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AEboard Hornet Review – Budget Belt Board for under $600

Okay, let’s imagine the following situation: You started to become interested in electric skateboards. There’s this really cool blog called e-skateboarder.com that you just found and read through its awesome article about hub vs. belt motors. Now, you – understandably – decided to look for a board with a belt motor. But there’s one little problem: Money doesn’t grow on trees for you. So you don’t really wanna spend more than about 600 bucks for a new board – which is rather hard to combine with a belt-driven board. Well, is it?

You came to the right page, sir/ma’am! Today I’m gonna introduce you to the AEboard Hornet, an electric skateboard with a belt motor that will cost you exactly $599. With the discount code “DL49.99” applied, you only pay $549.

Apart from all of the advantages that the belt motor brings, it’s a solid board that probably won’t make you scream out of excitement, but won’t disappoint you either. Its biggest drawback is definitely its wheels, which I’d just replace – I included a list of recommended wheels down below.

Pros and Cons 

ProsCons
wide deckshipping takes time
smooth controlswheels are not the best
great range deck is pretty stiff
good performancecompany is not the most popular
comes with handle

Overall Riding Experience 

I gotta admit that for its price, the Hornet brings a surprisingly convincing riding experience. It goes without saying that it won’t feel like a $800 board, but you have to start somewhere, right? Riding it didn’t make me think “Well it’s a good board as long as I don’t try to brake/accelerate/take turns etc” but rather just enjoy my time and that’s an excellent sign for a budget board!

Accelerating & Brakes

The AEBoard Hornet comes with a typical modern hobbywing esc, just like most other boards nowadays. If you haven’t already read about it somewhere else: It’s a great ESC, making the controllability quite smooth, so you probably will be satisfied here. When I went out to test the Hornet, I did not only bring some other boards as a comparison with me but also my girlfriend. She’s more of a beginner rider, but that doesn’t stop her from having strong opinions about all my boards. And let me tell you, she LOVED riding the Hornet. The smooth acceleration and braking made her feel so safe because she didn’t have to worry about having to stop unexpectedly. 

Top Speed

When I tested the AEBoard Hornet, I was able to bring it up to 24.2 mph (39km/h), with a weight of 165 lbs (75 kg). On their website, AEBoard stated that the Hornet’s top speed is 24.8 mph (40 km/h), so they’re definitely not lying. One little but positive side story here is I’m pretty sure that they used to state that the Hornet can even go up to 28 mph (45km/h) and it seems like they changed claiming that. 

Range

I (handsome man,165 lbs (75 kg)) tested the Hornets range in a super flat terrain on a nice spring day with 64°F (18°C), switching between speed mode 2 and 3. We had some stop and go’s, riding at 12-24 m/h (20-40 km/h). After 15 miles, we had one out of 5 battery bars left and weren’t patient enough to ride until the Hornet dies, but I’m sure there would have been more in it. For 600 bucks, that’s convincing to me!

Weight & Portability 

With 16.3 lbs (7.2 kg), I cannot stay silent about the fact that the Hornet is more of a heavy board. BUT – and this is something I love and just don’t understand why it isn’t the most common thing ever – it has a handle that makes it way easier to carry. That means, that if you don’t forget to switch arms, AEBoard even offers a free workout here. Great!

Build Quality 

Qualitywise, the Hornet makes a decent appearance. It is definitely subjective, but I found the design definitely to be likable. The minimalistic front side and wooden-looking backside of the deck just appeal to me. Apart from being pretty, the deck also is quite wide (which is good), but unfortunately rather stiff. The trucks and bushings of the AEBoard Hornet are good but nothing too fancy. 

Deck

The deck has a rather wide size, which is always a big plus for me. Even if I don’t have enormous feet, just knowing that I have some safety space on my board makes my ride way more relaxing. The way the deck is shaped and designed makes it look similar to Boosted’s original deck “Loaded Vanguard”. You can find similar decks on the and Meepo NLS Belt, WowGo 3 as well. So I can’t complain about the looks, but something I have to admit here is that I really didn’t like how stiff the board is. Since that is something about the board that can’t get changed/upgraded, it is a big minus for me. 

ESC

The Hornet is equipped with the popular, often used Hobbywing ESC that will make any ride smooth and enjoyable. It has three different speed modes and unfortunately only one braking mode. Unfortunately, since I would have preferred the brakes to be stronger, but since the braking itself is such a nice, soft experience, it didn’t bother me too much.

Battery

Here you can choose between two options. By default, AEBoard offers the Hornet with a 20R 12S3P Samsung battery, and since these 20r cells only have 2000 mAh, the battery “only” has 259 Wh. That’s by no means bad, but rather average. You can also decide to go with a 30Q 12S3P Samsung battery, which will give you 389 Wh and let the battery last around 50% longer but will also cost you $150 more. 

Trucks and Bushings 

The Trucks and Bushings AEBoard used here are definitely not outstanding, but won’t let you down either. You shouldn’t the Hornet expect to become your next outstanding carving buddy, but loosening the trucks will make the turning radius quite nice.

Wheels and Wheel Options 

I already said that one or two times, but the biggest drawback the Hornet has are, in my opinion, its wheels. They are super stiff and unbouncy, turning roads that are not 100% flat into an uncomfortable ride, comparable to a hub motor board. But, fortunately, since the Hornet has a belt motor, you get many possible wheel options. The pulleys the Hornet comes with are common abec pulleys, hence getting some other pulleys is not that necessary. 

Water Sealings

The Hornet is water-resistant, but NOT waterproof. That means that you don’t have to be afraid of small puddles, but please leave this board at home when it’s raining strong outside. 

Shipping Time

Shipping is free for about 70 countries, including the US, Canada, and most countries in Europe. Tax expenses are also covered by AEBoard. Depending on where you live, the shipping time will be between 7 and 30 business days. Buyers from Canada will have to wait a little bit longer (25-30 business days) for their Hornet because, as AEBoard states on their website, “there are relatively fewer flights to Canada”. You can also choose to go with the “faster air shipping” or “UPS Express Shipping” if you wish to receive your board sooner.

Customer Service

AEBoard is definitely not new on the market, but still not super popular. That means that, on the one hand, there wasn’t a huge scandal and it appears that their boards get bought often enough to make this business profitable. On the other hand, none of their boards seems to have gotten their buyers over-the-moon-excited. 

Their English isn’t the best, so communicating with AEBoard might be a bit exhausting if you need to contact their customer service. 

When I did some research on their reputation, I came across their Facebook page (which doesn’t have a ton of likes) and saw that there are quite a few negative comments about their customer service. While this doesn’t make a good impression, you still have to be cautious about this kind of information. There are many trolls out there, commenting negative (and untrue) reviews on purpose to let a particular company look bad. Also keep in mind that when someone has a satisfying experience with their customer service, they probably won’t go to their Facebook page and post it, so these negative comments might let the customer service look worse than it is in reality.

Price

With the discount code “DL49.99” applied, you only pay $549. This price is pretty good, especially considering that there aren’t any cheaper belt motor e-skateboards out there. But: there are considerable competitors on the market, offering boards for a similar price and sometimes nicer features. If you’re willing to dig a bit deeper into your pocket, you can even get quite nice belt motor boards from established companies like Backfire or Meepo. 

Budget board competitors, companies not sooo established:

  • Beastboard ($599) with a bigger battery
  • Ownboard W2 ($629) has a better deck, better wheels, and a handle

More established competitors:

Model

AEboard Hornet

Meepo NLS Belt

Backfire Zealot

Exway Flex

WowGo 3X

Image

Price

$ 699

$ 749

$ 699

$ 669

$ 629

Battery Size

259 Wh

288 Wh

311 Wh

259 Wh

259 Wh

Range

17 miles (27 km)

18 miles (30 km)

18 miles (30 km)

20 miles (32 km)

14 miles (23 km)

Top Speed

24 mph (39 km/h)

22.5 mph (36 km/h)

28.5 mph (46 km/h)

25 mph (40 km/h)

24 mph (39 km/h)

Motors

2 x 800 Watt 

2 x 900 Watt 

2 x 750 Watt 

2 x 750 Watt 

2 x 600 Watt 

Weight

16.3 lbs (7.2 kg)

18 lbs (8.2 kg)

17.6 lbs (8 kg)

16.5 lbs (7.5 kg)

17 lbs (7.8 kg)

Max Load

330 lbs (150 kg)

330 lbs (150 kg)

260 lbs (118 kg)

265 lbs (120 kg)

265 lbs (120 kg)

Recharge Time

3.5 hours

No info

6 hours

5 hours

4 hours

Warranty

3 months

6 months

6 months

12 months

6 months

Wheel Sizes (Stock)

105 mm

85 mm

96 mm

85 mm

90 mm

Special Features

one of the cheapest belt-drive boards out now

Automatic turn-on feature, Boosted Parts used, Guitar Stand included

Side LED Lights, Biggest Wheels

Automatic turn-on feature, App for Customization, Swappable Drive Train, Smart Battery 

Looks like Boosted

At that price, the WowGo 3X or Exway Flex could be a better option. 

Recommendable Upgrades

As I already said, I would definitely recommend getting a new pair of wheels for the Hornet, as these will 100% level up your riding experience. If you choose to go with abec core wheels, swapping will be super easy, but you can even go for some non-abec wheels, if you’re willing to get some new wheel pulleys as well. The swap won’t be as easy as with abec core wheels, but still super doable.

Wheel options with abec core:

  • Cloudwheels
  • Abec 11
    • Flywheels
    • Superfly
    • Refly

Wheel options with Kegel core:

  • Orangatang kegels or Caugama wheels
  • Boa wheels
  • Torqueboard wheels

There are also some upgrades that I’d recommend for any board/rider, such as: 

  • Good helmet (this is a must!)
  • Gloves
  • Shredlights
  • Guitar stand (Board stand)

Closing Thoughts

Overall, the AEBoard Hornet definitely is a good budget belt board. It comes with good acceleration, torque, and hill climb ability while only costing $600, so nothing to complain about here! 

If you have more money to spend, brands like Backfire, Meepo, WowGo, Exway are more established and might be worth a closer look. 

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