My favorite thing about being on an electric skateboard is the feeling of freedom. There is nothing better than casting-off limits and feeling myself glide; it’s all the better when I can hop onto a new board and take that feeling off-road for hours. The AT2 is the second WOWGO board that I’ve owned, and I’m going to compare some of its abilities with my other eskate, the brand’s road model known as the WOWGO 3X. I’ll also describe the AT2’s more unique features, and discuss when an all-terrain board really is appropriate.
Buy at WowGo’s Website
A General Overview
The underside of the AT2 is almost completely occupied by the electronics enclosure. This is necessary for housing the large 504 Wh battery, capable of carrying a rider on flat ground to around 22 miles on a single charge! Even on the rough terrain that I tested it on – areas full of loose dirt, gravel paths, and hills littered with rocks and twigs – this board provided a smooth, comfortable ride.
The brakes are efficient and gentle, able to bring you to a quick stop from a little over 22 mph. They also hold you in place on small hills – if you put your foot on the tarmac. The control is amazing for off-road tracks, thanks to the 7-inch pneumatic all-terrain tires. Although the advertised top speed is 25 mph, a “wobble” effect that kicks in around 22 mph (at least for me) thus limits controllability and has prevented me from testing the advertised top speed. All things considered, this board is well worth the asking price of $1,099, with similar offerings from other manufacturers (like Evolve) priced at up to $2,000. Keep your eyes open for a sale or look around for some discount codes, and you may well find yourself with an even better deal on this capable board!
|Top Speed||25 mph (40 km/h)|
|Range||22 miles (35 km)|
|Battery Size||504 Wh|
|Drive Train||Belt Drive|
|Motor Power||2 x 1500 Watts|
|Weight||30 lbs (13.6 kg)|
|Max weight capacity||265 lbs (120 kg)|
|Hill climb||30 %|
|Recharge time||6 hours|
|Water resistance||yes – but no IP rating|
|Wheel / Tyre Size||7 inch or 120mm|
|Link to Website||wowgoboard.com/at-2|
|Price||$1099 – Pneumatic or Cloudwheels|
$1219 – Pneumatic and Cloudwheels
How it feels to ride
It’s difficult to describe the feeling of going from zero to 22 mph in around three seconds, with enough stability beneath your feet to carve up an incline and brake to a stop in only a few seconds more. Granted, the long carve I’m referencing was a mere 30 degrees, and I needed the space of an intersection to straighten out, but the rush of racing up a hill while leaning in and sticking to the road is incomparable. It’s worth mastering the techniques of carving and correcting for the sheer thrill of it, but also to save yourself the hassle of picking up the end of this 30-pound board to point it in the right direction.
The ride itself is very satisfying, the feeling of the road not disjointed, but cushioned. It’s not unlike the feeling of riding a bike on pumped-up tires. The 22-mile range provides a couple of hours of riding without the fear of a running out of juice. It provides you ample opportunity to attempt that ever-elusive 25 mph before you have to choose between slowing down and bailing.
For this review I have run a series of my own tests on the AT2 to compare against the spec sheet it’s advertised with, with special attention to speed, braking distance, and acceleration.
No extra tests were necessary to determine whether a 30-pound all-terrain electric longboard board is a hassle to carry around. If you need to transport the WOWGO AT2 somewhere that it can’t simply be ridden to, you would be well advised to pop it in the trunk or backseat of an automobile. The weight is cumbersome and unbalanced, and the length makes it unwieldy. As with most boards, this was designed to carry you, not the other way around.
The biggest shortcomings of this board relate to its instability when approaching 25 mph. With many boards, this would be more concerning than I find it to be on the WOWGO AT2, as the intended use is off-road riding. Since riding on trails, dirt, grass, and other such unpaved surfaces generally means the rider will be traveling at lower speeds, it’s not often that this limitation will become apparent. However, most of us will end up skating on roadways and sidewalks, even if just en route to our dirt tracks, so the instability does warrant a mention in this review.
I avoid busy city streets for obvious reasons, but quiet neighborhoods with rough concrete and loose pebbles are in abundance around where I live, and I do practice on them. As they’re less challenging than rocks and mud, I often find myself upping the speed almost unconsciously, right up until the point I start to lose stability. I’ve described it before as ‘wobbling’, which is a term many of you will be familiar with. This sensation involves loss of control, extra sensitivity to shifting weight, and overall destabilization. Whether it’s something related to the motors being pushed too hard, or a matter of adjusting the bushings to my weight, the default setup does not provide a safe ride at top speed for a man my size (170 lb).
I also have in my collection the WOWGO 3X model, which boasts a similar top speed to the AT2 but Is intended for on-road purposes only. On the 3X, I am able to reach top speeds without any decrease in stability and do not experience any wobbles whatsoever. While the AT2 is absolutely brilliant off-road, and the 3X sports a marvelous agility and tight stability on paved surfaces, these boards were clearly designed to stay in their element and not cross paths on the other’s terrain.
For beginners, I’d recommend either getting an on-road electric board or familiarising yourself with manual skateboards before exploring the all-terrain offerings. A friend of mine with essentially zero riding experience decided to try the AT2, and she insisted that I hold her hand to keep her balanced at 3 mph, if that tells you anything. Even though it presents a bit of a learning curve, that can be softened if you have a bit of prior experience; besides, determination and perseverance are what truly make great riders.
Acceleration and Braking
On the topics of acceleration, braking, and general speeds, I’m impressed by the board’s capabilities but not surprised. In case you don’t know how the control of WOWGO boards works, or simply would like a refresher, here’s a quick recap. In the case of the AT2 and the 3X, you are given a small handheld device that comes with four modes: 1, 2, 3, and turbo. Each of these modes has a different max speed and rate of acceleration, ascending from slower to faster. The actual control of the speed is determined by a rolling accelerator; the farther you push forward the faster you go, and pulling back activates the brakes.
Generally, the acceleration is smooth assuming the rider knows what they’re doing, building up to higher speeds as it moves along. However, turbo can feel jerky if you’re not used to being shoved by suddenly high speeds. I chose to stay in turbo mode during the process of testing this board’s acceleration and top speeds, as this allows for the most unbridled level of torque available.
Braking is generally unaffected by switching speed modes, and is fairly smooth across the spectrum. As with many other production boards, some riders will be left wanting a more abrupt feeling in their brakes, which manufacturers shy away from lest their riders be thrown. The board does provide a sort of parking brake feature; if you are at a standstill and hold the brake down, the you can climb on without the wheels rolling.
Real Hill Climbing
When travailing at approximately twenty percent overall incline, going both up and down, it took just three seconds to build up to 22 mph. Upon turning around and coming back, about two to three seconds of full braking brought me to a complete halt, or close to it. When descending properly steep hills, you’re likely to be slowed to a crawl instead of completely stopped. The board can support itself to at least 30 degrees with the brakes on, but rider weight is going to cause some movement.
The range of this board does technically line up with the advertised 22 miles of battery life, but keep in mind this is only for flat surfaces. The more complicated and difficult your path, the faster the battery’s energy will drain. Should your journey include steep and/or numerous changes in elevation, this will further affect your battery’s rate of discharge. In my experience, I’ve gotten about 15 miles of distance when riding on rough terrain before I turned back with 25 percent battery remaining. This still provides hours of riding, especially at the slower speeds that rougher paths demand, so I think that it evens out. You’re likely to get the advertised 22, but understand that this will vary just as much as your journeys.
As I’ve already touched on the general quality of the board throughout by describing the many overt characteristics of the board, here we’ll touch on some of the finer points. First up is the deck itself, which is set up with a neat little hexagon pattern on it that serves both form and function. Along with the expected grip advantage, the hive-pattern design incorporates cushioning that makes for a smooth ride. There’s about a half-inch of what I believe to be neoprene (or cushy grip tape) that covers the harder main part of the deck. It provides something for the feet to settle into when riding without being buoyant enough to unbalance the rider, and softens the vibrations traveling up the wheels from the road. There is a slight concavity in the middle of the board that encourages placement of the feet at the top and bottom of the deck, where control is centered and the board and rider are at their most balanced.
There’s also enough flex to allow the board to move with you comfortably when you turn, which is amazing when you realize that the entirety of the battery pack also has to flex and turn with you. This explains why it doesn’t almost hit the ground like its 3X predecessor. It’s also very…secure, is the best way I can explain it – stable in a way you don’t expect many boards to be. It feels tough enough that it can take all your weight and still buoy you above the rest of the road.
The ESC (Electronic Speed Controler)
The ESC, or electronic speed controller, comes in two parts: the handheld controller, and the actual computer onboard the deck. The controller has a nice non-slip grip and is built to a comfortable size and shape that makes adjusting the speed easy in a one-size-fits-all sort of way. It features a wrist lanyard to further prevent dropping, though sadly this is not adjustable. When the power button is held down, this not only turns the controller off or on, but the board as well. Quicker presses control the speed mode, which is displayed on a simple but clear screen that also displays your current speed as well as the battery levels of both the board and remote. The controller charges in 90 minutes, and that will keep it powered for around 7 hours, far outlasting the board itself. The computer on the board has a well-adjusted program that improves on its previous iteration from the X3, and better judges the speeds the rider wants to use and significantly smooths out the braking.
Charger and Charging Time
A full charge on the skateboard’s battery will take at least three hours from absolute zero, which will power the AT2 for two to three hours depending on speed, rider weight and terrain. The board will keep going even longer if you don’t go faster than 9 mph. The charger’s cable resembles something you would expect for a laptop, with a wall plug connection on one end, a converter, and a thin round plug that you insert into the board itself.
I wouldn’t go dunking this board into a lake and expect it to be completely fine, but things like rain, splashing through puddles, or washing it off with a hose has yet to damage mine. The battery pack has gotten wet multiple times, but it’s well enough sealed that it has caused me no problems.
It’s not a good idea to leave any of the metal or the battery pack wet – putting away damp is a bad idea – so I like to wipe mine down or dry it in the sun if it’s warm enough, just to be on the safe side.
The AT2 Comes equipped with 306 mm double kingpin trucks that give this board its wonderful handling. They work together with the flexible deck to afford a finely-tuned response to your foot movements, and provide soft transitions for gentler drifting. You dip down with these trucks, making it very easy to lean into the turns that you want to make. As a package, this setup allows the rider to feel confident that the board will predictably respond to their inputs.
There are two different wheels that you can get for the AT2: Pneumatic 175 mm All Terrain, or Cloudwheel 120 mm street.
I ride almost exclusively with the pneumatic (air-filled) wheels on the AT2, which are more reminiscent of bicycle or even car tires than they are of traditional skate and longboard wheels. Since I have two electric longboards, the one I ride depends on where I’m going and what I want to do; 3X for roads, AT2 for rough terrain. As Cloudwheels aren’t great for off-road, and wheels alone don’t solve the problem of “speed wobbles” on the AT2, I seldom affix them to the all-terrain board. If you only have the AT2 at your disposal, you might consider fitting the Cloudwheels onto the board when riding on pavement. However, I find the difference in ride quality negligible, and far outweighed by the nuisance of swapping wheels. As I’ve discussed, the AT2 and X3 were each designed with a specific purpose in mind, and a wheel change does little to change that.
That said, I do have friends that much prefer the Cloudwheels over pneumatics on blacktop. If you’re on the fence, I’d recommend starting with the all-terrain wheels when you get the board initially, and if you’re not satisfied with them for road use you can order the Cloudwheels. They are now widely available, so you will have no trouble finding a set to add to your collection.
WOWGO manufacturing is based in China, and depending on where you are the shipping time can vary greatly. Standard shipping to the United States is at least 40 days, which can be distressing if you need a quick fix! For an additional $90, every effort is made to have it to you in three weeks. If you happen to visit the website during a sale, usually $100 off, you might just put your savings toward that air-shipping and call it a free upgrade! If you’re anything like me, even three weeks will seem like a lifetime when something so sweet is headed your way.
Right now, this board is in an insane deal. If you choose sea shipping, you can snag it for $1099(USD) and choose either the AT Pneumatic Wheels or the Street Setup, or you can spend $1219(USD) and have them both! At these prices, this board is a wonderful value. For comparison, the Evolve GTR boasts similar specs and costs from $1699 to $1949(USD), depending on the setup.
|AT or Cloudwheels | Standard Shipping||$1099|
|AT and Cloudwheels | Standard Shipping||$1219|
|AT or Cloudwheels | Fast Shipping||$1189|
|AT and Cloudwheels | Fast Shipping||$1309|
I have had a great experience with customer service. You do have to work around office hours if you want to call in, vs. 24/7 system, but you can leave messages via email or phone and they get back to you as soon as they can. Whether I’ve read the instruction manual wrong or I’ve managed to dislodge the belt from my board, they have been responsive.
All in all this board is the best that I’ve ridden for off-road electric skateboarding. I don’t think I could ask better quality and capability at this price point! There is the problem with the ”speed wobbles”, and I wouldn’t spring for both wheels at once, but overall I think this is one of the best boards on the market. For anyone that’s looking to upgrade from their first electric board, or long-time skaters looking for something that manual boards cannot offer, I would definitely recommend the AT2.
Buy at WowGo’s Website