I feel really sad for mellow boards!

I bought cheap Chinese products through manufacturers on alubaba a couple years ago when buying carbon bike frames. I’ve now bought 3 carbon frames directly from China manufacturers. The story is long but the point is China makes some great stuff as well. These are not copies but better designs with better engineering not even available here. No joke. Carbon dropout all aero tube shapes compact frame set with the huge bearings for 350$. As stiff as a board and light as a feather. Insane. This would be 3500$ if it was even for sale here.

You can’t talk about what China produces as if they’re all the same. China just like alibaba, u can get scammed in a moment or find a great manufacturer. Direct to manufacturer.

What the hell is the magic of German engineering. I don’t trust anyone’s claims to anything. A 2 year warranty is legit thought but shippiing.

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I am not so sure about that, but if it is true mellow has no one else to blame! they have fucked up hard!..

IMO My gut feeling is that these Chinese-based electric veichile companies do market research constantly to see what is the next “big” thing they can mass produce, I would imagine they are keeping a close eye on all the successful Kickstarter campaigns. They see something they like & because they are experts at manufacturing they can go from concept stage, tooling, to production very rapidly. So they simply copy the aesthetic design, make some molds & install the stuff that is available in the market. Bang! you now have a product ready for mass market.

I am actually very impressed & amazed, the product looks good, So not to take away anything from the Chinese at all!

Also, I do think in many cases some of the Chinese factories are actually developing much of their stuff from the ground up to make it as good as they can. They are just really quick at it & Mellow are not as quick! But mellow are probably doing more proper testing and china are maybe guess-testing.

Mellow has zero, zip, nada outsourced to China. All development is in-house, and thanks to Germany’s plentiful lodes, even the magnesium is mined in Germany. Painfully aware of what China can do, they took the high road form the beginning, not just for quality, but to avoid piracy.

If you think Mellow is what it is simply because they had the stupidly obvious idea to attach the battery pack to the truck you’ve missed the point.

So here’s the point in two steps:

  1. Integrating battery to the drive is a no-brainer, so let’s do it.
  2. Because it’s a no-brainer and because we as German surfers/boarders love high performance, long-lasting mechanics, we are not only going to over-engineer it, but future-proof and China-proof it.


So here’s China’s reasoning:

  1. Looks good, copy/paste that .jpg and make it a CAD, let some cheap molten aluminum flow, and squeeze components from other e-skate builds inside.
  2. Sell sell sell

Btw, the Chinese factories that make Boosted’s parts are indeed re-selling the tech. I think the only reason that Inboard’s not being copied is because they either (1) aren’t as far along as they say they are or (2) they are bringing nothing new to the table.

According to Inboard’s Facebook, their CTO should be in China around this time to bring back the first batch of motors. Apparently the sensors where all attached in the wrong place on the last prototypes. Not convincing.

But magnesium may not be as good as aluminum. Yea it’s light and strong but corrodes very quickly and in the bike world isn’t used anymore for this reason. Once the paint is scratched and it’s exposed it’s on it’s way. Any assumption about superior engineering or materials in Germany vs China is just dare I say racist if not a huge assumption. If someone could at least point to a concrete example of the smooth board’s great engineering then we would be talking about something real. What are the batteries and esc and motors? From the video they do it doesn’t look like they’re up to rocket science. “German Engineering” is a statement that means nothing other than you’re probably having to pay a lot and it’s probably due to their socialistic high taxes.

I think copying smooth board was an obvious move, the cost is way more than what it could cost to make and still they did really well on Kickstarter.

Engineering is a big name for a not-too-complicated piece of machinery. If they’d explained how or why their product is better then they’d have something. But in the eskate world it’s all claims and no numbers

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Inboard has a pretty low price I think. The copiers seem to be going after the overpriced stuff

It amuses me what people consider a “manufacturer”. If you outsource the heart and soul of your company to maximize profits you are nothing more than a reseller/salesman. Call me a dreamer but I think profits should be earned by production rather than merely moving product.

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you asked for it, you are a dreamer! :slight_smile:

before I comment in extreme detail i think i need more clarification from you… but obviously there are some things that are not feasible to produce in-house. bearings, bushings, wheels, grip tape, battery cells, wire…

At the end of the day the enertion business for me is about creative thought process, awesome design & grouping things (off the shelf & custom made parts) together in a way that is unique to my brand! Gathering of things together that would be otherwise extremely difficult for the individual to achieve on their own & leveraging suppliers to scale with growth & satisfy demand. I don’t do any manufacturing in house.

There will always be a procurement role in any business. Whether it’s the raw material or a finished product… You can’t make everything!

Do I only use suppliers that manufacture every single part themselves? NO… does that matter? of course it doesn’t! For me it’s about the lead times, finished result quality. I dare say if any factory tried to make everything themselves the quality would probably decline, if not the service would.

The trick is creating a really awesome product that no one else has & also being able to scale up and produce at a rate to meet demand whilst trying to protect your IP… to do this requires outside supply and lots of strategy & time.

If you got 100 orders of your unique hollow-core eboard design today, Can you do the work yourself in your shop in a timely manner?.. Maybe you have to spread the production out over 4-6 months or more, this could result in people going elsewhere & loss of a sale which will ultimately stop your business growing. NOW, if you only outsourced some production you could satisfy demand and hopefully bank some profit that could be reinvested in tooling or HR to allow you to grow bigger & meet the demand better in the future.

I do respect your ethos… But somethings are just not feasible for small business. If you can’t quickly scale to meet demand you will always be chasing your tail. That is why many businesses, in your words, are; “merely moving product”

I don’t manufacture anything in my 6m x 8m garage! Does that mean my business doesn’t have heart & soul?


Haha, Don’t worry man I wasn’t trying to call you out. You are upfront with what you do and I respect that. I see you as a distributor similar to a premium bike shop vs a bicycle manufacturer. The problem for you is there is not a diverse market full of components that you can stock and make a business off of so you need to rebrand or have someone manufacture custom designs in order to create your own market. These other companies put up a front when in reality they don’t actually make anything. Eventually I think you will grow to accept your role in the scene and who knows, maybe we can mend fences and you will be stocking parts made in New Mexico someday :wink:


Hummie, you seem to know about materials, but paradoxically neglect an important aspect: neither magnesium or aluminum are used in pure form, but as alloys. The alloys are there to impart other charateristics to shore up inherent weaknesses, for example, to increase magnesium’s self-healing capacities. Also, both materials are subject to corrosion…the self-healing I’m referring to is how each develops an oxide layer or coating that protects the metal underneath.


Yes, it’s a bit generalist to say, but you have the countries first and foremost to blame for that: “Made in Germany” was actually an international campaign to make German engineering (not really a big word) and product synonymous with quality. It worked, mostly due, simply, to the well-engineered products and standards of the internal market. China is now trying to the same thing, and their fight has to start, just like Germany, internally, where lack of quality and cheap products is done by design.

You can call it racist, but just think of burning “hoverboards” when you feel you are getting oversensitive.

Batteries are Samsung or Panasonic cells, ESC and motors are custom made in house, because nothing that existed met their specifications, not even the vaunted VESC. Don’t feel insulted, just get off that high horse and say, yay, someone’s making new stuff.

“Really well on Kickstarter”…creating a product and brand from the ground up in Germany for 370K? In my opinion, they’re eating a lot of ramen noodles and bootstrapping it like it was out of style. Their updates said they had additional investments of over a million and a half euros; this was badly needed, I’m sure.

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Onloop, aren’t you a one-man company? When you say “able to scale up” does that means you are expanding your business to meet a higher demand?

It’s financially impossible for a small business to NOT outsource manufacturing, but for me, the difference is that Onloop is designing his own key components, then assembling, instead of just putting something together from standard and widely available parts.

I agree…and I see you’ve already visited the other thread: http://www.electric-skateboard.builders/t/comparative-claims-in-controlled-testing/2210

It’s financially impossible for a small business to NOT outsource manufacturing

Call me Mr impossible then because I don’t outsource manufacturing.

I am really curious about is how you got your hands on one of the mellow prototypes and why you have not shared this with the rest of us? Do you work for mellow? A shilling for your thoughts?


I’m confused. I’m not insulted by new products. I have no beef with hoverboards and I don’t feel I’m on a high horse and I’m not really complaining of racism, more so just calling it idiocy for people to claim one country’s products are better than another. That’s a huge generalization which follows political and racial lines.

I don’t know much about the different alloys but do have experience with what is sold as magnesium. It corrodes much faster than aluminum typically. Just needs to have a layer of paint that stays on I guess though. While both will oxidize the aluminum seems to build a protective layer while the magnesium just keeps corroding And I would say smooth board did really well on Kickstarter. They succeeded right? Any success is success. I’m saying from the perspective of a manufacturer in China that can do things cheaply, smooth board is an obvious thing to rip off. I was syched for the thing and then saw the price.

Right now i press my own decks and do my own wire channeling and make my own grip. I’m about to make my own battery packs, and i’m already fabbing my own enclosures.

But if i got a 100 orders for my Scarlet decks i’d be on the phone with a plant in Atlanta, and if i got an order for 100 completes i’d be on the phone with the bank and just about everyone in Shenzen along with a few local machine shops as well as some people with CAD experience, because at that scale its time to have my own branded parts and it would be more feasible to do so.

Then after everything was made and delivered, I would assemble everything myself over the course of a couple of weeks because i would immediately take all of my vacation from my job to do it.

If i got a second order after that i’d probably quit my job and use all of this experience to start using somebody else’s money instead of my own and keep the momentum going.


I’m just a guy who’s always wanted an e-skate since forever, moreso now that my knees are messed up. I love science and mechanics (not an engineer) but never went down the DIY path because my number one criteria is it has to be under 5 kg. Okay, 6 max. Its urban transportation for me, so I have to be able to carry it around like the skate it is when I do errands.

I was seduced by the latest crop of Kickstarters: Inboard, Mellow and Stary. Luckily not Marbel (had money problems at the time). I’ve talked to people in each team since a year and have been most convinced by the responses and mentality of the Mellow guys.

They’ve driven through my city in France twice and let me ride. Being able to demo and chat with them has only made me more convinced it’s gonna be a great product.

I’m sort of apprehensive about Inboard, which seems to be 90% marketing and blabla. Concerning Stary, I have a sort of restrained optimism…at 450 USD each (I got two) I should be okay.

@Chaka and @longhairedboy, Nice to meetcha Mr Impossibles! I’d love to check out your stuff, got a website?

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Too late… They already do unfortunately.

I can’t get too upset because I’m not Asian. But it’s funny you bring up the hover board. I have a guess that there’s more burnt up evolve boards percentage-wise than hover boards. Maybe I’m wrong.

Im still wondering what ur talking about saying that i am insulted and not happy some one is making new stuff and I’m on a high horse. What horse? Maybe u thought I’m in the racism horse. I’m not in China but if I worked there and made something pretty decent, which a lot of them do, I’d be annoyed hearing about China as if it was just one unscrupulous sloppy guy.

More so relevant I had motors made in China and I’ll bet u the German engineering smooth motors don’t have as good components and possibly workmanship as these. Germany is one place u can get really nice motors and they cost a fortune.

I’m a little behind on my blog posts but I’m trying to catch up. lol

Here’s Ben Stein’s thoughts on the X1 … From Mellow Boards

We were chit chatting one day about it

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