware of the pros and cons of this remote, because it is quite different from others that you may have used.

Compact Motors

Raith’s electric skateboards use direct drive motors. It’s not a new concept, but these are the most compact and discreet direct drive motors I’ve seen on an electric skateboard.

Aside from the size, there are also other major differences.

The stator inside each motor is exposed. According to Raine, the founder of Raith, this is to promote cooling. The obvious concern here is that dust and debris may eventually get inside and cause problems but there hasn’t been an issue so far. And even if something like a small pebble does get inside, the rotor can be removed quite easily so you can clear out whatever gets in.

Compared to other direct drive boards I’ve used, swapping the drive wheels on this board is not nearly as convenient. On other boards, you normally just take off the axle nut and pull off the wheel.

But on the Raith Rocket, after you take off the axle nut, you need to remove the wheel and the rotor together. Once they’re removed, you then need to unscrew five screws that hold this plate on the outside of the core before you can detach the wheel. And that was me just winging it. If you follow the recommended procedure from Raith, there are even more steps involved.

Some of this complexity I suppose is to maintain wheel balance. It’s tedious enough that I don’t think I’ll be changing wheels very often. The stock wheels are actually fantastic so I don’t mind using them anyway.


About the aesthetics – there are things I love about how this board looks, but there are also parts that look kind of makeshift compared to most other production boards.

This deck is quite unique in how it was manufactured. In Raine’s own words, it’s a laminated bamboo and fiberglass block that’s then CNC-machined. The advantage to this, I think, is mostly just aesthetic. But it does look very nice.

I feel that too many e-skate brands lately are going for that dystopian cyberpunk look – which is cool too. I mean if you have a room dedicated to gaming with RGB lights and stuff, then I guess that cyberpunk look may suit you.

But if you like the look of natural materials, or a more minimalist and zen look, I think the Raith Rocket fits very well and can double as home decor when you’re not riding.

While I love the overall look, some parts look a bit jank up close. I won’t get into it. You can see for yourself in the footage. Raith is sending over longer cable sleeves to hide these wires. But still, for the price of this board, I feel that details like this could be done better.

If you care about aesthetics, I should also mention that both tips of the kicktail have chipped off within the first few rides.

Finally, the griptape. This board uses clear griptape which I personally have not had great experience with on another board. Any little bit of dust or imperfection on your deck before applying the griptape is going to create a visible air pocket.

At least that’s been my experience, and that seems to be what happened on this board as well. I think it doesn’t look terrible, or I’ve gotten used to it. But still, it doesn’t look at all like what you see on the website.

So overall, I like the look. But lots of room for improvement.


Let me quickly address the weight of the Raith Rocket before moving on to the specs.

If you’ve never owned an electric skateboard before, you might not be aware of how much the weight affects its portability.

For context, the weight of a non-electric complete longboard is normally around 3 to 4 kg, or 7 to 9 pounds.

They’re very easy to pick up and bring with you in and out of buildings, up and down stairs, on and off public transit, et cetera – things you can’t do as well with bicycles, for example, and not at all with cars.

This level of portability is the major advantage of the skateboard form factor compared to most other types of vehicles.

This advantage applies to electric skateboards as well. But because there’s such a huge variance in weight for e-boards – anywhere from around 5 kg to over 20 – some boards are way more portable than others.

The Raith Rocket is just 7 kg which is by today’s standard very lightweight for an electric skateboard. And because of its light weight, it is now one of the boards I use most frequently.

I have many boards that are much heavier and they have advantages like better comfort, better range, and better off-roading capability. And honestly, I hardly ever use them because when I need comfort or range or off-road capability, the electric skateboard is not the type of vehicle I would choose.

Let’s be real. An electric skateboard is just not the ideal tool for certain scenarios, no matter how much battery or how much suspension or how many inches of tire you cram onto them.

But few other motor vehicles can compete with a compact and lightweight e-board in portability. This extreme portability is the superpower of the skateboard form factor, and you get it with a board like the Raith Rocket.


Let’s now finally get to the specs.


The deck length is about 31 inches or 780 mm. The width at the widest point is about 9.5 inches or 240 mm.

The concave is flat in the middle and curves up quite aggressively at the sides.

The axle-to-axle wheelbase is just under 23 inches or about 580 mm.

Compared to most popular electric shortboards, the Raith Rocket is similar in size. When riding, it feels a little larger because of the mostly flat concave.

It is a stiff unibody cruiser deck with the battery and ESC hidden inside.


The front truck is a 180 mm Paris V3 with a 50-degree baseplate.

The rear truck is Raith’s own truck – to accommodate the direct drive motors – with a 42-degree baseplate for more stability.

All four of the stock bushings are 88 Wheel Co’s 90A Gummies.

Three of the four bushings use cup washers. The rear boardside uses no washer. I asked about that and was told it didn’t need one.

The stock setup felt loose to me in the back, so I changed the rear boardside bushing to a 95A, also from 88 Wheels. This change alone made a big enough difference for me.


The stock wheels are the fantastic Maveric Pros from 88 Wheel Co. They are 80 mm in diameter with a very wide 66 mm contact patch. The durometer is a soft and grippy 74A.

Even with the very soft durometer, the urethane on these wheels don’t have a tendency to fall apart, unlike wheels from a certain other well-known brand.

80 mm for an e-board wheel is considered quite small, but because of the wide contact patch and soft urethane, I consider these wheels more than adequate for everyday use.

Keep in mind though I am someone who normally uses wheels around this size, so I’m pretty used to them. If you’re used to larger wheels, I suggest that you at least spend some time on these before trying something else.

If you still decide to use larger wheels, you’ll have to use risers. The stock setup can already get wheelbite when making sharp turns at low speeds. I got around this by tightening the trucks a little more than usual.

Even with tighter trucks, I can see that I still got bite from the back wheels, but I didn’t actually feel them while riding.

Wheelbite at low speeds is a somewhat common thing on top-mount boards. As long as you’re aware of it, you can generally take steps to avoid it.

Raith did mention that the deck will have wheel wells in the future. Wish they had them in this one, but oh well.


The battery is a 148Wh LiPo in an 8S1P configuration. That’s relatively small by today’s standard but the range was surprisingly good. I’ll get to that in a moment.

The board comes with a 5A charger which charges the board from near-empty to full in about 1 hour. I did it twice and both times they were about 60 minutes, which is pretty fast.

And when charging’s finished, the charger beeps loudly to remind you to unplug the cable. Not sure I like that feature but some of you might.

The charger is relatively small and has a cooling fan, but it’s not loud at all.

The ESC is a Flipsky V4 without a Bluetooth module.

The motors are sensorless but they use HFI for sensorless start. Sensorless motors are extremely rare on electric skateboards. You see them more on e-scooters and e-bikes.

When the motors are sensorless and use HFI, they behave sort of like sensored motors and let you accelerate from zero. It’s a workaround so that you don’t have to push before you throttle up.

When you throttle up from a standstill, there’s this high pitch noise for a few seconds until you pick up speed.

And if you go from zero straight to full throttle, the motors kind of stutter a bit like they’re struggling before they accelerate smoothly.

When I tried this on an incline, the motors just kept on stuttering and wouldn’t accelerate. This also happened on level ground when the battery was low. I’m about 72 kg, so if you’re much heavier than me, you might need to expect to push before you throttle up.

The board has smart reverse. When you pull the throttle back at a full stop, the board very slowly moves backward.

There’s no standby mode but the board turns on just by pushing it, so you don’t have to bend over.

For those of you living in very cold climates, there’s a quirk or a feature that you should be aware of. At 5 degrees Celsius or below, the board will beep loudly to warn you not to ride or charge the battery if you try to do either. And at 0 degrees Celsius, the board won’t let you accelerate.

Shanghai was pretty cold when I received this board so I had to wait for the weather to warm up a little before the board would let me ride.


I did a range test twice on this board and both times they were better than I expected.

In my first test, I was about 75 kg with gear and rode in 7-degree Celsius weather. I was expecting to get a little under 14 km, but I got 16.6.

I was riding a little slow though because of city traffic, so I tested again a few days later. This time I rode in 14-degree Celsius weather and away from the city center. I was riding at top speed at least half the time and got 14.7 km, which was still better than I expected for this board’s specs.

In both tests, I stopped measuring when the board’s acceleration became significantly slower than pushing.

And as I mentioned earlier, charging the board back to full took about 60 minutes both times. So after a quick meal and some doomscrolling, I was good to go again.


The acceleration is ok – not slow, but not very quick either compared to many boards nowadays. This is one of the few boards I’ve tried in recent years where I can comfortably go from zero to top speed at full throttle. If you’re lighter than me, then it should feel a little faster. If you’re heavier, then slower.

The top speed is one of the lowest out of all the boards I’ve covered. The website claims 40 km/h, but I only got 33. I tested multiple times at full battery and that was the highest I ever got, according to my GPS app.

At about 50 percent battery, the top speed dropped to about 30 km/h. And it gradually went down as the battery was depleted.

I’m personally ok with the 33 km/h speed. On a shortboard, I hardly ever go faster than that anyway. And in the city, I’m normally at around 25 or even lower, depending on traffic and how much protection I’m wearing.

For context, when you’re just cruising and chilling on a regular longboard or cruiser, your speed would be well under 20. So if you’re just looking for that type of experience, minus having to push, this board has more than enough speed.

But on the other hand, not many e-boards today have a top speed of less than 40 km/h.

The brakes for the most part felt on par with other boards that have decent brakes. Slowing down from a high speed felt perfectly fine.

At very low speeds, however, the brakes felt weak – like almost nonexistent. This is probably something that can be tweaked if you mess around in VESC Tool. But for most people, just be ready to put your foot down to stop if you’re riding in very slow stop-and-go traffic.

Final Thoughts

The Raith Rocket is for people who want not just a lightweight e-board for their everyday short-distance rides, but a board that has the look and feel of a traditional cruiser.

The problem with many lightweight boards today is that they are just cheaply made counterparts of heavier boards with zero innovation, oftentimes using previous-gen components.

The Raith Rocket, however, has a number of things I haven’t seen before from other boards.

Their remote design allowing you to use slide pucks or hold other stuff is a meaningful quality-of-life feature.

Their compact direct drive motors are not only discreet but apparently highly efficient.

And their CNC-machined, unibody bamboo deck is quite attractive, though imperfect.

I’ve literally been told by the cofounder of a different brand that there’s not much else to improve in electric skateboards, a sentiment that is undoubtedly shared by many e-skate manufacturers. Very few brands are innovating. And the rest are just copying, or making giant boards that – to anyone who’s not an enthusiast – can’t compete with e-bikes. So it’s refreshing to see a board like the Raith Rocket where there’s actually something new and useful on a lightweight electric skateboard.

This board however may be out of budget for many people. At $1299, it’s clearly for a demographic that is not very price-sensitive – people who don’t mind spending more for its unique features and can overlook its modest performance.

Personally, if this board were more polished and didn’t come with its various quality issues, I would be ok with the price despite its lower specs. It was obviously not made for the occasional 50 km group ride, but for the everyday stuff that could benefit from using this kind of portable transportation.

The worst deal is getting a board that just ends up collecting dust, which is what happens to most of my boards. But I happen to know that this board, being lightweight, convenient, and attractive, is very much the kind of board that I would use regularly and get my money’s worth.