There has been a lot written and said about hub- vs. belt driven skateboards – with which I don´t want to bore you.
Let me just wrap up the “must-know”-stuff:
First of all to get the wording straight: Both hub and belt driven skateboards rely on brushless electrical motors. Typically these motors are either directly part of the wheel (“hub”-driven) or placed underneath the skateboard deck with a belt that connects the motor to the wheels (“belt”-driven). There are some exceptions (hybrids) like “geared hub” which I do not consider here for simplicity.
At the beginning, ALL electric skateboards were belt-driven. The first electric skateboards with hub motors entered the market in early 2016. Since then, hub-technology has advanced but still the belt-driven systems seem to be more mature.
If you consider buying an electric skateboard TODAY, I`d consider the following pros and cons of hub-driven boards:
- looks pretty much like a regular skateboard
- not easily brakeable
- less prone to wear out (critical parts are better covered)
- often fully water resistant
- skateable like a regular board when battery is empty
- slightly higher efficiency esp. when it comes to braking
- rather young and therefore less perfect technology
- typically slower acceleration (no gearing)
- cannot easily change wheels for fun
- tendency for a harder ride (simply missing some suspension from a full wheel)
- prone to heating or other failures (motor slipping inside the wheel)
- noise can be an issue
There are exceptions and the pros & cons actually depend very much on the specific board.
So, before actually buying a hub-driven electric skateboard I recommend to do some further research.