Help on first budget board please (UK-based)!

Hi all,

New to the forum! Done a bit of reading on here. I am hoping to build my own electric board soon, initially on a pretty tight budget if possible, and then if it works out OK I’d be happy to spend a bit more (MVP style :smiley: ). I will predominantly be using it as part of my commute through London (which also involves taking it on the Underground). I therefore want something fairly compact. I don’t need mega speed or range, 10miles would be fine (plus I assume it is easy to add capacity later). I’d also like it to be as discreet as possible, which may or may not impact deck shape?

I’d first like to get a longboard and just get used to riding around on that - I haven’t ridden a skateboard in a long time, and even then I did it badly! However, I’d like to make sure that whatever board I do use can be converted to electric power - or at least most of its components.

So, my understanding of what to look for in a board for electric conversion is:

  • Not too short, at least 36” (which is probably the length I want)
  • Deck not too flexible (how much of an issue is this as long as you are careful with electronics placement and enclosure fixing?)
  • Roughly 83mm wheels
  • Deck not too low
  • Axles with constant diameter for mounting motor plate, and either circular or square cross section (do these rule many trucks out?)

Does that all sound about right?

Is it possible to buy something on a tight budget (in the UK) that meets most of those requirements? Would something like this be OK - I’d need to change the wheels of course:

Is there a good place to get used boards in the UK? I’ve looked on Gumtree and eBay, but no real luck.

Alternatively, I could just make my own basic deck from some ply (which would likely be stiffer than off-the-shelf deck), and buy trucks and wheels that I know will be suitable for electric conversion - bit more effort but may end up being cheaper?

One other question - as mentioned above I would like the board and its conversion to be as discreet as possible. Would using a cruiser rather than downhill style deck hide the motor better? But at a loss of turning radius I assume?

Sorry for the long post - all thoughts appreciated!

Thanks, Duane

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you will probably want to go for Caliber II fifty trucks, more options available as far as motor clamps

i grabbed a cheapo deck for my first build - glad I did, gave me thr freedom to make lots of changes and leave extra holes in the deck without feeling I have ruined something expensive. I will change the deck when I am 100% happy with the final config and have tried a lot of decks so i can find the best flex for my riding style.

i use my board every day, tube is not a problem. mount the motors under the deck forward of the trucks and you will be fine for clearance as well as stealth

you can always add riser pads for clearance and angled riser pads for extra turning circle.

but a cutaway deck will also let you run big ass pneumatic wheels if you want em

btw if you like flexi decks its doable, the boosted board is super flexi, they use loaded vanguard decks IIRC. dual enclosures or split enclosures will deal with the flex.

Thanks for the reply. I will likely have a go at making a motor mount myself, as long as the trucks have a suitable geometry.

Hello, try asking in the want ads here and see if anyone in your area has a similar deck they could part with. What is your tight budget limited to?

then the world is your lobster…

Ok great, I’ll put a wanted ad up.

If I end up buying new, are any of £30-£50 boards on eBay or amazon going to be remotely good? Any recommendations/warnings?

Not entirely sure on budget, if I could get a super basic initial build for around £200 (battery esc remote rx motor pulley) I can then upgrade later as required, but realise that may be unrealistic.

Cheers, Duane

As I’m a teen I had a pretty small budget too. (You can check my thread on that) if your into the experience of building the board you can make one but I think u woul want to expand ur budget too if your going to do it like that. If it’s just about having a board, you can buy one with small range and moderate speed for about the price your looking for

Thanks, yeah my budget may well increase, let’s see!

@darkkevind mentioned Osprey boards on my Wanted ad which look quite good. I like the look of this one for example:

However, it looks like the axle of the trucks is slightly tapered, which I assume will make fitting a mount somewhat challenging?

Any other thoughts on the Osprey boards? Any particular models which are better or worse?

Do the more frequently recommended trucks (eg Calibers) make a big difference to ride quality etc, or is it just easy to mount drivetrain to them?

Thanks, Duane

I don’t think being tapered will have too much of an effect, u may have to file it to make a flat spot tho still… Calibers are popular mainly because of the shape makes it easier to mount a motor mount to it


That’s pretty much your Paris style truck right there so any mount for Paris trucks will work. Not to mention that you can actually adapt a caliber style mount to fit a Paris style (round) truck anyway…

For decks, I’d go for a more square symmetrical board if I were you, it makes mounting enclosures a lot easier and gives you more options.

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Thanks guys.

@darkkevind - are you looking at the Osprey Text board? The deck looks pretty square and symmetrical to me? Or do you mean avoid decks with the wheel cutouts? Or the curvature when you look at the board from the side?

I have this deck - it’s good, has a bit of flex as well so enclosure should also be a bit flexible . I’m using it with Caliber 50 trucks

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The one you linked to above is perfect. In fact, I think it’s exactly the same as @MontPierre 's

Wheel cutouts are best because you don’t have a problem with going with bigger wheels at any time, plus that board is kinda squared-ish and is good for rectangular enclosures.

I wouldn’t go for a pin tail if I were you.

OK great, thanks.

@MontPierre, how come you changed out the trucks? Or did you not buy the Osprey board complete? And what enclosure do you use on it?

How should the Osprey Text compare to something like this:

A little more expensive, but will it be any better?

Thanks, Duane

Regular trucks are shi* and it’s hard to find any mount for them.

Not sure about other board you after, I think is is almost the same, also 8 layers of wood and medium plex. You would have to in addition buy grip tape.

Enclosure is discontinued enertion space cell plastic enclosure.

@bigben can sort you out with an enclosure to fit that deck…

Cheers @darkkevind Something like this? Different colours available and mounting hardware available on request.

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Personally I’m going with this deck. its 31" long slightly short but it has a kick tail which is very useful. What do you guy think? Can it be converted into electrical longboard?