DIY or buy?
To DIY(Do It Yourself) or buy a pre-built electric skateboard is a big question when getting your first electric skateboard and there is never a 100% correct answer, it all depends on your preferences and budget. In this post I will try to explain when to DIY and when to buy, we will also briefly talk about the economics behind building an Electric skateboard.
Price is one of the most important perspectives when choosing an Electric skateboard and it can have a big impact when choosing between building your own electric skateboard or buying a Pre-built board. Whilst being new to Electric skateboards it’s common to get tricked by the false economy. A DIY electric skateboard project might at first glance look like you’re able to save you quite a few $$$. This first glance is often overlooked and should be treated with a big caution. There are a few hidden costs when engineering a electric skateboard, many of them forgotten when calculating the final price of a finished project.
Hidden costs are often things such as tools and small miscellaneous parts. These parts can quickly stack up in price if you’re starting out with nothing. After building a DIY Eskate you will soon realise you have a few connectors and threadlocker leftovers and probably all tools necessary. Therefore the difference in price for small “hidden costs” will be much slimmer if you’re planning to build more than one board. Given everything went alright building your first Eskate, you will most probably soon find a need to upgrade or build a new ;).
For many of us, it’s not the urge of trying to save a few bucks that’s the reason why we choose to build our own Eskates. Most surely it’s actually the opposite, we choose to DIY because we can customize the exact details and even make our eskate feel personal, this can often lead to higher price than if we bought a Pre-built board. So exactly why do people choose to build their own electric skateboards? As told, customizability is a major consideration here. When building you are not stuck to a chosen performance or aesthetics, you are the engineer yourself. The feeling of standing on an Eskate you built yourself can be terrifying at first, but if done right, it will soon transfer to pure joy and pride. To be able to choose what color scheme, 1WD or 2WD, if there should be RGB light strips lighting up the road, or perhaps a large battery for long range or a small battery for easy carrying is a dominant reason to choose to DIY.
The #1 reason to build you own electric skate is because there is no pre-built board that fits everyone's perfect desires and needs.
Although not everyone has the interest , time or experience to build their own electric skateboards. Some just want a Pre-built electric skateboard so they can go riding streets without worrying they didn’t tighten a nut enough, someone has done that for them. When buying Pre-built you are ensured a fully functional Eskate in working condition straight of the box.
- Ready out of the box
- Fully engineered
- Probably cheaper for first Electric skateboard
- Not customizable
- Harder to upgrade
- Customizable / Personal
- Easy to upgrade
- Easy to use parts to new project
- The right to brag about your new own-built skateboard
- It's incredibly fun
- Knowledge needed
- Time consuming
- Variety of tools needed
- Can be more expensive on first build
To conclude, do you have time to get knowledge and are willing to pay for tools and miscellaneous items for your first build, then go ahead and build your own DIY electric skateboard, you will not regret it. Or do you want to get out on the streets on an electric skateboard ASAP and wish for someone else to do the major thinking, go ahead and buy a Pre-built electric skateboard, you will not regret it!