How does an electric skateboard work?

The electric skateboard is a seemingly better version of the electric traditional skateboard. As we advance, electric skateboards seem to be replacing traditional skateboards. The main reason why the electric skateboard is so popular is that it doesn’t employ the normal leg thrust method of regular skateboards to move around. This leads many people to ask the question, how does an electric skateboard work?

The electric skateboard works similar to a car, or a motorized wheelchair. The skateboard is equipped with its motor, which propels the wheels in the direction the rider chooses, eliminating the need for leg thrusts. Similar to a motorized wheelchair, the motor is powered by a battery that can last several hours.  Depending on the speed you are traveling at, the battery can last several hours,  with higher speeds drawing greater power from the battery. Different electric skateboards have different top speeds with some models traveling as fast as 30 mph or 50km/h.

How do you control an electric skateboard?

As you don’t use thrusting motions to move an electric skateboard, you may be confused as to how you can control it. It works similar to a normal skateboard as you get to choose which direction the electric skateboard goes by tilting your legs on the board. In terms of propulsion speed, the electric skateboard comes with remote control. Different electric skateboard remotes have different designs, but they all operate on the same base principle. You can either choose to increase your speed or reduce it/brake by pushing a button. In some instances, the remote doesn’t have buttons, instead, it has a wheel you can spin to increase or reduce your speed. Controlling the electric skateboard is effortless, requiring subtle motions on your part, and no stress to any parts of your body.

Can you push an electric skateboard?

The short answer to this question is that it depends on the device and mainly on its drive system. Two different drive technologies are dominating the e-skateboard’s market: belt drives and hub drives.

With belt driven electric boards, the wheels rotation is ensured via a belt coupled to the motor. Generally, such devices are not easy to push about with your legs. The main reason is that the board’s drag is important, which requires an extra effort to move with muscular power.

On the other hand, in hub driven skateboards the motor is encased within the wheel itseld. They have the advantage of a negligible drag and can be pushed with ease similarly to unpowered boards.

While this generalization can be very convenient, the best way to confirm whether an electric board can be pushed effortlessly is to try it out before the purchase. This is because each board has its own characteristics.

Are electric skateboards safe?

You might think that because of the impressive speeds these skateboards can reach, it makes them more dangerous to ride. Well not exactly, while their speeds are beyond traditional boards speeds, the devices are also equipped with a powerful braking system which is only a push of a button away. An electric skateboard is safe, or as safe as a regular skateboard is when you are in motion.

It is important to bear in minds that several factors can affect how safe using an electric skateboard is, including:

The rider: Different riders have different experience levels and have better or less control of an electric skateboard. An experienced rider is likely to be a safer rider than a novice. The important thing here is to use your skateboard with the right mindset: always be careful, do not take impulsive decisions or useless risks that might put your safety or your surroundings safety in danger!

The location: Less busy pathways are usually safer than busy roads. In the same light, smooth roads are easier and safer to navigate than rough roads.

Protective gear: Protective gear is not a part of the electric skateboard and is sold separately. Protective gear helps protect you from serious injuries in the event of a collision. Above all, remember that safety gear is not optional, but compulsory!

Safety features of the electric skateboard: Some manufacturers equip their products with certain safety features to help protect you while riding the skateboard. We can for example cite LED lighting to make your night rides more secure. Also, some e-boards come with non-slippery wheels for further grips and safety especially on wet floors.

Additional components to improve your electric skateboard experience

Some components are not preinstalled with or sold alongside the electric skateboard but they are still important for a rider to have. Some of these components include:

Additional batteries

Depending on the capacity of your battery, you may need to have more than one. You may not have access to a charging station, and your electric skateboard runs out of power. Having an extra battery will ensure that you get to your destination without too much worry. Some electric skates comes with an extra battery so you may not need to buy one.


This accessory is mostly to enable you to ride safely at night. In the daytime, everyone can see clearly and can go about their activities, but nighttime brings darkness. While street lights and other lights help to make seeing easier, it isn’t always successful. Lights will help you see better while simultaneously alerting others to your existence.

Rain wheels

Rain normally makes roads slippery, whilst making other terrains muddy. This makes the roads very unsafe for electric skateboard users. Rain wheels are different and usually rougher than regular wheels. If your electric skateboard doesn’t come with them, you may want to buy them, for a rainy day.

Where can I use my electric skateboard?

Different countries have different laws on where you can and cannot ride your electric skateboard. In some countries, major roads and highways are the only places you aren’t allowed to use an electric skateboard. In others, pedestrian lanes are also off-limits to electric skateboards, while some countries have no specific laws regarding such vehicles. To be on the safe side, read up on your local electric skateboard laws before you purchase one or take it on the road. To check electric skateboard laws of select countries, especially European Union countries, click hereOpens in a new tab..

Can I ride an electric skateboard uphill?

It is absolutely doable but it depends on your skill as a rider. The electric skateboard is just another tool and you are the one who determines how it works. In the interest of safety, leave such tasks to the experts, or till you are a better rider. It is however easier for an electric skateboard to go uphill than for a regular skateboard to do the same.

Can I travel with my electric skateboard on a plane?

Unfortunately, this is where it gets touchy.

Some airlines allow electronic devices with batteries of up to 160 Wh to be transported in cabin luggage, on the condition that the battery is removed from the device. With some other airlines, individual transport vehicles like e-boards are banned altogether, from the cabin and the plane hold. This is regardless of the battery power and whether it has been removed from the skateboard.

To know if you can travel with your electric skateboard on a plane, the best thing to do is to visit your airline’s website and read their policy regarding portable motorized vehicles.


Electric skateboards are not only stress-free but they are trendy as well. It gives you a cool way to move around while having low environmental impact. Now that you understand how it works, you can decide to make the final leap and get one. Find one that you like online or in a local store and join the new and trendy mode of transportation.


Electrical engineer, I have a passion for technology in general and modern urban mobility in particular. Do not hesitate to contact us or comment our blog posts if you have any questions

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