Thousands of adventure fans love the thrill that comes with zipping down the side of a hill in the great outdoors while riding their off-road mountain boards. There are many different kinds of mountainboards, all with their own advantages and disadvantages.
Some of the most popular mountain boards are motorized, so you have to charge a battery to use them. Others are manual, which means you have to use your feet to propel them. For a few years now, gas-powered mountain boards have been another option on the market.
So you may be wondering – how do gas powered mountain boards work?
As you can imagine, gas-powered anything is likely to go much faster than any motorized or manual machine. Gas-powered mountain boards are not only fast but also quite convenient to use. Let’s take a quick look at what they are, how they work, and why you might want to purchase yourself one.
Want to know how to ride one? Start here!
What is a Gas Powered Mountain Board?
As the name suggests, a gas-powered mountain board uses gas as its main propellant. They have a small gas-powered engine attached to the board. In many cases, you will find that this engine can offer you 49cc of power and a top speed of just about 25 mph.
A typical gas-powered mountain board would look something like this 49cc SkaterX Gas SkateBoard on Amazon except it’s a mountain board and not a skateboard.
How Does a Gas Powered Mountain Board Work?
Here’s a quick video of an enthusiast building themselves a gasoline-powered mountain board at home:
And here is one of the same enthusiast road testing the gas-powered mountain board he built:
As you can see, these are much faster and more powerful than your typical mountainboard or skateboard. Gas-powered boards are powered by an engine or motor, which is, in turn, powered by the gasoline you put into the gas tank.
The throttle, attached to the engine, runs one or both of the rear tires, depending on the model you get or how you want to customize it. You will need to attach brakes to the wheels (either front or back, depending on how you design them) to help manage the speed. In many cases, the engine is a pull-start, controlled using a handheld trigger, which accelerates when you squeeze and automatically takes the engine to idle mode when you release it.
What to Look for in a Gas Powered Mountain Board?
Because they have engines, buying a gas-powered mountain board is very much like buying a car without as much expense. Either way, you need to pay close attention to a few factors to get a good deal. Here are some factors to consider when looking to buy a gas-powered mountain board:
The deck (the board attached to the wheels) determines maneuverability and what kind of riding experience you will get. If you have a stiff board, it will be less bouncy, and you will feel every bump in the road. In many cases, you will find that mountain boards have a bouncier deck. These types of decks act like add-on suspensions that bend and bounce as you go over the rough terrain and bumps in the great outdoors.
It’s advisable to try out the deck by standing on it and jumping up and down, if you can’t do that (when buying online), you need to pay attention to the deck material. In most cases, you will find that gas-powered mountain boards have bamboo decks, which may seem strange until you consider that bamboo is one of the most flexible yet tough naturally occurring woods.
Since these boards will take a bit of abuse off the road, you will likely get anything from 5 ply to 9 ply decks. The lower the number of plies, the lighter the board and the bouncier it is when you go off-road. However, that also means that it isn’t very tough. Your best bet is to stick with something in the 7-ply range that is both bouncy, tough, and offers stability.
Some brands use different materials when making the deck. You can find aluminum or even titanium boards, depending on the brand. Go in whichever direction you want if you are customizing your mountain board. The idea is to make sure that the board you use is light and strong enough to take your weight and push back from the terrain. Remember, the less weight you have on the board, the more you will get from the gas-powered engine.
Unless you are building your own engine or customizing your board by adding a different one, you are likely to end up with the 49cc engine. This means that the engine can clear 49 cubic centimeters with every sweep. That converts to about 3 horsepower. Granted, that doesn’t sound like much, but remember this is on a mountain board.
So what does that mean in terms of speeds? It means that your mountain board can probably clear around 25 mph at top speeds on a flat surface. That will invariably suffer when going up a hill, though. Either way, 25 mph is still a very good speed.
Finally, this kind of engine uses an SJ10W-40 engine oil which can easily be found in your local gas station or online.
There are two main types of brakes on a gas-powered mountain board. Some brands use drum brakes and those that use disk brakes. The problem with disc brakes is that they bring the board to a sudden stop, which is never a good idea, especially if you happen to be riding without protective gear. A sudden stop means that inertia will jerk your body forward and throw you off the mountain board. Ideally, you should look for a mountain board with drum brakes that bring it to a gradual halt.
Gas-powered mountain boards have throttles that help you, as the rider, control how fast the engine runs and, as a result, how fast the board goes. The throttle on your mountain board will most likely be very easy to use. There will probably be a trigger that you squeeze when you want more juice and release when you want less. This throttle helps control your mountain board’s fuel usage, but it doesn’t help inject fuel into the engine. Instead, it injects the air that the engine needs to combine with the fuel within it to achieve combustion and, therefore, movement.
Not only is a gas-powered mountain board much easier to use, but it’s faster and more effective. The issue is that you lose a lot of speed unless you are riding on flat surfaces. Another problem is that you have an added expense in terms of fuel usage.
Furthermore, because you have essentially added an engine to the mix, the maintenance process will be slightly more complicated and involved. Other than that, owning a gas-powered mountain board is one of the best ways to inject more speed and thrill into what is already an exciting sport or hobby.