I have I never been a skateboard kind of guy. I am, however, a gadget guy (you may have noticed). So When MaxFind wrote me asking if I would review their new Max C electric skateboard in advance of their new Indigogo campaign, I said yes. This, despite weighing a bit more than the maximum weight (176 lbs). Thankfully, my daughter’s young man is a tad more svelte. He’s also a game dev, so you may want to try PengWings. Good kid.
Anyway, onto the review, based on his notes:
It is extremely fun to ride, for starters, although there is a bit of a learning curve to riding it, especially for turning. Other than that, it’s not too hard to get the hang of (two of my younger siblings picked it up relatively quickly).
The skateboard comes with a handy remote, which has a thumbstick. The thumbstick goes in all directions, with only the Y axis (aka “forward”) being significant. Up is forward, and down is brake, with the center being neutral. To switch to reverse, you have to push a separate button on the remote. Then Up moves you forward. I can see this being slightly counter-intuitive to some users [Mordechai’s note: Agreed. When I was messing with it this drove me nuts]. Even odder, as far as I know there is no indicator as to which mode it is set to. I say “as far as I know,” because the manual lacks any real explanation of the buttons on the remote. The stick, direction toggle, and the LED button are all pretty self-explanatory, but then there is a “Code” button (which presumably is to set up the pairing between the remote and the board…?). Help us out, MaxFind. What is quite cool is that, unlike many higher-end boards ($600+), there is an actual battery indicator on the remote! Except, once again, because there isn’t much info about the remote, I’m not sure if it indicates the remote battery or the board battery, but that is something that can easily be figured out over time. The remote charges via micro-USB, by the way.
There are two modes on the remote, Hi and Lo, with the “Hi” setting being extremely fast, and the “Lo” setting being significantly slower. Because there is no middle ground between the two, I can see that being slightly annoying for a beginner who wants to increase speed gradually.
Now on to the board itself!
Build quality is quite good, with my one major gripe being the fact that it is made out of a carbon fiber body. This is both good and bad: It makes it much more resistant to water and dirt, but also means it scuffs up really easily. Like, really easily [Mordechai Note: Seriously. One test run and the thing was scratched as heck]. At the same time, because everything is encased in plastic, it is much more rugged and durable. A lot of other electric boards are made out of wood, with the internals being in a box underneath the deck.
The grip tape was also not very well done, with it fraying on the edges. This is not a huge deal in the long-run, as it can be replaced pretty easily, and it could be because it was a pre-production unit that we tested, but not ideal.
Because it is electric, the trucks (what holds the wheels to the board) are on loose. This makes it much easier to turn and not a bad thing at all. This is opposed to the ones on a regular board being much more tight and requires more practice.
The onboard (no pun intended) lights are very bright for nighttime use, but are hard to see during the day (totally expected).
There was a strange beeping sound coming from the board while I was riding it for the first time, but I soon found out that this was because of the board’s battery being low, and I haven’t heard it since Charging the board is very simple, with the port being directly under the board, and a light on the power-brick to indicate when it is fully charged. There a ring around the metallic, single push, power button that lights up, and makes a sound when toggled on and off.
Overall, it is extremely fun to ride, with the build quality and lack of info about the remote being the only two major downsides.
That’s his review. Now, you can support the Indiegogo and the first 100 can get the board for just $259, or you can fund at $299 if the first promotion is full up. There are both solid values off of the $399 Suggested Retail Price for when the Max C hits stores. As I’m not a skater, you’ll have to trust Judah as to if this is worth it.