Monkey Balance Electric Skateboard, review: what is it like to skate with an electric skateboard?
Back in the 60s, California surfers, to make the times of lack of waves more bearable, put iron bearings on wooden boards. This way they did not forget the feeling of surfing while making the summer shorter. It was known as Surfing on land. By analogy, it was practiced barefoot.
Materials and technologies have evolved a lot that have turned this modality into a culture and way of life. The people of Monkey Balance have just presented their contribution to the evolution of skateboarding by adding an electric motor: these days we have tested their Electric Skateboard and it has left us with mixed feelings. If you are a skate purist, you will deny these types of inventions. However, the general public will find it attractive and comfortable to move around the city effortlessly.
Monkey Balance Electric Skateboard, technical specifications
The Electric Skateboard is a longboard with an electric motor at the rear that transmits the force via a toothed belt to the left rear wheel. The "deck" comes in a 37 "size and is slightly concave. It has reverse axles and 83-52 mm wheels, with good absorption in uneven terrains. This setup is perfect to get you started in the world of longboarding, as it gives you good stability, a good turning angle and safety on uneven terrain.
The finishing of materials is good. The skate looks robust and with good quality, yes, the first thing that catches your attention when you have it in your hands is the weight: 6 kgs. Obviously, incorporating a small motor, a battery and a rigid plastic housing that protects the entire system has to weigh down the whole compared to a normal skateboard. With a sober aesthetic, far from the profusion of colors or the inclusion of drawings or illustrations that riders like so much. Green wheels with the lower part of the deck covered by a black casing.
It comes in the box with:
- An English usage guide.
- A kit of multiple wrenches to tune or modify the axles and other parts of the skate.
- A silicone case for the remote.
- A 25-volt, 2-amp portable charger. The controller is charged with a USB-micro USB cable for which you will need to use the plug of your mobile. Both the controller and the skate battery come with a factory initial charge. According to the manufacturer, the recharge times are 30 minutes for the remote and around 3 hours for the battery in the table.
The electric motor has a range of about 25-30 kms according to the manufacturer. After the battery power is finished, you can use it like a normal skateboard. We have covered many kilometers with the initial charge. Autonomy is more than correct.
The skate reaches a maximum flat speed of 30 km / h, which is great. To give you an idea of the strength of the engine, it is capable of climbing slopes with a maximum of 30% incline. However, in the safety instructions for use that appear attached to the skate, the manufacturer does not recommend its use on descents with a slope of more than 2%. This data seems contradictory and makes fun of this type of boards, when you use the appropriate protection equipment: helmet, knee pads, elbow pads, gloves, etc.
It has been gratifying to be able to tow our colleagues on their skates, on the flat, without any difficulty. We liked this very much. The only negative point is the powerful power delivery that the engine has. You have to be careful the first few times, since if you don't accelerate gradually and with a little inertia in the skate, you will most likely fall backwards, and the same in braking.
How to handle the Skateboard
The longboard is managed from a remote control that connects automatically to the skate using bluetooth technology. The control has a lever or regulator. When moved forward, the skate accelerates to a maximum of 30 km / h. When we want to slow down, we release the lever. If we want to stop, we delay it so that the motor brake starts working.The management of the longboard is carried out from a remote control that is connected by Bluetooth
To secure the control and avoid accidents when you unintentionally press the accelerator, you can press down on the regulator and this button is canceled. To reactivate it, just press it down again.
The remote has a cruise speed program, which is not entirely easy to activate. You have to reach a certain speed to set it at 15 km / h by pressing down on the regulator. Due to the sensitivity of the lever, and care not to accelerate abruptly, sometimes it does not activate, or what you do is lock the remote control. I imagine it will be a matter of more practice to get to control this point. Another easier button or method would be interesting.
Finally, the controller has side LEDs that, depending on the color, inform us of both the battery level of the controller and the skate. The controller-skate pairing is performed after hearing a small melody from the motor.
Sensations offered by the Electric Skateboard
For those of you who skate regularly, the first contact will be intimidating. The power delivery of the small electric motor is brutal. The feeling when you kick and control the speed here disappears completely. Until you do with the touch of the regulator the feeling is not pleasant. To counteract the thrust of the engine when you accelerate, you just have to throw your weight forward.
The same scenario when you try to brake.Pressing the regulator backwards, the “ABS regenerative brake” starts working, which, in addition to recharging the battery, will make you go ahead if you go too fast. This is what we liked least about the skate. Braking and acceleration can be quite dangerous until you get control and are waiting to play with the weights, forward / reverse, to neutralize the sudden change in speed. This point should be improved.
With some type of selectable programming on the bluetooth controller that allows acceleration and braking more progressively. Once you've got through this first adaptation phase, the experience of gliding effortlessly is truly enjoyable.
We believe that someone who has not skated for a long time or, perhaps, who has never done it, will achieve a sweeter adaptation to the handling and control of the Electric Skateboard, since they will not waste time releasing some tic of traditional skate. With a few hours of use, and depending on the person, it is enough time to master the situation.For experienced skaters it may cost the first contact, but we believe that for the uninitiated adaptation is easier
“Traditional” skaters leave us with a strange aftertaste of not having absolute control over the board. The perception of freedom that you have to manage the speed when “pumping” with your legs here disappears. On the other hand, it is true that when you go through wide areas at cruising speed, the sensation is just as pleasant as when you snowboard down the mountain the first times you take control of your board. We also liked not having to make any effort when traveling uphill. It is really comfortable, especially on these hot days.
Electric Skateboard, our opinion
The Electric Skateboard is for sale for a price of € 549. Taking into account that a premium table, Never Summer, Loaded, Globe types, etc. It comes out over € 300, it can be somewhat high in price. Although it is true that electrical technology, at the moment of development that we are in, is not cheap.
For the general public, the Electric Skateboard has seemed an interesting skate to transport around the city or wherever you want in an agile, fast and effortless way. To enjoy 100% of it you must look for wide and safe areas to extract juice from the powerful electric motor. You will need an adaptation time to control the acceleration and braking of the skate due to its abruptness if you do not handle it progressively. In this period, you must take extreme precautions and safety to avoid an accident and avoid injury.
After this period, it's time to have fun. If you have been giving skateboarding time and want to have a second board to look for different things, this longboard can be attractive to you and depending on how "jackass" you are, in conjunction with your "traditional" board it can offer you a range of very fun possibilities .
The skate has been transferred for testing by Monkey Balance. Can inquire our policy of relationships with enterprises.
The analysis for Xataka has been carried out by Jesús Escalante and the video is the work of Jacobo Tomé.