Electric longboards are increasingly popular because they are more practical and have a higher max speed than analog boards, especially over longer distances. This automation, however, also comes with added sensitivity and service and maintenance demands.
We looked at some of the leading electric longboard makers to estimate the limits of their toughest products. We conclude that the quality and quantity of time an electric longboard can offer you is directly proportional to the care and maintenance you give it.
To service and maintain your electric skateboard well, you need an in-depth understanding of the parts and how they come together for the board to be efficient. Today, we look at cleaning and care needs for electric boards. We are particularly interested in maintenance for an all-terrain electric longboard.
Unlike a longboard you would use on a paved road, these workhorses are subjected to demanding conditions and rough terrain and even the best electric skateboard requires a more elaborate maintenance routine.
General Electric Longboard Maintenance
Caring For All-Terrain Longboard Wheels
Depending on your riding style and sometimes due to overdue adjustments, you may find that the wheels on your all-terrain electric skateboard are wearing off unevenly. Other times, they wear off too fast for the number of times you’ve ridden them, which is puzzling yet avoidable.
Ensure they are fastened well so that there are no stones or grit in the bearings and you have the right all-terrain tires for your longboard. Some off road electric skateboards and longboards come with swappable wheels, allowing a switch between all-terrain wheels to street wheels. This ensures you always have the right tools for the job at hand.
Pneumatic tires, for instance, can handle conditions like grass, gravel, and dirt trails much better than regular cushioning rubber wheels. They have an enhanced ability to absorb terrain unevenness at a somewhat high speed, meaning a smoother ride and fewer shakes and bumps. Pneumatic tires also allow for thicker threads than street wheels which provide better traction on loose, uneven surfaces. These advantages make them better for rugged terrains, and they will serve longer.
Replace all-terrain wheels when the profile is below 5mm thick, and the pressure shouldn’t fall below the manufacturer’s recommended psi.
Adjusting Screws and Bolts
The wheels may loosen up after a while due to vibrations on the board as you ride. Check the bolts and washers on both trucks and wheels and find out if they are well fastened. Tighten the loose ones and confirm no parts are missing while at it.
Cleaning an All Terrain Electric Longboard
Wipe the board with a moist cloth to remove the debris it will have collected after each ride. Doing so will keep it away from the electronic and mechanical components. Ensure it is stored dry. Besides the wheel bearings, the hub motors are also affected by water, sand, stones, and other debris.
See more: how to clean all-terrain boards
Never expose the battery compartment to any fluids at any particular time. Connect the charger to the electric longboard first before plugging it into the wall and unplug it when fully charged. If you’re not going to use the board for a while, you must charge the battery at least once a month. This sort of activity extends the battery life.
Don’t store the battery or longboard in extreme temperatures as these also reduce the battery’s longevity.
Avoid Prolonged Exposure To Water
The fact that you have an all-terrain longboard doesn’t mean you should ride willy-nilly in the middle of a rainstorm or through puddles you can avoid. They might be water-resistant, but they cannot bear too much water intrusion. They are, after all, electric, and you shouldn’t abuse their ruggedness. Trust water to always find a way to sneak into the guts of the hub motor or battery.
Basic DIY Fixes a Longboard Rider Should Know
These solutions for common longboard problems are easy to execute, and you should learn them, so you are not grounded by minor setbacks.
Eliminating Squeaky Sounds
These sounds can be annoying, and they are often an indicator of something else wearing out, so you shouldn’t tolerate them for long, especially if you ride at max speed. The first step is to find out where the squeaking is coming from.
More often than not, the truck’s rubbers or the bushings are extra dry and need some greasing. This situation is possible whether you have been using the longboard for a while or if it’s brand new.
The solution is to take the trucks off the board, clean them, and wax in between the rubbers of the pivot cup. Skate wax is preferable, but paraffin-based candle wax will also work.
While oil can serve the same purpose, it attracts more dirt than wax and is not advised. Fix one truck at a time and replace them before moving on to the next if you are not confident so that you will know where each component goes when putting them back together.
Grip Tape Maintenance
This critical part of any longboard enforces safety and stability by providing friction between the rider’s shoes and the deck, which is important on everything from dirt trails to flat ground to a paved road.
Grips will inevitably get dirty and ugly and need to be cleaned. The terrain and riding frequency determine how often your all terrain electric skateboard needs this care. Use an old, moist toothbrush to scrub the dirt and a dry towel to dry it up. Dab the towel instead of rubbing the tape as its rough texture will leave a mess.
Replacing The Grip Tape
Sometimes the tape is too ugly for cleaning to be effective, or it loses the roughness that provides traction. At this point, you should replace it, which should not be hard.
Just grab a hairdryer and a razor blade or knife. Use the hairdryer to heat a portion of the board to loosen the grip tape glue and insert your razor blade or knife between the board and the tape. Peel it off the deck of your all terrain electric skateboard as neatly as possible and clean the board thoroughly before installing the new tape. You can use the rough side of the old tape to sand the board for a smoother result.
Always start laying the grip tape from the middle going outwards. Ensure you see no bubbles as you apply the new grip tape; they present weak points for the tape to come off the board. Use the razor blade to pop the bubbles, and push the air out through the holes, giving the tape a firmer grip on the board.
If it’s a drop-through longboard, you should gently make incisions in the middle of the drop-through holes before outlining the exact shapes of the incisions.
Do this while the board is on a flat surface so no pressure can force the grip tape off the board. Remember to sand the insides of the holes as well. Poke holes from the back of the board while holding the grip tape so it doesn’t come off with the holes then proceed to add your tracks and wheels.
Maintaining Longboard Wheel Bearings
The wheel bearings on an all-terrain electric longboard also accumulate dirt and eventually require to be removed and cleaned. If your wheels become sticky, it is time to take out your longboard wheel bearings.
Sometimes you will hear scraping sounds when you turn the wheels, which may be a sign of water damage that you need to check out.
Open the nuts, then the speed rings or washers to expose the wheel bearings. Use the end of the truck’s axle to take out the bearings by pressing them down on the wheels. Take out the spacer and repeat on the other side of the wheels to remove their second bearing.
Keep going for as many bearings as you want to take out. You can have a small container on standby to hold your parts because the small bearings and washers are easy to lose.
Start by degreasing the bearings; let them sit in a degreasing agent for a few minutes and shake them well so that all the parts are well coated in it.
Rinse off the degreaser and ensure they are dry before the next step. You can use a hairdryer for this bit.
Add lubricant when the bearings are dry. Look for thin lubricants because thicker lubricants attract more dirt, and the board will not run very smoothly.
Reattach the seals to keep the lubricant in, and you should be good to go.
You can’t serve all bearings this way because you need to remove their rings and shields to lubricate their insides. You can’t take apart bearings with metal shields, and you have no option but to replace the entire bearing when they stop running smoothly.
Issues with the battery, dual motor, or regenerative braking might be beyond your capacity. If you face such failures with your all terrain electric skateboard, you should seek expert advice. Check out what the warranty covers so you don’t violate its terms while trying to fix the board.