How Electric Skateboards Brake
Electric skateboards are fantastic, right? You can save a lot of time and energy skating down the streets while doing your daily routine rather than walking! It looks so smooth and easy from afar, but if you actually want to do it yourself, probably one of the first things that pops into your mind is - how do you slow down on an electric skateboard?
On your daily route or on a trail, you’ll certainly get in a situation where your smooth ride must be interrupted quickly. So to have a safe ride, you should know a few things about braking on an electric skateboard.
How Does An E-board Work?
At first glance, an e-board looks pretty similar to a regular skateboard. The main difference is, of course, an electric motor that drives it forward. The engine is fueled by the lithium battery (there are various types of batteries depending on the model of e-board) that it’s connected to.
The battery and the electric motor are placed beneath the deck you’re supposed to stand onto during a ride. The battery powers up the engine for producing motion in wheels. So there’s no kicking and pushing needed as it’s the case with traditional skateboards.
Now, we are getting to the exciting part. Most electric skateboard today uses a wireless handheld remote. All features of a particular e-board model are placed on the remote so you can carry out easily desired action, including braking.
You should practice this action, especially if you are using an electric skateboard for the first time. It’s not rocket science really, but with a little bit of practice, including starting, accelerating, braking, and stopping at a minimum speed, you will become much more comfortable on your device and confident during real rides. Of course, don’t forget to wear your protective gear, especially a helmet, even when practicing.
Types of Braking Systems on E-board
E-boards have their braking system. Usually, they use regenerative braking or a combination of regenerative and dynamic braking. The one thing common for all e-boards is that you don’t need to use your foot for this action, and that’s one more thing differing them from traditional skateboards. Let’s now take a closer look at the braking systems mentioned above.
● Dynamic Braking
Most e-boards use outrunner brushless motors. These motors consist of cores from a copper wire wounded up in coils and a set of permanent magnets. When electricity is driven through the wires, that creates a magnetic field. The magnetic field causes permanent magnets to move and rotate the motor.
Dynamic braking is the use of the electric motors as generators when slowing an e-board. Braking rotates the magnetic ring around the copper wire, and that introduces an electric current in the wires, redirecting the electricity into a resistor to dissipate the energy of the braking force.
● Regenerative Braking
The regenerative braking system is primarily used when it comes to electric skateboards and it is very similar to dynamic braking. The main difference is that the electricity is turning into heat that goes back to the battery during braking. In that way, when you brake, you are actually recharging the battery.
The downside of this system is obvious. It can work only if the battery is not 100% charged. In the other case, braking could cause overcharging the battery that can be potentially dangerous. It would also be dangerous to lose the ability to brake after the battery gets fully charged.
● Using Both Braking Systems
The described downside of regenerative braking, which is very useful during a ride, is why many electric boards use both braking systems. You can already anticipate the catch - once the battery gets fully charged, the braking system switches to dynamic.
That entirely removes the danger of cutting out the possibility to brake during a ride. However, no matter which braking system your e-board is using, knowing how to brake with your foot is a skill that can get you out of a potentially dangerous situation.
So, if you are about to enjoy the freedom and fun that commuting or exploring on an e-board can bring, understand the device’s braking system, practice with it, and be sure to learn how to brake with your foot.
And as we always say, don’t forget to wear your helmet!