My love for downhill skateboarding started in 2000 when I used to piece together regular skateboards with oversized longboard wheels and bombing local hills. In high school, things got more serious when I bought myself a Sector 9 Trilamina for $160 and was using my vehicle as a "chair lift" to the tops of the hills and let my friend drive behind me.
I was always interested in anything motorized since as far as I can remember. As PEVs turned more electric my interest grew in electric skateboards. In 2017, I purchased my first electric skateboard at Costco. It was a Liftboard single motor benchwheel board with absolutely no flex as the battery ran the entire length of it. Powering it was a single 900W motor with small 3M belts. I ran that board nearly every day for 3 years averaging 5 to 6 miles as the range had an abysmal 7-mile real-world range and 18mph top speed which wasn't too bad for its class. But just after 3 years, the company was non-existent.
After doing months of research, I came across Backfire and after hearing about their customer service I was convinced. Besides quality, customer service was just as important and that's what sold me on Backfire. I chose the Zealot because I already was familiar with belt driven boards, and I loved the idea of being able to swap wheels at any time. I first received my Zealot in November 2020 during the Black Friday sale for $549 and it was beautiful. After that it was ON! I put 650 miles on in the first 3 months and stocked up on gear/lights to continue into the night. After 6 months of getting used to the board, I decided to upgrade to Riptide pivot cups and Orangutang Nipples bushings for more stability at higher speeds. Unfortunately, after 8 months and 1850 miles, the battery failed and being just out of warranty, at the time was 6 months, I had no choice but to purchase a new battery. After that I had some pretty strict rules on battery maintenance.
•Charge for minimum of 4 hours no longer than 8.
•Wait until charging brick is cold.
•A fan helps keep brick cool during charge.
•Best range right after charge.
•Do not leave at 100% for more than 36 hours.
•Never run past 10% battery.
•Charge the remote every other ride.
With the new battery pack, I was back to averaging 8.8 miles per day and reached 3213 miles in exactly one year of ownership. In May, at the 5000-mile mark, one of my motors failed so I replaced the rear truck setup altogether as the rest of it had some age on it and was more cost-effective.
Even at this time with 4200 miles on the second battery, I was still able to achieve the advertised 21.5 miles averaging 13.9 miles per hour. In December, I hit 5000 miles on my second battery and as of May 2023, I reached 7305 total miles on the board in 29 months. It's not just transportation, all of this riding and mileage recording is a form of therapy for me.
Milestones and Maintenance:
•Battery replaced at 1850 miles
•Rear motor setup at 4900 miles
•Bearings every 1000 miles
•Belts/Pivot cups/risers/Bushings when needed
Daily check before every ride:
•Make sure charging ports are closed
•Check belts/pulleys for rocks and debris. If a belt is loose or even slightly torn, replace it.
•Go over truck bolts and wheel nuts to make sure they are tight.
•Do not ride if it is even slightly moist out. Urethanes get very slippery, and electronics don't like water.