y If you’ve ever ridden a bike up a steep hill, you know it takes a tremendous amount of effort.
Now imagine standing on a regular wooden skateboard and trying to go up that same hill. It’s almost impossible to push with your feet and get enough force/speed to get to the top.
You’re fighting against gravity!
But that all changes when you strap a battery and motor to your board.
If you own an electric skateboard, you don’t have to do any work. Just hit the throttle and the board should go up the hill.
Regardless, the board has a daunting task! Let’s see how electric skateboards stack up against their biggest enemy…
Can You Ride Electric Skateboards Uphill?
Most electric skateboard manufacturers know (unless they lack common sense) that streets are uneven, hilly, and that riders will encounter all sorts of terrain.
Almost all electric skateboards are designed in order to climb a certain grade of hill, some boards more than others.
I’ve seen brands like Evolve and Meepo, claim their boards can climb hills with as much as a 30% incline.
Other brands with smaller batteries and weaker motors might be as little as 10%.
What Factors Affect Hill Climbing?
When you stand on an electric skateboard, your weight is forced down on the board.
The heavier you are, the more force you’re putting on the board, resulting in more friction.
This is caused by gravity. Without gravity, friction doesn’t exist.
So when you climb up an incline on an electric skateboard, you also fight against the incline and more gravitational pull.
The heavier you are, the more work your board must do to get up that hill.
In general, the larger the engine or motor, the more powerful the machine.
You see this in all walks of life.
Cars, Planes, Lawnmowers, Generators, etc…
The same goes for your electric skateboard. A 50 watt motor will not produce the same power or output as a board with a 2,000 watt motor.
Your boards abilities to take on a hill will depend greatly on the size and power of the motor it’s carrying.
Low battery life?
Might not want to take on that massive hill.
First of all, climbing up a hill uses more energy and requires more power on your board's part.
This means that it’s going to use more battery life.
Secondly, a lot of electric skateboards reduce power when they get to lower battery life. It’s a way of conserving the board’s energy.
Your board might be able to take on a 30-degree incline when it has 100% battery life, but it might have trouble doing it when it’s on 10% power.
Wheel size and diameter will make a difference in hill climbing ability.
Take it from tactics.com
“Smaller wheels are lighter, weigh less, and give you a quicker, more responsive pop, which is good for street and technical skating. Bigger wheels are heavier, but roll faster and retain speed better, especially on rough surfaces.”
Wheel material and quality also have an impact based on its ability to fight friction!
The Orangatang Kegel 80mm are large and some of the best quality skateboard wheels around. They’ll help you claw your way up to the top of that big hill!
A smooth flat hill is not the same as one with bumps, cracks, potholes, rocks, and sticks.
Electric skateboards are meant to roll, not bounce up and down from all the debris.
Ever ride on a freshly paved road?
The experience is so much smoother and more comfortable. Riding on an old road that’s grainy and bumpy adds all these little jumps and bruises to you and your board.
These factors still apply when you ride up a hill!
Degree of Incline
Probably the biggest impact that affects hill climbing…
The hill itself.
I live in a hilly area. Some hills are close to 40 degrees!
As much as I push my Ownboard Mini KT to climb, it can’t do it. As soon as I try climbing the hill, the board stops and begins to go backward.
And this is a board that’s rated for 30-degree inclines.
Sometimes, it’s just too much.
Most boards should be able to climb a 20-degree incline. But 30 degrees and up is starting to push the limits.
Remember, Mother Nature always wins.
What Comes Up, Must Go Down
More likely than not, every time you ride up a hill, you’ve probably going to ride down that same hill.
Riding down a hill is nowhere near the same as going up.
In fact, it’s much more dangerous (and scary)!
Going down, your board works with gravity instead of against it.
This can quickly turn into a dangerous situation due to high speed.
If you don’t use your brakes well, you’re in trouble!
When riding down a steep hill, there are a few things you should follow:
Don’t speed into it – If you know you’re approaching the top of a steep hill, go slow. Ease into it rather than rush. Rushing will result in you having to brake super hard, which could send you flying off the board.
Hold the brakes – Every electric skateboard comes with a pair of brakes. How you use them on a hill will determine your safety. It’s best to always hold the brakes just enough so that you advance down the hill slowly. Don’t release and constantly pump the brakes, that’s just silly.
Stop and observe at the bottom – The bottom of the hill might be the most dangerous because of other vehicles. Don’t just assume you can barrel through an intersection at the bottom of the hill. Come to a complete stop, observe the traffic, and then proceed if it’s clear.
Hop off and walk – If you don’t feel safe, just get off your board and walk. No big deal. Electric skateboards have limitations just like everything else in life. It’s best not to compromise your own safety just because you thought it would be fun or stupid to speed down a massive hill.
What Are The Best Brands And Electric Skateboards For Hill Climbing?
In general, most brands will have similar results for all their boards and their hill-climbing abilities.
This is due to most companies making universal and swappable batteries as well as similar sized motors for all their boards.
A Chinese manufacturer who produces high quality, great performing, but very low-cost boards, any board you purchase from WowGo is a great investment.
All their boards offer a hill-climbing rate of 30% which is pretty incredible.
Their list of their electric skateboards and incline rates:
- WowGo Mini – 30% incline rate
- WowGo 2S – 30% incline rate
- WowGo 3 – 30% incline rate
- WowGo 3X – 30% incline rate
- WowGo KT – 30% incline rate
- WowGo All-Terrain – 30% incline rate
Another high performing brand of Chinese boards. Their prices are slightly higher than WowGo but still extremely low cost compared to all the other brands out there.
Every single one of their boards except one offers a 30% incline rate.
That one board is an exception, and it’s the Meepo AWD Pro. This board offers a hill climbing rate of 35%! The highest I’ve ever seen on any electric skateboard. This can be attributed to its 4 hub motors each at 540 watts, totaling up for 2,160 watts.
- Meepo V3 – 30% incline rate
- Meepo Mini 2 – 30% incline rate
- Meepo NLS Pro – 30% incline rate
- Meepo City Rider – 30% incline rate
- Meepo AWD Pro – 35% incline rate
- Meepo Classic 2 – 30% incline rate
The last Chinese brand that needs to be mentioned is Ownboard. Their boards all support a 30% incline rate for hills. (Except one, the AT1W: 20% incline rate)
As an owner of the Ownboard Mini KT, I have nothing but positive reviews for this board. Not only i
- Ownboard W2 – 30% incline rate
- Ownboard Carbon AT – 30% incline rate
- Ownboard Bamboo AT – 30% incline rate
- Ownboard W1S – 30% incline rate
- Ownboard AT1D Pro – 20% incline rate
- Ownboard M1 – 30% incline rate
- Ownboard Mini KT – 30% incline rate
- Ownboard C1S – 30% incline rate
- Ownboard W1AS – 30% incline rate
The champagne of electric skateboards, these are some of the most expensive but best electric skateboards money can buy.
The Carbon GTR street version is unrivaled in performance.
26 mph top speed and a 31 mile range.
It’s younger brother the Bamboo GTR, also posts similar results. The cool part about these two models is that they offer street wheels or all-terrain wheels upon checkout.
- Carbon GTR Street – 30% incline rate
- Carbon GTR All-Terrain – 25% incline rate
- Bamboo GTR Street – 30% incline rate
- Bamboo GTR All-Terrain – 25% incline rate
- Stoke – 30% incline rate
You were wondering when you would see Boosted on this list, weren’t you?
Turns out, although Boosted boards are some of the best built boards around, they don’t have the best hill climbing rate out there.
Not saying they can’t climb hills, because they can, but some of these Chinese companies edge them out just by a little bit.
All four Boosted Boards have a current hill climbing grade of 25%.
- Boosted Stealth – 25% incline rate
- Boosted Plus – 25% incline rate
- Boosted Mini X – 25% incline rate
- Boosted Mini S – 25% incline rate
Clear Cut Winners
Without a doubt, if you’re looking to buy an electric skateboard just based on its hill-climbing ability, you need to buy…
The Meepo AWD Pro
Which offers an incredible 35% incline rate.
Retail price starts at $849 but depends entirely on the warranty you choose upon checkout.
- Standard Warranty (6 months) - $849
- 8 Month Warranty - $918
- 12 Month Warranty - $968
The AWD Pro also has a blazing top speed of 34 mph! (Which is a little too much in my opinion).
Riding on an e-board at 25 mph is already quite fast and dangerous, I believe it would be too hard to maintain control at 34 mph.
Other specs include:
- 15 miles range
- 40” Canadian maple and bamboo deck
- 23 lb net weight
- 4 x 540 watt motors (total 2,160 watts)
- Regenerative breaks
- 100 mm wheels
- 2 carrying handles (on each side)
The AEboard AX
One board that wasn’t mentioned above was the AEboard AX.
This board also can climb hills at 35% gradient and retail price starts at $559 and changes based on the battery you choose at checkout.
The battery styles and their ranges are posted below:
15 KM/9.3 Miles（Carry on the plane)
22 KM/13.6 Miles
29 KM/18 Miles
36 KM/22.3 Miles
40 KM/24.5 Miles
Other performance features and specs:
- 28 mph
- 35% hill climb rate
- 330 lb max load
- 4 ride/speed modes
- Two 500 watt motors
- 17 lb net weight
- 7 ply Canadian maple deck
40% Hill Climbing Electric Skateboard?
The goal of this article was to find electric skateboards with the best incline and hill-climbing ability.
The AXboard AX and Meepo AWD Pro tied for first place with a 35% hill climbing rate.
But I still wondered if there was anything that outperformed these two boards with a 40% hill climbing rate.
After quite some time searching, I ended my quest.
After all, 40% is really pushing it. A 40% slope is considered a black diamond for skiers, so imagining an electric skateboard climbing a mountain just seems like too much…