I’ve been making skateboards and electric boards for a while. A few years back I started work on a three-wheel design, and I came to the realization that if it is done right, the three-wheel design opens up a world of possibilities to the esk8 builder. 48v and 60v motors are available. Handling, speed, efficiency and traction can all be improved upon by using a single, large back-wheel as the drive-system. By using just one motor and one ESC you can out-perform dual-motor set-ups handily. Also, with this specific design you can use whatever truck and wheel combo that you want up front. Off-road and surf-skate can both be done on the same board. Just switch your set-up.
I’ve seen some other designs for three-wheel boards. Most haven’t made it of the drawing board. Others have tragic design flaws. This design is refined now and works really well. There have been several iterations and many are on the road now. The reviews are good and anyone that demos it comes back with a euphoric look on their face:) I have some videos of last years proto on my website https://3sk8esk8.com/video-gallery/.
I’d like to help others create their own three-wheel boards. Maybe you’ll find that the fourth wheel is just a vestigial appendage left-over from good old foot-powered skateboarding just as I am.
To make one, the biggest barrier, as far as I’m concerned, is getting a deck for the build. You may be able to rig a metal frame to a regular board, or you can do what I did and make your own skateboard. Believe it or not that isn’t too hard. You can buy a kit and learn everything you need to know about it at www.roarockit.com. There is also a wealth of info about this subject on the web. Once you know how to make your own decks… the sky is the limit:) This big upgrade that I do with all of my esk8s and especially for the three-wheel design (to reinforce the forks) is that I do fiberglass reinforcement. Again, that technique is all over the web and YouTube.
Once you have a deck, you need axle brackets. This one isn’t covered on the web, but it isn’t difficult. I used 1 1/4 inch angle-iron that I found at the local hardware store. With a grinder, metal drill-bits and some creativity anyone can do it. Most wheels that you might use for this type of design come with lock washer that keep the axle from spinning. I MIG welded mine onto the bracket. This isn’t necessary but I highly recommend it.
The board in the pictures is outfitted with a 48 volt 1000 watt motor. I like this wheel specifically because it is compact and rolls from side to side really smoothly. Also, the tire is molded rubber so it can’t blow out. I used a 13s4p battery pack that could run a golf-cart. I weigh 175 pounds, and I have reached 29 mph on flat ground. 25 mph up hill and it climbs like a champ. I outfitted it with VESC 6 hardware and a custom-made race remote that is based off of projects found right here on the forum… with a little of my own special sauce. I’ll post more on my race remote project soon. Also, I made a custom enclosure by heat-molding 1/4 inch ABS. It makes a super-durable yet flexible enclosure. It can be done in your home oven with a wood mold. That’s another project that I will post more about.
Anyhow, I’d love to get feedback and help others make their own boards. Check out my website and tell me what you think. www.3sk8esk8.com