I used to not be a fan of motorised longboards, mainly because of how they look; they aren’t elegant, have a lot of plastic parts and the shape and look of the boards I saw on the market mostly don’t appeal to me. In addition, they are bulky and usually very heavy.
A start-up company named JayKay from South Germany made me reconsider my feelings towards electric longboards. They invented an elegant and practical solution. Instead of making a classic longboard motor, the drive is hidden inside the trucks.
At a first glance, they appear to be like normal longboard trucks and, what I like most about them, they can be mounted on any longboard deck, top mount or drop through, with standard skateboard hardware.
JayKay e-trucks test drive
A few months ago I got to try out their early prototype. I mounted the JayKay trucks on my own favourite Icone Longboards deck and all I could see was my beautiful wooden longboard with a pair of trucks – no plastic battery pack housing, no nothing.
Compared to other electric longboards, the setup was very light with a total weight of about 5.5 kg. The e-trucks can be mounted with standard skateboard hardware and the bushings are of a standard size too, so they can be replaced if desired.
Before my first ride, I was worried about how the trucks would feel. I expected them to have no turn as if they were designed only to house the battery and other components. But to my surprise this was not the case. The truck geometry offered a pleasant, agile riding experience.
JayKay have just received their new urethane wheels. For now, the wheels come in 78a with a contact patch of 61.5 mm and in two colors, red and white. I can’t comment on the wheels and how they slide since I’ve only tested the first prototype, but I think it should be possible to do checks and little slides.
However, it must be considered that this is more of a urethane “ring” than a wheel, meaning it could wear down quite fast if someone should choose to slide them a lot.
How it works
Let me briefly explain the technology. Basically, the motor is integrated into the wheels and the battery is hidden inside the hanger. I know this sound a little delicate but on the test rides I did, the trucks surprised me with their strength and power. The baseplate and material of the hangers used is a high-resistant cast and tempered aluminium alloy.
According to the inventors it will be possible to do tricks with the e-trucks, it is however to be considered that your longboard setup would be heavier than usual.
You accelerate and brake with a remote control that recognises finger or arm gestures, depending on the type of control the customer chooses, which will be either a finger ring or a stick.
If the rider should fall off the board, the electric drive will automatically stop once the distance between the trucks and the remote control reaches a certain distance.
The e-trucks have an auto-on function, which means that the drive switches on after you push off and the wheels start to roll. This allows for a smooth start and makes it easier to find balance. In this context it should also be pointed out that the wheels roll freely, so if the batteries should die after a range of up to 15 km, you can still ride it by pushing.
Also, the trucks can be driven in both directions and have an integrated light at the front and back for better visibility in the dark.
What convinced me was the fun I had while test riding. Like most of you, I am a passionate skateboarder and I love pushing my board everywhere I go. There was no room for such a fancy thing as an e-drive for my longboard.
However, after testing these electric longboard trucks, I was genuinely stoked about this new sensation of “driving”. So if you ever have the chance to try it out, you should definitely give it a go!
JayKay e-trucks are still in a development stage but can already be pre-ordered on their official website. They are about to go into serial production within the next months.
JayKay e-truck features:
- Top speed: 30 km/h / 18.6 mph (on a flat surface)
- Three modes: sport, eco and slow
- Range: 12 – 15 km / 7.5 – 10 miles
- Number of motors: 4
- Weight: approx. 2 kg per truck
- Charging time: 1 hour (fast charging), 3h (normal)
- Remote: ring, stick or smartphone via Bluetooth
- Battery life: 3 hours (battery-saving mode)
- Mounting: top mount or drop through with standard skate hardware
- Free wheel mode: use the electric drive or push like normally
- Can be driven in both directions