Start of the Journey

A project log for Nagini: A DIY Electric Longboard

Designing and building a custom electric longboard for commuting.

jamieJamie 08/20/2022 at 12:360 Comments


It's August 2022 near London...

The sun beats down on your face, whilst you painstakingly push a 3.7kg slab of wood up 45m of elevation, with only 3m of downhill, over 4.8km.

The gradient varies by 0-3% throughout the journey. Although this is mostly flat, you're on your way back from work, exhausted and drained with a 4.5kg backpack. You weigh approximately 70kg. It only takes you 15 minutes on the way into work, but the way back is almost half an hour!

Sweat rolls down your cheeks, drenches your back, and floods your nethers in the 32°C heat. You think to yourself - "if only this longboard was electric! That way, I could still enjoy skating to work, without dreading the journey home."

As you may have already guessed, this person is me. As a skateboarder, I have previously had an elitist mindset against longboards. God forbid electric ones, how could you let such a heinous display of consumerised technology take the spotlight of a classically skillful and dangerous sport?

However, since owning my (now beloved) Globe Byron Bay 43" setup in Ebony/Nightshade, after being shown the joys of downhill longboarding (yes I'm aware this is not a downhill setup!) my mindset has changed. 

This Surf-inspired squash tail longboard has a Mellow concave, with kicktail made of Ebony wood + Resin-8 hard rock maple. It features 150mm Slant reverse kingpin trucks and 70mm 83a wheels. I would do unspeakable things to this beauty.

Research & Specification

I performed some basic research into electric longboards to develop a basic understanding of what components I will need. This involved binging builds on YouTube instead of working from home, scouring ESK8 forums and scrolling through Reddit. 

From this, I can break this project down into a few major categories:

  1. Drivetrain 
  2. Battery & BMS
  3. ESC
  4. Transmitter & Receiver
  5. Enclosure 
  6. Additional Features (LEDs, speakers, regenerative braking, etc)

The following project logs will delve deeper into each.