Two years ago when I went to CES for the first time, I had my first experience with an electric skateboard. When I was a kid, I was an avid skateboarder — I practically lived on a board and had I grown up in a more skateboard-friendly area, I might have actually pursued it as a professional. I was actually that good. A knee injury from an unrelated activity stopped me in my tracks though. I had heard about electric skateboards prior to CES and had wanted to try them for some time. I finally got my opportunity in the middle of the Las Vegas Convention Center when I met the ACTON team and was able to try out one of their boards.
It was an eye-opening experience and the few minutes I had with them made me want more. Needless to say, since that time, any chance I get to play on an electric skateboard, I jump at it because it takes me back to a place in life that I now miss as an adult. Plus who doesn’t love being able to jump on a board and ride to Starbucks without having to push off and pump around town? I want to skate — I just don’t want to work to do it. Hence, why electric skateboards are so appealing. Just recently, I was offered the opportunity to try out the Blink Lite Electric Skateboard from ACTON and I couldn’t wait to get started.
The Blink Lite is the world’s lightest electric skateboard. Weighing in at only 7.7 pounds, Blink Lite can take you anywhere you want to go. The bonus is that because of its compact design, the Blink Lite can go a lot of places that the larger electric boards can’t. The board measures 30.5 x 10 x 6.6 in with a wheel size of 70mm. The board itself is made from Canadian Maple Wood and it’s powered by a 1 hub motor with a total of 250W of power. It has a maximum speed of 10 MPH and a range of 5 miles.
There are two side lights included on the board in case you use it in low light settings and it only takes about 2 hours to recharge the battery. Blink Lite also has a wireless remote control and an iOS app that helps keep track of your travels. The board actually uses regenerative braking, which will recharge the battery some when the rider is using the brakes. There is a weight limit for the board — 160 pounds — but if you are heavier than that, the Blink Lite will carry you, but just not perform as well.
The Blink Lite is incredibly simple to use. The controller has a soft feel to it which makes it easy to hold onto and the controls are virtual “go” and “stop”. It doesn’t get much simpler than that. If you want more precise options, you can switch back and forth between the three user modes, which are accessible through the iOS/Android app. You can also monitor your battery level and track your routes/distances.
I actually had a lot of fun riding the board. It has a smooth ride and isn’t overly complicated. It gives you the chance to ride without over thinking what you are doing. One issue I did have was that riding for an extended period of time caused my feet to hurt. There are two reasons for this — 1. I have flat feet and 2. the board doesn’t have a lot of flex to it. This means that whenever I hit bumps, my feet would absorb the impact causing them to hurt more. Other than that, I didn’t really have any issues to speak of.
A couple of months ago, I reviewed the 2nd Generation Boosted Board and while it was an exciting ride, it was also intimidating and at times a bit scary. It has a top speed of 22 MPH (more than double that of the Blink Lite) and a belt drive system, which is more powerful than a hub motor. I have seen many videos of this larger board used in urban settings where it’s practical to get from place to place in the city, but for smaller neighborhoods and college campuses, it just makes sense to have something that is smaller like the Blink Lite.
As my header above would suggest, I think this board is ideal for college students. Because of its compact nature and lower top speed, I think this would be the ultimate option for students to use to jump from class to class without needing to walk. I believe Blink Lite would be especially handy on larger college campuses where students have to travel a great distance to get from building to building. For example, Indiana University has a campus that is over 1,900 acres. Using an electric skateboard to get from class to class would just make for an easier commute. Blink Lite is easy to ride and because of its compact size, it’s easy to store while you’re in class. It’s important to note that while it’s a great idea for riding around colleges, it may not be allowed everywhere. The colleges here in Evansville have banned skateboards on their campuses due to property destruction in the past. It’s just something to be aware of.
Aside from college students, Blink Lite is also great for teenagers. My 15-year-old daughter has really taken a liking to the board. So much so that she wants to ride it more often than I do. She’s been hitting the streets around our neighborhood daily since we got the skateboard and it’s really the first thing she wants to do when she gets home from school. She’s really doing a great job negotiating turns with it and riding it around our quiet neighborhood. She had some previous experience on a standard skateboard so it wasn’t completely foreign to her. She actually tried the Boosted Board, too, and said she was scared by it. That’s something I really like about the Blink — it’s designed more like a street board and it’s far less intimidating.
Blink Lite is honestly great for anyone who enjoys being outdoors and it’s even great for skateboarding enthusiasts (like myself). While I found the insane acceleration and top end speed of the Boosted Board exhilarating and a bit dangerous, I find the Blink Lite to be ideal for most users since it’s a less powerful option and much more compact. Anyone living in a small space or needing an easy to keep out of the way device will appreciate Blink Lite.
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Originally published at macsources.com on September 1, 2017.