Review: Ether Dual electric skateboard (Singapore)

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Ether Dual is a dual hub motor electric skateboard sold in Singapore. Ether was started by a NTU student Teo Wei Jie during the boom of Personal Mobility Devices (PMDs). If you’re interested, you can watch this short interview with Teo Wei Jie in the video that I found on Youtube:


I’ve been riding electric skateboards since 2017, and I’ve been using the Ether Dual for almost a year.

Ether actually sells several electric skateboards, namely Mini (S$199), Lite (S$299), Dual (S$399) and Cruiser ($589). Mini as the name suggests is small and compact but it may not be that stable to stand on because the surface area of the board is small to stand on. The Lite and Dual are more suitable for general use since they large a larger board to stand on and not that heavy. Lite has one hub motor so is not as powerful than the Dual but it’s lighter. Cruiser is heavier and more suitable for people who are not going to be carrying it by hand often.

My previous board was the Infinity Board X Pro which was also sold by a local company which has since stopped selling electric skateboards.

Note that in Singapore, an electric skateboard is still considered a PMD and hence is banned from usage on most places except at Park Connectors (PCN) and certain places, usually bicycle tracks. Hence it doesn’t really make sense nowadays to buy an electric skateboard unless you commute regularly using PCNs.


For S$399, this is not an expensive electric skateboard.

If you look at Alibaba, you can actually find the same board for sale by distributors at a much lower price. So the boards you see on Ether’s websites are probably the same electric skateboards from Alibaba except with a customised grip tape with logo. Alibaba sells in bulk so it’s difficult if you just want to buy one unit, and after you add the shipping, the price is not too far from the retail price you see on Ether’s website.

The parts you get with the Ether skateboards are not premium but they are functional. You get what you pay for. Better electric skateboards like the Backfire Mini can cost more than S$700. Personally, I value functionality and savings over aesthetics so despite the many not-so-positive things you’ll read in this review, I still think the Ether Dual is worth the money.


The wheels are 70mm and are big enough for riding around the city, asphalt and over little cracks on the road. They are quite hard so any feedback from the ground you will feel in your knees.


There are two 400W hub motor on the Ether Dual. These are powerful going up slopes is a breeze. I used a single hub motor e-skateboard before and going up slopes is possible, just slower.


The cut out on the tail looks functional but not practical. When riding, the dirt and mud from the wheels will collect at the handle so you probably don’t want to hold that.


My tail was damaged by water. Skateboards and water don’t mix. So always store your skateboards in dry areas, and don’t use them when it’s raining or if the floors are wet because water can get into the electric circuit board and it’s also very dangerous to ride on slippery ground – it’s like skating on ice.


The screws are visible from the top.


Battery life for the e-skateboard and the remote is excellent. Maximum range is rated 26km. I’ve not personally tested the maximum range but battery life is not something I worry about with this board.


I’m actually not sure if the trucks are considered good quality or not but they do the job, eg, hold the wheels.


If I have to replace this e-skateboard in the future, I probably will get a dual hub motor skateboard again because these are powerful. I’ve never tested the maximum speed though since I usually just ride at bicycle riding speeds. But maximum speed is quite close to sprinting. Brakes ease in smoothly.


The urethane on the hub motor is kinda thin. So with usage, the urethane seem to chip at the edges easier, and also the metal part gets knocks more easily because it’s closer to the ground.

I actually have some hair stuck on the hub motor but performance is not affected.

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Weight is said to be 5kg. It’s not light but not that heavy too. I don’t mind carrying this on public transport and bringing it around for the convenience it offers. However, if it’s heavy, then I would have to think twice when bringing it out each time. Dual Lite is 4.1kg.


Dimensions for the board is 72 cm x 25 cm x 17 cm (LxWxH). My feet is size 8 and the surface area is still big enough for me although you can see my toes and heels are not on the board.


If for some reason you actually exhaust the battery, you can still push the e-skateboard.


The remote can be fragile. Mine split open so I have to use tape to close the gap.

On the remote you have settings for speed, throttle, reverse and forward, the battery life indicator.


There should be a wheel at the thumb area but mine broke off.


That’s how it looks inside. You can actually buy a replacement remote to pair with the e-skateboard.


Charging the remote is via the microUSB port with the cable provided. Battery life for the remote is quite long too, and when battery is low it will start blinking.

The dangerous part about the remote if you can engage the reverse. When you accidentally engage reverse thinking you’re going forward, you will be thrown off. It’s very dangerous and I’ve feel on several occasions because of this. So now I make it a habit to always look at the remote before I ride. Blinking green means reverse.


70mm wheels actually make the board lower to the ground compared to my previous e-skateboard that has 80mm wheels. The height of the board with 70mm vs 80mm isn’t that important for e-skateboards. For traditional skateboards, the higher the board, the more tiring it is to push since you have to bend your knees more.

Riding lower to the ground gives you a more stable ride, relatively speaking, since centre of gravity is lower.

Conclusion

Good things about this board would be the battery life and it’s still light enough to bring around. Bad thing the board doesn’t look great because it’s just battery screwed to the bottom. And most of the parts just don’t look and feel premium but as mentioned, you get what you pay for.

Another thing to note is the battery and circuit compartment and cable connections are not sealed airtight so water may still get in. If you look at my photos above, you can see silicone being used to seal the gaps to make the battery and circuit compartment more splash-proof. Anyway, if you don’t use the e-skateboard on wet floors, you don’t have to worry about water getting in.

The overall riding experience is alright. Ether Dual gets me from one place to the other without fuss. I can’t compare this board with more premium e-skateboards because I’ve not used many.

You are definitely going to feel the bumps and cracks on the ground due to the harder urethane and the hard inflexible plywood board but to me that’s not a big deal.

Is this something I can recommend. Yes, because it’s very convenient if you need to commute short to middle distances (e.g. from one MRT station to another). It saves about 2/3 time off walking. So if you spend 15 minutes walking, now you only need 5 minutes to cover the same distance.

The build quality is quite solid actually, just that it may not look that way. If you have more budget and want to spend on getting fancier e-skateboards, don’t get those that are too heavy. Ether Dual’s 5kg is still manageable. 6kg is going to feel quite heavy and anything heavier you will wonder why you bought the e-skateboard in the first place because you just won’t want to carry that outside due to the weight. Heavier e-skateboards are very cumbersome to carry around on public transport and to places, eg you won’t want to carry it while shopping in a shopping mall.

Pros and cons at a glance:
+ Relatively affordable
+ Strong dual hub motors for acceleration and climbing slopes
+ Excellent battery life and range
+ 5kg weight still light enough to carry around
+ Very convenient way to travel short and medium distances.
– Generic design
– Parts used to make the skateboard aren’t premium as expected
– Battery and circuit compartment not sealed completely to prevent water from going in
– Hard urethane and inflexible board makes you feel the bumps and cracks on the road
– Remote build quality is fragile
– You can engage reverse mode on remote accidentally and there’s no way to prevent it
– In Singapore, there are not many places to ride e-skateboards legally

Availability

You can find Ether e-skateboards at https://www.etherskateboards.com

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Source: parkablogs.com

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