Refurbish & repair old esk8s | How to upcycle & restore a Fiik Street Surfer with modern esk8 technology

Once upon a time cars needed a mechanic along to reliably cover long distances. There was not service shops everywhere. That seems the stage esk8 is at.

How many failures did @b264 need to experience to achieve “serious reliability”? How many miles or hours does such a esk8 build expert get without any failure? My Street Surfer had maybe 1000 miles and stopped working, as a commercial build. It came with an extra Kevlar belt, presumably because that part was a weak point.

Having read a few hundred posts, it seems like the state of the art still has a way to go, where every expert starts as a ESC-frying noob, and “cheap parts” have to suck.

I am not griping, the challenges are fun. The most reliable builders seem to be those who have broken everything and learned. It is a bit sad if one must spend as much as it takes to achieve reliability.

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I fixed a LOT of broken stuff before I figured out how to make them not break all the time.

First rule is generally don’t add stuff you don’t need.

Second rule is keep the battery current turned down in software. 30A to 50A battery max (for all motors) is more than enough. Let other people break stuff by turning everything up too high.

Third rule is don’t take apart a skate that works. Build another one or fix another one, but if it works, just ride it.

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Thanks @b264, for words of wisdom.

Here is a wish list of upgraded features and capabilities, based on what I have learned so far. These are not complaints, but room for improvement.

  • Design for serviceability: The ESC in my board was glued-in. If I had to replace it, it would have taken a chisel to clear it out. The enclosure bolts where shaggy-long and the buried nuts required a long socket I did not have; needle-nose pliers only barely and tediously able to remove them.

  • There was no comprehensive documentation of the system, not even a detailed Spec. The norm in early esk8 servicing is to chase clues anywhere, although some tutorials and docs are great.

  • Builds are not consistently rugged. The electronics take a pounding, poorly cushioned. Parts like receivers could be potted in epoxy, to eliminate dirt and oxidation issues. Wires need to be better insulated and sleeved. Wet conditions need to be solved.

  • DIY batteries seem as dangerous as road hazards. Sure there is a safe way to build and handle them, but countless noobs do anything but. Some of the drives can take a finger. Many small safety details still need solving, like holding a remote with a decent sliding glove. We should have rearview mirrors on our helmets or wrists.

  • Acceleration and speed is decent enough. Range and charging speed need to go up, to make esk8 a truly universal transport. Many if us would love to travel cross-country. We need better knowledge of great trails around the world, since mixing with highway traffic without a shoulder is not practical.

This is the biggest challenge in all of esk8, IMHO.

The JayKay E-trucks remote approach is intriguing but proprietary and not for sale, so I don’t know.

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JayKay Magic Decoder Ring of Power Remote?

Frodo could easily be enslaved :mage: Does it come in gold?

What a funny problem. Siamese Twins :pensive: :pensive: could rule esk8

The JayKay Ring comes with cruise-control, that would make my kite regen mode easier. I currently hold pistol and right side of kitebar in one hand, barely doable. Settable throttle has been on my hack-list.

If one is well-off, let them slide-out on Puck remotes :face_with_monocle:

The rest of us may hack Brain Wave Servo Control-

Servo Control using Brain Wave - YouTube

2 Likes remote.

it has a modular core that can be swapped between remote bodies.

Epilogue: Street Surfer back in action with nothing more than a new XT90 connector on the battery (tiny upgrade). Learned a lot, more addicted than ever. Thanks to everybody for advice and encouragement :star2: :star2: :star2: :star2:

Next build will be epic. Fiik will become my backup transport.

Looking to develop a Monster Board Class :dragon_face: of esk8. Cargo, extreme distance, solar trailer self-charge. Will start a new topic as project develops…


I have tons of parts for the street surfer. Moters ,belts tires lith ion battery packs etc

That’s cool, Tommy, where are you located? Do you keep some charge on those battery packs? Are you looking to sell? My Fiik just keeps going, like a tank.

Lately I have been emailing back and forth with Shenzhen esk8 developers. Its a wild scene. You can tell how so many different boards are made there, by the common parts, yet its different small shops, and competing designs change fast, based on ideas that come from the DIY scene. Super boards are coming.

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