Maxfind has been around since 2015, founded by two former high school students in China. They have a focus on economy, with inexpensive offerings advertised in both the entry-level and mid-tier ranges. The FF Street board is part of their “High Performance” series, accompanied by the Maxfind FF All-Terrain which sits up high on non-pneumatic 165mm tires. The design of the board is minimalist and beautiful, with great ground clearance and a sporty aesthetic. Even on CloudWheels, this board sits high above the pavement thanks to the sleek design and integrated battery pack. The specs of this board look promising and the price is good, but does it perform as advertised?
The FF Street performs very well for its class, with strong acceleration made smooth by the Hobbywing FOC ESC. The deck is very flexible and does a lot to improve the riding experience. The stock FF Street wheels felt good and paired with the forgiving deck my urban commutes were quite comfortable.
The smooth acceleration, comfortable ride, and predictable braking make for a relaxed ride, great for cruising around town or through some parks. This board is well suited for a variety of urban surfaces, and I find transitioning from street to sidewalk is very easy. I have a much stiffer board I use for long commutes, and while it has no trouble climbing a ledge, you’ll feel it happening. The Maxfind FF does a nice job balancing comfort with capability.
The Cloudwheel Effect
Paired with a set of Cloudwheels, the FF gets even cushier. The Cloudwheels crawl over sticks and stones, absorbing vibration and spreading out impacts along the way. I personally love the look of these wheels on a board, and the red set paired with the black FF looks vicious.
That said, I don’t know if I’d call them a necessary addition to the FF. The FF struggles with range (more on that later) and big knobby tires and off-roading make the situation worse. The FF shines as a lightweight commuter, a grab-and-go board that can be ready to ride in 30 minutes if need be. While Cloudwheels are a product I often recommend, I generally reserve that advice for boards with enough torque and battery capacity to support and take advantage of the Cloudwheel’s capabilities.
Accelerating and Braking
The FF Street offers smooth, steady acceleration with dual 750w motors that top out fast, and the braking is superb. I truly appreciate how smooth the brakes are on this thing, and I’ve never found myself concerned I wouldn’t make the stop in time. I can also report that the hill-climbing capabilities have not let me down, and I’ve been able to top every hill in my midwestern town, verifying the advertised 30% incline capabilities.
The FF Street advertises a top speed of 25mph, and I reached that speed (5’10” 175lbs). The board performs well at its highest speeds, and I did not experience wobbles. I was pleased to find that fast acceleration down a hill was relatively stable as well, although the board is so light that it starts to feel unreasonable! My primary board weighs at least 5 lbs more than the FF, and I notice it. The FF is quick, nimble, and fun to ride.
Herein lies the problem. The FF series boasts about the fast-swap batteries they have, and I do appreciate this function. When done well, this setup can extend your ride indefinitely, allowing you to carry a battery with you or keep one charged at a regular destination. When done well, a board with an already impressive range can carry a rider literally hundreds of miles if they wish, but the FF doesn’t provide a good range to start with.
I can only speak to the performance of their most Standard Range battery offering, but the results have been a bit disappointing. But please keep in mind that the range varies vastly depending on factors like, riders weight, riding style, type of terrain, outside temperature, wind. As for my test conditions: I’m 5’10” 165lbs and the range tests were consistent over hilly terrain with 65 degrees Fahrenheit (18 degrees celsius). My riding style is casually aggressive, staying near or at film throttle and carving where it’s safe to lean in. My testing takes place over an urban terrain of paved trail, roads and parking lots with hills up to a 30 degree incline.
The advertised range is 21 miles, and I am not able to milk 7 out of it before a recharge. Again, keep in mind that I am a rider with some experience with eskates and don’t spare them in my range tests. But still, the range was disappointing for me. That said, you are reading an article that has made you aware of this issue, so now you can decide whether it’s a good fit for you, fully informed!
Weight & Portability
The FF is the easiest full-size board I’ve had to carry. The nose features a handle, and the hub motors lend themselves to being rolled and there’s plenty of clearance for the tail. While we don’t buy our boards to take them for walks, the FF’s range may leave you hoofing it from time to time. Fortunately, it’s lightweight and easy to pull along behind you!
The Maxfind FF was built well, and the hardware is solid. The integrated battery enclosure in the deck is very well done, and allows for a freakishly thin board…a civilian could be forgiven for thinking this board was manual at first glance. The power button is good, the charging port is fine, and the deck is very well made. The grip on the deck is rubberized, which I much prefer over the sandpaper grit style. The battery enclosure closes snugly, but I do not see much effort towards waterproofing. Overall, the hardware quality and build seem generous for the price you pay for the board.
There are three battery sizes available for the FF, and they are interchangeable after the fact. The standard size is a Samsung 2.2AH allegedly providing 21 miles of range, while two larger models provide 42 and 64, respectively. As discussed earlier, the Standard Range battery was providing us 33% of the advertised range in our test and hence we think that the other models will not outperform. While the batteries can be swapped, technically allowing for unlimited range, I’d rather have a big fat 35+ mile battery strapped onto the bottom instead of carrying around 5 smaller batteries to go the same distance.
Trucks and Bushings
For the purposes of this board, I have no issue with the trucks and bushings. New bushings are probably always going to improve the ride a bit when you start with a stock Chinese board, but I think the applications of the FF don’t necessitate it. This is truly a mid-range cruiser, the kind that can roll over some rough pavement but wants back on the smooth cement as soon as you can manage. There is enough give and control for some carving, but this board doesn’t call for any theatrics. Some boards in this price range seem to have aspirations of being $1200 boards, so they pair big motors with terrible hardware…the FF seems like it was purpose-built for the tier it sits in, and that’s nice.
The Maxfind FF likes to wear many shoes, and they all look good. I tested the stock FF Street wheels as well as the Cloudwheel offering, and they are both great. There are all-terrain wheels available as well, and the board is reviewed wearing those here https://e-skateboarder.com/maxfind-ff-plus/. It’s great that hub-based boards are getting more options these days, used to be only belters and direct-drive who got to play dress-up!
There does not appear to be any efforts to waterproof this board, and the battery enclosure on the top of the deck nearly guarantees a submersion or heavy rain will kill this board. 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. Advertised shipping times as of this writing are: United States: Arrives 3-5 Days, Europe: Arrives 4-7 Days, Canada: Arrives 5-7 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 has a sketchy history with customer service. Do not expect the kind of customer service you might get from an American or European company, Maxfind, and their peers are generally looking at sales volume alone, not individual customer satisfaction.
Price and Competitors
The board is priced well, especially with the constant sales. Competitors include Backfire and Meepo, both with solid offerings at good prices. Backfire will give you probably a better customer service. Meepo will give you more accurate specs as well, but their customer service may not be much better than Maxfind’s.
The ground clearance and the beautiful design are good arguments for the FF, but the swappable battery is hard to even call a plus since it’s addressing a range problem the board shouldn’t have, perhaps even causing it. Is a swappable 7-mile battery a good thing? This will necessitate the purchase of additional batteries for many, which right now would cost you $200 for two additional batteries just to reach the advertised range of one. Pretty quick and we’re talking about spending $1000.
The FF does feel like it will last, and the parts are available. If you are a casual rider or a beginner who doesn’t want to upgrade after their first season, this may be a good fit. 7 miles is way under-advertised, but it translates to about 45 minutes of good riding…for many, that’s enough.
Currently Recommended Upgrades
I would suggest at least one extra battery, regardless of the model you buy. If you aren’t buying this board at least in part for the battery swapping, I don’t think it’s a good buy. There are many alternatives that offer a better range in a built-in battery in the same price/spec range. Besides the battery, this board doesn’t require any upgrades that I would suggest, I think this board is best-left stock and enjoyed as it is.
The Maxfind FF is a beautiful board with an excellent ride-feel, good control, and a very manageable design. It’s a pleasure to cruise on, navigating many types of urban pavement with ease and absorbing the impacts along the way. This leaves your feet and knees available for a much longer ride but alas, the range. This board paired with one extra battery will make it more than suitable for commuting fewer than 5 miles one way, or cruising for 90 minutes. While enthusiasts will gawk at this, the truth is most rides for most riders last less than an hour. This board can carry you that far and look great doing it. If you have been eying the Maxfind brand, the FF Street is a good entry. If you have been weighing your options and range is something you cannot move on, consider the short mileage per battery and the weight of those in your bag before calling the swap system a “complete solution”.
Worth Mentioning: The Maxfind FF Belt
The biggest flaw of the FF is its battery, FF Belt comes with a bigger one. Equipped with dual 1500 watt motors, the FF Belt debuts as the most powerful in this line of boards. Driving up 35% inclines (+5% over FF Street) and topping out at an advertised 28mph (+3mph), this board looks to be a contender in this price range. The motor specs and the performance of the FF Street have me optimistic about the performance of the Belt iteration, although the power requirements of belt drives are concerning. In our testing, the FF Street struggled to carry a rider 8 miles, and this drive system will be even more taxing on the battery pack. Belt drive systems also add considerable weight – at 31lbs the FF Belt is a behemoth, and a full 11 pounds heavier than the hub-driven variant. The fast-swap batteries are still in play on this model, and the deck composition is the same “Super Flex” blend featured on the whole FF lineup. The board is listing at the time of this writing for $899, a full $100 over the hub model. The FF Belt has a larger 12S3P base model battery compared to the 10S2P in the Street model, but it remains to be seen if the advertised range of 25 miles can be attained in real-world riding. If it comes close, the fast-swap battery system might become relevant, and at that price, it may be a contender in the mid-tier range.