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The case for Boosted's Mini electric skateboard line

Let just dispel some of the skateboard-related crossover possibilities right out of the gate. The weight difference between a regular skateboard and the Boosted Mini is drastic. Yes, it’s easier to hold the Mini since it’s shorter than the 17-pound longboard model, but the S is also only two pounds lighter (whereas the X is nearly the same at 16.8 pounds). A regular skateboard seems almost weightless in comparison.

Ollies are gonna be tough. At 15-plus pounds with a short tail and a higher profile, the pop will be late and trying to push through the weight is gonna be a sneaker-tearing effort. Gravity is in full effect here. Even going up curbs by lifting the nose first isn’t ideal, again because of the weight, but mostly since there’s not much nose for unweighting the backend in time. That encased motor assembly is gonna get whacked plenty unless you craft a custom Bird Lapper truck guard. You may also be pummeling the battery casing that spans most of the wheelbase on taller curbs, but I’ve seen some of Boosted’s testing methods in that regard and there’s little reason to worry about durability.

With all that said, I’m at least confident in its ability to do powered manuals, so there’s hope for more than just cruising with the wheels down.

Creating an electrically powered skateboard in the classic sense, though, isn’t what Boosted is about. It’s pivoting to the role of transportation company, so facilitating tricks isn’t really a priority right now. Plus, with the Android or iOS app, you can track battery level, predicted range and ride history making it a higher category of transport than you’d think a skateboard would be.

The new build

I don’t own or regularly ride one of the Boosted longboards myself, but I’ve spent some time with them over the past few years. The experience with this Mini version isn’t the same, but when you’re moving forward with your eyes to the horizon, those differences mostly fall to the wayside. The motors on the Mini, though less powerful than the pricier models, are generally the same product as before. The torque for starting and stopping is amazing and comfortable, easily ramping up to speed or slowing down smoothly. If you’re in the highest ride mode, you’ll still need to lean in and be cautious of over throttling and landing on your ass.

Boosted is proud of its new role as component designer and supplier. It’s changed some of the motor’s parts to increase strength and longevity. This is something you won’t notice in most cases, but it’s good to know that they’re paying close attention to quality. This shouldn’t be news to you if you’ve ridden Boosted boards or followed the company as it’s grown over the past few years.

The trucks are also a Boosted product now and we’re told those have been redesigned for durability as well. Again, not much to notice at first glance, but it may play a role in the long run. Since the Mini is a smaller model and easier to carry by the front trucks as you’re walking around, I noticed that the kingpin sticks out a bit more than regular skateboards, which can make holding it uncomfortable at times.

As for the deck, the company has taken some cues from snowboard manufacturing, with its composite construction. There’s a lightweight poplar core wrapped in fiberglass, with a plastic runner along the edges for added protection. Since Boosted hasn’t had a shorter model before, there’s no way to compare with previous versions. However, you won’t get the same bounce that the longboards offer. There’s no real flex on this size which is the way it should be, but since the weight of the overall package is fairly heavy, it’s hard to say if the deck offers any weight savings in itself.

Price, speed and range

What you have here is a more affordable and maneuverable option, albeit with a bit less power than the longboard models. The Minis run dual, brushless, belt-drive motors totaling 1,000 watts, while the Plus and Stealth are 2,100 watts. The boards are all controlled by a handheld Bluetooth remote, which is one of the more ergonomic and comfortable units I’ve used. Very little has changed there.

The Mini S costs $749 and is the most approachable of the bunch, but you’re still getting only seven miles to a charge. That’s fine, but you’ll need to stay on top of recharging and may want to bring that brick with you most of the time — or buy an extra to bookend your commute needs. And while the Mini S caps out at 18 miles per hour, its speed threshold will likely be less of an issue for most riders than battery longevity.

If you can afford the upgrade, but like the smaller form factor, you could opt for the Mini X, which we haven’t yet tested. The battery is beefier and the total package weighs in at 16.8 pounds (a negligible difference since both are kinda heavy). Still, you get 14 miles range and a top speed of 20 MPH, which sounds like a great pairing. The premium Mini X will cost you $999, but the offset is that you’ll have more range on a charge and that means less dependence on that charging brick. As for the bit of extra weight, those ollies weren’t really going to happen anyway.

Keep in mind, if you’re running any of the boards at full throttle for extended periods of time, you’re going to fall short of the maximum rated distance. On the earlier Dual+ longboard rated for seven miles I only managed to eek out between 5.2 and 5.8 miles before the battery died. And while the motors have amazing torque for starting and stopping, that also makes pushing the board without juice more difficult than you’d expect.

To manage your speed threshold you can use either of the three ride modes, which offer a good spread for various moods and skill levels. The first is slow enough to help avoid most incidents of over throttling, but won’t get you anywhere very quickly. It’s barely a brisk walking pace, which is a perfect safety mode for beginners. The second is akin to a jog and will get you down the street well enough, but if you’re used to the board, you’ll still be clamoring for more. Mode 3 moves you at a decent clip and you’ll want to lean in if you throttle up quickly. If you’re familiar with the more powerful longboards, though, you may miss that extra bit of speed.

Boosted Mini S ($749) Boosted Mini X ($999)
Range Up to 7 miles Up to 14 miles
Top speed Up to 18 MPH Up to 20 MPH
Hill climbing Up to 20% grade Up to 20% grade
Modes Three ride modes Three ride modes
Wheels Boosted Lunar 80mm Boosted Lunar 80mm
Weight 15 pounds 16.8 pounds

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