Acton–after seeing my video on the Blink Lite (their super portable and inexpensive electric skateboard that’s worth a look)–reached out and asked if I wanted to try out their brand new electric skateboard the Blink S, to which I replied, “DUH”.
Two boxes showed up not too long after and I proceeded to tear them open in a frenzy of excitement open them delicately.
In the smaller, more confusing box, I found a helmet (which I won’t use honestly, but was nice to know they’re thinking of my safety) and a brochure–with my logo on it–explaining some of the highlights of the new skateboard. (Nice touch, Acton marketing team.)
Moving on to the clearly skateboard-shaped box, I tore it open and pulled out the board, which we’ll get to in a sec, and found a remote, information packets that people like us just don’t read, and not one, but two chargers.
Turns out I was sent the stretch goal version of their Indiegogo campaign which included one charger for work and one for the office to extend the 45 min ride time that you get per charge and a backpack. (This perk is no longer included but you can snag an extra charger for $50 if you wanted to have a similar charging setup.)
Which brings us to the board itself.
This is the Blink S, which is the new lower tiered model (besides the aforementioned Blink Lite). And frankly, its in an entirely different category compared to the original Blink Lite. Where as the Blink Lite was slightly terrifying on NYC streets at speed–with you constantly fearing gravel or even large gaps in the sidewalk thanks to its tiny, “normal” skateboard wheels and short-board build–the Blink S has much larger and more solid feeling wheels and a much wider deck.
The board also has the same side lights that the Blink Lite had but has also added a front headlamp and a red taillight.
Both boards have the same one wheel hub motor concept for power, but, instead of that motor being a 450W motor with an integrated battery in it, they’ve moved the battery under the board and bumped up the watts in the motor to 600.
This extra bump in wattage also gave it some extra grunt and stamina. The Blink S can handle double the incline for hills (8.6 degrees), can hit a max speed of 15 miles per hour, go a distance of 10 miles on a single charge and pushing the throttle all the way forward definitely propels the board forward faster.
Here in NYC, 15 miles an hour on a shortboard is kind of terrifying (although less so thanks to the bigger wheels compared to the Blink Lite). There’s just so many people, cars, potholes, etc. for me to feel like it’s a good idea. Also, I had to tighten the trucks on my Blink S as it came with super loose ones which were great a slower speeds but really didn’t help once you got closer to the higher end of the board’s capabilities.
The board is controlled via a small, simple remote. You can push forward on it to go forward and back to brake (which are some serious brakes and take a little mental prep before using). You can also slide a switch on the side to change the direction of the remote (even though jumping off and turning the board is a bit quicker to do).
Acton also has an app for iOS and Android that allows you to control a few other aspects of the board and see more data. Probably the biggest one of which is the ability to change the riding mode.
You can choose from Beginner, Normal, and Pro and the board’s throttle and brake will then respond sharper or slower to help you be able to react easier to it. I personally like Pro mode as Beginner felt almost like there was a delay when I’d wanted to go forward, but you might feel differently.
You can also check your speed (which I don’t ever recommend doing while riding, trust me I tried it), your total mileage/ride time, you can compete in weekly challenges with other Acton riders, check the battery (most important feature in my opinion, and you can check where other Acton board users are (should you want to find them and, um, ride with them, I guess? Eh, seems odd to me).
Now, the Blink Lite was orignally $400 when it came out but you can actually grab one now for $300 making it still one of the least expensive electric skateboards you can buy. The Blink S, however, starts at $700 with a coupon for $50 off bringing it to $650 at the moment. And, even though that’s a hefty jump in price it sort of makes sense.
All of that extra lighting, bigger motor, larger wheels, larger board, faster charging battery, etc. adds up and $700 is still under the average for electric skateboards out there especially ones this light, this fast and can charge this quickly. Comparing it to the Blink Lite, I’d say maybe go the Lite route if you only plan to ride it short distances and on smoother surfaces, but personally for a daily commuter or using on a college campus, I might pay the extra to get the Blink S –even if just for the much less terrifying riding experience.
Head here for 5% off the Blink S from Acton if you’re interested, and you can also find the Blink Lite here on Amazon! Let me know what you guys think of the video and the skateboard in the comments, love hearing from you!