Inboard M1 Electric Skateboard review

Inboard M1 Electric Skateboard Kiteworld review

Is this the best land-based toy in existence?




 Inboard M1 Electric Skateboard Kiteworld review



Words: Jim Gaunt 

In an obvious departure of testing purely kitesurfing gear in this magazine, there is a less clear connection to this electric skateboard review than the apparent cross-over in riding skills. Most of the initial core Inboard team were all kiteboarders… and the rest is an exciting history that also involved the company soaring past their six figure crowd funding target within hours of going live, such is the appeal of this mode of transport. 

And frankly, that’s what the M1 is; a vehicle. I was super excited when I ordered mine, but at the same time when it actually turned up, I was a little apprehensive. I’d had a quick go on one at the Surf Expo trade show a year earlier; the smooth acceleration and incremental control of the joystick an immediate thrill. The M1 felt approachable, exciting but not too wild. However, after initially using it on a wide, private road, things suddenly became a bit more ominous when I actually had one of my own that I’d invested money in. 

Paying over US$1,000  and almost $200 per battery (I have two), this is not a spur of the moment toy purchase and as it sat staring at me by the front door each day, I found I had to consciously bring it into my life. Yes, it’s super fun, but it’s relatively heavy for a skateboard and at 95 centimetres long and 6.5 kilos, it’s not the handiest of sizes to carry around, at the shops or through town. You do get used to that once you gain more confidence in your riding, though. You find yourself more willing and able to ride further and through busier areas, so you actually end up carrying it less, and feeling far less like an almost 40-year-old on a whacky electric skateboard! Whether I do or not is another matter. But I care less. 

The learning curve is actually very steep because the three speed settings are very progressive. The beginner mode is slow and there’s no jerky take-off at all. The fastest setting on the other hand has a far more aggressive pick up in speed. The acceleration is, literally, electric but if you’re in an open area, then once up to speed, the speed management is less severe in that top gear as you’re then just feathering the control. The middle setting is fantastic, with a smooth pick up in speed, but then a generous top speed as the M1 in this intermediate setting seems able to constantly wind itself up faster and faster the longer you hold the accelerator. In contrast, the top setting has a far quicker acceleration. It’s a real thrill. I use the intermediate setting much more in and around traffic. 


 Inboard M1 Electric Skateboard Kiteworld review


I use mine almost every dry day for the short commute to the office now and have done for the last few months. The joystick fits neatly in my hand and is curved so I don’t need to grip it tightly, which makes me feel looser in my riding style. The remote control operates with a kill switch that must be pressed in with your forefinger before the joy stick that’s operated by your thumb will work. Holding that kill switch in for a few seconds before trying to operate the joystick makes the power transition to your wheels much smoother. The motor is built into the wheel, whereas as other electric skateboards utilise an exterior belt to drive the wheels. Not only are they more bulky, but they’re less silky smooth and more cumbersome. There’s no denying that the M1 is utterly beautiful. 


 Inboard M1 Electric Skateboard Kiteworld review


The LED lights can be switched off via the Inboard app if you don’t always want to ride around feeling like Michael J Fox, but they are very useful at night… which is when riding this board is the most fun. The rear lights also brighten as you brake. Quieter roads with less traffic for late night cruising are the best. 

Inboard are marketing the M1 as a mode of transport for a new generation. Urban areas make it more difficult to hop on and off buses and trains with your bike and with the skateboard there’s also no messing about finding somewhere to lock it. 

The battery is also far easier to swap out on this than other boards, literally taking just a few seconds. The range is around seven miles (which you can burn through pretty quickly – so I’d recommend getting a second battery as they’re not huge and you can easily carry a spare in your rucksack). The battery life is also further preserved if you take it out of the board at night as although this effect has been reduced, it does seem to sap some energy while still in the board. The M1 can also tackle pretty decent hills, both pulling up and braking down. Not overly steep hills, but impressive nonetheless. 


 Inboard M1 Electric Skateboard Kiteworld review


Braking is actually one of the highlights of this board. Just a slight pull back on the joystick with the kill switch pulled in and you get a very steady braking motion. Pull back harder and you’ll stop more sharply. Braking is a big deal when you’re doing 20 miles per hour, and it’s obvious that a lot of care has gone into making this side of the performance very smooth and intuitive. I’ve not done any skating really since my early teens (and even then I wasn’t much good), and my confidence is really helped by this feature. 


 Inboard M1 Electric Skateboard Kiteworld review


There are other more flexible decks on the market because they don’t have batteries placed in the deck, so you’ll find they are more carvey and soft. The Inboard’s rigid deck is however incredibly stable at speed. That’s a blessing and a curse because you quickly get comfortable with the sensation of speed. I loosened my trucks off just a little from the factory setting and found a balance between easier turning while also maintaining stability at speed. 



If someone had told me when I was a kid that as an adult I’d be hooning around on an electric skateboard with LED lights that was capable of 22 mph / 35 kph, I’d have literally wished my life away to get here. The Inboard is a committed investment and, depending on your skating experience, you might feel very noticeable when you’re riding it. That won’t last long though as the learning curve is quick, while the sleek looks and futuristic but not overly loud electric noise all make this a very usable vehicle (I mean toy!) 



Intuitive speed control, quick progression and incredible looks. 



I would actually like some sort of handle in the rail if it could be designed to not disturb either the sleek looks or the battery position.

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