Evolve Carbon Street – Electric Longboard – Review
I have been riding the Evolve Carbon street electric longboard for some months, alternating sessions with my overpowered DIY deck. The Carbon is a great electric board (more rigid than the Evolve Bamboo Bustin or Pintail series), it’s really stealthy and eye catcher. If I have to describe the feeling of cruising with this deck, I would say that it’s like riding on a snowboard, same feeling. You can get pretty large carves and reach this snowboard feeling due to the large stance (deck is 41 inches / 111 cm). The wheel base is also quite significant (32.5 inches / 82.5 cm). Out of the box the board performs really well especially with Orangatang (Loaded) Kegel 80mm wheels. The board weights 8.5 kg and you will get easily around 40/45 km of riding (around 25 miles) with good throttle management. Board is made of Carbon & Kevlar. It seems to be rigid at first sight, but it definitely has this little flex which is great when cruising in Paris. No need to go for a Bamboo if you are hesitating or if you think that carbon will be less comfortable to cruise vs the bamboo. The grip is also beautiful, laser cut… but I would have preferred a more coarse grip… could be an improvement or an option from Evolve in the next years. This is far from being a powerful deck as a DIY guy may be familiar with. But that’s still a really decent ride.
The trucks are Supercarve double joint trucks. The feeling is a bit weird in the first rides, because it’s different and more « floaty » than a set of Caliber 2 for example. You clearly notice the difference, but you also get used to this snowboard floaty feeling and you can get easily to 23 mph with no wobble at all.
The stock bushings perform decently (you can also easily « upgrade » to Venom Bushings) and you won’t get any wheel bites even with this drop-through native setup. Ceramic bearings are also provided in the stock version (which is much appreciated). Really smooth quality bearings. Maintenance is important, you have to clean them regularly to ensure a flawless ride. I highly recommend you to purchase the Cheetah oil bearing lubricant, it is way better than everything you already know, including Bones speed cream (which is also pretty amazing).
The little smoky box is hosting the LEDs Flora Micro controller with the 1S lipo battery. You can learn more about this by reading this short article I posted some days ago. On the rear section of the board (we can call that the tail), you have the motor area. Motor (350W / 5500 RPM brushless) is hidden and protected with nice looking covers. Covers can be removed easily for cleaning purpose. One of the biggest advantages of this stock setup is the smooth braking. You can literally stop progressively which is really good for beginners, in other terms, you won’t be flying by being dropped off the board when braking.
The deck is really slim and includes the battery (36V 10Ah Lipoly a.k.a Lithium Polymer). The BMS (battery management system) is included in the board. This means that you can plug the wall charger provided by Evolve directly to the board. Charging is pretty fast (2 hours for a full charge). You have to know that Lipo batteries are kind of controversy, but are, as of today the best ratio between power and weight. We are talking about the same battery people use in RC. I will keep you posted to see how the battery with « evolve » in the future. Longevity is important, especially when you put 1400 USD on the table but lipos are known to have a limited number of cycles, so what is sure is that the performance will decrease over time. In fact, everything here is coming from RC. Motors, lipos, ESC…. we are just standing on a RC car …
Few words about the transmitter. Lightweight, small, well designed, quickly charged via USB port. It’s definitely a big win. You can activate reverse mode and also switch between the two available speed modes (slow/fast)
What about the agility ? well, you can’t expect of a 111 cm length board to be that agile, but if you use the flex and a good dose of anticipation, you can move to some really tight ways.
I enjoy taking this board for a cruise on « Les quais de Seine » in Paris on sunday morning, even if it is my girlfriend board (I usually ride my DIY). I did some GPS test at full speed, I can get to a max 33km/h (around 20 miles), As you can see on the RAW video below, this is pretty decent, with bigger wheels I will be able to reach the effective top speed advertised by Evolve (38km/h). The torque is also pretty good. Of course, my DIY board is a total different world, especially with dual diagonal motors, but no need to compare otherwise we will not be comparing apples to apples. Problem is you well get used to ride at 30km/h (20 mph)… you will be confident… but one thing is sure… you will fall one day or another – you just don’t know when. You must (or I highly recommend) wear adequate protections. If you don’t know what to get, I will be posting a full article on this soon. But basically, helmet (mandatory), full top body armor (mandatory), gloves (nice to have), knee pads (g form are a good choice). Just pick the same protections than BMX riders go for. You will thank me for that, safety first. When you are going at such speeds, also make sure you have enough visibility to avoid pedestrians and make this an enjoyable ride for everyone.
As a conclusion, I can only warmly recommend this board for people that don’t want to get hands on DIY. Of course it’s a bit pricey… 1400 USD is a significant amount of money for this little toy.. but well, it is worth it. One of the main benefit of the carbon street electric skateboard is that you can upgrade it easily to AT (All Terrain) mode for a total different riding style and still have a good speed and battery autonomy. In AT mode, I am not sure we can name that a longboard anymore… maybe a mountain longboard is way more appropriate but that just don’t compare to my Trampa 12S which is just ridiculous. I would like to thank William from Evolve Skateboards France, Jeff from Evolve Skateboards Australia, Mark from Evolve Skateboards UK/Spain for their availability and customer service. These guys are really friendly and will provide you with a quality feedback, no matter what.
Hope you just had fun reading this short review, I will get more coming in the next months. You should also give a look to my AT kit review and first ride and to my riding sessions posted on this blog (regularly updated).
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