How Do Electric Skateboards Work? — Learn the Basics from Parts, Functions, and More (2024)

Electric skateboards are fun to ride, but how do they work? If you’ve ever wondered about how these mobility devices propel riders, this article is for you. Our experts answer your questions, including ‘how do electric skateboards work?’, ‘what components do they have?’, and everything else you need to know.

How do Electric Skateboards Work?

Electric skateboards are motorized versions of normal skateboards. They have motors that propel their tires, and a battery that powers the motor. Electric skateboards differ, however, from each other based on their manufacturers. The differences may be as simple as the motor’s power rating, or as intricate as the truck and wheel design.

During operation, our experts found that these skateboards work in simple but effective ways. The rider leans in whatever direction they wish to go, and the board follows suit. 

JKING Electric Skateboard

An electric skateboard may also come with a remote control. These help you control parameters like speed and braking via wireless signals. When you push the acceleration button, the remote sends signals to the Electronic Speed Controller ESC on the skateboard. 

These signals instruct the battery to release more power to the motors. The motor also spins the wheels faster and propels you forward. When you order the board to brake, the motors slow down, and the brakes kick in.

Some electric skateboards have different types of riding modes. These are often rated as low, medium, high, and high+. These modes decide the rider’s top speed, braking power, and steering.

What is an electric skateboard?

In answering the question, ‘how do electric skateboards work?’, it’s important to firstly know what they are. An electric skateboard is a personal transportation device that people use to get around. It is different from a regular skateboard because of the motor and battery. The battery stores charge and the motor propels the rider forward. 

Person riding Electric Skateboard

Electric skateboarding offers a different experience from regular skateboarding, although people who have ridden a regular skateboard will have no problem with an electric skateboard. In fact, they may find the experience more pleasant. However, if you’ve only ridden the best electric skateboard under 500, you may experience a learning curve with regular boards.

Advantages of an Electric Skateboard

Topnotch electric skateboards provide a means of transportation that’s both stress-free and enjoyable. Here are some of their benefits.

  1. Environmentally friendly: An electric skateboard has zero carbon emissions. Thus, it is good for the environment. It’s one step closer to the green transportation system that the world needs.
  2. Safety: Electric skateboard manufacturers pay attention to rider safety. That’s why these boards have advanced braking mechanisms and enhanced steering to prevent injury or accidents. Some even provide reliable skateboard lights for added safety. 
  3. Faster speeds: If you want to travel faster, an electric skateboard is a good idea. The electric motor can carry you faster than your feet could ever kick.

Cost-effectiveness: These skateboards don’t require additional fees after the initial purchase. They also consume minimal energy while charging, so the costs of an electric skateboard are negligible.

Vital Parts of an Electric Skateboard

Electric skateboards such as WowGo 2S work using as many as twenty various components. All of these play a part during skateboarding, but our team experts have created a short list of the important ones to discuss.


An electric skateboard’s battery powers the motors. They hold a charge and make skateboarding smooth and effortless. 

An electric skateboard’s battery is mostly made of lithium ion cells, and is rated in Volt (V) and Amp Hour [1]. The bigger the battery, the further you’ll go on a single charge.

skateboard battery

Most manufacturers will make their lithium ion battery-housing water-resistant to protect it from liquid damage. However, this doesn’t mean that most skateboards are waterproof. You can still damage the components if you use it in the rain.


Skateboard motors even the top-performing affordable electric skateboards are good for propelling the rider. There are mostly two types of motors — the hub motor and the belt motor. The hub electric motor is usually directly connected to the wheel. It is sleek in design, has a silent operation, and it makes the board easier to use when you run out of battery.

A belt motor is usually under the board’s deck. It is connected to the wheel by rubber belts, similar to a bicycle or motorcycle. A belt motor is louder than a hub motor, but it is more efficient at dissipating heat. Belt motors also tend to deliver much more power than hub motors. The downside of these motors is that they are harder to kick-ride when you run out of battery.


Electric skateboard wheels are either made of polyurethane (PU) or rubber. Our team of experts found that polyurethane wheels are better for smooth roads like wood, asphalt and concrete. They also make for faster rides on these surfaces.

Skateboard Wheels

Rubber wheels, on the other hand, tend to be pneumatic or air-filled. You should get an electric skateboard with rubber wheels if you’ll be riding off-road on surfaces like gravel and sand. Rubber wheels also make for better shock absorption. The air absorbs ground impacts and gives you a lot of comfort.

Some manufacturers use two different wheel-types on their boards, so your skateboard might have polyurethane tires in front and honeycomb tires at the back.

The size of your wheel also matters. Larger wheels offer more off-road versatility and shock absorption than smaller ones.

(For skateboards with reasonable pricing, you can check our list of excellent skateboards below 300 here)


The truck of an electric skateboard is usually made of metal. Trucks are the board’s axis, and they transfer the weight from the deck to the wheels. Trucks also allow you to make turns while riding. 

A good truck is composed of smaller components, including the kingpin, the bushings, and hanger. Trucks are essential because they determine how your electric skateboard will drive.

Putting trucks and grip tape on a skateboard


The deck is the surface that riders stand on and steer. Decks might be made of several materials including plywood, maple wood, fiberglass, and even carbon fiber. These have varying strengths, and the stronger the build, the more load the electric skateboard will bear.

The deck is also responsible for keeping the rider glued to the skateboard. Manufacturers do this using grip tape. Grip tape is the first layer of the deck, and it keeps you attached as you drive, turn, speed up, or do tricks. Some manufactures use other materials, like foot straps, to achieve the same purpose.


Brakes are some of the most critical components of an electric board. There are two major types of brakes on electric skateboards — friction brakes and dynamic brakes. Neither is better than the other, but it helps to know how both works.

electric skateboard brakes

Friction brakes are the most common, and then slow down the electric skateboard by clamping down on the wheels, and the friction against the floor gradually slows the board. Dynamic brakes on electric skateboards work by creating a magnetic field that drives the motor.

Remote control

The remote control connects directly to the board’s electronic speed controller and is usually powered by a replaceable battery. When you pull the trigger for acceleration, the remote control sends signals to the ESC which then controls the hub motor. The electronic speed controller is also directly involved with the board’s braking procedure.

(For other related pages, you can check how fast an electric skateboard can go here)

How do These Parts Function Together?

You might have already figured out how the various parts of the board work together. But here’s an explanation from our team of experts.

If you need to accelerate, simply lean forward or tap the accelerate button on the remote controller. The signals to the ESC will place a power demand on the battery and cause the motor to accelerate the wheels. You already know that the deck can hold your weight while riding, thanks to its strong build and durable metal trucks.

If you need to turn around, simply lean in the direction and the two front wheels will turn. If it’s a sharp turn, you may need to get off the skateboard and reorient your e board in the right direction.

To slow down, lean towards the back of the electric skateboard and you’ll slow down. The specific process depends on the braking mechanism of your electric skateboard.

(No money to buy a new skateboard? Worry not, as here’s our tips to make DIY skateboard without costing much)


How do you control an electric skateboard

You can control an electric skateboard by leaning in the direction you wish to go. The board’s sensors detect your weight and send signals to the electronic speed controller which then signals the motor. You can also use remote controls to drive an electric skateboard.

Are electric skateboards good for beginners?

Yes, electric skateboards are good for beginners. They are easy to ride, and you only need to get your balance right; the motor and battery will take care of the rest.

Can you use an electric skateboard as a regular skateboard

Yes, you can use an electric skateboard as a regular skateboard. However, if you want the best experience, get a skateboard with hub motors. These are easier to kick-ride. Electric skateboards with belt motors are difficult to ride without power.


If you’re ever asked, ‘how do electric skateboards work?’, you can now see that their mode of operation isn’t as complicated as it seems. They are different from regular boards thanks to their motors, batteries, and remote controllers. These components work together to give you absolute control of your speed, steering, and braking.

Looking for electric hoverboards? You can check our full review of Swagtron T5 here. Read next!


Lucas Travis
Lucas Travis
Lucas is far from your regular skater boy—he is knowledgeable beyond riding basics and tricks; he knows the technicalities and specifics of every type of modern skateboards, bikes, and scooters. His passion for skateboarding inspired him to bring together a team of skateboard-lovers and experts to test new and popular models and come up with recommendations that will help every skateboard, bike or scooter enthusiasts like them.
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