DIY electric skateboard cheap?1 month, 3 weeks ago | 0 Replies
Warning: This article is intended to be a general overview of the cost of building your own electric skateboard, and the intent is very short! . But it turns out to be quite a complex topic, as it involves business ethics, manufacturing and engineering, false economics, psychology, customer satisfaction and expectations, and the intricate details of the nascent DO-it-yourself electric skateboard industry. I also had to refer to my business Enertion Boards for real life examples, so what should now be outgoing might seem a little introspective…
If you want quick answers here, they are:
It is cheaper to build your own electric skateboard than to buy one in a box. NO a self-built eboard may not be as good or better than buying one if you buy all the cheapest hobby gear available. Yes, if you build the DIY-E-SK8 with quality and custom skateboard parts, it will be better in almost every aspect, including reliability, top speed, torque, range, aesthetics and charging time. Just because you build something yourself doesn’t mean it should be cheaper than something pre-built. Yes, if it is the cheapest thing you can find on the Internet, then you will be wasting money. Cheap DIY electronic board build quickly becomes a hole in your pocket!
The comments usually go something like this:”Your parts are too expensive, and I have to assemble them myself, so it should be cheap, why don’t I just use reinforced boards/Zboard/Marbel/Inboard /… And so on… Wait?”
That’s a good question! & The answer is quite complicated.Now don’t get me wrong, I’ll be the first to admit that not all Enertion parts get the cheapest prize and that’s really not my business goal! Visit Hobbyking.com 332 if you want the cheapest junk electronics you can find (note: they also have premium stuff that costs a lot). Or, if you think our trucks and wheels are too expensive, buy a complete longboard from Amazon… Our mission is to provide high quality, affordable and specially manufactured parts to manufacture high performance, high quality and reliable electric skateboards quickly and easily.
So some of our parts really aren’t the cheapest on the Internet! We sell a lot of things, however, (” batch “is a relative term – I’m running my own small business in the garage, so packaging 20 or 30 orders each week is what I call the” mass “, but in terms of manufacturing economies of scale, and it’s really nothing), such as the price of the motor installed hardware and pulley is actually very competitive, Small profit margin…… So for all those Internet trolls out there, do your homework before blurting out your ridiculous comments on public forums like “It’s too expensive, etc.” It makes you look uneducated! & You are probably the best person to fall into the false economy trap! So be careful!
It is also worth noting that the motor mounting parts we sell cannot easily be made at home without very specialized tools and prior knowledge. They are custom made parts, produced in small batches. So, yes, the motor holder, pulley and belt may cost more than $100 for at least a few years, until our company or some other big name player runs over 10,000 units, at which point you can start to get parts manufactured very cheaply. For example, instead of CNC machining parts with aluminum blanks, everything is poured into a mold and then polished… And probably for half that price! But not that strong!
If you really want to prove me wrong, go ahead, I am now offering my Enertion motor installation design for free through an open source license for you to make at home… Or get a quote from your local CNC workshop to make a setup…… And then you see how much it costs.
Let’s talk about electronics, custom electronics are the products most often considered expensive by novice circuit board manufacturers, such as Enertion SPACE batteries, Enertion R-Spec motors, VESC (an advanced open source motor controller)… Yes, these items are likely to look expensive compared to the common parts that most first-time DIY electric skateboard manufacturers purchase from Hobbyking.com 332. This is because they are better parts, and they are custom designed to give you better build quality, better functionality, easier assembly, and superior reliability.
So why does everyone always consider buying most of the parts they need from online amateur retailers when all these awesome custom electronic board products are now available? There are two main reasons.
Online hobby store parts are super cheap and people love cheap!
This is what most DIY electric skateboard makers in online forums have told them to buy for the past few years, mainly because until recently there were no good alternatives, such as the items I listed above.
So if hobbies are so bad, why don’t more people complain? People are happy to document their builds and show off their masterful work, but few will fully openly document and discuss the pride and joy of their own builds catching fire during a catastrophic motor seizure, catapulting them 20 feet into the air into a pile of stinging nettles… Maybe it’s the fear of getting it wrong, or the feeling that you’re not as good at assembling as others… Don’t get me wrong, you hear stories from time to time about people who failed to build a DIY electric skateboard, but for every story you hear there are 10 other product failures that you don’t hear on public forums…
I know this topic well… I’ve been building electric scooters for people since enertion officially launched about 16 months ago… When I started, I also only used hobby parts and Flier ESC… So I stopped selling a lot of electronic kits for reasons my website… The reliability is terrible! The Flier ESC has a one-time failure rate of about two in 10… This is really bad for business, which I’ll discuss in more detail below! The 6S Lipo battery 332 THAT I got from Hobbyking.com also sucks there, usually gets puffy or the battery dies, not to mention the pain of recharging… One of my clients nearly burned down a house when he left a faulty LIPO battery in a friend’s house (thankfully it was outside the deck) and went to the bar…… Bad idea! . The cheaper battery chargers are also terrible, I think I have about 3 or 4 faulty units in a batch! And motor collisions and misses…… That’s when I realized that if the DIY e-skateboard industry was going to be legal, we needed to improve every part of it! We will need higher quality of everything!
I realized that if the DIY e-skateboard industry is going to be legal, we need to improve every part of it! We will need better quality of everything!
In this paragraph, I’m going to focus on reason #2 above: When I first started researching how to build an electric skateboard, I knew nothing about RC Amateur electronics, I had no idea what ESC was or what 6S LIPO meant! So, like anyone who starts reading what other people are using, I spent about three months doing solid research. This opens up a can of worms, because everyone uses a lot of different things… But what they have in common is that most of them are purchased from online hobby stores. So you think it must be ok (as I said, people rarely publicly report failures), so now all you need is a complete list of parts to buy… Fortunately, in online forums, people end up making these lists, and some are even selling this information, because there’s really no neat format anywhere. Ultimately, this information is freely available in an easy-to-understand format. Here are two of the most comprehensive:
Both lists are great because they are blueprints for how to build your electronic board and what parts to buy and why… If available when I first started working on my first build, it would have saved me a lot of time two years ago now… Before you can create these lists, you have to compile the knowledge yourself by reading 100 different user “build threads” and asking a bunch of silly questions.
So if these parts lists to buy are so useful, what’s my point? The problem is, in like Enertion Boards such business birth (154) and DIYelectricskateboards.com, no VESC, There is no custom 18650 battery with BMS and simple single-port charging (no one is even talking about 18650 for the electronic board), there are very few custom motors with modified shafts and keyways, there is no custom compact remote control, and there is only one place (Alien Drive System) to buy a motor stand, And is compatible with only one truck type.
For the past two years, if you wanted to build an electric skateboard, you were told to buy a motor, battery, and electric regulator from an online hobby store, and if you wanted a “better” quality regulator or a “double electric regulator”, Consider buying Flier (a Chinese factory that manufactures all kinds of ESC) sold by Alien Power System and previously by Enertion, DIYelectricskateboards and Bubble Gum Boards (no longer traded, Mainly due to the reliability of cheap electronics)
Well, I’m sorry to say this, but all that information is now out of date!
A note about FLIER ESC: It was originally only available from Alien Power Systems and eventually it was rumored that the supplier was a Chinese company called Shenzhen Feilier Electronics Co., LTD. These ESCs actually used to have a very good reputation and I still have a few that are working properly but less than 12 months ago there was a serious problem. Reliability is getting too bad! I have a feeling that some of the parts they originally used may have been replaced with lower-level components to save money, and I think the changes made to the firmware will cause a lot of problems. It’s bad for business when things are on fire, so now I turn them down.
The truth is, in this game, you get what you pay for! So maybe the power electronics are a little more expensive, but that’s because we’ve had enough of junk amateur-grade gear! When you buy enertion, you are buying the next level, so there is every reason to pay a little extra initially to save you trouble later. It is in our best interest to ensure that the boards you build with our parts are extremely reliable and far superior to the “boxed solution”.
For our business, our reputation intact is extremely important, so let me go further to explain why some Enertion “senior” to the cause of the “advanced” course, we can always buy more expensive things and try to sell you but in fact is a point of diminishing returns — like that old adage, “don’t give lilies gold-plated”). As I mentioned, basically I’m tired of bad electronics, and it’s impossible to do business if the product breaks down. Yes, things can always break, there’s no guarantee they won’t, that’s why we offer a warranty. From a business perspective, the problem is that cheap stuff often fails, the negative impact on the reputation of the company and the brand grows exponentially, and when companies don’t deliver on their promises, the news spreads quickly.
This may sound counterintuitive, because I just finished talking about the way people don’t openly talk about product failures because it could actually happen…… There is one exception to this rule…… If the person buys the parts in the kit from the following locations a specialist retailer (such as Enertion) claims to have high quality custom parts that can quickly and easily build a high quality reliable electric skateboard… Now they will have all the more reason to vent publicly about how badly the kit actually failed. By contrast, if they made a circuit board from various parts from a hobby store and put them together in a temporary way, they wouldn’t complain loudly for fear of being held accountable for poor manufacturing quality, or an idiot! 332 hobby net don’t care! They don’t try to build better products.
This is not an article about consumer psychology by any means, but the point is that we have a responsibility to make quality products that are truly reliable and easy to install. By doing so, it legitimizes the DIY electronic board industry! Plus, it provides less ammunition for crowdfunded electric skateboard companies…… They (or their customers) should not criticize the DIY electric skateboard industry by claiming that their products are more reliable or of better quality……
Imagine stopping at a traffic light on DIY gear, next to a guy who’s standing on a new top-of-the-line reinforcing-board, you look each other up and down, and then a final nod… Each other DRAG RACE will start in green! . The light turns green and…… You either leave this person in your dust or your board starts smoking and fails miserably…… It all depends on whether you have a quality build…… No people care if your rig is $400 cheaper because it’s not even off the line!
A person who wants to own an electric skateboard, whether DIY or DIY, should not ask himself the question of whether it is of good quality and reliable. The purchase decision should be entirely based on whether they want to build it themselves and have a faster and overall better electric board, or just buy a slightly slower board or one that offers less torque and range in an already built box.
If you think about it, there are actually four types of electric skateboards you can own. What do you want?A makeshift DIY electric skateboard made of scrap and retro accessories that could catch fire at any moment?Advanced self-built electric skateboards made with custom designed high-performance components, perfectly adapted to your riding style, leaving others confused?Out-of-the-box ‘crowdfunding’ options from brands like Winboards that have slow top speeds and poor range?An out-of-the-box “off-brand” electric skateboard from China that looks like shit and has 100 year old lead-acid battery technology?So hopefully by now you can understand why we only focus on advanced custom gear! We realize that trying to be the cheapest in electronics is a loss-lose situation. However, this can be confusing for anyone hoping to build an electric skateboard at home.
Don’t laugh too hard! . Basically I built it with stuff around and used parts. I used my old skateboard, some aluminum angles and a milk crate! The result is that you end up with a Frankenstein construct! As you can see, the battery is very exposed and when one of my mates took it for a ride, he jumped down the drain and tore a hole in my battery! The $120 battery ran out… Ironically, I complained about spending $30 on the right component case! … Obviously I should have spent $30! False economy trap!!
So think about what you want to achieve!Do you think your home deck is as good as a factory deck? For some, the answer is yes! I certainly do not support myself in building a high quality deck. I also didn’t think I could process the motor mounting parts and get high quality results. So in many cases, you can justify buying some off-the-shelf parts to save time and get better results…
The same common sense that tells you to only make your own skateboard, if you can do it for less than the store price, also applies to deciding to make a complex part in your studio in a few days using raw materials VS buying that complex part and paying a higher price and having it delivered to your door.
There are many difficult “build IT” versus “buy IT” decisions that need to be made during the electronic board build process. Especially now, there are specialized businesses that sell almost all the parts you need to make an electric skateboard at home.
DIY electric skateboard.
Alien drive system.
So here’s where it gets confusing!
You want to build an electric skateboard because you know you can build something better than a store-bought one, but you don’t have the tools or expertise to make any parts. You also need the best quality parts to make the build simple, reliable, and great! . So you add up the cost of all the parts and it is now more expensive than store bought!! How did this happen?
Isn’t DIY electric skateboard for cheaper?
Because you can’t build anything yourself, and you want all the best parts, your DIY electronic board may actually cost more than the store-bought one! This is when people start to get nervous! This is when you risk falling into the “false economy trap” where you go to the amateur store looking for cheaper parts that might save hundreds of dollars, cheaper batteries, smaller motors, cheaper chargers, cheaper ESCs… Now your motherboard is $150 cheaper than it to buy the booster board, you are really happy! & If you’re lucky, nothing can go wrong & and you live happily ever after!
But: What if one or two of them fail prematurely? Your savings have just been depleted and you now wish you had built them up… It’s a false economy. In the long run, if you build better from the start, you’ll end up spending more in the long run.
This is what all the big brands want to happen to you, they want your waste parts to break down so you can cut your losses and buy pre-built solutions from them……
I haven’t personally ridden The VBoard, or any of the ‘upcoming releases’ that came out of the successful crowdfunding campaign… But I hear a lot of complaints and the biggest complaint you get is that they are too slow and don’t have enough batteries…… There is not enough electricity…… These are legitimate complaints…… Unfortunately, most of them are gentle in the performance department…… Boring! . That’s why I built myself!
I added it up the other day and raised about $2.47 million from 6 of the most famous crowdfunded electric skateboards… These are The 1951 Boards, Inboard, Mellow, Bolt, Stary and Marbel
Only The Vaughan Has something to buy, maybe Marbel! In any case, many of them are not actually available outside the United States.
The biggest problem with these crowdfunded solutions is that they lack the performance that most DO-it-yourselfers can easily achieve with a homemade electric skateboard for the same price. When I say performance, I mainly mean these three main attributes:
The highest speed
The scope of
Torque (acceleration and climbing ability)
Note: If you’ve never ridden a skateboard before, these built-in solutions may surprise you!
So you’ve decided to build yourself an electric skateboard!
So for those die-hard readers, “I’m making it myself, and of course, it should still be cheaper to make your own skateboard!”
Let’s be clear! . Homemade electric skateboards can be very cheap, very expensive, or cost the same as the boxed solution…
For example, if you build a 4WD electronic skateboard with a top speed of 60km/h and a carbon fiber deck that can travel 100km on a single charge. How much should it cost? Should it be cheaper than the 1951 Board, because you built it yourself? No! Of course not! It’s going to cost more because it’s better!
This is the charm of homemade electric skateboards! You can decide what you’re creating!
I think it’s fair to say that most people are on a tight budget when they start building their first electric skateboard at home and don’t want to spend a lot of money… Because for most people, that’s the only reason they go the DIY route in the first place because in theory it can be much cheaper than a branded boxed solution. Makes sense?
Common sense says, why build something when you can buy something for the same price? This applies not only to electronic boards, but also to everything in life.
Once you decide that you want an electric skateboard, most people will start researching how to assemble one for the lowest possible price! These are the common questions people ask.
What is the best and cheapest motor?
What is the best and cheapest ESC?
What are the best and cheapest batteries?
These items are not something you can easily make, so the price you pay should be proportional to the quality, functionality, and performance. Better things naturally cost more.
So how can you really save money on building your own electronic board? It basically boils down to how much work you want to do yourself, and whether you have the tools and expertise. For example, if you decide to build your own motor bracket and process your own pulley in your own workshop, you can save $100 to $200.
Some people also make their own decks there for another $100 or $200 savings.
There is a “instructable” article explaining how to build an electric skateboard from scratch for $300 here < 596 I actually think this guide is a bit misleading… Tools and equipment cost money… Glue, screws, sandpaper, drills all cost money… And time is money…
The problem with all this talk about how much you can save is that you may end up cutting corners! Like I did on the first build:
Let me sum up!
If you decide to build an electric skateboard, make sure you do it for the right reasons, and don’t do it just because you think it will be cheaper, because in the long run it probably won’t be. For me, making an electric skateboard is an art form. The end result should not only be beautiful, but also a professionally completed masterpiece that you can proudly declare that you made yourself. It should do well on the street and look better, too. It should feel better. It should be carefully designed and designed for you to use for years.
Self built electric skateboards are a legal solution, self built skateboarding is growing every day, knowledge is spreading, we are leading the way in terms of technology and performance, it’s happening now, it’s the future……