Practicallity vs Looks. Which do you prefer?

I have been on this forum for 2 years now, and in this time, I’ve seen this industry go from almost nothing to flourishing industry. Along the way, things have changed quite a bit from the old days of having to do so much yourself or pay through the roof to buy a simi-usable product that still had more issues than todays cheap products.

One thing I’ve seen as a vendor and builder, time and time again, is the desire for a good looking board. I don’t think there are many builders out there that could care less how their board looks. But the issue comes up over and over again for me. What is most important. A practical board or one that looks good?

Now I bet many are saying why can’t you have both?

The issue lies with what we are trying to do. Cram a bunch of electronics into a board with motors that feels good to ride, looks good, and also has the performance to back it all up.

If your ok with weaker performance and a 10s2p is ok for you, the problem is easier to solve. But once your start trying to cram a 12s4p and multiple vesc’s into a board, the board becomes a bit more complicated. You have to think about how you can fit all of this into a shape that still looks nice and rides nice.

The easiest solution is to look towards carbon fiber decks if looks are what you are all about. it’s easy to make sleek looking with carbon fiber and some foam as a core. The problem starts with the material itself though. Carbon fiber is not designed to flex at all.

Now you might be asking why is this not desirable when looking at the practicality aspect? The reason is because no flex means the vibrations of the road go straight to your feet. This means your feet are likely to become sore on longer rides (5+ miles) if your roads aren’t all butter.

Wood has been used as the primary material in decks for a long time. One reason is the cost aspect, but another comes from the performance aspect. Not only does the slight natural flex of wood decks help absorb vibrations but also the jolt of moderate sized cracks. The problem with a wood deck is getting it to look sleek and curvy like you can with a carbon fiber deck.

The other aspect to decks is the concave. Less concave makes it easier to build and no flex with a carbon fiber deck is even easier. However, concave is what makes a deck have a “feel” to it. It’s make makes is comfortable to ride for long periods of time and maintain a high degree of control.

So my question to the community is simple. What is most important to you? If you had to choose which one you care more about.

To to clarify, Practicality means good power, good range, comfortable to ride and has a great overall feel to the way it rides. And Looks, well… Don’t think I need to break that down any more, haha.

Practicality or Looks? Which is more important?

  • Practicality
  • Looks

0 voters

Personally, I am all about performance and the feel of riding. This is why I started making hollow core wooden decks. However, from the forum, I see far more interest for some reason (I’m guessing looks) in carbon fiber hollow core decks.

P.S. I am in no way trying to marginalize Carbon Fiber decks. If looks are most important to your and your not someone who rides above 20 mph or for more than a mile or two at a time, the Carbon Fiber deck is a great option. They can be a preferable option over 100% wood decks, as in this case.


For me I guess performance and safety is nr 1 and 2 priority. However, that doesn’t mean it need to look like shit :wink:

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Looking like shit is one thing. But looking clean but not super curvy on the bottom (not concave on the top) and ultra thin on the edges is more what I was talking about :wink:

Technically you can have both you can have a board that looks bad ass but also has the performance side of it. I feel like if you start with the motors and batteries and build around them you will encounter less issues like your deck not working with your battery size.

I think you will have a wrong answer here as you put a very complicated problem into two simple answers. Fist of all you are very wrong that carbon fiber is stiff. There are endless ways to design carbon part. You can have different weight of cloth,weave, placement in part and even different resin. There are carbon fiber suspensions so you are quite wrong saying that carbon is stiff. Second thing hollow deck design is like tube so it will be stiffer by the way it’s build. I would like to see how much your deck can bend with a lid with all screws in. Someone posted an iMac photo and your comment was " Its funny how appearances can be played with like that" well that what is industrial design. So recipe is “simple” … Find a middle ground and you’ll have a killer product :wink:

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I think that is the desire of most.

When I say carbon fiber is stiff, I’m talking about carbon fiber decks with foam as a core material, such as the raptor 1 deck or the evolve cgt.

Hummie’s deck uses a layer of carbon fiber but has quite a bit of flex. But you need a lot of strength if your making a deck with super thin parts. So your going to make the carbon fiber as stiff as possible or you risk it breaking in half. It’s not to say a carbon fiber deck has to be stiff, but in the way we have seen them, yes, they are all quite stiff.

It would be, if it wasn’t hollow. Basically, think of it as 3 layers, with re-reinforcement beams. The beams flex, since theres a lot of weight on them. And the bottom 3 layers basically hold the beams in place so they don’t twist, rotate, or move in an undesirable way. The lid doubles down on this and makes the whole board solid, with about as much flex as most tradition 9 Maple layer long boards.

It’s not to say theres a lot of flex, but enough that when you hit something, your board will move a bit to help absorb the shock, but you will stay in the same place in space as you where before the jolt. And after the jolt, your board will return to normal, meaning your not getting thrown off because of something you hit in the road as easily (hit something big enough and nothing will save you, so I found out the hard way, lol).

So far, I haven’t seen a single person or company do just that… They either have the super slim sleek appearance because they are weak underpowered boards or they sacrifice some sleekness for more power.

I would say the Raptor 2 is the closest, but bottom mounts will never be sleek in my books…

Also, everyone has different terms of what is performance. For me, it’s at least 5000w. And I’m not just talking about motor ratings, that means speed controllers and the battery also and you actually pull that.

it’s SUPER close for me, about 45% looks and 55% performance


No production board has what I want.

I want it to look good, feel good, and have all the powers. Real powers not fake powers like @evoheyax said (motor rating vs overall)

Ollin Freeride seems to fit the bill pretty okay in my book.


some like looks and feel. Like Apple 25% performance 35% looks and most importantly 40% higher cost.

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I don’t think carbon fiber decks are necessarily impractical. Some CF practicalities come to mind:

  1. Lower weight - Comes in handy when you need to lug the whole rig up stairs, into restaurants, onto buses, etc. So they can be great commuters.

  2. Structural - Don’t have to stress much about batteries flexing or put much thought into an enclosure, as long as you can clear your components.

  3. Responsive - Kind of like a sports car with a stiff chassis, or a stiff snowboard. I feel like you can get quicker directional transfer when nothing is flexing.

  4. Feel - You can mitigate the vibrations in a few ways. I’ve found that wearing minimalist shoes like Vibram Five Fingers actually transfer less tingly vibration to my feet and give me extremely good board response and feedback. Good urethane and shock pads (if you’re into that) can also help out.

  5. Durability. My deck is a @hi5ber. Maybe all CF isn’t created equal, but that thing is tough as nails.

  6. Looks. Like you say :heart_eyes::rocket:

I was a snowboarder before I was an eboarder, so take all that for what it’s worth. I don’t know much about surfy sensations or carving feels on a high end cruiser, but I’ve never regretted building on a carbon fiber deck.

My wooden deck looks pretty sleek and curvy :wink:

pics? :heart_eyes:

With wood, I’m talking about hollow core decks.

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I swear to god if I see another picture of that damn pulse echo…

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Not talking about that one :wink:

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Ahh, hollow core…

The reason being I don’t consider bottom mounted enclosure boards sleek or sexy.

Just like I don’t find 1" thick cnc’d plywood without any concave sexy…

So how do you fit .75 inch thick cells into a board without it being 1 inch thick somewheres? You seem to be looking for magic…