Meepo now includes Import Tax

meepo v1.5

The very well regarded, and competitively priced, Meepo v1.5 hub-motor e-board is now priced with shipping and import tax (duty and VAT) to the EU, as well as the US.  This is great news as not only is it a good spec board for less than £500 (I have tested the v1 and v1.5 looks even better), but their customer support is very well regarded and, importantly, you can purchase individual components or it all as a kit. This makes fixing issues, although from China, much easier than other similar £500 options.

tax faq
Meepo FAQ

Cost (at time of writing) is £302.52 for the std battery and £446.92 for the more powerful Sanyo model. Cost is the same for either the short 30″ or my preference, the longer 38″.

meepo short

Links:

Interesting Gear: Ridge EL1

Ridge_EL1_bcL073_021_-_Copy_grande

Ridge, the Liverpool (UK) based company have brought out a small, almost a penny board 27″ deck, in-hub motor e-board called the EL1, that weighs only 3.5kg. The main thing, however, besides the obvious European support is that it is only £350. My first thought was “toy”, but reading the Esk8 review on their site, it needs to be taken seriously as a small high portable fun deck.

Esk8 Sweeden also did a good video review:  youtube review

Video review of small e-boards

 

Interesting Gear: Waterbourne Surf Adaptor

waterbourne

Spotted the interesting Waterborne Skateboards ‘Surf’ (truck) adaptor.

What I like about this idea is that, unlike some of the other surf and carve trucks, it has some form of progressive resistance from the bushing. It looks crude with the single bushing, and with some potential risky stress and fracture points, but worth a try and  I will order one (hey no freebies on this blog, LOL – just my hard earned money being spent).

skateboard-surf-adapter-articulation

 

Braille Skateboard Review Video

Patrick Dumas Video Footage

State of the E-Board Market 2

SB HQ crowdfunding

The excellent folks at Electric Skateboarding HQ (down under in Australia), have done a really interesting update on the list of crowdfunding (Kickstarter & Indiegogo) business trying to get e-boards to market.

http://www.electricskateboardhq.com/audit-electric-skateboard-crowdfunding-2017/

Their review covers 27 companies with 34 products that have tried, or are trying, to get into full production and some level of longevity. Throw in at least 15 other other companies currently selling direct, plus a few others I am not aware of, and you probably have over 50 companies currently selling or offering to sell e-boards. A situation which I can not see is sustainable, now or even in the near future – right now, it is very much ‘buyer beware‘.

I would also add that of the 34 products listed, nearly all of them are offering very similar products – there is a distinct lack of innovation in this list, just lots of companies (probably individuals), trying to get to market with the same ideas and Chinese made parts. Many parts that you can already get direct from existing Chinese manufacturers or in existing products.

I apologize if I sound overly cynical, but I hear of lots of people every day getting ripped-off, still waiting for their e-boards or getting a poor quality product and no support. I am not saying do not buy early (this is not investing, this is just pre-ordering) from the crowdfunding sites, just understand the considerable risks and weight it up against what you can buy already, some of it with a proven track record and some semblance of after-sales support (for me the most important aspect of any e-board).

crowdfunding etc

Have a look at their site, it is well worth a read: Electric Skateboard HQ

 

 

E-boards, trucks & bushings

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Red 93a Paris bushing

With rain outside (yet again), I changed the bushings on the Boosted Dual. The stock bushings are apparently 86a durometer, which in theory are too soft for me at 85kg (187lb). I say “in theory” because they don’t feel like 86a, they feel much firmer; however, they are easy to change, so why not. I had some spare Paris made barrels, so put in 93a boardside and 90a roadside. I may step up to 94a+93a, but will try the 93a+90a combination first.

UPDATE: After trying it (I am 85kg), I moved up to the 94a+93a combination and have settled on that.

I used Paris bushings for now (the 94a’s I have are DohDoh), as they are what I had spare, but any good make would work. I see a lot of e-boarders using Orantang Nipples, but there is no reason any good make will not work: Venom, Riptide, Mindless, Bones etc.

I like to run the e-boards like conventional downhill boards, based on the premise that both need to be stable at speed: two barrels and firm, rather than my usual barrel+cone cruising set-up on the conventional push boards. In simple terms, barrels have more surface area over cones and will hold their shape more.

 

 

With e-boards and their high-speeds, my preference would be to not run bushings at all and use spring trucks, like the Trampas or Seismic G5s. A polyurethane bushing has a complex job to do, given all the multi-dimensional forces it has to react against. Their dominance of the truck world comes from skateboarding, where they are cheap and make truck manufacturing easy; but skateboarding is not e-boarding, especially at speed. For now, however, I will live with the Boosted and Yuneec running conventional longboard trucks, but if there is ever an upgrade option, or I replace one of the boards with a Nottingham made Trampa or some exotic derivative, I will do it and go for springs.

trampa_vertigo_truck_i

Finally, I see a lot of people jumping into e-boarding having not ridden push boards before, not a problem if people take it easy to learn e-boarding and build up the speed carefully. One thing, however, that does become apparent, with those who have not push boarded before, is that lack of awareness of how important bushings are and the need to use ones with a durometer that matches the rider and type of riding. Given how inexpensive and simple they are to change, there is a need to get greater awareness in the community and new riders using what is right for them; especially, given the job of a bushing is to keep you out of a hospital and enjoying the ride.

hd_product_Riptide-APS-Double-Barrel-Bushings-(Assorted-Colors)
Riptide bushings (note – there is no color standard, all manufacturers use different colors for their various durometer ratings).

Links:

 

First Impressions of the Curfboard

 

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So finally got some time out on the new Curfboard this weekend with its unique carving front truck (the rear truck is a standard RKP design).

As mentioned when it first arrived, the whole board is well made; the 33″ (84cm) deck with a 62cm wheelbase is nice, with a good level of flex for me as an 85kg rider, the trucks feel quality and the 70mm wheels, which feel around 82a, are well finished with no obvious crack/splinter faults.

Link to Curfboard Ad Video

Curfboard video of the front trucks working

I had a couple of questions on Reddit Longboard forum, one “was it a gimmick?” and two, “does it feel divey?“. The first is “no” and the second is “yes”. I don’t feel it is a gimmick at all, it is different from a conventional longboard and, for me, very enjoyable to use in the right situation, and that is a key point I will come back to. “Divey” because there is no rebound to work with, no force to exert against to make the movement more progressive; there are no bushings to push down against (except on the rear truck). I get why not, and the principal involved; I may get used to it more, but I miss that opposing force to give a more progressive feel. It carves well, in the right situation, and pumps well, but I still miss some progressive movement in the trucks.

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The key here as mentioned before is “in the right situation” – this front truck, for me, is in its element on a gentle to moderate hill, where you want to carve; with an advantage over some of my other caving boards, in that it does not need much road width – it can carve tight. On that gentle long, but narrow road, this is a near perfect weapon.

I would, however, not fast downhill on this; speed wobbles for me came quick and its short quick carving does not slow the experience down nor dampen the wobbles. I will choose my hills very carefully when out on the Curfboard. I did not try any sliding nor am encouraged to do so, but this might be my inexperience and sliding capability.

Another aspect I would recommend being careful of is just pushing off – if the front foot weight, and your balance, is not perfectly balanced, the board will dive immediately. First time out and, every now and then, this caught me out – this is a truck that you very much need to build your confidence on carefully. Consequently, unlike some of my rock solid boards like the Zenit AB, this is a board I would not take to casually, half-sleep, cruise around town. I know the local roads and paths I will use this on and look forward to it, but only those. Sadly I don’t have a smooth pump track near me, as I suspect this would also be its natural home but will search one out just for the experience.

Finally, coming back to the lack of resistance progression, I can’t help feeling that there could be a future development of this truck to add an element of progressive resistance, and if so, I will be at the front of the queue.

Nicely made Curfboard.

More Information:

 

IMG_20180107_095200.jpg

Curfboard Arrives

 

Amazingly quick, the new Curfboard arrived from Germany with its new-fangled unique (to Curfboard) front carving truck.

It is just the front truck that is different, the rear is a nonormalKP truck. The front ruck for carving just swings on the two pivots and does not use bushings, it is all down to the pressure applied on the angle.

IMG_20180104_200406.jpg

All the parts look well made, the deck, trucks, wheels etc. Sadly, I can only comment on how it looks and feels in my kitchen and hallway as it arrived in a storm and I have yet to actually get a chance to get out on it.

The deck has a high flex in it and covered with clear grip-tape, which I will replace quickly – just my personal dislike for clear grip-cover (it is never actually ‘clear’ and gets ugly with dirt). The 70mm wheels are standard longboard wheels, which seem similar to my 82a Hawg Mini Monsters.