Motorized Longboard


What were you building in your junior year of highschool? Well, for [Aaron Cofield], he built a motorized longboard.

He started with a plain longboard in the design he liked, gave it a nice paint coat (aesthetics over functionality people!) and then started looking into motorizing it. As it turns out there’s actually a pretty handy blog dedicated to converting longboards to electric. After many hours of research he settled on a 2400W RC prop motor and a 150A high performance RC car ESC unit. Who knew it was that simple!

A few metal brackets, some belts, sprockets, an idler and a whole ton of lithium-ion batteries later and the build is complete! He’s currently controlling it with an RC car remote, but had plans to control it using a Wii nunchuck and Arduino. The test runs this past summer got the board going about 20mph!

It looks done for now, but we’re sure he’s going to be continuing to refine it next summer — stick around after the break to see one of its first test drives!


  1. I like the idea of the RC car remote with the trigger. The nunchuck is an interesting idea, but why not pressure sensors? Lean forward to go faster and such.

    • Josh Marsh says:

      I’ve been building ev skateboards and skateboard segways for a few years now, and the following is my experience:

      A pressure sensor in the board is a delicate issue; you’re leaning to turn (standing sideways on the deck and leaning forward or backward to turn left or right) so the pressure sensors would need to cover a pretty big area to pick up the entire foot, otherwise you’d accidentally register as leaning/not leaning depending on which side you’re trying to carve toward.

      The other concern is the terrain; if you’ve ever gone over a crack in the sidewalk on a longboard, that’s a powerful smack, and it’ll give you false positives to deal with.

      Way easier with the segway skateboard to lean for steering, until you go down a hill that’s angled from left–>right (or vice versa), then it’s catastrophic.

  2. Bogdan says:

  3. peter says:

    Wonderful age. Old and smart enough to build this. Young and reckless enough not to wear a helmet.

  4. rue_mohr says:

    Thankyou for being a part of the electric vehicle revolution. but wear a helmet and hold the damn phone the right way! :)

    • opasien says:

      You do know that over their entire lifetime, electric vehicles are worse for the environment right? Battery manufacture and disposal is a nasty business and hiding your energy usage by getting it from an electric line instead of a gas pump doesn’t make the problem go away.

    • airfield20 says:

      Yea I don’t know why I wasn’t wearing one. I’ve had some pretty bad scrapes from sliding across pavement, but that was before I motorized it.

  5. gnio says:

    Don’t tension a belt this way. It will wear out rapidly.

  6. Phil says:

    I thought the brackets would have twisted under the torque quite quickly. But nice work!

  7. Max says:

    In junior high I was building mr. Juicy bongs (anyone who was in Sydney in the early ’80s knows what I’m talking about )

  8. Augur says:

    I like the build. But why not mount the motor to the top of the board using the same readed screws as the wheel trucks, and then just create a little “shield” for the motor? It would lessen the chance of the motor getting hit, and should help with the torque issue a little.

  9. Spike says:

    In Back to the Future they had Hover Boards in 2014… This is real close..

    As a small scale R/C pilot I would love to ride my feather lite Skate board to the local park, “flip” the motor from wheel to Prop driven, take off the wheels, put on OR fold out some wings, and fly it like a plane, or UAV.

    Make a Skateboard Look like a Storm Launcher Let me stand on it and ride it around, and make it boyance enough to hold me up over water.

    “OR DO I NEED MO’ POWA'”!!!! (chicken calls coming from shirt)

    Head Lights are neat, But I’d rather put Mylar on the Bottom Deck, Clear Coat, and install Pulsating White Glowing lights,

    or Bright White & Red LEDs on the rear in Exhaust tubes, synced up to your ESC so they change color and Intensity and sputter like a Jet Engine.. On an R/C model it looks amazing and You’ll look Like Biff , “batter up!”

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