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.