The Inboard M1: The One to Beat
It’s one of the freshest and best rated e-boards on the market, but why is everyone talking about the Inboard M1?
The Inboard M1: The One to Beat
It really is the era of e-transportation with so many boosted, electric and hoverboards to throw your money at. At this juncture, quality is expected, connectivity is standard and cutting-edge design is essential. The innovation of these products keeps refining and redefining the genre, with Inboard M1, fresh from the innovation epicenter of Santa Cruz leading the latest e-board charge. It’s a hub motor-driven electric board with a top speed of 22 mph and the easiest battery swapping feature to date. It’s got the power of an electric board and the vibes of a standard skateboard plus the reviews are pretty glowing, so could the Inboard M1 be the champion of e-boards right now?
How did it all begin?
Like all good e-board stories, it all began with a neat idea and a Kickstarter campaign. The founders, Theo Cerboneschi and his buddy Ryan Evans were students at college at the time. In light of Theo having his bike stolen, and after rustling together an electric board to ride around campus, so many people stopped him to offer to buy the board that he knew he needed to make a business out of this groundbreaking product (there weren’t commercial electric boards on the market yet). With the business idea in place, next came talented designer Paige Doolin, their company Inboard Technologies (2014), the prototype, and then Kickstarter. The was also a brief appearance on Shark Tank. Inboard Technologies is based in Santa Cruz, CA.
It’s important to note the Inboard M1 has been made specifically to combine the technology, power and intelligence of an e-board with the nostalgic feel and appearance of a skateboard. It’s not out to blast up hills at speed, bend like a Boosted Board or take on looser terrain like a Onewheel. It’s very much an homage to the humble skateboard (but much faster) and it rides like a dream.
How does it ride?
Think of the solid, stable rigidity of a standard skateboard and you’re halfway there. The 80mm wheels mean that you can hit rocks and bumps in the road and keep on going. If there’s light rain or a puddle, because there’s no exposed hardware you can ride on through without the fear of the board stuttering. The M1 is ‘splash resistant’, but as with any powered board, it’s best not to ride in heavy rain or drench it. The carving is fast and crisp, just what riders want.
Sure, the Inboard M1 isn’t as responsive and doesn’t have as much torque as Boosted Boards, that is true. But if you’ve rinsed the battery and your spare, you can ride it home as a standard skateboard. Not many other powered boards can do that, right? All in all, it’s the robust nature of this board that makes it such a rad ride!
Here’s how to ride an Inboard M1.
What comes in the box?
When your Inboard M1 arrives in the post, it’s ready to ride. No building of the board is necessary. It comes with a sleek carry bag too, which is a sweet bonus. In the box is a RXFL™ Remote with a USB cable, one Powershift Battery, a Powershift Charger plus an Inboard Skate Tool. Throw in some Inboard stickers and it’s a pretty complete package. Here’s a video of the unpacking of the box and the stuff inside if you want to see it with your own eyes.
What are the specs of the Inboard M1?
The battery range depends on the speed you’re hitting, the weight of the rider (max 250 lbs) and the terrain you’re riding. Aside from bigger riders decreasing the range, hitting inclines and higher speeds means you’ll get less range too. Some casual commuters who don’t travel fast might push 10 miles out of the battery, but Inboard Tech. state an average of 7 miles to cover all bases. Charge time for the Powershift Battery is 90 mins - not bad at all. They also last more than 1,000 full charge cycles. The lightweight wood-core composite concave board (13mm front foot, 9mm back foot) has battery-operated LED headlights and taillights - an awesome safety feature for rider visibility.
When it comes to breaking, the The M1 has an electronic regenerative braking system. The drive system is patented as the Manta Drive™ In-Wheel Drive Technology. This new technology means there are no external motors and the board can look as clean and contained as a surfboard. There’s no belt drive drama here, the M1 has two hub motors in the rear wheels - pretty cool stuff. The board is controlled via the handheld RFLX™ Remote. It slots onto the riders fingers, can easily attach to the board or even clip on to your backpack. Here’s more info on how to use the RFLX™Remote, it’s an awesome device.
So what makes the M1 different?
There’s beauty in the design
Check out the clean edges, it’s sleek appearance and minimal design. It’s like the lovechild of a Boosted Board and the newest iPhone (except it’s robust as hell, and the software is easily updated).
Light but mighty
The Inboard M1 is one of the lightest e-boards around at 14lbs. Cue a collective sigh of relief from the e-board community. Hauling a heavy board around really isn’t fun.
It’s true, the M1 may not exactly have the torque of other boosted boards, and it may struggle climbing hills at speed, but what it lacks in that kind of power it makes up for in crushing it on flats and a solid, stable, smooth ride - just like a skateboard. Don’t worry though, don’t start thinking solid and stable mean it’s boring. There’s no trade in on fun! It’s the kind of product you really need to try before you buy.
Whatever your taste in boards, it might be worth renting an e-board, renting a LeifTech e-snowboard or renting a Onewheel off a secure and verified rental site like FriendwithA so that you can try before you decide. Or if you’re any kind of board owner, why don’t you make some extra income by renting out your board yourself?
Patented dual hub motor technology
One of the features that truly sets this e-board apart from others on the market is it’s unique Mantra™Drive technology. Due to the use of two hub motors in the rear, that means no gear system and no fiddly changing of the belt drive. It supports that ready-to-ride feel just like a standard skateboard. Who doesn’t want to just step on and go?
Simple battery swapability
Another stand out feature is the much celebrated Powershift Battery™, that can be swapped in and out of the board in around 15 seconds. There’s never been speed and efficiency like this, and it’s perfect for commuters who don’t want to mess around charging, carrying or eeking the juice out of their battery
Here’s a video of Josh from Inboard actually riding the board as he changes the battery. Not advised, but possible.
Good news for those who want to travel by plane too. Given the battery composition, it can travel by air. Just check in the bag, stamp it as fragile and talk to the airline about whether they want you to put it in the hold, or take it as carry on.
A technological vision
It’s time to introduce the pretty gnarly Inboard Vision App which riders can use to control the board. It’s rad interface, looking just as sleek as the board. It’s had pretty good feedback from users too. Check the battery level, adjust your settings, check in with Inboard Support and switch from your RFLX Remote to Touch Throttle all on this app.
A cool safety feature is the Inboard Passcode Lock where users can swipe the dashboard to lock it. Regular performance updates are done through the app via firmware updates for the RFLX™ Remote, the Mantra Drive™ and the Powershift Battery.
The Inboard Vision App has 3 preset riding modes that the rider can select:
Beginner: This mode is for those that are first timers on an e-board or any kind of powered board. It has a slower top speed and the acceleration curve is reduced.
Advanced: Once the rider has progressed to advanced mode, they can enjoy the top speed capabilities of the board and faster acceleration.
Eco: The board adjusts its acceleration and speed to ensure the most range can be achieved in the conditions.
Riders can custom make their own mode to suit their style too. The only downside is that the app is currently only available for IOS devices. Inboard say the Android version is coming soon...
So there we have it.
The Inboard M1 is certainly a state-of-the-art, robust board with plenty of innovation and unique features that has it ahead of the competition in terms of patented technologies. It’s also a nostalgic nod to the charm of bashed up skateboards in the skatepark. It’s lightweight, it’s easy to swap batteries on the go, it’s splash resistant and it’s powered by in-wheel hub motors. This isn’t a board for everyone though - those that want to killer top speeds, off road riding and highly responsive torque need look elsewhere, but for those that want that skateboard familiarity and ridability, it’s the board for you.
Do you have an Inboard M1? What do you think is rad about it?