The longboard, at first glance, looks like a regular skateboard – it’s nearly a metre long at 96.5cm, 27.4cm wide and 12.7cm high.
It has bright orange 90mm diameter wheels that ensure a smooth and sure-footed ride. The board itself is flexible and is covered in griptape.
And like a normal longboard there is plenty of room on the deck to comfortably place your feet and get riding.
But the major difference with the E-Go longboard is the 400-watt motor and battery attached to the underside of the deck that can power riders to speeds of up to 20km/h.
Forget waiting for slopes or pushing off with your leg to gain speed – E-Go can get going and reach top speed in a matter of seconds from a standing start.
But like a regular skateboard, riders have to steer by shifting their body weight left and right to change direction.
The rider’s speed is set with a handheld controller that links wirelessly to the board with Bluetooth.
The controller is 12.44cm long and 4cm wide and is shaped to fit comfortably in your hand. It also has a little wrist strap.
It has a rechargeable battery onboard that takes less than an hour to fully charge.
You can even charge the controller directly from the USB port on the board’s battery. This same USB port can also be used recharge your smartphone or tablet if necessary.
It has a sliding throttle control in the centre that allows the rider to simply slide it forward to accelerate and slide it back to brake or stop.
The controller even has a light so it can be used as a torch or a headlight if you’re riding in darker conditions.
You can also use the free E-Go iPhone app instead of the actual controller to control your ride.
It has a virtual throttle on the screen to control your speed but also adds things like a speedometer, the distance you’ve travelled and the amount of battery remaining.
We hopped on the motorised E-Go longboard and easily got our balance on the large board.
A push upwards on the throttle on the controller and the board whirred into life and we were on our way.
It’s not loud by any means but it made enough noise to turn the heads of the people we moved past on the footpath and on the park pathways.
But their attention was drawn to the fact I was moving so quickly without the need to push off with my other foot.
There was no vibration from the motor itself but only from the tarmac below as you’d expect from a regular skateboard. But overall we were impressed with the smooth and comfortable ride.
There are actually two speed settings. The lower maximum speed is 13km/h and it’s good to stick to this to get your bearings when you first step onto the E-Go longboard.
Once we got our confidence with the speed and handling the longboard, we decided it was time to go up to the fastest speed.
This was done by moving a switch on the controller from the turtle symbol to the rabbit symbol with a special tool that comes with the board.
This way you won’t accidentally flick the switch while you’re riding.
In this faster mode riders will be moving along at 20km/h which is a solid clip to get you to your destination or just to ride for fun.
Now you’ll need to have the same skills and balance required to ride a regular board to be able the E-Go longboard.
You need to keep an eye on the path ahead of you and have the same bent knee stance to negotiate any road or pavement bumps or cracks.
But it does a new and clean transportation system for those people who need to get from A to B on shorter journeys.
The E-Go longboard takes three to five hours to fully charge to give you a riding time of up to three hours.
This isn’t going to be replacing cars on the road or put public transport out of business but it does offer a fun, environmentally friendly way to get around town.
For our use it was handy when we wanted to go down to the café or to the shopping centre.
It easily navigated footpaths and surfaces of all kinds and even powered up inclines of up to 10 degrees.
The E-Go longboard is recommended for riders that weigh up to 100kg. I weigh a bit more than that and it handled the extra load without a problem even uphill.
We also spent a lot of time just using the longboard for fun on the empty netball courts at the huge park near our home.
We would have rode the board even more if we had an easier way of carrying the board, controller and helmet around once we arrived at our destination in a specially designed bag or back pack.
According to UrbanGo there are plans to release a carry bag as an accessory in the near future.
But even without a bag, it didn’t take much effort to tuck the board under the arm and carry it around. It weighs 6.4kg.
Now even though the E-Go longboard looks like a regular skateboard you can’t go grinding and doing a lot of the tricks because you might damage the motor or the battery.
It’s also not designed to ride through puddles and not optimised to use in wet conditions. You have to remember this is as much an electronic device as it is a skateboard.
If you run out of power you can still ride the board freestyle like a regular skateboard but there is a little resistance from the drive mechanism on the rear wheels but it won’t damage it.
Of course safety is important and it is necessary to at least wear a helmet and, if you want added protection, elbow and kneepads as well.
Helmets are only compulsory in South Australian when riding a skateboard and optional anywhere else but it’s a good idea to wear one wherever you are riding.
The E-Go Cruiser Electronic Longboard from UrbanGo is a fun, useful and environmentally friendly mode of transport. And it is every bit as cool as it looks.
It is available now and priced at $749.99.