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Onsra Black Carve 2 Review

Let’s just jump into it!

Deck

The deck is about 100cm long, which is 6cm longer than the original Onsra Black Carve. Compared to other boards in the same category, it’s one of the longer ones. The amount of room to stand felt comfortable for me (182 cm).

The shape of the concave is quite nice. Like most other boards in this category, the concave is rather gentle, but it’s not just a shallow U-shape. There’s a bit more shape to it so you know where your feet are.

Drop-through mounted, slight drop-down. Foam grip tape that isn’t too grippy. Overall I like it.

Trucks

These are the same shitty double kingpin trucks used by many other brands. They’re shitty because you must compress the bushings a whole lot to ride at a decent speed without the board being too squirrely, even with all the bushings being 100A duro.

You can’t just change to using all barrel bushings with cup washers because that kind of setup won’t fit. These trucks were designed to use a barrel and cone on each kingpin. The only way to fit a barrel and barrel is to use a short barrel on the road side, which isn’t really better than a taller cone.

These trucks aren’t better or worse than most of the other double kingpin trucks out there.

Wheels

The stock wheels come in two options: 150 mm pneumatic tires and 115mm 74A rubber. They are both very comfortable. Obviously the bigger wheels can roll over more stuff but the rubber wheels also eat up a lot of road vibration.

In my range test the rubber wheels used about 15 Wh/km. For me that’s somewhere between Cloudwheels and pneumatic tires. These are much softer than Cloudwheels by the way. They’ll also wear down faster.

I didn’t range test with the pneumatics but they likely would have used about 17 Wh/km under the same conditions.

Battery

The battery is 648Wh, 21700 Samsung 50E, 12S3P, 15Ah. Some people have commented online that this battery cell would have a lot of battery sag. I didn’t experience noticeable sag until the battery was close to empty. Others have said these cells will degrade quickly. We’ll have to see I guess.

The battery charger is only 2.5A. To charge a 15Ah battery would take about 7 hours, which seems kind of excessive. A more powerful charger would be nice.

Motors

Dongxingwei 6368 motors, 170Kv, 2200W each. Those are Onsra’s claims. Other brands (Ownboard, WowGo, Verreal) that use Dongxingwei 6368 motors claim 1500W each. I don’t know if they’re different motors or were just measured differently.

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

Just based on feeling, it didn’t feel particularly faster or slower than most of its direct competitors.

I didn’t measure the top speed. Onsra claims 48 km/h with the rubber wheels, 46 km/h with the pneumatic tires. (Note that they use different pulleys.)

Brakes felt fine – again more or less like most of the direct competitors.

Range

In my range test I got 38 km when I rode down to about 10% battery (the remote gave me a 10% warning). That was with the rubber wheels, riding on mostly flat ground, speed around 25 to 35 km/h, normal acceleration most of the time. My weight was 78 kg with everything. Weather was 24 ºC.

Appearance

In terms of aesthetics, I think this board looks better than most of the direct competitors. I don’t feel like going into details but basically I like the look of the deck.

The shape of the enclosure looks all right. I like the shape of the original Black Carve’s enclosure more actually, but I like the matte finish of this one more. There are some imperfections at some of the screw holes though, like they look kind of chipped.

Anyway blah blah, said I won’t go into details. But I do want to point out one thing: zip ties. WTF. I mean, zip ties are great, just like duct tape is great, but they’re cheap solutions for something that’s supposed to be a premium product.

That battery port cover is annoying too. Somewhat difficult to push in, and looks cheap. Works fine though.

Worth Noting

I went on a downhill practice session with a friend and took this board along to get back up the hill after each run.

I changed the wheels to Boa Constrictors 100mm 83A. I would have liked to use smaller wheels but all of my wheels that use the Kegel core are 85mm or smaller in diameter, which is a bit small for the stock 45T pulleys.

My friend and I would take turns riding down the 0.8 km slope using our own longboards while the other person followed on the Onsra. Then we would both get back up the hill on the Onsra.

Myself, plus my friend (a small woman), plus our gear and two longboards, in total probably weighed about 130 kg. I think the slope on average was about 7 degrees, and we were able to do this for 15 runs before the battery gave up so that was about 12 km.

But the range is not my point – there were too many variables to make that a useful range test. The useful info I got was the power sag. The speed going uphill with all that weight remained consistent until the last couple of runs when the sag became very noticeable. So like I wrote earlier, I didn’t experience noticeable sag until the battery was near empty.

Side note: going down the hill on the Onsra – and probably most electric skateboards – was scary because brakes aren’t nearly as effective on a downhill slope as on flat ground. And with Boa’s 83A wheels the turns were very slippery.

When I said “follow” on the Onsra, I meant from a big distance since it needed a much bigger runway to brake and slow down for turns. In contrast, on our longboards, we could slow down or stop very quickly from sliding, and go through turns much more easily.

This isn’t a criticism of Onsra – most other e-boards are probably like this on a downhill slope. That’s my guess anyway. I’ve now ridden several electric skateboards uphill, but this was my first time trying to go fast on one downhill.

Final Thoughts

It’s not bad. I feel the build quality could be better. Right now I would say it feels like a slightly better looking WowGo AT2 with a bigger capacity battery.

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.

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Reviews

Onsra Challenger Review

I have the direct drive version of the Onsra Challenger. I have a lot to say about it. Let’s begin with the deck.

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.

Trucks

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.

Wheels

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.

Battery

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.

Motors

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.

Range

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.

Appearance

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.

Portability

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.

Final Thoughts

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.

Categories
Reviews

Uphill stress tests: Exway, Evolve, Onsra, and more

Here are some additional info about the seven all-terrain electric skateboards we used in these tests.

Bibuff U2
5753 160Kv 1650W x2
15:60T 150mm
604Wh Samsung 35E 18650 12S4P
ESC 30A
Evolve Bamboo GTR
5065 150Kv? 1500W x2
15:66T 175mm (7-inch)
504Wh Samsung 35E 18650 10S4P
Exway Atlas 2WD
4240 stator (5265 equiv) 160Kv
2000W output
14:66T 160mm
518Wh Samsung 30Q 18650 12S4P
ESC 40A
Discount
Onsra Black Carve 2
6368 170Kv 2200W x2
15:66T 150mm
648Wh Samsung 50E 21700 12S3P
ESC 30A
Discount
Ownboard Carbon AT
6368 170Kv 1500W x2
15:66T 175mm
504Wh Sanyo GA 18650 10S4P
ESC 30A
Discount
Verreal RS
6368 170Kv 1500W x2
15:60T 150mm
720Wh Lishen 5000mAh 21700 10S4P
ESC 30A
WowGo AT2
6368 170Kv 1500W x2
15:66T 175mm
504Wh Sanyo GA 18650 10S4P
ESC 30A
Discount