Electric skateboards can be a great mode of transportation on a flat surface. They are fast, reliable, and offer good overall control for the rider.
But can an electric skateboard go uphill?
Yes, electric skateboards are capable of riding uphill. That being said, certain factors need to be considered before you can openly claim that a specific skateboard can be used to climb uphill slopes and mountains.
In this guide, we will look into these factors in detail and point out what makes an electric skateboard capable of uphill riding and what doesn’t.
Factors Behind an Electric Skateboard Riding Uphill
When it comes to riding your electric skateboard uphill, the following factors will decide whether or not you will be able to ride uphill -
Gradient or Incline Percentage
The majority of the success for an electric skateboard to go uphill depends on the gradient percentage of that said uphill road. But what is the gradient or incline percentage?
· Mathematical Formula
The gradient or incline of a hill or road is the division result of the rise (elevation change) by the run (distance traveled if the road was flat) multiplied by 100. Do keep in mind that the run is not the distance of the slope.
For example, if you have to run uphill on a hill where the travel distance (the run) is 300 meters and the elevation is 50 meters then the gradient or incline percentage of that hill will be (50/300) *100 = 16.67%
Every electric skateboard has its gradient or incline percentage that it can climb.
So, you need to check whether your electric skateboard has the necessary amount of gradient percentage to climb uphill or not. Generally, the incline percentage of an electric skateboard is mentioned in the box. You can also look up the detail by visiting the manufacturer’s page online.
· Look for the Optimal Range!
Generally, budget electric skateboards have a 5 to 10% incline percentage, but they aren’t really meant for riding uphill, and it is best to avoid them in this case.
If you plan on going uphill and downhill regularly, we recommend getting at least the ones with a 12 to 20% gradient percentage.
They are quite budget friendly, and you won’t have to break the bank for these electric skateboards with a medium incline percentage.
But if you want to go all in then, you should opt for premium quality electric skateboards that offers 30% gradient and more. This type of board is for those especially steep slopes.
The safest option would be to invest in the highest gradient percent but getting around 20% gradient will do the job just fine.
Skateboard’s Motor Power
After the gradient requirements, the next most important factor is how much power can your electric skateboard deliver. You will need to have at least 150 watts to 350 watts power motors to ride uphill on most steep hills.
Budget boards on the lower end usually have motors 100 watts or below.
So, they aren’t really viable for uphill climbing. They are fine for flat surfaces and beginners and not for hill riding.
Mid-priced boards will usually offer the required 150 watts to 300 watts powered motors. Premium e-skateboards can offer up to 500 watts, but this huge amount of power is only required if you’re going on extreme slopes.
You might need more or less power depending on how much the rider weighs.
Overall Weight of the Rider
Your incline or gradient requirement will increase or decrease depending on your overall weight. The same goes for the total power requirement for the motor as well.
So, the higher your weight is, the more gradient and power you will need.
Standard electric skateboards will work perfectly for those who weigh between 50 kg to 80 kg.
For those who are above 80 kg, we suggest that you opt for premium boards. The extra motor power and gradient will definitely help in this case.
The Capacity of the Battery
Battery capacity will depend on a few, like the distance, the incline of the hill, and the total power usage. The higher these requirements are, the faster the battery will drain.
Larger battery life will obviously be the best option. But if you have a mid-ranged battery capacity and can manage the speed to conserve the battery life, then you won’t face many issues.
Do keep in mind when you are going downhill, you will need to use less power and focus more on break.
Therefore, don’t be way too conversive with speed. You might end up reaching your destination at a much slower pace which will definitely take the excitement out of riding your electric skateboard up on a hill.
Batteries with 3 hours of battery life at max speed should cover most uphill rides.
Premium electric skateboard offers over 5 hours of battery life. So, if you don’t want to slow down and get the maximum results, then they will be the best option here.
The Skateboard’s Torque and Wheels
Torque plays an important role when climbing up steep slopes with any mode of transportation. As long as you are using wheels, the torque will play its part.
The higher the torque, the better. That being said, proper harmony between torque and speed is what ensures you have a good ride uphill.
Too much torque and you will be slow; way too less torque and the skateboard will start to have less grip on the ground, which will lead to balancing issues.
The size of the wheels affects torque quite significantly. While that is true, every part of the skateboard has an impact on torque as well. The smaller the wheel size, the better torque and grip will get.
On the other hand, the larger the wheel, the higher the speed you will be able to gain.
We recommend that you don’t pick way too small wheels. Pick ones that are in the middle with good grip and decent speed generation.
The terrain from which you are going uphill also plays a role in how easy or difficult it will be for you to ride up with your electric skateboard.
In this case, the smoother the terrain, the better. The rougher it gets, the more power, balance, and focus you will need to climb uphill.
The Expertise of the Rider
Last but not least, the skateboard riding ability of the rider also plays an important role in deciding whether they can go uphill with their board or not.
If you have just started, then you can’t just go ahead and make ride a difficult slope with a 20% or above gradient requirement.
Proper mastery over the electric skateboard, body balance, and power & speed management are all the necessary skills that a rider will need to ride uphill without facing any sort of issue.
So, make sure you are confident with yourself and your electric skateboard before you start planning to ride uphill.
Effects of Riding Electric Skateboards Uphill
When you ride uphill with your electric skateboard, you will have to face the following things -
Shorter Range on the Skateboard
You might wonder why you are losing so much power on the battery while the motor isn’t even running at full power. This is due to the gravitational force.
Even when you travel the same distance but the power requirement is quite different from the one you need on a flat surface and an uphill ride.
Therefore, you will have a shorter range when you are going uphill. So, make sure to do the necessary calculations before you head out.
Otherwise, you might have to get down while carrying your board instead of riding it. And that can be very exhausting and frustrating.
Low Amount of Oxygen and Air Pressure
You might not encounter this, but those of you who have trouble breathing might face a bit of difficulty when you are riding uphill with your electric skateboard.
This is because the higher you go over the sea level, the lower the oxygen amount gets. Also, you will feel some air pressure if you speed uphill.
If you are not focused, this air pressure can make you lose your balance and lead to incidents.
Heat Build-Up on Skateboard
The motors of your electric skateboard are going to be working overtime when you are riding it uphill. This overuse will generate a good amount of heat and can even cause overheating at times if you keep going at high speeds.
It can permanently damage your electric skateboard’s circuit and make it useless. That’s why make sure not to burn the internals of your electric skateboard by pushing it too hard.
If you are riding uphill, then you will also have to get down eventually. The ride downhill can be difficult and dangerous if you are unprepared.
This is mainly because of the increased speed that you will have to face when you are getting down. The gravitational force increases the speed of your electric skateboard by at least two folds.
You can argue that the general braking system of your electric skateboard will kick in and slow down, and there is nothing to worry about.
But what if it doesn’t?
Maybe even after the braking, your speed isn’t falling enough for you to control?
There are also speed wobbles, where your skateboard might feel like it is swinging sideways time after time.
And if you are coming down on rough terrain, then be prepared for stones and other obstacles on the road.
The downhill ride is what makes riding your electric skateboard uphill dangerous.
Tips and Tricks to Use When Riding Uphill With an Electric Skateboard
You can use the following tips and tricks when riding uphill with your electric skateboard so that you have a much smoother and safer experience.
Never Use the Maximum Power of Your Board
You might want to put your skateboard on maximum power so that you can go up faster. This is quite common for electric skateboard riders because going uphill means the speed and distance result isn’t what you are used to.
So, it can be tempting. But don’t do it.
Instead, maintain a steady pace and gradually accelerate uphill. This will help you to conserve your battery and use it for later. And you will need to have power when you are coming down.
Many premium boards come with uphill riding features like eco mode and hill mode. If your board has one, then make sure that it is active.
Take Breaks They Are Necessary
If you are riding up a long distance, then it is better to take a break. This will let your motors cool down.
Also, you should power off the skateboard once you reach the top.
This way, your board will be cooled down before you come down from the hill. Doing this will allow your board to perform a lot better.
Wear Protective Gear
Riding uphill and coming down can be quite dangerous, even for experts. That’s why you should always wear protective gear if you are going uphill.
Don’t ignore this unless you want to suffer in the long run. At least wear a helmet before you go uphill with your electric skateboard.
Use the Emergency Break
Don’t hesitate to use the emergency brake when you are coming downhill. The speeds that a skateboard generates during these situations can be quite difficult to handle.
So, keep your hands on the emergency brake button and use it if you feel like you are going too fast and won’t be able to balance the skateboard properly.
Check the Weather Conditions
Riding uphill with strong winds or rain is very difficult and not to mention dangerous. In these conditions, we don’t think an electric skateboard is capable of going uphill. So, it is better to avoid riding when the weather is not on your side.
You can ride uphill with electric skateboards, but there are certain factors that you need to check up on and situations that you will have to consider.
Now, if you have come this far in the guide, then we are confident that you have learned how to make your electric skateboard go uphill.
So, use the knowledge from this guide on your next electric skateboard ride uphill, and best of luck!