This project was built because I was not sure how easy or fast it would be to navigate around a new and much larger campus. It is comprised of: Santa Cruz longboard, 2 hub motors, alien power system esc, and a battery made up of 18650 cells from dead laptop batteries. This project although i have not properly measured it top speed can go 15 to 17 mph which for my uses is more then fast enough and has a range of well over 5 miles.
Buy a board and ride it for a while. I know it may not be quite the same but learning to kick and handle speed wobbles proves itself invaluable when you are about to be thrown off. Just the balance and the intuition you get from the riding on a nonmodified board is well worth the time spent. If you even buy the board and then order components you will have about a month to practice which may not be optimal, but it will allow you enough time to learn the basics. Some notes for those of you wondering what board to buy. I would say to go with a medium flex board as it still gives a very responsive ride while still holding the components tight without making different soldering joints be constantly strained because of the flex you are asking from the battery.
Now that you are starting to receive components in the mail begin to lay them out along your board. Decide whether you want a low profile and tight to the board construction like I did or if you are ok with having a little more around the trucks to free up the middle of the board. While deciding the placement begin to think about the enclosure you want. I decided on a canvas cover as it allows for me to easily detach the battery and esc from the board in about 15 seconds and then the only thing different from my board and the original board is just the front truck and wheel assembly which can be switched out easily. This has allowed me easy maintenance to all the components and also allowed me to use the board when I had a esc failure and was waiting over a month for a new esc