Electric skateboards have started to take off in popularity, similar to the whole “hoverboard” craze. The Serpent-W is one of two new boards that are currently being funded on Kickstarter to offer a more affordable price, but with all the great features of the bigger (more expensive) brands.

Electric longboards are more than just for fun. They are great for urban environments, being more convenient than scooters or bikes. That said, with a maximum speed of nearly 25mph, this is most definitely something fun to ride.

What is it?

The Serpent-W is an impressive electric longboard that aims to bring the price down on otherwise premium features. It’s got a lightweight, yet strong aluminum body that should hold up to almost anything it encounters.

The board

The aluminum board measures 40.74″ by 10.82″. Definitely on the larger side. The motor inside is an 1800w brushless motor that powers the rear wheels. It is quite powerful and is capable of handling hills from 15-20º incline. That is actually very impressive for a board like this.

I found the whole thing to be a bit on the heavy side, but that is to be expected with a giant battery and motor affixed to the bottom.

On one side of the board is the power toggle and battery gauge, and the other has the input for the charger. The charing port is protected by a piece of rubber that folds back. I found it slightly annoying when trying to put back in place as it was hard to properly line it up. Of course, that is needed for the IP54 waterproofing. That water resistance makes this easy to ride in the rain and can easily withstand puddles and splashes, but I wouldn’t recommend ever submerging it in water.

Lights

Many people use vehicles like this to get around, often in the evenings. The Serpent-W is cognizant of this and makes a concerted effort to light the board well. There are strips of LEDs along each side, as well as spotlights on the front and rear. If you break, it will even turn the lights red to make it apparent what is going on. All of this should help you stay safe in the dark compared to other boards.

Remote

The remote is how you control the board. There are no apps to download in order to use it, you simply turn on the remote, and turn on the board and you can start riding. It has a small lanyard attached which helps you not drop it while riding.

To make the board go, you press up on the control, and to break, you pull down. It seems a little odd to me because if you want to go backward, you have to change the mode on the side of the remote. Not a huge deal, but if I wanted to go back, I kept pulling down. It took a while for me to learn I had to switch modes, then press up to go in reverse.

There are also a few other controls on the sides like one for lights, and one for sport vs eco mode. Eco mode is going to give you better mileage, as well as take things at a more gradual speed. Sport mode is quite a bit more powerful. If you haven’t ridden a board like this before, stick to eco mode when you are getting started.

Competition

There are so many boards out there now all trying to compete with one another. A lot of them are great. The Boostedboard and NXTD are two notable ones. The thing is, both of those boards are substantially more expensive than the Serpent-W. In fact, the Serpent-W comes in at less than half the price.

When you compare features, the Serpent-W excels and surpasses most of the specs on these higher end boards.

Wrap up

I think that while electric skateboards, scooters, and hover boards are really cool, they’ve had several reasons keeping them from being ubiquitous. They usually have high price tags, are hard to learn, and have a negative perception that the batteries will explode.

The Serpent-W is a well designed board that is extremely easy to ride, and has all the safety and performance features you’d expect from a higher end board at a much more affordable cost.

Pros

  • Well lit on all sides
  • Gradual break slows you to a stop
  • Sturdy build quality from the Aluminum deck to the PU wheels
  • Easy to ride for beginners
  • Sport mode goes up to 25mph for experienced riders
  • No apps to control the board
  • IP54 water resistance for rain, puddles, and splashes
  • Super silent motors
  • Can handle inclines up to 20º
  • Affordable pricing

Cons

  • Tread could be hard to replace
  • Can be heavy if carrying around after your commute
  • Only one color/style
  • Reversing isn’t as intuitive as I’d like
  • Remote feels on the cheaper side
  • Still expensive for many

The Serpent-W and its little brother the Serpent-C are currently available for preorder over on Kickstarter, with delivery expected to start next month. The longboard is available for the early bird price of $499 and the standard sized board is only $169.