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I built my first ever electric skateboard and thought id share how i did it.

There are hundreds of thousands of people across the world who are building these so there is a lot of knowledge out there and companies who sell both parts for DIY builders as well boards that are ready to go out of the box.

This is genuinely my first build so this was a HUGE learning curve for me but it works and hits 30mph so couldn't have done to badly.

I thought id start with a list of the companies i used while building. I will reference these throughout the instructable but wont put the link as the links are here.

The ESK8 forum is where i spent most of my time as there are no questions that havnt been asked to these forums. The answers come quickly from people all around the world who have an amazing amount of knowledge and are generally very happy to help new builders.


There are a few 3D printed parts on this build and as i dont have a printer myself i use Google sketchup to create the files and then upload it to 3dhubs where its printed and shipped.


This is a good place to go for batteries (if your using LIPO), motors, cables, chargers and even motor mounts. They also have a good chat option to speak to tech specialists if you have any questions about their products.


These guys are awesome, they make amazing motor controllers, im using their dual 4.2 plus motor controller however they also sell motors, controllers and a few other accessories.


I love this company, ive worked on a few projects where ive needed to mold my own parts. In this case i decided to have a go at casting my own wheels. I used their products and asked a few questions and they were more than happy to answer any questions and offer support. The casting didnt go too badly so have included that at the end.


eBay as everone knows is where you go to get pretty much anything.

Lets get started with the first part.


This website has to be one of the best for builders like me. This company gives you an instant price to cut your design from a few different metals but not only different metals, different grades of the metal. I've had a few pieces cut using this website which I was planning on using on the build however due to build constraints I couldn't use them in the end. HOWEVER... I am planning on doing something that I will use these parts for. I have included an image of what I was doing and what the pieces looked like when they were cut in the little extra's step of the instructable to show you. These are aluminium laser cut to my design. The white part on the left is my design from foam core and the right is what the guys at Fractory cut for me. I have a lot of ideas involving custom cut metal so highly recommend you head over to the Fractory website if you need custom pieces cut. They are also the cheapest I've found in quite an extensive search.

Step 1: The Board, the Trucks and the Wheels.

Picture of The Board, the Trucks and the Wheels.

So the board i used was a Kryptonics Cast off Drop Through 40" Longboard. It had some weird surfer style grip tape on top and design underneath so I stripped it completely so it was down to bare wood which in my opinion looks so much better.

The trucks and wheels that came with the board were nice but the trucks wernt wide enough to fit the dual motor setup so i used some 15" mountain board trucks i had laying around as they are much wider. I sprayed them black by first using a grey primer and then a matt black paint over the top of that. Its key to ensure you do a few thin layers of paint and let it dry between. If not you will find that you will get a strange soft paint texture and it will take MUCH longer to fully dry.

The wheels i used arnt anything special. I got them from a guy on the ESK8 forum and they are 90mm black longboard wheels. I did have an issue with the bearings though as the mountain board axle is 10mm wide which is to wide for normal longboard axles as i believe the norm for longboard trucks is 8mm. Meaning i had to buy 10x22x6mm bearings from ebay and these work perfectly.

XTL5 months ago
Sorry but can't see the info on what size sprockets/gears you used and the length and guage of the chain ?
MrAtkinson (author)  XTL5 months ago

Sorry must have left that out. the gear ratio is 1:2 and they are ones from ebay, link below. I got them to see what they would be like as they come with everything and they are a lot better than expected.

Need to put some locktight on the bolts as they do come a little loose due to vibration the road surface but that could just be the crappy road surface i have around Peterborough in the UK.

bob88985 months ago
Hi! I'm in the process of building a similar board. I have the same motor, and a VESC. I was curious about your gear ratio.I'm trying to still figure out my battery, so if I have a lower/higher ratio, then I will need more/less cells in series. Also, how much different do you think your board would perform with only a single motor? One last question. Why did you decide to have the motors face outwards rather than have them tucked under the board?
MrAtkinson (author)  bob88985 months ago
Hey Bob,
The gear ratio is 1:2 and with regards to the battery, you want to stay 8s or above and around 10,000mAh to give you a decent range. One motor is fine and works for a lot of people but it all depends on your preference with setup really.
One motor will have to work twice as hard as two motors to obtain the same speed. So, you can have one motor pulling 30 amps Or, you can have two motors pulling 15 amps each.
Range is determined by how much current your pulling from the battery so on flat ground, your range will be much better than if your climbing hills.

And much better if your cruising than if your racing around or doing a lot of stop and go.
One motor or two, in theory your range should be the same. Performance however, acceleration and braking is much better with two motors and much less strain on the motor and Vesc when there are two to share the load.

One motor is ok if your on a tight budget but if you got the money to do it, dual motor is the way to go.

The gears i used were these.

With regards to mounting the motors, Kayakdriver was spot on, as the board has a drop down deck it left very little room underneath so the motors had to be mounted out the back of the board. They are far away enough that it gives good clearance although i have scraped the mounts a couple of times on bumps but bigger wheels would eliminate that.

It looks like the motor mount plates are high enough that they would have limited the lean/turn ability of the board if they has been positioned forward and somewhat under the wider part of the board.
kayakdiver5 months ago
Great pics and nice write up - thanks!

Looks like what is supposed to be your Controller Link is the same as your "Paris truck motor mounts" Link, parts which, BTW, are currently unavailable...

- General electric skateboard controller

MrAtkinson (author)  kayakdiver5 months ago

Thanks for pointing it out to me, have gone in and changed the link.

farna5 months ago
A simple red LED or two on the back should be enough to get you spotted, and won't drain much power. I think someone suggested a hollow board with space for batteries and such inside, but doesn't the board need to flex some, since there is no suspension? A hollow board tall enough to mount batteries inside wouldn't flex much, if any. I agree that larger diameter wheels would be better. Less rolling resistance for one thing. Maybe use some anti-skid tape instead of the straps, but I can see where the straps would be useful in many situations.
StormC65 months ago
JUst reading your build and am wondering: You probably paid a good deal of money for a drop down board with fancy graphics. Then you removed the graphics and added spacers to eliminate the drop down and replaced the trucks. Wouldn't it have been simpler to just start with a piece of board? It is a nice build!
MrAtkinson (author)  StormC65 months ago
Hey Storm. The Board was and still is on sale for £40 and i wanted a drop down/drop through deck for both the look of the board and as the drop through allows me to have the 6 connections for the motors come through the 3d printed spacer and out the top of the deck. The graphics also made no difference as i was always going to sand it all off as i prefer a blank board.

GregS2785 months ago
Could you have used a much thicker board so you could get all the batteries in it?
just make a cavity for the batteries, or just made a battery pack you could carry in a pack
or on your belt? another idea do you have a running light on the back so you're seen from behind? Good idea this powerful skate board to get to work much cheaper than a car!
MrAtkinson (author)  GregS2785 months ago
Hey Greg,

Thanks for the comment. The batteries are lipo packs and not a single cell battery pack which means they are around 40mm thick at their thinnest which is why i created the box on the top. I will be adding a light to the back yea but just not got round to designing the part to 3d print for it.

I go through parks and things to get to work and its about 4miles which only takes about 15mins so im happy. And yes much cheaper than a car.

WayneS245 months ago
You've put a lot of time into that, great job. If I can make a few suggestions, the motors are the same as I use on my rc planes, they are meant to be force cooled by air from the propellers, otherwise they can get very hot, might pay to add some fans or ducted cooling, also they hate dust or dirt in their bearings, which are very exposed on your board, I wouldn't expect them to last long at all down there near all the concrete dust and grime you find on pavements, great job though, nice work and a lot of fun no doubt
AndreasO15 months ago
I suggest to not use loops, if you fall you can brake some bones. Without loops you have more control when you fall.
Your picture are good!
MrAtkinson (author)  AndreasO15 months ago
Hey Andreas, Get where your coming from but feel ive got soo much more control over the board without them and its actually really easy to slip me feet out when i need to which i have found out a few times. Plus makes it so much easier to turn with them.

Thanks though.
kupua5 months ago
I've wanted to diy one too, so you've inspired me. Got couple of questions for ya.
why chain drives? wouldn't motor hubs be a cleaner install?
battery clearance underside, must have been an issue but could you provide numbers?
final cost?
MrAtkinson (author)  kupua5 months ago
Hey Kupua,

I thought about hub motors and belt drive also but after doing some research and looking at other builds i decided to use chain for a couple of reasons.
1. Non hub motors seem to be more powerful and get higher speeds.
2. Belt drives are great for a lot of people but A, can slip and stretch over time and B, the road surfaces im on means a lot of vibration on the board and i spoke to someone on the esk8 forum who had the same issue and his belts would move due to the vibration.

So chain was my best and preferred option, plus i think its a lot more aesthetically pleasing.

Battery clearance underside with a drop down deck was a major issue which is why i had to mount them on the top in the end. I added the 3d printed spacer which is 10mm plus the normal space plus mounted the board on top of the trucks to give an extra 12mm and it still didnt give me enough space underneath but is more than enough for the Flipsky Vesc to be mounted underneath.

Cost wise over all would be in the region of £650 all in.

Glad i inspired at least one person to build their own. If you do build i 100% recommend searching through the esk8 forum as you will everything you need, was a huge help for me. Also head over to Flipsky as they have one of the best motor controllers around and they also do motors, controllers and a few other bits so worth checking them out.