Maxfind has been offering stylish, aggressively priced electric boards since 2015, and they’ve steadily progressed into more advanced setups with increasingly capable features. This is a path we’ve seen many brands follow as they come into maturity, and I think it’s reflective of healthy competition in the space. As brands become more established and growing pains develop into experience, companies are able to more confidently explore new board models.
Enter the Maxfind FF-Belt, the second model in the “High Performance” series alongside the FF Street. This board’s advertised top speed matches the Maxfind FF-AT’s advertised high end of 28mph/45kph, which is the company’s quickest offering. My colleague found the FF-AT came up short in this department at 21mph, but those are mighty big wheels for hub motors to drive…perhaps the belt drive can pull out more power?
The FF Belt has a much heavier ride-feel than it’s hub-driven counterpart, the FF Street. A belt-drive system is in fact weightier, bringing the heft of the Belt model up a full 4 pounds to 24 total. This, combined with a stiffer composite deck, makes for a very controlled feeling while riding. The ride height is the same on both boards, a comfortable 5.5” to the top of the arch from ground level. The added heft and reduced flex in the deck make for a very stable feel, and the double kingpin trucks performed nicely after tightening them down.
The added stiffness and weight is appreciated, because the additional torque offered by this board is felt along it’s length. A noticeable jolt can be felt if the rider slams the throttle mid cruise…not jarring, but present. The acceleration is strong and even, although the acceleration is not the strongest I’ve seen from dual 1500w motor setup. This is not necessarily a drawback, because unless you’re looking to drag race you may prefer the smoother feel as you reach top speed.
The FF Belt comes equipped with CloudWheel clones, and they seem to be pretty good approximations of their idols. Matching the Cloud’s 105mm, they’re black with a half-whitewall and feature a honeycomb tread pattern instead of the Isosceles triangle’s (“special multi-step tread pattern”) found on the authentic Clouds that were paired with the FF Street when we reviewed it. They have performed well so far, although they may be more prone to sliding under hard braking than the Clouds…this sliding has been predictable, manageable and very fun for this rider, so it’s not necessarily a downside, just a characteristic. At the time of this writing, it seems Maxfind is still pairing the official Clouds as an option with the Street model…I wonder if they’ll eventually start offering their clones instead?
Accelerating and braking
The FF Belt offers smooth acceleration from a standstill to top speed, never feeling uncontrolled or jarring. There is significantly more torque than you’ll find on the FF Street, as expected. This isn’t the kind of board that’s likely to rip out from under you if you hit the throttle too hard…it’s a more humble acceleration than some of the competitors with similar setups, and I almost feel like I’m missing a “passing gear” to quickly accelerate from 20-30mph. The pull is stronger than the FF Streets hub motors, but the sensation is similar.
The Braking on the FF Belt can be exhilarating, if that’s what you’re into! The belt drive is quite capable of stopping the wheels at high speeds, “causing” or “allowing” you to slide, depending on whether you’ve got it under control! I found the slides to be predictable, and simply releasing the brake brings the board back under full control. I don’t incorporate an abundance of flare into my riding, but I did enjoy the freedom this braking system offers. You can certainly stop gradually and smoothly, even abruptly without sliding…but if you see a nice patch that needs a bit of drifting, locking the rear wheels is always an option!
The top speed on the FF Belt caught me by surprise because I got there so smoothly. My daily driver is a dual 1500w system with a much larger battery, and it screams to 33mph. The FF Belt took my 165lb payload up to 31mph for a moment on very ideal terrain, but it snuck up on me. I am able to reproduce a top speed of 29mph with no issue, but I find I’m not often on a long enough stretch of straightaway to achieve it. I consider anything with a top speed in excess of 25mph to be reasonable for most, and the FF Belt achieves this without issue. The FF Belt has also been able to carry me up inclines in excess of 30% incline, verifying the advertised capabilities.
Once again, we find ourselves misled by advertised range capabilities. This is disappointing for many reasons, most of which have to do with morality and honesty, but this may not be the place for discussions of virtue. What we will discuss is real-life range, and it’s better than the FF Street offered us. Our test riders both weigh in around 165lbs and have comparable skating experience.
We found that the first half of our charge offered noticeably better performance than the latter half, which can be expected. Riding against the FF Street, the Belt still showed 4 bars when the FF Street had to be kick-pushed! However, the remaining bars fall off quickly with high-speed, real world riding, and we found that we could get between 14-16 miles out of a charge. This is nowhere near the advertised 25 mile range, but it’s a reasonable outing length for this rider. I don’t ride more than 10 miles on a go usually, and although I have range anxiety and prefer to go overboard (my daily get 35+ miles on a charge) the FF Belt can be expected to fulfill the needs of most riders, most days.
Weight and portability
The FF Belt maintains the deck design of it’s Street-branded counterpart, even if the construction is quite different. This means we still get the tow handle on the nose, but the motor guards may complicate things for very tall riders hoping to pull it alongside them. As always, we recommend you avoid this situation with any board…during our review testing, we were comparing the FF Street directly to the new Belt model in the field, which meant the Street model often ran out of juice…that board is 4 pounds lighter, has a handle, you can kick-push it and I still advise you don’t run out of juice. Turn back around halfway through your charge, always. This board will fit in the backseat of many vehicles and the trunks of most, but we promise you don’t want to carry it.
Maxfind has hit it’s stride in terms of build quality, and that’s a huge factor in our review. Specs don’t mean much if they only hold for a week or two, and shipping these things back across the globe for repairs in not feasible. They need to arrive finished, tested, and essentially perfect.
We see Maxfind re-using parts across models, and this is a brilliant tactic for any company making hard goods. Taking the deck as an example, using one shape and style across many boards allows them to perfect that form and to drive its construction cost own by reducing the need to create new tooling. The longboard design equipped with front handle is used on all four of Maxfind’s FF series longboards, although the materials used vary. We also see the rubberized grip carrying across models, reflecting Maxfind’s opinion that it is superior to grit.
As Maxfind achieves milestones in their product design, we may expect to see more similarities between models with major changes having more to do with motor and battery technology than deck and truck configurations.
There are two battery configurations available for the FF Belt, the larger of which advertises a doubling in range to 50 miles. Given the Maxfind’s terrible history of misleading buyer’s with outrageous range claims and then delivering subpar performance, I would absolutely NOT buy the extended range model for an additional $349. A 27% price increase for a bigger battery from a company dishonest about batteries is not something we can recommend.
That said, we think the range achieved by the FF Belt is reason enough to consider it over the FF Street, given it’s currently less expensive, faster and travels twice as far.
Trucks and bushings
Like the FF Street, I feel the trucks on the Belt model are well-paired. As always, you my find the urge to replace them with your favorite brand or swap out the bushings for something more premium, and you will likely see improvements if you do. That said, I’[m not struggling with the stock setup. We’ve had no disappointments or catastrophic failures, and all I’ve done is tighten them down from stock. Like the deck, Maxfind seems to have found a manufacturer that gives them what they want and it hasn’t failed, so they’re sticking with it. We’re fine with that, especially since we’re looking for a finished, ready-to-ride board from the box that will appeal to the largest number of buyers. As such, a company has to find parts that satisfy that Goldilocks zone – not to stiff, not too soft, but just right.
The FF Belt comes equipped with polyurethane CloudWheel clones measuring 78A hardness, 85% high elasticity. This is a belt driven board, so lace up your hottest kicks and pull out your favorite board shoes! The FF Belt will accept nearly any wheel style, you just need to match it to the ABEC 11 pulley. I find CloudWheels and their look-alikes to be my favorite style of wheel for urban exploration, but this is entirely personal preference.
Like the FF Street, there does not appear to be much effort to waterproof this board, and the battery enclosure on the top of the deck nearly guarantees a submersion or heavy rain will kill it. Our advice is to leave this one inside if there is any chance of rain, this is not one of those boards that “might be ok”.
Excellent shipping time in the United States, within a week. Globally, not so great. Advertised shipping times as of this writing are: United States: Arrives 3-5 Days, Europe: Arrives 7-15 Days, Canada: Arrives in 60 Days, Australia: Arrives 7-15 Days. Maxfind has warehouse storage around the globe, so it’s likely there’s a board sitting on a shelf close by waiting to be shipped to you.
Maxfind disappoints us with inaccurate claims, and that makes us wary of trusting them with after-sales service. Reports have been mixed, but I wouldn’t expect to get a refund or repair regardless of what they claim in advance. As we’ve said, the product is constructed well and to our seasoned eyes it appears it should last with proper maintenance, but you may find you’re at the mercy of forums and skateboard threads when you need answers…fortunately we are part of a robust, intelligent, generous community that can likely set you straight.
Price and Competitors
The FF Belt feels right at $900, even if i feel they owe the buyer a few more miles of range. It’s actually $949 at the time of this review, which is cheaper than it’s less-robust counterpart, the FF Street, but still $49 past what I think it should sit at. I don’t think that small spread should deter you, but I want to be clear that this is not a “thousand dollar board”. This is a very nice $800/$900 board, and the difference matters. Boards at or in excess of 1k are pursuing different tracks and trails than those selling for hundreds.
Among it’s peers, the FF Belt holds it’s own. All the major players have a board in this category now, and they are all hitting the same price range…which you pick may depend largely on the appearance of the board, as many offerings in this category are neck-and-neck with speed and misleading with their range. Backfire is always one to look at since they are based in the US and offer phenomenal customer support.
Currently Recommended Upgrades
If you are buying this board, I think the “fast swap” battery system needs to be part of the appeal. Competing boards simply offer too much range at the same price for you to take the range hit without taking advantage of the technology. That said, 15 miles will get most people where the want to go, most days, and that’s what one battery will get you. I think one additional battery would be adequate for most weekend warriors.
We also recommend a helmet and body armor, specifically the Beyond Rider’s Armor we reviewed in 2021. This sport is extremely dangerous, and things happen in an instant. Helmets should be considered required for riding, and armored clothing goes a long way to preventing impact damage and abrasions. As a rider in my thirties, I feel the falls harder and the healing takes longer. Keep the injuries to a minimum and they wont pile up so high.
The Maxfind FF Belt is a beautiful addition to the company’s lineup, and the extra power is appreciated. They’ve done a nice job of maintaining the smooth ride-feel I’ve come to associate with them, a cruise more akin to a standard longboard than the shredrippers some of us have piloted. I like the ride, the look, and the complete package that comes out of the box. This company makes a good product, and they are following smart practices such as the cross-compatibility we discussed. As long as you fully understand the range disparity is real, you are otherwise unlikely to be disappointed with this board.
That said, Maxfind continues to disappoint us by advertising dishonest ranges that mislead consumers. For those of use who have had several boards and are thick into the sport, we know what to expect from who, and are less likely to fall for these claims. However, it’s not fair to expect deep research from the average consumer…as much as I advise it, not everyone has time, access or the know-how to properly evaluate a purchase. As such, I must consider the first-time, uninformed buyer who may spend a thousand hard earned dollars on a product that arrives half as capable as they expected. There are those who rely on these as transportation, not just a hobby. They deserve to know whether their investment is sound, and it’s on Maxfind to be upfront. As the industry continues to mature, we hope that it pressures companies to prioritize accountability and transparency.