Published on November 5th, 2017 | by Kyle Field0
Boosted Boards Dual+ Generation 2 Review (CleanTechnica Exclusive)
November 5th, 2017 by Kyle Field
Boosted Boards is widely known as the leader in electrified skateboards. The very usable design — with 7 miles of range, an intuitive controller, and rider-friendly specs — made the first Boosted Board a winner off the line. It was more than capable as an around-town commuter board, a solution to the last mile for many transit riders, and perhaps most importantly, just a ton of fun to ride.
Since the introduction of the first board, the team at Boosted Boards has been hard at work to improve some of the opportunities that surfaced with users of the first board, and they continue to make it better with new functionality, more easily serviced parts, and more.
After having so much fun with the original, I was eager to get my hands on the 2nd generation of the Boosted Dual+ board to run it through some of the same challenging environments and see how it held up.
Ride & Feel of the Boosted Boards Gen2
The first generation Boosted Board was a ton of fun to ride and still packed enough power to make it a realistic option for commuters looking to extend their functional, non-sweaty range a little. Also, because it’s just such a fun, intuitive board to ride, many (most?) riders buy a Boosted Board to tear around on after school or work … or at school or work, depending on the situation.
In our testing, we found the second-generation board to be built very much along the same lines. The average person probably wouldn’t notice any difference between them, as the only major aesthetic difference between the two is the green centers of the gen-2 board. Other than that, they look and, for the most part, feel like the same board.
Powering up hills with ridiculous inclines, braking down those same sweat-inducing drops, powering through rock-scattered roads (discouraged), and exercising all types of adrenal glands that had all but gone to sleep, I found the Boosted Dual+ is an absolute blast to ride.
In fact, the board is so aggressive that it’s worth mentioning a few safety items here. First — always wear protective gear. I won’t get on a board for anything more than a very short stroll without a minimum of a helmet, kneepads, and wrist guards. Think about what you would do if the board suddenly stopped, suddenly accelerated, suddenly stopped responding to the controller, etc., and be ready to deal with the results. You’ll notice I’m well equipped with safety gear in this round of videos because falling just isn’t as fun as it apparently used to be when I was 19. Go figure.
Getting back to the fun, the four levels of power make the board very easy to ease into. Just want to take it down to the corner store? Grab the helmet and put it in level 2. Want to let a friend try it out? Level 1 it is. The four levels of power make it very easy to tell the board what you want from it. Like a horse that always does what you want.
Having said that, a significant amount of energy has been put into the second-generation board from Boosted and it shows in areas that matter. The 2nd generation Boosted Dual+ maintains the impressive powertrain comprised of two 1,000-watt motors that the original version sports, but the company has made them more easily serviceable, with quick disconnects on the wiring for each motor. This is not to say that Boosted expects the motors to fail, but that it is all too aware that sometimes, stuff just happens. Whether it’s a motor shorting out after getting doused with water or road debris assaulting the motor, very few things are indestructible and Boosted’s experience in servicing its first-generation boards helped it to tweak the new design in just the right ways.
The motors themselves may have seen a full upgrade, including work on the transmission that connects them through to the belt drive and, ultimately, the wheels. Team Boosted Boards brought all of the experience from generation 1 to bear on the motors as the heart of the powertrain and were able to redesign it, resulting in more torque, cooler operation, lighter weight, and easier maintenance. These are not game changers in and of themselves, but when taken together, they result in a board that will last longer, will accelerate faster, and will be easier to maintain in the event of an issue.
The deck is the same bamboo deck from Loaded but feels stiffer. That’s a plus for those looking for a more rigid board that will hold up to more pressure and speed when bombing hills, but it might not feel as comfortable and cushy as the previous deck.
The new generation includes a mostly hidden feature in that the battery packs are now removable. This speaks to an upgrade that should be just around the corner in the form of a battery pack capable of double the range. The base pack offers 7 miles of range and the new pack will offer twice that. That’s a game changer for many riders, as it allows the board to be much more functional as a commuter vehicle. The ability to drop an extra battery in the pack gives riders more options as they plan their commutes … or just an all-out assault on some fresh pavement on a sunny Saturday afternoon.
When the original Boosted Board was introduced, there were only a handful of competitors. Fast-forward to today and battery prices have fallen quite a bit, which has led to numerous new companies cropping up with competing boards and even some straight-up knockoffs. Unabashed Boosted Boards fan and rider Casey Neistat put up a video covering one of the blatant knockoffs, which he found to be not on the same level as the Boosted Board.
While current knockoffs are not at the quality of Boosted Board products, competition in the space is heating up. At the same time, battery prices just keep dropping, leaving Boosted Boards and a number of other premium players in the space sitting hundreds of dollars above comparable competition.
The second-generation Boosted Board is not a higher tiered model, premium version or anything like that. Rather, it is just the new version of the boards being sold by Boosted Boards. I say boards because Boosted Boards sells two versions of its dual-motor powerhouse board — the Dual and the Dual+. Both pack in 7 miles of range, but the Dual+ ups the ante with the ability to climb 25% grades vs 20% for the Dual. The top speed on the Dual+ offers a smidge more overhead for true adrenaline junkies, with a top speed of 22 mph vs 20 mph for the Dual.
The Dual can be had for $1299 while the Dual+ tips the scales at $1499. For most, the $1299 Dual should be just fine, as the Dual+ doesn’t have any make-or-break features. Having said that, if you’re looking for the board that truly pushes the envelope and are willing to drop the extra $200, the Dual+ is clearly the more powerful board.
The breakthrough electric skateboard from Boosted Boards continues to be the flagship powered skateboard on the market today. The intuitive remote, detachable battery, and unique ability to power itself in reverse give it control and flexibility that no other manufacturers offer today at this quality. The Boosted Boards brand is established and well respected for its quality products, great support, and strong user base. That makes the purchase of a Boosted Board something customers can feel good about without having to wonder if they will be around in the future.
Looking at the current state of the market, pressure from other manufacturers is mounting, especially in light of falling prices of various lithium-ion chemistries that are well suited for use in a power skateboard. As with any market being hit with more and more demand coupled with a spike in production capacity and competition, prices will drop. Boosted Boards has not shared any official position on this with us, so don’t hold off on a purchase because of this, but expect to see pricing correcting in the coming years.
Have a look at the video review for a more experiential review of the Generation 2 Boosted Board Dual+, and let us know in the comments — would you ride a Boosted Board to get from home to to the bus/train and from the bus to school/work/etc.? What would your ideal personal electric commute vehicle be?
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