The Boosted Board is the best electric skateboard on the market, but its biggest flaw is a troublingly low range of 6 miles per charge. Today, Boosted opened pre-orders of its Gen 2 boards for $999 to $1599, solving the problem with extended and swappable battery options that let them go almost twice as far.
For $99 extra you can upgrade from a 7-mile to a 12-mile battery, or you can buy an extra standard battery for $299 or extended for $399. By Boosting the range, the startup’s skateboards can evolve from last-mile commuting tools to better replacements for a bike or car.
Launched out of Y Combinator and Kickstarter in 2012, Boosted Boards makes electric longboards controlled with a handheld wireless remote. Depending on the model, they can go up to 22 mph. The belt-driven motor can power you up even steep hills. And the regenerative brakes let you slow down quickly or coast down steep hills at a comfortable speed. There’s even an app for tracking your mileage or syncing firmware updates.
Boosted Boards has raised two seed rounds from SV Angel, Rothenberg Ventures, and others, plus a Series A led by Slow Ventures. It’s currently working on another type of electric vehicle, possibly a bicycle, but the company is staying mum.
It released an upgraded Dual+ board in 2014, but this is its big second product push. The Gen 2 boards also include some other cool new features:
- Accessory Port – so you can plug in onboard headlights and taillights that Boosted plans to sell or from third-parties, or charge your phone
- Improved Water Resistance – so you can handle hitting the odd puddle or damp street, though you still shouldn’t ride in the rain or through significant standing water
- Stronger, More Secure Connectivity – to prevent your handheld remote from disconnecting from the board if you hit a Bluetooth interference, and protect you from hackers
- Better Deck, Wheels, And Drivetrain – for a smoother ride on a lighter board, plus better carving, torque, braking, acceleration, and hill climbing
- Modular, User-Swappable Components – so you can customize, upgrade, and repair your board
- International Sales Approval – so you can finally buy one no matter where you live
The improved security is especially important after Wired reported last year that researchers discovered they could hack the Boosted Board over Bluetooth and take control of it. That could let someone slam on the brakes while you’re riding.
Here’s the updated line of boards, which you can reserve with an $100 downpayment:
- Boosted Board Single – Top Speed: 18 mph – Standard Range: 8 miles for $999, Extended Range: 14 miles for $1099
- Boosted Board Dual – Top Speed: 20 mph – Standard Range: 7 miles for $1299, Extended Range: 12 miles for $1399
- Boosted Board Dual+ – Top Speed: 22 mph – Standard Range: 7 miles for $1499, Extended Range: 12 miles for $1599
We recommend the Dual or Dual+. The extra power is necessary for getting up steep hills. And since the Single only has a motor on one wheel instead of two, your acceleration or brakes can falter if you turn too hard and that wheel lifts off the ground. You can check out our glowing review of the old Dual+ here:
With battery life improved, the biggest problem with owning a Boosted Board is the risk of hurting yourself. The extra speed electric skateboards provide mean that if you get in an accident, you’re going down fast.
I learned the hard way.
After 13 years of longboarding and 2.5 on my Boosted without injury, a giant pothole swallowed me up. I seriously broke my ankle. I know plenty of other people who’ve hurt themselves too. In almost all cases, the problem was either an inexperienced rider, a swerving car, or an unexpected road obstacle — not the board acting up. But going 20 mph instead of around 12 on an unpowered board meant those crashes caused broken arms, collar bones, and more.
I’ve tried several other electric skateboards like ZBoards and Evolve skateboards. Boosted’s are the best not just because of the specs, but because of the more subtle mapping of the controller to the board. Boosteds accelerate and brake more smoothly, and are more responsive than any of the other boards. If you’re trusting your life to a piece of tech, it has to perform as expected every time, and the Boosted does.
If you want an electric skateboard, the Boosted Dual or Dual+ is the way to go. But just because you have the power to go faster, doesn’t mean you always should. Lean on the Boosted for getting up hills or going down them safely, or to avoid foot-pedaling on long straight-aways. Flooring it every chance you get might feel fun and look cool, but your body could pay the price.
Boosted CEO Sanjay Dastoor admits “It does require skill to use, just like a bike or car, and it’s not for everyone.” But he says he hadn’t skateboarded before Boosting and now rides almost every day.
Sick of walking from the train to the office? Getting bikes stolen because you have to lock them up outside? Struggling to find parking? Or paying for short Uber rides? If you know how to longboard or are willing to take the time to learn somewhere safe away from traffic, an electric skateboard could add spice and convenience to your life. There’s nothing like carving big, soft arcs down the pavement…uphill.