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Hi everyone, a couple of weeks ago I bought a Backfire G2T and my friend bought a Meepo NLS. I got the Backfire because my friend bought Meepo and we wanted diversity in our group. For the past couple of weeks we have ridden together and experienced each board extensively and now I feel that I have a very good understanding of both boards. I have been a longboard enthusiast long before eskate and I know a fair bit about the various brands in the industry. This will mainly be a G2T vs NLS comparison but a third person in our group recently bought a V2 and I can shed some opinion on that as well.
From an appearance standpoint, I feel the G2T looks of higher quality. I know I may sound biased because I like the look of my board but my friend agrees with me as well and I will try to be as subjective as possible. The design of the NLS seems of conflict with itself a lot. The deck is this smooth and curvy design, but the battery enclosure is this big rectangular box. I saw my friend's NLS before I even knew about Backfire as a brand and the design seemed bad to me. What's more, is that the deck may be too small for the enclosure because the corners of the enclosure actually stick out a little from the sides of the deck, which raises a red flag to me. The G2T on the other hand, has a slightly angular design and the enclosure matches with the deck. The entire board is a gold and black which is a pretty look. The grey color on the enclosures of the NLS makes it look like cheap plastic to me (just an opinion).
Speed: This is the part that everyone cares the most about, and if you look at the specs, you may think that the Meepo wins by a big margin, but to my surprise that wasn't true. The NLS has 800 watt motors, where the G2T has 700 watt motors. I run the 96mm wheels to have the most fair comparison with the meepo. The G2T is slower than the NLS, but NOT BY MUCH. I weigh over 30 pounds more than my friend with the NLS, and I am an inch slower than he is, it is such a small difference that if we both weighed the same, the two boards would be pretty much the same. The story completely changes if I run TURBO however. When we drag raced with TURBO, I floor him. Every Time. It's pretty fun to do lol. Neither boards struggle with hills to much, I also live in a flat area so I can't comment too much on that. Keep in mind speed isn't everything, the feel of the board is much more significant. Please read the next segment.
FEEL (please read):
This is the part that I feel most strongly about, and is the deciding factor for me. The NLS is very jerky. On the fastest mode (which is the most everyone will ride on), there is no such thing as a smooth start. You slightly push the wheel forward and the board go full power and try to throw you off. I think Daniel Kwan said it best, the meepo is kind of "fake fast...it throws you off at the beginning." Some may say that the meepo has slower modes so that the board will behave differently, but to me that is stupid. What is the point of having a wheel on the remote if you don't get fine control of the acceleration? A car pedal works the same way. If you want to go slow, you step on the pedal lightly, if you want to go fast, you floor it. The same is true for braking. It is so difficult to brake lightly, on the highest brake mode, it becomes basically impossible to do so. And that can be very dangerous when going at high speeds, because you can easily lose control of the board if you brake too hard. The G2T on the other hand, has a very nice and big remote wheel that gives you fine and gradual control of on the acceleration and braking. On speed mode, I can go slow, go fast, brake slow, brake fast, and everything in between. You don't need four modes for speed and braking if one mode can do it all. By the way, I've had this opinion the moment I tried the NLS, which was before I got into eskate and bought a Backfire.
The G2T uses a caliber 2 50 degree front truck and a custom truck in the back. The NLS uses Shredder trucks, which are just Meepo made trucks that have been given a fancy name. I can tell you that there is a difference between established brands and cheap Chinese brands. The Caliber is of higher quality and the bushing setup actually makes sense. The NLS comes with double tall barrel bushings that are way too hard. My poor 110 pound friend couldn't turn, at all. What’s worse is that the king pin on the shredder trucks do not even let you put a washer on boardside, there are grooves that protrude from the kingpin at the base. If we wanted to install washers, we would have to grind those grooves down or make the hole in the washer bigger, which most people wouldn't even bother with. I don’t think I need to explain the importance of having a boardside washer on trucks when the board goes so fast. Even if you wanted to run a washerless setup, the part of the baseplate where the bushing sits is too small and doesn’t fully support the bushing, the sides literally stick out. My friend wanted to switch out the bushings for higher quality ones like venom or riptide, because he couldn't turn lol. We had trouble installing them because the shredder kingpin is way too long, they’re made to have double tall bushings. My friend got double barrels from venom and couldn’t even screw on the kingpin nut because the kingpin is over half an inch too long and didn’t fit a normal skate tool. We got it done anyway and now he can turn his board yay. The G2T isn't perfect either. The front truck is great, but the back truck can be better. I eventually bought a caliber 44 degree baseplate to go in the back.
The G2T uses Samsung 30Q cells running in 10s2p. The NLS uses Samsung 25Q cells running in 10s2p. The G2T has better batteries, not much to be discussed there. The Backfire also has a rigid frame inside the battery to protect it from impacts and vibrations, which will improve its durability. Both boards use 2.5A chargers so they charge equally fast.
The NLS has smart turn on, meaning you can just move the board on the ground and it will turn on. This is very convenient whereas I have to push a button on the G2T to turn it on. The NLS also has a battery percentage indicator on the battery enclosure, this is nice as well. The NLS has a usb charging point, a useful feature for sure, but I don't see my friend ever using it lol. May be useful to charge the remote if it dies. Onto the remotes then. The meepo remote is the standard remote most cheap eskate boards use. The wheel is inaccurate. The reverse button is way too easy to press by accident, which has happened a lot. The four modes for acceleration and braking are pointless, once you get used to the board you will run the same mode all the time. The G2T remote has a matt finish and higher quality plastic giving it a better feel, a bigger throttle wheel for more precise control. It has USB-C charging which is very convenient for me. It has an OLED screen that shows the current speed of the board, the battery life of the remote and board, and an odometer. You can change the size of the wheels on the remote to get an accurate speed reading and you can change from miles to km. We conducted a signal strength test of the remotes, The backfire remote has over twice the signal range of the meepo. One downside is that given the screen and the higher range, the backfire remote has a shorter battery life than the meepo remote.
The wheels on the Backfire seems to be of higher quality. The NLS wheel shows much more wear and tear now. There are cracks on the surface and parts of the wheel has ripped off in strands. None of that on my board. In addition, my friend reported that one of the back wheels on the board have become wobbly, which is where the motor sits as well. One can see the wobble of the wheel by wiggling it. Going at higher speeds the wobble becomes a vibration and becomes very audible. Don't know what this will mean for the meepo in the long run. The stand that comes with the NLS is very handy. The G2T comes with a flashlight that can be mounted onto the board. The light is very bright, MUCH brighter than those overpriced shredlights.
The V2 just seems like a lesser quality NLS. The enclosure isn't as nice and the battery is Samsung 20R, lesser quality, longevity, and capacity. I don't know why Meepo claims the V2 is faster than the NLS, one of my friends got the newest version of the V2 and that just isn't true. It is actually noticeably slower. The deck has a useful carrying handle but I don't how much the structural integrity becomes compromised from that. Also, vibration from the road is a lot worse on the V2.