On a regular skateboard, it can take a while to get places. With electric skateboards, you can get around town at high speeds with much less effort. There are many options out there, but can you transform a board you already own into a DIY electric skateboard?
The answer is yes! In this guide, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about electric skateboard conversion kits, including their pros and cons, the best electric skateboard kits on the market, buying considerations, and frequently asked questions. By the guide’s conclusion, you’ll be ready to decide on the conversion kit.
Knowing both the advantages and downsides of conversion kits helps you make the right choice.
On the plus side, attaching a motor and battery to a skateboard lets you test out a motorized ride on a deck you’re already familiar with. If you aren’t sure how to ride an electric skateboard, it’s pretty much the same as a regular skateboard in terms of balance and turning. The main difference is that you’ll use a remote control to accelerate, slow down, and brake. Check out our guide here for more riding tips. The other advantage of DIY skateboard or electric longboard kits is that many of them are more affordable than pre-made electric skateboards. There’s also the fun of putting it together and customizing everything. For many riders, customization is the main reason why they opt for a kit instead of a regular e-board.
What about cons? If you aren’t into DIY, the work it takes to put the motor, battery and ESC on your board will be a downside. Pre-made electric skateboards are pretty much good to go out of the box, while that’s obviously not the case for a DIY kit. There’s also safety to consider. Each part in a good electric skateboard kit is safe, but if you put parts together incorrectly on your board, it could turn out poorly. Consider your DIY knowledge and how much time you want to spend learning before purchasing a kit. If the price is what draws you to conversion kits but you aren’t otherwise sold on the idea, we have a guide on the best cheap electric skateboards that might interest you.
Specs at a glance:
Our pick for best electric skateboard conversion kit has a single-motor and dual-motor option. Both use a high-quality Samsung battery, the size of which you can choose. You can be confident in the reliability of either choice. With the 216wh battery size option, you can choose a 12-mile range with Cloud wheels or a 14-mile range with 97mm wheels. With the 324wh option, the cloud wheels get you an 18-mile range and the 97mm-wheels get you an impressive 20 miles. The dual 3000W motors put out a combined maximum of 6000 watts at peak power, which equals great torque. Stock speed is 28 miles per hour (can get up to 40 mph with 20T motor pulley, 40T wheel pulley, 275M belt size, and 120mm wheel size).
The modular drivetrain (which delivers power from the motor to the wheels) is easy to pair with hundreds of wheel types. You get a Tayto deck with the kit, too, which is compact and great at making tight turns. The motor controller is VESC-based and lets you customize just about everything, including the remote you use, motors, different batteries, etc. You can purchase a Bluetooth adapter separately.
Specs at a glance:
Another BKB kit, this one offers the option of 6-inch pneumatic tires, which are great for off-road riding. With the 324wh Samsung battery, you can expect a 10-14 mile range. The dual 3000W motors provide a combined max of 6000W power, so you'll get great torque and fast top speeds. The stock setup gets you 28 mph, but you can mod the electric skateboard to get to a speedy 40 mph.
The VESC-based motor controller is perfect for DIY fans as it lets you swap the standard battery, motor, remote, and more. You can tune the acceleration and brake curve any way you want. BKB also provides a Bluetooth module that wirelessly programs the VESC. The deck's design accommodates mods, as well, so it stays stable even at the highest speeds. It flexes down, up, and returns to center after going over an obstacle, which is more likely if you’re off-roading. There are two flex levels for riders heavier than 240 pounds.
Specs at a glance:
If you want to build an electric skateboard on a budget, this kit is a good choice. It uses a customized Hobbywing ESC with a sensor and Samsung 30Q, 9.0Ah, 324 Wh battery. Thanks to a high discharge rate, you get hill-climbing capabilities of 30%. The 5045-270Kv motor is belt-driven. The braking system is regenerative. Different riding modes (controlled by a 2.4G wireless remote) determine the board’s speed, so if you’re a beginner, you’ll start with 12.5 mph. As you progress, you’ll end up at 26 mph. On a full charge, you can expect a great range of 14-16 miles. As with all e-boards, the faster you go, the less range you’ll get.
There are three kit options that come with different materials, so be sure you’ve selected the one you want. None of them come with a deck; you’ll be installing everything on a regular skateboard deck. The full Ownboard W2 Kit (which costs about $550) comes with the dual belt motor installed on the trucks, the ESC, the battery installed, the front wheels, the remote, an extra belt, screws and nuts, and so on.
Specs at a glance:
This impressive kit employs a high-torque, 750-watt dual motor system and Samsung 4.4Ah lithium battery. You can expect 30% climbing abilities and a 25mph top speed. To customize the range, you can quickly swap in different batteries that provide between 12-36 miles of ride time per charge. A new Hobbywing ESC powers the entire kit, combining powerful acceleration with an electronic brake system. There are four safe riding modes accessible by the 2.4G signal range remote control with an LCD screen. Another cool feature? The ESC has an IPX7 certification, which means it can handle being submerged 1 meter in water for 30 minutes.
The other noteworthy feature is the new Max Truck II. It uses special forging and CNC milling, which improves its stability even at the electric skateboard's top speed. It has a 45-degree angle and anti-scratch coating. For kits with hub motors, the Maxfind M5 was our favorite.
Specs at a glance:
This kit comes from the same brand as the W2, but uses a dual hub motor instead of a belt drive. The benefit of hub motors is that they tend to be quieter and need less maintenance. The kit includes everything you need (except a deck), including SHR85A 250W dual motors, 52-mm wheels, trucks, a 2.4G wireless remote, and Hobbywing ESC. As with the belt version of this kit, there are different kit options, including one without a battery. For batteries, you can choose a version with a 4.0Ah battery or a larger 8.0Ah battery size. While we couldn’t find specific specs like range and miles per hour for this kit, it seems like it’s comparable to the belt drive motor version.
Specs at a glance:
If you’re looking for powerful torque, this kit from Maxfind is a great choice. It boasts a 35-degree top climbing ability, as well as an off-road dual hub motor with 2400W total power. That gets you a top speed of 23 mph and range options of 10, 20, or 30 miles, depending on the battery you choose. It takes just 10 seconds to swap in your preferred battery. For the kit’s brain, it’s got a new Hobbywing ESC with a max turbo mode and electronic brake system. The 2.4G signal range remote with an LCD screen lets you choose between 4 safe riding modes. For a smooth ride, play around with the power output.
The wheels and trucks are the last features to discuss. At 6.5-inches, the honeycomb rubber tires are great for off-roading conditions like rocks and stones. The double Kingpin trucks with an anti-scratch coating are also built for rugged roads.
Specs at a glance:
This conversion kit is expensive but comes with impressive performance specs that justify that price. It features two motors and two lithium-ion batteries, which give you a 13-mile range and 26 mph top speed. Torque is good for a 20-degree hill climb. There’s regenerative braking, too. Considering that power, the kit is fairly light at just 9 pounds. Adjust the speed, acceleration, and braking settings to your liking with the remote control, which also offers three rides modes - Snail, Eco, and Pro. For an extra boost, hit the nitro setting.
What about the wheels? The kit has Orangatang Caguama standard wheels, which have been a leader in e-skate urethane for many years. We also liked the durable enclosure material and the IP65 rating. You can buy this Race kit in three forms: just the bare-bones kit or with Icarus or Tesseract decks.
Specs at a glance:
We’re calling this a classic kit because Mellow began as a Kickstarter years ago before other companies realized the market for conversion kits. Mellow Drive has two in-wheel motors with good torque and a maximum hill grade of 15%. At its fastest, it can get your board to around 24 mph. The range is a bit on the low side at 7.5-10 miles. The lithium-ion battery cells come from Tesla and have a 99Wh voltage. With the fast charger, it takes just 45 minutes to fuel the kit.
Construction-wise, it’s a good product with a solid magnesium single-frame click-in mechanism for the battery pack, and a standard 6-hole, 180mm truck. The kit has an IP65 ingress protection rating. From the remote, you can switch your riding mode, see your battery life, and update the technology. There’s an encrypted Bluetooth connection, too.
Specs at a glance:
What makes the Cruiser kit unique is its size and efficiency. It weighs just 6.6 pounds and works on just about any truck and deck. It has one motor (with a max power of 840 watts) and two 2.5Ah lithium-ion batteries that are air travel-friendly. With those performance specs, you can get up to 13 miles of range and a 23 mph max speed.
The FOC drive system has regenerative braking, which helps with the range. To control the board, the remote lets you adjust the settings to your liking and choose between three riding modes. Worried about durability? All the components are high-quality, including the carbon plate and urethane Orangatang wheels. You can choose to get the Cruiser kit on its own or with either the Icarus deck or the Tesseract deck.
Specs at a glance:
Fairly affordable with all the essentials, this Revel kit is available with two battery options: a standard and extended range. With the standard range, you can get between 6-10 miles per charge. The extended range gets you 10-15 miles. There’s regenerative braking, too, which helps you get that longer range on both batteries. Both options hit a max speed of 28 mph. Because of the good torque on the 1100W dual brushless motors, the kit can hit a max hill climb of 20%. As a direct-drive kit, it works similarly to a hub motor, but because the motor isn’t inside the wheel, you can swap out wheels easily with the right adapter. The stock wheels are a standard 90mm, but the Revel kit is compatible with wheels ranging from 85mm to 120mm. Switching the wheels (and the batteries) is simple.
The remote is impressive, too. It’s 4WD-ready, which means it can be paired with another Revel kit at once for a four-wheel drive experience. It also has a Bluetooth Low-Energy connection. When it’s at low battery or out of range from the board, it vibrates.
We’ve given you ten options for conversion kits, but if you want to consider what else is out there, what buying considerations do you need to think about? Let’s break down what you should take a closer look at:
The battery that comes in the electric skateboard conversion kit is very important. It determines how fast your skateboard will go and how far it can go on one charge. One of the nice things about conversion kits is that more often than not, you get different choices for batteries. This lets you customize your board’s speed and range. There are different aspects of a battery you want to know about. The voltage impacts torque, speed, and range. The higher the voltage, the more torque you get. You want to be sure the motor is compatible with the voltage. If you get too high of a voltage, it might not work with the motor.
Another aspect is the Ampere, which is abbreviated as “A.” This affects the top speed that the battery can support. “Ah” refers to how far the electric skateboard will go. If you want to prioritize range, Ah is one of the most important specs to look at. A battery with 5Ah will take you about 6 miles while 10Ah can go about 18 miles. WattHours is another good indicator of a range because it refers to the battery’s size. For general battery quality, companies like Sony, Panasonic, and Samsung are the best.
The motor, speed, and acceleration of an electric skateboard kit relate to the battery, but they’re worth considering on their own, too. There are two kinds of motors: belt and hub. Belt motors are more traditional.
An electric motor drives the motor pulley and is connected by a belt, thus the name “belt motor.” Because these motors have more air exposure, they don’t need built-in cooling systems. They’re also more water-resistant.
Hub motors are quieter than belt motors and are found inside the wheel. They get overheated more easily, so there are holes in the motor casing. This reduces its resistance to water, so you shouldn’t ride an electric skateboard with a hub motor through wet areas.
There are also direct-drive motors, though they're less common. They're very similar to hub motors, but the motor is embedded differently and mounted right on the rear trucks.
What about speed and acceleration? All electric skateboard conversion kits will let you know their speed. Depending on the battery and motor performance, there’s a wide range. Some top out at 10mph while others are really fast at 24 miles per hour or more. As a general rule, the faster you go, the less range you get.
As for acceleration, this refers to how long it takes the skateboard to speed up. Acceleration is linked to the power to weight ratio, which means if you’re brushing the skateboard’s top weight capacity, it will take longer to get those top speeds than if you were lighter. Larger wheels can also impact acceleration; the bigger the wheels, the slower the acceleration.
The ESC is the electric skateboard’s brain. It’s very important because it controls the drive and speed of the motor, as well as the braking system and acceleration.
If you get a conversion kit and the ESC isn’t very good, you won’t be happy with your converted e-skateboard, no matter how impressive the other parts are. You don’t want to end up with a great motor and battery that a poor ESC can’t support.
So what does a good ESC do? It allows more voltage and bigger Ampere to pass through the skateboard. Good ESCs also give you better control over acceleration and braking. When looking for DIY electric skateboard kits, be sure to look at the ESC to see what battery series it can handle and how much Ampere it can support.
How much work do you want to put into creating electric longboards or skateboards? Some people want a really quick, easy experience. There are conversion kits that require very little work, while others are more labor-intensive.
For many people, the allure of a conversion kit lies in getting their hands a little dirty and seeing how everything works. If that’s you, you can find conversion kits that take more effort. If you’re interested in a conversion kit more because of the comparably lower price and not the DIY aspect, you can also find kits that only ask you to turn some screws.
All components in a DIY electric skateboard matter. If the components are inferior, the entire set-up is inferior. You don’t want an electric skateboard made of frail, weak parts. To find the best electric skateboard kit, look at each part in a kit before purchasing.
That includes the grip tape, screws, wires, and tires, along with the bigger parts like the battery pack and motor. Price is a good indicator of quality to a certain point, meaning that if it’s dirt-cheap, the quality probably isn’t amazing. You can still find high-quality electric skateboard kits that save money, though, so don’t feel like you have to buy the most expensive one.
Never underestimate the value of good warranties and reliable customer support. The warranty is included in the product description (as an example, the Maxfind M6 Drive Kit has a 270-day warranty), so check out the specifics so you don’t miss anything.
Limited warranties are common, meaning that if it’s a quality issue, the company will help you resolve the problem. That might mean repairing or replacing a part if necessary. Warranties are separate from returns, which means the warranty doesn’t apply if you simply don’t like the electric skateboard kit.
As for customer support, some companies are better than others. You can often get a sense of the brand’s reputation through reviews or places like the BBB. Many brands these days also maintain social media pages where they give advice, video walkthroughs, and more. These pages are especially useful if you’re new to DIY and want something more than the traditional instruction manual.
Here are some of the most commonly-asked questions about electric skateboard conversion kits:
You don’t need a special kind of skateboard to use a conversion kit! The appeal of conversion kits is that they work for all kinds of skateboards and longboards. Some kits come with their own decks, but most of them require that you have your own standard skateboard first. You’re simply adding the motor, battery pack, wheels, remote control, and other electrical pieces.
Complete electric skateboards vary based on brand and price, so it makes sense that there are just as many DIY kits. You can find basic kits with just a single motor, which are great for beginners who aren’t sure if they’ll like an electrified ride or who are on a tighter budget. The dual-motor kits pack more of a punch and offer higher performance for a higher price.
There are also kits designed with all-terrain or off-roading in mind. In our list of options, you can find budget skateboard conversion kits, kits with impressive tech features, kits with belt-drive motors, kits with hub motors, and more. The beauty of conversion a DIY kit is the variety of options out there.
Earlier in this guide, we talked about the pros and cons of a DIY electric skateboard kit. They have a handful of benefits, such as an often more affordable price (though some of the more advanced kits cost just as much as a regular electric skateboard) and the ability to customize your ride.
There’s also the fun of DIY and the satisfaction you get from building something with your own two hands. If you’re not confident in your DIY skills and concerned about safety, a regular e-skateboard might be the better choice. There’s also the convenience of having everything built and ready to go, though you can’t customize the board very much.
Some premade electric skateboards come with a swappable battery pack or wheels, but these tend to be more expensive. Whether premade or an electric skateboard kit works best for you depends on factors like do you like DIY, do you want to customize your ride, and how much you’re willing to pay.
Decided that you want to look into complete electric skateboards? Check out our list of the 'best electric skateboards' round-up.
Building an electric skateboard with a DIY kit is easier than buying all the individual parts, but there’s still some work to be done. With many kits, it’s mostly just screwing different electric skateboard parts to your board, adding the wheels, and so on. With others, you may need to mess with some wires.
If you’re brand-new to DIY, this can be difficult, so it’s probably best if you find a conversion kit that prioritizes ease of assembly. Companies know that most people building an electric skateboard aren’t expert mechanics, so they provide detailed instructions. You can also find videos of other people putting their skateboards together. Before buying a kit, you can look for the product manual on the website to see if the instructions are easy to understand.
There’s nothing quite like building something with your own hands. Electric skateboard conversion kits let you transform a regular skateboard into something totally new. Best of all, you get pretty much total control over your ride experience and how your board operates. With pre-made electric skateboards, it’s all done for you, so if there’s something you don’t like, you’re kind of stuck with it. That’s not the case with kits.
In this guide, we went over ten of the best electric skateboard kits, including the best overall, best budget kit, best torque, best hub motor, and more. When looking at kits, pay attention to factors like the battery and range, ease of assembly, the ESC, and so on. Every part matters. With the right know-how, you can DIY an electric skateboard that rivals what big brands are producing.
Paul is an environmental engineer turned micromobility expert. With a mechanical background and hands-on experience with more than 150 personal electric vehicles, Strobel is one of the leading specialists in the PEV scene. He handles everything from technical guides on the inner workings of vehicles to industry development news.