The Meepo V3 is a mighty all rounder that will appeal to both beginners and speed demons alike.
The Meepo V3 was my first electric skateboard and the board that fuelled my passion for esk8. For those reasons alone, I will always cherish it. But is it any good? The Meepo V3 is a board manufactured in China and the Chinese esk8 companies are known for their well priced boards. It cost me $379. This is a fantastic price for what you get. I knew hardly anything about electric skateboards when I ordered the V3. The esk8 videos I watched online made it look like a lot of fun and I thought the price was just right for a speculative purchase to see if I would enjoy it. Goodness, I didn’t just enjoy it. It changed everything.
Check out the Meepo V3 at: meepoboard.com/V3
The first rides…
I have never been a skater so upon receiving the board, my first ever electric skate was literally going up and down a side street next to mine in a straight line back and forth, over and over again, figuring out whether I am a regular or goofy rider while trying to not look like a prat. To a complete newbie, even doing this was an invigorating and somewhat nerve wracking first experience. However, the learning curve on the V3 was so smooth. An hour later, I was slowly making my way around the pathways in my local park getting a feel for turning. Skip forward to less than a year later and I am now commuting to work on my board (albeit a different one – we’ll come to this later), skating over 10 miles every day and have created an esk8 YouTube channel. I thank the Meepo V3 for making all of this possible.
The board itself is 96cm long and 22cm wide. It is a hub driven board which means that the back wheels are essentially two 540 watt motors. This makes the board extremely quiet compared to belt driven boards but it also makes you really feel the ride through your feet which can be lovely on a smooth tarmac track but less so on an uneven and bumpy surface! The board is made out of maple and has a smart, understated look – black with the Meepo logo nicely running along it.
Are the trucks too tight?
The board is also very stiff both in flex and its tight trucks. I have read that many V3 owners loosen the trucks right out of the box to allow for better and smoother carving but I never touched them. As a new rider, a stiffer ride suited me. Bombing around a city like London, I wouldn’t want the fear of speed wobbles to be on my mind so I did appreciate the tighter trucks and the firmer ride. Yes, it made making tight turns difficult but I was happy with the trade-off.
What about the remote?
The remote is very good, I must say. It has a digital display that shows your speed in either kph or mph, the board battery level, the remote battery and a milometer/odometer. The acceleration and braking curves on the V3 are also just spot on. They are controlled by a wheel on the remote which, in turn, is controlled by your thumb. The board is very responsive to the remote. I have never experienced the remote cut off and any lag between the remote and the board is so minimal that I do not notice it.
Speed modes – are they helpful?
The board has 4 speed modes – Low, Medium, High and Pro and 4 braking modes named the same. The Low speed mode maxes the top speed at 5mph. This is such a nice feature which allows you to let complete novices have a go on your board without worrying that they will wipe out (or damage the board!). As you move up through the speed modes, the top speed and acceleration torque increases incrementally. You may think that a sub $500 board sounds pretty cheap and probably doesn’t deliver much in terms of performance? If you thought that, you would be very wrong. This board packs a punch!
And how fast is it? The Top Speed
The top speed that I obtained on the board at full throttle was 28 mph. Of course, factors play a part in this. I am a 95kg and tall rider, the wheels were 100mm wide (not the stock 90mm wheels) and the surface was buttery smooth. For the price, I think that this is excellent. After 6 months of regular riding, my optimum set up was riding in High mode and occasionally switching it up to Pro when I needed an acceleration boost in traffic. I personally like the brakes on High mode.
Shipping time, and an apology…
So how long did this very reasonably priced board take to get to me in London from China? Ready? 3 months. Yes, 3 months. I was like a kid who couldn’t play with his brand new toy for a whole 3 months. The reason for such a long delivery time was not made clear to me by Meepo at the point of purchase. However, when I did finally receive the board there was a note inside apologising that Meepo had run low on parts which led to longer delivery times. I understand that their shipping times have improved and I have heard of customers in Europe and the USA receiving their boards in a matter of weeks when they are functioning as normal. To apologise for the 3 month wait, they had installed 100mm wheels onto the board rather than the 90mm stock wheels as a gesture of goodwill. This was nice of them but meant nothing to a novice esk8er like me. I was just glad to finally get hold of the board. After a few weeks of riding, I was actually extremely grateful for the larger wheels. City skating in London involves very uneven riding surfaces, 90mm wheels just don’t look suitable from what I’ve discovered since. I would highly recommend getting the 100mm wheels with the board unless you plan to skate on lovely smooth roads.
Real World Range, a drawback…
So far, so good, right? Why would I need to bother getting a second electric skateboard if the Meepo V3 is such a champ? One word – Range. To be fair, this isn’t entirely Meepo’s fault. They advertised the range of the board as 11 miles. If you want more range you can spend an extra $200 for the Extra Range battery version which gets you 20 miles of range. I didn’t know when I was ordering the board how much I would fall in love with esk8! I ordered the Standard V3 and I should have ordered the Extra Range V3 in hindsight. However, I do not get this advertised 11 miles on my V3 so I think this needs flagging up. On their website, Meepo refer to “Real World range”. In reality what this buzz phrase means is “always riding in Medium speed mode”. At the beginning, I was riding on Medium speed mode all the time and I once got 10 miles on the board. This was close enough to the advertised range so I thought “it’s all good”. No, it’s not. As you progress, you will be riding more and more in High mode until it becomes your default speed setting. Riding on High mode, I feel lucky to get 7 miles out of the board. It is usually 6 miles. This, to me, is “Real World range” not the 11 miles advertised on their website. I would certainly recommend getting the Extra Range model if you are thinking about spending any significant amount of time on your board on your rides. If I were to ride in Pro mode the entire time then the range would be even less than 6/7 miles. Of course, if you are a lighter rider than my 95kgs then you will get a bit more range than the figures I have quoted.
How about rain?
Like most electric skateboards, the Meepo V3 is not waterproof. It is not water resistant either. By no means should you ride this board if it is raining or if it has recently rained. Be honest; you will though! “It rained last night but it’s stopped this morning, I’ll be fine” is many an electric skateboarders’ mantra. Including mine, to be fair. On several occasions I rode in the light drizzle or when the roads were wet after a shower. You take the risk, you accept the consequences. I have never broken the V3 by riding in the wet but I count myself lucky. One time, I couldn’t switch the board off after I’d ridden in the wet until the following morning when it had dried out next to a radiator. I got lucky and I certainly would not recommend riding in the wet on the V3. Also, the urethane hub wheels have absolutely zero grip so you will slip and slide all over the place if you put the throttle down.
A handle? Thank you!
One very nifty thing the V3 has is…..a handle! I know that this is not specific to Meepo boards but it is worth mentioning how useful this is, especially for a beginner like I was. The handle is just a cut-out part from the board so that you can easily grab it. As a beginner, you will come across situations where you don’t feel confident enough to continue riding (for me it was traffic on the roads or too many people around me in a park). Just being able to stop, breathe, pick up the board and walk until you feel ready to go again was a godsend. The board is pretty light too at 7kg.
What about the price?
How much does the Meepo V3 cost?
|V3 Standard (Standard Shipping)||$379.00|
|V3 Standard (Fast Shipping)||$439.00|
|V3 ER (Standard Shipping)||$579.00|
|V3 ER (Fast Shipping)||$639.00|
Check out the Meepo V3 at: meepoboard.com/V3
To put it all in a nutshell
To conclude, if you want to spend less than $500 on an electric skateboard that is super fast, reliable and a whole lot of fun then you should buy the Meepo V3. No question. Currently, I cannot see another board out there on the market that competes at this price point. If you want more than 6 to 10 miles range then most certainly consider spending the extra $200 for the Extended Range (ER) version which will double the range you get on the V3 Standard (I wish I had). This board changed my life for the better and got me massively into esk8. Even though I eventually upgraded to a premium board that gives me 20 miles of range (see my Kaly 2.0 review here) I still take the Meepo V3 out for fun every now and again…if it hasn’t been raining! If you would like to see more of the V3 in action check out the early videos on my YouTube channel Sk8oetry.
Check out the Meepo V3 at: meepoboard.com/V3