Thrifty Thrills: Making Electric Skateboarding Affordable

By Matt Powell •  Updated: 02/14/24 •  6 min read

Electric skateboarding is a thrilling hobby that’s gaining popularity, but the cost of brand-new boards can be a major roadblock for many enthusiasts. If the steep price tags are keeping you on the sidelines, fear not—there are several savvy strategies to get your hands on an electric skateboard without breaking the bank. From hunting down secondhand deals to mastering the art of maintenance and repairs, this essay will guide you through various affordable tips and tricks that ensure both your board and wallet stay in good shape. Embrace the journey toward becoming a budget-savvy electric skateboarder as we dive into the world of pre-loved boards and DIY upkeep.

Snagging Secondhand Deals

Looking for a quality used electric skateboard without putting a dent in your wallet? You’ve come to the right place! There’s nothing like the thrill of gliding down the street with the breeze flowing through your hair. But let’s get down to brass tacks – high-quality electric skateboards come at a price, and diving into the world of secondhand boards can be the savvy solution you’re seeking. Here are some top spots to bag a sweet deal on a used electric skateboard:

  1. Online Marketplaces: The go-to platforms for used goodies, online marketplaces like eBay and Craigslist are treasure troves for electric skateboard enthusiasts. You’ll find a variety of boards from beginners to high-end models, often at a fraction of the original price. Remember, the key is to scrutinize listings carefully – check photos, read descriptions, and don’t hesitate to ask sellers questions.

  2. Local Skate Shops: Don’t overlook these community staples. Many shops offer consignment or trade-in programs, where you can score tested and tuned-up boards. They have the know-how to ensure you’re getting a quality ride, and often provide some form of shop guarantee.

  3. Social Media Groups and Forums: Facebook Marketplace and specialty groups on social platforms can be gold mines. Dedicated groups exist where riders buy, sell, and swap gear. Plus, forums like Reddit’s r/ElectricSkateboarding often have classified sections where members post their boards for sale. It’s not only a place to buy but to glean insights from the community.

  4. Manufacturer Refurbs: Sometimes, manufacturers like Boosted or Evolve offer refurbished units at reduced prices. These boards are thoroughly inspected, come with a warranty (most of the time), and are a trustworthy option since they are restored to meet specific standards.

  5. Local Buy/Sell Events: Keep an ear to the ground for local skate events or swap meets. Not only can you find deals, but you’ll also get to meet fellow enthusiasts and maybe even test out a board before you buy.

  6. Apps like Letgo and OfferUp: Hyper-local buying and selling apps can be unexpectedly great places to look for secondhand electric skateboards close to your area. The user interfaces make haggling easy, and since you’re dealing locally, you can often test the board in person.

Remember, when hunting for that perfect used electric skateboard, patience and due diligence are the names of the game. Check the battery life, ensure the electronics are fully functional, and give the board a thorough look for any signs of damage. With a sharp eye and a bit of savvy shopping, you’ll be hitting the pavement without breaking the bank in no time. Happy riding!

A person riding a used electric skateboard in a park.

DIY Maintenance and Repairs

Electric skateboards, with their appealing mix of tech and sport, can be a particularly gratifying hobby. Yet, along with the thrill and convenience they offer, comes the responsibility of upkeep. Regular maintenance and a bit of DIY savviness not only extend the lifespan of your board but can also lead to significant savings. Let’s dive into some indispensable maintenance tips and DIY repairs any enthusiast should have under their belt.

Inspect and Clean Bearings Regularly

Bearings are the heart of your electric skateboard’s wheels and can wear down from dirt and debris, affecting performance and ride smoothness. Every few rides, remove the bearings, wipe off any grit with a clean cloth, and apply a lubricant designed for skateboard bearings to keep them spinning freely.

Monitor Battery Health

The battery is your ride’s power source; its care is crucial. Avoid fully depleting it before charges, as that can shorten its overall lifespan. Storage is also key – if not using your skateboard for an extended period, storing the battery at a half-charge in a cool, dry place can help maintain its health.

Tighten Loose Components

With use, nuts and bolts can loosen, which can lead to parts wearing out faster or damaging the board. Regularly check and tighten the trucks, wheels, and mounting hardware to ensure everything is securely fastened and aligned.

Replace Worn-Out Griptape

Your stance on the board depends on the griptape. When it begins to peel or lose its rough texture, it’s a safety risk. Replacing the griptape is a straightforward task – simply heat the old tape with a hairdryer, peel it off, apply the new sheet, and cut off the excess.

Update Firmware

For performance and safety, keep your board’s firmware updated. Manufacturers often release updates that improve functionality or address issues. Check the manufacturer’s website or app regularly to keep your board’s software current.

Check Motor and Belt Condition

The motor and the belt system require attention, as wear and tear here can be particularly problematic. Listen for unusual noises, and examine the belt for cracks or tears – replacement is typically a simple procedure that can save further damage and costly repairs.

Waterproofing and Rust Prevention

Electric skateboards aren’t fond of water. While many boards are built to handle light moisture, anything more can be harmful. After riding in wet conditions, make sure to dry your board thoroughly and consider applying a water repellent to electrical components and a rust inhibitor to metal parts.

By embracing these DIY repairs and maintenance tips, your electric skateboard will not just serve you faithfully on every exhilarating ride but will also retain more of its value, keeping the spirit of smart, responsible hobbying alive. Remember, a well-maintained board is a board that’s ready to roll whenever you are. Keep on skating!

A person inspecting the bearings of an electric skateboard, ensuring smooth performance and ride

The electrifying satisfaction of gliding on a skateboard doesn’t have to be overshadowed by the price tag. By taking to heart the budget-friendly approaches of snagging secondhand deals and investing time in DIY maintenance, you are not just saving money; you’re also enriching your overall experience as an electric skateboarder. Whether it’s the pride in a self-performed repair or the thrill of a wise purchase, the knowledge and skills acquired on this ride are invaluable. May your electric skateboarding adventures be as smooth as your savvy budget maneuvers, and may the roads ahead be filled with endless, affordable fun.

Matt Powell