Longboarding has always been a secondary love of mine when compared to cycling. I love cruising by the beach on a longboard, but taking it anywhere else always seems to be an issue. Whether you hit a huge incline or just have to stop and go a lot due to pedestrian traiffic, there are always a few issues with efficiency. Inboard has solved a lot of those problems with their new M1 Electric Skateboard. Fly Rides has tried out a few different electric skateboards over the last few months, and we’ve decided to review this one. It was a company favorite, and I’ll tell you why. Read on for our Inboard M1 Electric Skateboard review.
How it looks.
Out of the box, the first thing you notice about the M1 is how minimalist and clean it looks. It looks just like a regular longboard. This is unlike any other electric skateboard on the market. There are a few major build differences that Inboard utilizes to accomplish this look. Most importantly, Inboard has skipped the traditional belt drive motors for in-wheel motors. Aside from keeping the board looking cleaner, these allow for a much smoother ride (I’ll cover that more later).
You can see from the picture that this board just looks like a longboard, which to me makes it that much more desirable. The other applaud-worthy feature on this bike is the completely integrated battery. If you look at the image on the left, you can just make out where the battery goes. Again, this integration is a first for electric longboards. The only clue that it is an electric board is when you hop on and ride it.
How it rides.
Unlike with a lot of other electric boards, there is no belt drive motor. The motors are actually hub based and in the wheels themselves. This makes for a lot less resistance when coasting and accelerating. The ride feels incredibly smooth–just like it would on a traditional longboard. The board itself is made of a composite material rather than bamboo. This means it’s a bit of a stiffer ride, which can take some getting used to at first. But it’s easy to figure out how to redistribute your weight to adjust for this difference.
The wheels are rubber which provide amazing traction on any surface you’d want to ride on. When I rode, I was on a board that had come equipped with a software upgrade that provided 40% more torque (this is a free upgrade from Inboard). This provides quicker acceleration and better responsiveness. Honestly, I can’t imagine this board without that upgrade. I definitely didn’t feel like I was lacking any in the power department.
The controller connects over bluetooth and is super easy to use. I never felt unsafe. Inboard provides a dual-activation system to prevent riders from accidentally accelerating. To operate the board, you press a trigger and toggle the controller forward. It can also go backwards, which is fun (and a little terrifying for me!).
Full spec roundup.
At less than 15 pounds, this board can be taken just about anywhere. They’re even safe to fly with. Each battery pack will get you 5-9 miles per charge and are super easy to swap out. Inboard says it can be done in 10 seconds, but I’d say it’s more like 11. Recharge time on batteries is about an hour and a half, and you can charge them off of the deck.
In terms of hill climbing, these boards are pretty much beasts. We tried it in the Hollywood Hills, and it crushed. Inboard says the max grade is 18%. Top speed is 22mph, but there is an update that will increase that max to 24mph. The bluetooth remote fit nicely in my hand and was easy to operate. Maybe the coolest thing about the whole system is the regenerative braking system. If you have a super hilly ride, this can be extremely useful for extending your charge. Built in headlights and taillights keep you completely visible and are great for your ability to see as well. In the box you’ll receive the board, a battery, RFLX remote, a soft-shell carrying case, charger, and tool for adjusting the trucks.
So there you have it! Overall, I’d just say that this electric longboard made me fall back in love with skating. It provides a smooth feel just like a traditional longboard, but without the pain of walking up or trying to pump up hills. The stiff feel of the board made me feel faster and more stable on the board. Check out where to buy this board here. Or pop on the Inboard website for more detailed info. Check out our blog for electric bike reviews.
Author: Scott Nickley
Scott Nickley is a writer, actor, cyclist, runner, and cafe loiterer living in Los Angeles. You can find his work on the Fly Rides website and find him in the flesh following all cycling laws in your nearest bike lane.