Belt-driven electric skateboards are becoming more powerful, efficient, and affordable as technology and the sport progress. If you are in the market for an electric skateboard, or maybe trying to decide if Belts, Hubs, or Direct Drive boards are best for your goals, this article should help you look at some of the details. 

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Model

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Best Budget

Backfire Zealot

Best Budget All-Terain

WowGo AT2

Alternate Budget All-Terain

Verreal RS

Best Premium

Lacroix Boards

Why choose a Belt Drive Electric Skateboard?

There are a few different reasons why you might choose a belt drive electric skateboard. The first few would probably be acceleration torque and top speed. Let’s be honest…when you’re searching for an electric vehicle the first thing you were going to look at is the top speed. When I was deciding on which board to buy, I always look at this number. But the longer I ride, the less it actually matters. It can be exhilarating reaching speeds up to 30 miles per hour, but it could also be extremely dangerous. Reaching speeds this high is not fully necessary for a new rider or really any rider for that matter of fact. Belt-driven boards tend to have better acceleration as well which is important if you are looking for a board that can handle all types of elevation changes. Belt-driven boards will accelerate higher up hills.

belt drive electric skateboard with explanations

Belt-driven boards also give you the ability to change wheels easily. This is a big deciding factor for many people and with the market changing, and more availability on wheel options you should seriously consider this when purchasing a belt-driven bored. This may give you the option to change from street (urethane) wheels to cloud wheels, to pneumatic air-filled wheels which can give your board the ability to go on much more variety of terrains. 

Belt Drive vs Hub Motors – what’s the difference?

 A belt-driven board is powered by the gear attached to the motor spinning a belt that is attached to a gear (or ‘pulley’) on the wheel. A hub motor is driven by a sleeve around the motor spinning at one revolution per every revolution of the motor which is inside of the sleeve. With that being said this is where acceleration in torque comes into play. A hub motor board will give you a smoother acceleration curve and sometimes a more battery efficient ride. Belt-driven boards generally give you faster acceleration and torque and higher top speed. The hub-driven boards do tend to be a bit more efficient and quieter when it comes to noise output. If you want to know more about the differences in Hub vs Belt motors check out our dedicated blog post on this topic.

Direct Drive vs Belt Drive – what’s the difference? 

 A direct-drive board is powered by a motor and gear that is directly attached to the wheel. So the difference between these two models is that a direct-drive board has no belt hence the word direct drive. This may give a quieter ride and similar power but the direct-drive boards may have a slight advantage to a belt-driven board, but not highly noticeable. There are just fewer moving parts when it comes to direct drive boards.

How to choose a Belt Drive Electric Skateboard?

When you are looking at various different options for belt-driven skateboards there are few things you want to look at. Check out the top speed overall range and different drive modes that are available on belt-driven skateboards. It is nice to have the ability to change your acceleration and braking with the different drive modes that various board manufacturers offer. When you are learning the sport it is important to start off in an Eco or safe mode with a slower acceleration curve so that way you get confident and feel comfortable on the board while learning. The more powerful boards tend to have harsh acceleration in faster modes, which can throw a rider off the board if they are not balanced properly. The same goes for braking. If you are traveling at high speeds and slam on your brakes, you may be in for a rude awakening. 

young man riding on an electric skateboard uphill

Price

The price will determine a lot when thinking about purchasing an electric skateboard. You can get into a belt-driven board for as little as $500 and you can spend up to $4,000. I generally ride electric skateboards for leisure, and they are not my primary means of transportation. With that being said, I personally cannot justify a $4,000 electric skateboard. To some, the price may not be a factor, but let’s take a look at all options so you are well educated when making your decision. 

Area of Application – what features are you looking for?

Will you be riding the board for fun? Do you need to commute back and forth to work in the city? Will you be staying on the road, or are you looking for the ability to cruise over all different types of terrains? There are many factors to think about when purchasing a belt-driven electric skateboard. Some key features to look for are Top Speed, Range, Customization abilities, water-resistance, and ESC and remotes.

teen commuting on electric skateboard

Brand Reputation and Customer Service

This is a very important topic and something to not take lightly when purchasing a board. A lot of companies have mixed reviews, as there are tons of new companies looking to make a foothold in the industry. Due to the current state of the economy and world, there is a very high demand for boards and long shipping/wait times for orders to arrive. There have also been long wait times for customer service response, due to companies downsizing or having issues handling workload in this growth phase. The brands with a long company history and good customer service should have no issue shining through.

woman from costumer service saying we are here to help

Best Belt Drive Electric Skateboards 

Apsuboard X1

We will start off this by letting you know that this is the most cost-effective belt-driven board you can get. Now with that being said, remember you get what you pay for (in life and electric skateboards ha) This board comes in at $499, with an option to upgrade to an extended range battery. Apsu claims a range of 17-19 miles with a standard range battery and a top speed of 26 MPH. The flexible deck is made up of mostly maple, with one layer of bamboo. It is powered by two 650W belt-driven motors.

Apsu is using the hobbywing ESC in this model, amongst many other boards in this price range. The board weighs 15 pounds and has a handle cut out into the board for easy carry.  You will receive a 90-day warranty with the purchase of this board. Apsu is a new company and it is a bit tough to find history online about them. There are a handful of youtube videos about the board which most people seem to be impressed. One common thing across all videos is that the board is a bit loud, and wheels are a bit hard. But, with the belt-driven system, you will have the ability to change the wheels out and find the right fit for yourself.  

Specs

Top Speed26 mph (42 km/h)
Range17 miles (27 km)
Battery Size288 Wh
Motor Power2 x 650 Watts
Weight15.5 lbs (7 kg)
Max weight capacity330 lbs (150 kg)
Hill climb30%
Recharge time2.5 hours
Water Resistanceyes – but no IP rating
Wheel / Tyre Size90 mm
Warranty3 months
Link to Websiteapsuboard.com/X1
Price$ 499 – 288 Wh Battery
$ 688 – Bigger Battery

Vestar Mini – Best Budget Belt Shortboard

The Vestar Mini is a shortboard and the second-lowest-cost belt driven board you can buy. Shortboards or ‘minis’ are extremely portable, small easy and light to carry. They also handle very well because of the kicktail on the rear of the board. The kicktail also does have a handle cutout which makes the board very easy to carry. Due to the board size, you can expect a bit less stable of a ride at higher speeds VS a longboard. Vestar claims a top speed of 26 MPH and a range of 12 miles on their standard battery.

vestar mini belt drive

They do offer a few different battery options for this board, with the most expensive option offering a 15-mile range. This board would probably suit someone well who is traveling short distances, looking to have some fun cruising around city streets, or the neighborhood. You will receive a 6-month warranty with the purchase of this board. 

Specs and Features

Top Speed27 mph (30 km/h)
Range12 miles (16 km)
Weight13 lbs (5.9 kg)
Battery Size 187 Wh
252 Wh
Drive TrainHub or Belt
Motor Power2 x 600 Watt – Hub
2 x 1000 Watt – Belt
Max weight capacity 260 lbs (120 kg)
Hill climb 27%
Charge timeUnknown
Wheel Size83 mm
Water ResistanceIP 65
Warranty6 months
Link to Websitevestarboard.com/vestar-mini
Price $ 489 – Hub
$ 529 – Belt

Verreal RS

This board is coming in under $1000. Right now Verreal is offering a 40% off discount so with a standard battery and charger you can grab this board for $849 right now. This board sports two 1500W belt-driven motors, hobbywing ESC and remote, and a 10S4P standard battery. Verreal claims a top speed of 27 MPH and a range of 21 miles. At this price point, you will get double kingpin trucks which allow for a better turning radius and handling VS a board with single kingpin trucks. The deck is made up of maple and bamboo, but the battery enclosure is made of aluminum which does not make it very flexible at all.

Verreal RS with All-Terrain Wheels

The board comes with 90mm wheels, so you may get a bit of a stiff ride given the deck and wheel combination. Verreal states that this is for stability and control at higher speeds. This board is available in a few different configurations. You can choose 90mm urethane wheels, 105 or 120 mm cloud wheels, or 150 or 175mm all-terrain pneumatic tires. You will receive a 90-day warranty with the purchase of this board. With that being said, these are killer specs for the price but the brand does have a mixed reputation online. Again, another new company (founded in 2017) with the current state of the world, they may have some kinks to work out with order fulfillment and customer service. 

Specs and Features

Top Speed27 mph (43 km/h)
Range22 miles (35 km)
Battery Size360 Watts
504 Watts
684 Watts
Drive TrainBelt Drive
Motor Power2 x 1500 Watts
Weight22 lbs (10kg)
Max weight capacity330 lbs (150kg)
Hill climb25 – 30%
Recharge time3 – 5 hours
Water ResistanceUnknown
Wheel / Tyre SizeStreet, Cloud, or AT-Wheels
Warranty3 months
Link to Websiteverrealboards.com
Price$879 – Street Wheels (360 Wh Battery)
$1079 – Street Wheels (684 Wh Battery)

$1019 – AT Wheels (360 Wh Battery)
$1259 – AT Wheels (684 Wh Battery)

Backfire Zealot – Best Budget Board 

There has been a lot of buzz around this board, and that is for a good reason. At this moment you can snag this dual belt driven board for under $700. This board is powered by two 750W belt-driven motors. It comes standard with big 96MM wheels that do well on most roads. The battery enclosure sports a neat LED, and the deck is made up of bamboo and fiberglass which offers insane flex.

Backfire Zealot

The Zealot offers top speeds of up to 30 MPH and a range of 20 miles. There are loads of different wheel configurations for it, it is reliable, fast, and tons of fun. They do include extra pulleys and belts as well as hardware with the board, which is always a plus. You will receive a 6-month warranty with the purchase of this board. This is a solid belt-driven board, its also great for beginners. Backfire has a good, long standing brand reputation. They have been in the industry for over 10 years now.

Specs and Features

Top Speed28.5 mph (46 km/h)
Range17.5 miles (28 km)
Battery Size311 Wh
Drive TrainBelt Drive
Motor Power2 x 750 Watts
WeightUnknown
Max weight capacity260 lbs (120 kg)
Hill climb30 %
Recharge time6 hours
Water resistanceyes – but no IP rating
Wheel / Tyre Size96 mm
Warranty6 months
Link to Website(Global) backfireboards.com/zealot
(US-Stock) backfireboardsusa.com/zealot
Price$699 – Sea Shipping
$799 – Air Shipping

WowGo AT2 – Best budget All-Terrain

This board is coming in just under $1000 USD with the $100 discount that WowGo is offering at the moment. It is powered by two 1500W belt-driven motors. WowGo claims a top speed of 25mph and a range of 22 miles. The AT2 deck is comprised of bamboo, maple, and fiberglass for a flexible feel. Between the pneumatic wheels and flexible deck, this board is made to absorb some all-terrain abuse.  It is water-resistant, but WowGo does not recommend riding in wet conditions.

Wowgo AT 2 with discovery wheels

You will receive a 9-month warranty with the purchase of this board. This is a solid option, and all-terrain board for this price, but again the company is new. There are mixed reviews when researching this board and company. 

Specs and Features

Top Speed25 mph (40 km/h)
Range22 miles (35 km)
Battery Size504 Wh
Drive TrainBelt Drive
Motor Power2 x 1500 Watts
WeightUnknown
Max weight capacity260 lbs (120 kg)
Hill climb30 %
Recharge time6 hours
Water resistanceyes – but no IP rating
Wheel / Tyre Size7 inch or 120mm
Warranty9 months
Link to Websitewowgoboard.com
Price$1099 – Pneumatic or Cloudwheels
$1219 – Pneumatic and Cloudwheels

MetroboardX 

Now we will enter a higher caliber of boards, and that will come with a price tag. Made in the USA,  Metroboard has one of the best reputations out there,  and this is a premium quality board. This board is powered by two 2200W brushless belt-driven motors. With top speeds of 30mph+ and range of 30 miles+ this board is a real powerhouse. It comes standard with front, rear, and underbody lights. Riding at night can be really fun, as long as you are safe and visible!

Metroboard X

This is a fairly heavy board, so portability may be a challenge. It is just about 30 pounds with an all-terrain setup. The deck is made from carbon fiber, which has absolutely no flex. I have ridden al different types of decks, and there is an extreme difference in feel and ride when riding a flexible deck vs a carbon deck. You will receive a 1-year warranty with the purchase of this board. The MetroboardX does start around $2500USD, but you are getting a great value for the products and customer service that is offered. 

Specs

Top Speed23 mph | 37 km/h – All Terrain Tyres
26 mph | 42 km/h – Street Wheels
Range20 mi | 32 km – All terrain
30 mi | 48 km – Street Wheels
Battery Size 576 Wh
Motor Power2 x 3000 Watts
Weight29 lbs | 13 kg – All terrain
28 lbs | 12,7 kg – Street
Max weight capacity 300 lbs | 135 kg
Hill climbno info
Recharge time5 hours
Water Resistanceno info
Wheel / Tyre Size7.5 inch | 19 cm
Warranty6 months
Link to Website:metro-board.com
Price $ 2499 – Metroboard X

Lacroix Boards – Best High-End Board

Lacroix offers three boards at the current moment. The Jaws, Nazare, and Nazare Lonestar. The boards do range from $2500 up to $4000. The Jaws starts at $2500 and will give you a 16-22 mile range, and a top speed of “more than you need” (as listed on their site). It comes standard with 8-inch all-terrain wheels. All their boards come with all titanium hardware which gives you peace of mind knowing that you won’t strip or snap any bolts or screws.

Lacroix Nazare Lonestar Front View

The Nazare starts at $3250. This board’s centerpiece is the Lacriozx HyperTrucks and uses Riptide Sports Urethane bushings. Riptide is the current market leader in Urethane bushings. I recently upgraded my bushing to Riptide and I can confidently say that they completely changed the feel and ride quality of the board.

Lacroix Hypertrucks

This board’s range is 21-28 miles and again Lacroix claims a top speed of “More than you need”. Making the jump up to the Lonestar you will be looking at a starting price of $3900. The battery used in this board will provide you with a 50-60 mile range, which is insane! All boards give the option of choosing a regular or stiff flex deck. The regular deck is made from maple and fiberglass and can support riders up to 250lbs. The stiff flex deck adds an extra layer of maple and can support riders up to 350lbs. The 350lb limit far exceeds most other manufacturer’s weight limit, so this deck is an awesome option for bigger riders. These boards are heavy, there’s no getting around that. The Nazare Lonestar is clocking in at 49 lbs.

Comparison between Lacroix Jaws, Nazare and Lonestar

They all come standard with headlights, which is an awesome feature for night riding and visibility. These boards are made in Canada, and the company has a proven, killer reputation. Lacroix boards are high-quality boards, and some would argue that they are the absolute boards that money can buy.

Specs

Top SpeedNo official info (but they are fast)
Range16 miles (26 km) – Jaws
32 miles (34 km) – Nazare
50 miles (80 km) – Nazare Lonestar
Battery Size 706 Wh – Jaws
882 Wh – Nazare
2152 Wh – Nazare Lonestar
Motor Power2 x 3550W = 7100 Watts – DSS50+
no info on the other models but they are more powerful
Weight26 lbs (11.5 kg) – Jaws
35 lbs (25.5 kg) – Nazare
45 lbs (20.5 kg) – Nazare Lonestar
Max weight capacity 350 lbs (160 kg)
Hill climbno info – but they surely climb hills
Recharge time2 hours – Jaws
3 hours – Nazare
6 hours – Nazare Lonestar
Water resistance yes – but no IP rating
Wheel / Tyre Size8 inch (20 cm)
Warranty3 months
Link to Websitelacroixboards.com
Price $ 2499 – Lacroix Jaws
$ 3299 – Lacroix Nazare
$ 3899 – Lacroix Nazare Lonestar
Link to our ReviewsLacroix Jaws Review
Lacroix Nazaré Lonestar Review

Belt Drive Electric Skateboard Kits

BKB Build Kit Boards Electric Skateboard Kit

For those of us wanting to understand all components and of electric skateboard, this is an awesome option. It comes with everything you need to build a ‘mini’ electric skateboard. Similar to the Vestar mini we talked about earlier. You can opt for a single or dual-motor option, and chose from a handful of wheel configurations. This kit comes with a Tayto deck, which is stiff but has concave to grip your feet. It also has a kicktail which will make lifting up the front end and turning a bit easier. Being a shorter deck, you may have a bit less comfort at higher speeds. With the dual-motor option, you will get an 18-20 mile range and a 28 MPH top speed. This is a US-based company, but it was a bit tough to find reviews and any company history.

 Vestar DIY Kit

This kit will include everything you need to turn any longboard deck into an electric skateboard. Coming in at $489 this may be a good option for your DIYer that has a longboard deck laying around. It’s a bit hard to find specific information on this kit on the Vestar website, but it does specify that 83MM wheels are included, with a belt-driven system. There are two battery options available as well, with the Panasonic option adding $100 to your final price.

Maintenance Tips for Belt Drive Systems

Electric skateboards do generally take quite the beating, between rocks and pebbles, dirt, sand, and bumps or holes in the road. There are a handful of things that you can do to maintain your board and increase the longevity of its components. The first, and probably the easiest thing that you can do is to clean your board regularly. Wipe it down (using a dry rag), or clean out all components with compressed air. I am lucky enough to have a compressor in my garage, but if you do not have access to one of these and can of compressed air works just as good. Make sure to check your nuts and bolts regularly as vibrations may shake some components loose. The nuts that you tighten on your truck usually contain nyloc, which is a nylon ring to hold nuts in place. Over time this nylon may wear out, and the nuts may need to be replaced. Keeping your bearings lubed and clean will also improve ride quality and smoothness as well as longevity of the bearing itself.

Belt tension is another thing to keep an eye on. If a belt is too loose, it may cause slipping in heavy acceleration or braking. This sound is quite unique so when you hear it you will definitely know. Belt tension can be adjusted on most boards by sliding your motor back and forth after loosening the motor mount screws that hold it in place. It is also important to check your pulleys often to ensure no teeth are missing. On a rare occasion, small pebbles can get lodged in-between the teeth. Check your pulleys to these imperfections to avoid further issues. To keep your griptape clean and in good working order, you can use a rubber cleaning block. These blocks work awesome and in most cases make your board look new again. 

Final thoughts

Belt driven boards have become more accessible, and affordable to everyone. There are many advantages to belt-driven boards. Higher torque and acceleration and the ability to climb hills are probably amongst my favorite qualities. But, the ability to change the wheels out with ease comes in a close second. Belt drive systems allow you to have the best of both worlds when it comes to street and off-road setups. If I’m feeling like riding urethane street wheels during the day and shredding some trails at night, some belt-driven boards will give me that option. They are fairly simple to maintain and are reliable and fun. I hope this article informed you and might help you in making the right choice in a belt-driven board! Keep riding, stay stoked, and be safe!