The first question that most people ask themselves when buying an electric skateboard is what kind of model they should purchase. People will often think about various stats like the battery life, the maximum speed or the load capacity. What you may want to think about instead though is should you go for a pre-made electric skateboard or build one yourself from a DIY (Do It Yourself) kit?
If you are unsure about the ins and outs of DIY vs ready-to-ride e-skateboards then allow us to walk you through all the basics and all the details. Both kinds of purchases have their pros and cons. Figuring out which option will be the best choice for you will ultimately depend on what your preferences and needs are. Once you’ve gone through our lists below you’ll easily be able to figure out which choice will be the one that fits you best.
What is probably the number one reason why people choose pre-made electric skateboards is because they can be used right out of the box. That is why convenience is the first subject we’ll be talking about.
While there are definitely people out there who enjoy a hands-on approach and like a more mechanical or engineering experience, the fact is that most people want their products to work as soon as they get them these days. Not everyone wants to assemble their computer or their television set, and the same mentality applies to something like a bicycle or a skateboard.
If the idea of having to build your own board seems too daunting to you, and especially if you are a new rider with little experience buying your very first electric skateboard, then a ready-to-ride model will likely be the best option for you. Although it should be said that the experience of building the board yourself certainly has some benefits. Many people come out of the assembly with a deeper appreciation for the mechanics and components of these vehicles.
Much like how convenience is considered as the best thing about getting a pre-made skateboard, full customization is often said to be the best thing about going for a DIY electric skateboard.
While there are many pre-made models available on the market that are of high quality, you still have no choice but to use the components that the manufacturer chose. Let’s say you buy a skateboard that has a great motor and battery but you don’t like the width of the wheels or the look of the deck. You will very likely have no choice but to live with these components.
It is true that ready-to-ride electric skateboards can be customized with mods and replacements but this is easier said than done. It also must be noted that some models or brands are easier to mod than others.
With the DIY approach, you are given complete control over what you want your skateboard to be. Instead of having everything selected for you beforehand, you get to pick precisely what components you want. This includes everything from the motor, the battery, the wheels, and the style and size of your deck.
This is why DIY electric skateboards are a fantastic choice for someone who has some very specific requirements in mind. If you have a vision of a skateboard that has a good battery life, can go very fast and has a shape that is tailored to your own body size and riding style then you will benefit greatly from a fully customized board that fits you like a well-fitting glove.
DIY boards are also a great option for more experienced riders that have already owned a few electric skateboards before and are now ready to create something that suits their developed tastes. It can be a good option for beginners as well due to the many guides and instruction videos that exist to help you get started on your journey.
A downside to this is that you will have to do a lot of research beforehand to find the best parts, not unlike trying to build your own computer. It can take a lot of work but many people find the payoff absolutely worth the effort.
If people aren’t citing the customization as the reason to go down the DIY route then they are probably going to be talking about money instead. Yes, it’s true – DIY skateboards are generally going to be cheaper than buying pre-made models.
If you are on a strict budget and only have a couple of hundred dollars to spend then that makes DIY a far more viable option for you. The time and effort spent researching and assembling are made up by the amount of money you will save.
Buying individual components from various sources has just about always been cheaper than buying everything pre-assembled from one source. Part of the reason you’ll be saving on costs is that you won’t be paying for the assembly costs.
To put things in perspective, a DIY skateboard that costs $350 can have near-identical specifications (max speed, acceleration, etc.) to a ready-to-ride model that costs $500 or more. This price gap is nothing to take lightly, especially if you are on a specific budget.
Even if money isn’t an issue it can still be a great idea to go for the DIY route. If you’re willing to spend freely, you can end up creating an astonishing vehicle that is fully customized with some very high-quality parts. Many people have ended up creating unique boards that rival some of the best manufacturers out there. If you are ambitious, diligent and creative enough you can spend your money wisely to create an incredible electric skateboard that will push boundaries.
The fact of the matter is that when you build a customized DIY electric skateboard you are probably making a unique combination of parts that have never been put together before. This can indeed come with some risks although they are pretty minimal ones.
Ready-to-Ride e-skateboards are often rigorously tested for safety and quality assurance purposes (this is also part of the reason why ready-to-ride models are more expensive). When you buy a pre-made model you have more of a guarantee that the skateboard will work well.
That isn’t to say that buying individual parts for DIY customization is too risky to even bother with. Just like the pre-made models, individual parts are also put through safety and quality tests and will also come with warranties.
The risk really only comes into play once assembly of a DIY board is complete. If you make a DIY board then that final construction will have never been through the same kind of tests that pre-made boards have gone through. Testing individual parts for durability isn’t the same as testing them all together for things like comfort or performance. Most of the time they end up working out fine but they can lack the kind of fine-tuned precision that often comes from high-quality manufacturers.
Ultimately, DIY boards, if assembled properly, can work just as well as their ready-made counterparts. However, if safety is your number one priority and you like the safety net of customer support, years-long warranties, and other similar benefits then you’ll be a little better off going with a ready-to-ride electric skateboard.
No one can really say whether DIY boards are objectively better than ready-to-ride ones, or vice versa. The fact of the matter is that the two options have many differences and are often hard to compare. This is especially the case thanks to the many different preferences that people will have when it comes to the experience of owning an electric skateboard.
DIY boards have a lot of potential if you have the money for it and they are the best option for people on the other end of the spectrum who only have a set budget to spend on theirs. Alternatively, ready-to-ride electric skateboards undoubtedly offer a level of convenience that is not only good for experienced riders but fantastic for boarding newcomers.
As long as you know what your preferences are then you’ll be able to decide for yourself which of these two options is the best for you. No matter which one you end up picking, we’re sure you will have no regrets.