During college, themes of convenience, affordability, and fun are all prominent in a student’s life. Students are constantly looking for cheap life hacks, as well as a thrilling distraction from the stress of academia. Electric skateboards have risen in popularity as a means of both transportation and enjoyable outdoor hobby. With essential portability and a quick way to skip traffic, they are a common sight in the cities and college campuses. Popularized by a few early-adopting Youtubers, electric skateboards have no doubt been on the horizon of many college students. However, while convenient for fast transportation, the first few brands offered only expensive premium boards. Therefore, college students couldn’t afford these personal electric vehicles.
But as the electric skateboard industry developed and adapted, market demands and competition improved both the quality and price of the boards. With pricing at an all time low, university students can now afford an electric skateboard to effortlessly take them from class to class. As a college student myself, I no longer dread my commute through campus. In fact, I look forward to it! I can fly through traffic (with appropriate safety gear of course) and quickly run to class without having to worry about bus times or parking. Not only is my electric skateboard convenient for college life, but it also brings me daily fun. Riding my electric skateboard is a joy to use, and I catch myself checking the clock during class until I can go ride through campus once again.
Which features are we looking for in electric skateboards for campus riding?
When searching through the dizzying plethora of electric skateboards, one may become easily overwhelmed at all the different options. So it’s important to identify the important factors in your board purchase to help narrow down the options for the best college campus electric skateboard.
First and foremost, price is king. Most college students are on some form of a budget, and their transportation needs reflect that. So all of the boards on our list are a much lower than average price, especially for the value you receive.
In addition to price, the electric board should have minimal noise when riding. Not only could you come across as annoying with loud motors, but there’s a chance that a noisy electric skateboard zipping across campus could attract the wrong attention from campus security. For this reason, all the electric boards we feature here have hub motors, which are nearly silent. They also have few moving parts and blend in with the traditional design of a skateboard.
Portability is also important when riding an electric skateboard across campus. Some electric skateboards are extremely bulky and heavy, making them exasperating to drag through crowded hallways and into classrooms all day. The ideal college electric skateboard needs to be light, slim, and easy to carry upon reaching your destination.
Finally, electric skateboards for university need to be durable. Students are often strapped for time and cash, and they can’t afford delays and repairs with a board that is broken. Their electric skateboard needs to be simple and get them from point A to B without gobs of maintenance plaguing them.
How to choose an electric skateboard for college students?
So now that we’ve narrowed down what college students should consider for their electric skateboard, how should you choose one?
The obvious first answer is a great price. Many of these electric skateboard companies are always running sales on their websites. You can also look for brand ambassadors online to scoop up a discount code. All of the electric skateboards we’ve highlighted come under $600, with some as low as $389!
A student should also choose an electric skateboard with solid battery life (range). With a day full of classes, there may not be time to charge. In addition, you don’t want to be stranded a mile from the next class with a dead battery. So you should choose a board that can handle your daily mileage and get you back to your dorm with juice to spare.
Finally, university students should choose a board backed by fantastic customer service. Even the most premium and expensive boards need maintenance and expert help from time to time. And with the busy high-octane college life, it’s important to keep your board running. It’s vital to pick a board with a company that can quickly answer your questions and help troubleshoot any problems you may have.
Best electric skateboards for College Campus Riding
Best Electric Longboards
Longboards are the traditional deck style of riders that commute long distances. They offer comfort with flexible decks and the ability to have a wide strong stance. This also allows for stability at high speeds. While they aren’t as light or portable, they can be carried moderate distances by holding onto the front trucks (or a cutout handle in the deck). Here are the best electric longboards for college students.
Backfire G2 Black
Backfire has been making reliable and quality electric skateboards for years now. Their beginner and budget friendly G2 Black board is a top choice for a college student starting at $419USD. This is a basic yet solid board that covers all the important aspects for an excellent campus commuter. Despite a thrilling 24mph top speed, the G2 Black can still achieve 11-12 miles of range with moderate speed. The G2 Black also uses a reliable and smooth Hobbywing electronic and remote system. This ensures a buttery smooth ride, as well as reliable brakes. Make sure to check out our Review on the Backfire G2 Black 2020 (one of the most comprehensive reviews we have published).
The long 38 inch deck is flexy for comfort, and the longer deck is helpful for stability when riding at high speeds. The 96mm hub motors are extremely quiet. These larger wheels help with absorbing bumps and cracks in the road, including sidewalk cracks. The wheels and motors are replaceable for easy and affordable maintenance. Backfire is well renowned for outperforming other Chinese manufacturers in customer service. They have support centers all over the world, including in the United States. They usually respond quickly and with solid English. With more than one warehouse for warranties (which is for six months), you can expect reasonable turnaround time for any repairs on your Backfire Board. Backfire also provides fast shipping options in the USA (a pleasant rarity for companies based in China)
Backfire G2 Black Video Review
Meepo is considered by many to be the first successful budget electric skateboard company. Founded by one man on a mission to make electric boards inexpensive and better quality, Meepo has dominated the industry in the last few years. They are often the best in-class for the price, and their raw specs are usually at the top of the charts for budget boards. Their incredible value puts them on the shortlist for college students. Make sure to check out our Meepo V3 Review here.
The Meepo V3 is their most popular electric skateboard, and rightfully so. With an attractive price starting at $389USD, and a blistering top speed of 28mph, it’s hard to ignore the V3. The long deck allows for stability while riding, but the handle cutout still gives you portability when carrying it. The V3 also claims 11 miles of casual riding, which is plenty for most college campuses. You can also easily swap the battery in a few minutes, effortlessly doubling your range. If you need more juice per ride, The V3 also has an Extended Battery option that can achieve nearly 20 miles of range! Despite the power that this board provides, Meepo has put a lot of focus on making their remote and electronics more smooth and reliable with their updated 6.5 ESC and new M4 remote.
Meepo worked hard to seal the board completely to provide as much water resistance as possible, and the battery is impact resistant and tested thoroughly. This is perfect for riding to class immediately after rain (though it’s not recommended to ride on wet surfaces for long distances). Meepo also offers replaceable hubs for your rear hub motors for when they wear down in the future. If you have any problems or defects, Meepo offers a six month warranty. They also feature a very robust FAQ library for the various questions and problems related to electric skateboards. Meepo even has dedicated support employees to answer chats and emails (although response time can vary a bit).
Meepo V3 Video Review
Best Electric Shortboards
Shortboards are the kings of lightweight portability, and electric shortboards are no exception. Designed after the classic skateboard, these boards offer short inflexible decks designed to easily turn and weave through tight spaces (such as the crowded sidewalks of college campuses). Here are the best electric shortboards for attending university.
Exway has been on the scene for a couple years now. Based in China, they’ve been pushing the bounds of what’s possible in a budget electric skateboard. With exclusive Hobbywing technology, they are now going further with technology and software than even some premium brands. For Exway, it’s all about the details Exway’s Wave is bringing further improvements to the short board niche and thus is our pick for 2020. The Wave has some very unique features, built-in lights, swappable Drive Trains, a swappable Battery and a great Smartphone App. That all makes the Wave the best Short Board right now.
With all short electric skateboards, it starts with the deck. Exway added a deep concave into the deck for good foot placement, as well as the classic kicktail. This allows for mobility and stability at high speeds. Being a smaller board also means that the Wave is lighter, at only 14lbs, making it easy to run errands with and commute to work and school.
Use the discount code “ESKBD” for $15 off.
Exway Wave Video Review
Designed with a deep concave and double kick carbon fiber deck, the Backfire Mini comes in at the top of our list for ideal college boards. Its small size and light weight makes it a dream to cruise from class to class, and its classic design won’t stand out much from a normal skateboard (perfect for blending in with the crowd to avoid questions from campus security). Also, check out the awesome Royale Gold grip tape design option! The 790mm deck is made of strong carbon fiber to reduce the weight, making the entire board only 6kg. Check out our detailed Backfire Mini Review here.
The kicktail and nose kick allow for very sharp turns for agile commuting. It’s even possible to ollie the Mini, as well as ride down stairs! Despite its small stature, it still packs a punch with a top speed of 26mph. It utilizes quiet hub motors that look similar to regular skateboard wheels. Backfire utilizes the highly regarded Hobbywing electric controller system to ensure smooth and stable acceleration and braking. It can also handle a decent commute with a cruising range of 9-11 miles. The Backfire Mini starts at $599, and an extra $100 gets you faster air shipping.
Backfire Mini Video Review
Meepo Mini 2
The Meepo Mini 2 is a well renowned pocket rocket! Despite its traditional 30 inch skateboard deck design (including a kicktail), it can still reach speeds of 28mph with the upgraded version. This is especially ideal if you are comfortable with riding electric skateboards and you happen to be late to class. It contains many of the same parts as its larger older brother, the Meepo NLS Pro.
With its slick design, the Mini 2 is very nimble and easy to navigate through tight turns and crowded lanes. Similar to the Meepo V3, the Mini 2 can be equipped with a regular battery (9-11 miles) or an ER battery (up to 20 miles of cruising). The Mini 2 is also extremely portable, weighing in at only 7-8kg, depending on the battery option you choose. Its 90mm wheels contain the rear dual hub motors, which helps disguise the fact that it’s electric. The updated M4 remote is comfortable and ergonomic for precise control of your speed and braking as you fly across campus. If you’re looking for an electric shortboard that doesn’t compromise on speed or range, the Mini 2 should definitely be your primary choice! The Mini 2 starts at only $389, and Meepo offers faster shipping options for those who need it. The ER battery will cost an extra $200.
Meepo Mini 2 Video Review
Maxfind Max2 Pro
Ditching the standard skateboard short deck design for a fish deck pintail style, the Max2 Pro comes in sleek with a diamond coated carbon fiber deck! To be even more affordable and portable, Maxfind also offers a single hub motor version of the board to reduce weight and price, coming in at only 5.5kg and $469USD.
The dual hub motor Max2 Pro reaches a top speed of 24mph, although most wouldn’t realize it with how quiet the board’s motors are. The single hub motor is plenty for casual coasting on bike paths and sidewalks, but the dual hub motor version would be more handy for hills and heavier riders. The board charges reasonably fast (2 hours) and can reach a cruising range of up to 15 miles, which is more than enough for a typical college campus. Like Backfire, Maxfind also utilizes the Hobbywing ESC and remote, allowing for an unparalleled smooth ride. If you have any problems with the board, Maxfind has a 9 month warranty, which is higher than average in the budget electric skateboard industry.
Maxfind Max2 Pro Video Review
College life is often both stressful and thrilling. The goal of an electric skateboard should be to reduce stress by simplifying your commute, as well as add some thrill to your student life by creating a fun riding experience. With a bit of practice, some safety gear (buy a helmet), and the right board, you are well on your way to shredding through campus on your own electric skateboard.