First Build: Inspiration, knowledge, support, hurdle, wisdom, community

I wanted to make a thread for any newcomers that are considering getting into the hobby. The thread is simple.

  • What inspired you to make your first build? How did you start?

  • Where was your go to to find information?

  • Who was the biggest contributor to you succeeding?

  • What went wrong?

  • What did your learn?

  • I believe the last part is achieved with you commenting on this post. Among many other things.

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I’ll go first.
I would have to say my background in electrical and solar got me sparked to the idea… :joy::joy: Then Corona hit. Soon after, boredom did the same. I found a used Teamgee H5 on the local classifieds for 200 bucks. I loved it, at first. What really inspired me to continue was the lack of quality in that board.

I spent most of my quarantine researching. I did more reading and research in those few months then I every have. I spent days on end just flying below the radar on the forums and OEM board companies. OVER and OVER AGAIN.

The support I got came from one man in a local FB group. He was going to build me a battery for my first build. He really cared and was not hesitant to help me with any question I ever had. Even after I told him I decided I wanted to build the battery myself… I still ride with him and the group on a week-month basis. I finally decided to jump into the scary world of the forum folk. I held back for so long because I was afraid my lack of knowledge would bring shame and ridicule upon me. It was quite the opposite. I was welcomed with open arms… (mostly giant hands… cough, cough, @Andrew) The single most reason I keep coming back is, and I hope will always be, the community and their willingness to share the knowledge they have acquired.

So many things have gone wrong… Mostly personal injury due to lack of fear and the pursuit of knowledge/science. As my mom always said, “Always wear protection.”

I would have to say the biggest thing I have learned is: don’t be shy. If you have questions and need help, there is always someone willing to answer. Also, don’t spend 3000 on your first build like I did… because you will mess things up and there is a learning curve and unfortunately in this hobby, the only way to go is up.

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Guess I’ll go now. … Sorry I had to drop the kids off at the pool… @TheRef I couldn’t agree more as far as the willingness to help people. I consider these forums as my social media… Haha

  1. what inspired me to create electrified riding platform?

Honestly never liked the idea of electric cars or anything of the sort. I’m a country boy where diesel and gas and propane accessories are king ja feel? So i always wanted a gas powered skateboard never thought of going electric, until my fucking YouTube feed said electric skateboard using an electric scooter… So I’m like ok, I’ve always skated, ride pow, done blow, I can make something work… So I made one. And fuck electric scooters in the throat…(for use on skateboards.) I love my scooter…now… Anyway as disappointment set in i started looking for electric skateboards, heard of boosted and evolve and blah blah blah. Piss on both of them… Found a koolwheel for dick, yes @BillGordon I solicited myself for the community… It was broke I fixed it and was like that was easy… Next… There was a raptor on Craigslist for couple hundys sat there for months before I actually looked it up and was like no shit, figured the control and battery was worth it even I couldn’t get it fixed. Got her runnin in about ten minutes after paying 180 usd for it. 180 usd is not what you think, it’s like 69 but yea more on that later. So after riding a shit scooter board offspring piece of crapola and a half ass koolwheel, the raptor had me at hello. I know y’all have issues with homeslice down under and i respect that. So now I’m hooked … I had no idea how much shit y’all make for this amazing godsend of a sport. I never asked anyone for help until I completed my 3rd build using second hand parts. So when I have questions I ask Dave and he is a big help. And in the mix of all that rambling I would find broken boards online and fix and resell it or give it away. Lifes just a crazy adventure and I could talk about the crazy skate stories for days. Fuck it though, thanks for having me, sorry if I offend anyone with my twisted humor, you probably need a hj. Stay safe and fuck off.:v::heart::slightly_smiling_face::zap::metal::call_me_hand:

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I got my first esk8 back in April of 2019. It feels like a lifetime ago, even though its actually only a year and a half ago. Watching the odd Casey Neistat video early that year got me tuned to the idea of electric skateboards to commute in a downtown setting.

Then in April I quit my job at a warehouse in the outskirts of Northeast Portland and got hired doing sales in the heart of Downtown Portland. Not only did this change my commute from a 5 minute drive into a 45 minute train ride, but it also gave me a massive increase in my income, so that justifying a “big” purchase like an esk8 became realistic.

By the end of my first month, I had done tons of research and landed on what I thought was a good purchase. In hindsight, where I went wrong was thinking that Amazon was a good place to buy an esk8, and that reading Amazon reviews counted as “doing research” :joy:

Anyway, my first esk8 was a TeamGee H5. Not a good board, for lots of reasons, but I fucking loved it. I felt like a real badass riding a mile to and from the train station every day on my electric skateboard. Hell, I even rode that shit in the rain, and it kept on kicking. The first problem I ran into was that the range was shit. Like 7 miles or less, shit. And at this point I was hooked, so here I am a classic example of “buy cheap, buy twice.”

My second purchase was a Metroboard Slim, with the 55 mile battery. I decided to get the biggest, beefiest battery I could find so that I could truly kiss range anxiety goodbye. And it worked! My Metroboard was amazing, and its still with me to this day (despite my best efforts to sell it :sweat_smile:). All that extra range led me into my next realization about esk8: It doesnt matter how much range you have if your feet give out after 20 miles. So I decided my next purchase would be something more comfortable.

Fast forward to my birthday in September of 2019, and I got myself a Backfire Ranger X2. I picked this based on the large rubber wheels, the flexible deck, and the double kingpin trucks. And let me tell you, this thing is comfortable as fuck. Its the closest feeling to snowboarding that I have felt, other than on the slopes. I also wanted it for my commute so that I would have something less sketchy to ride in the rain.

But the range anxiety caught up to me with that board. Now I was faced with one board that is supremely comfortable, and one board that eliminates range anxiety. So I decided its time for one that does both. Thats when I found DIY.

Originally I came across the builder’s forum, though I have no memory of how that happened. But I became pretty clear pretty fast that I was walking through a ghost town. Thankfully I found a mention of esk8.news fairly quickly and hopped over there to find all the cast of characters which I had seen evidence of on builders alive and well and posting!

I dug in and started devouring info as fast as I could. Before then I had read ebooks in my down time. Now all I did was read the forum, or the articles. The learning felt amazing, and I am still shocked and awed at how much I have learned in the past 15 months since I joined the forum.

@Andrew and @SeanHacker jumped me into their knife gang pretty quick after I recognized one of Andrew’s signature Mt. Tabor board photos, and he realized we live in the same city. They took me under their wings and we went on a few rides, then Andrew helped me diagnose a mysterious issue that was keeping my first build from getting off the ground (turns out the problem was that I was a massive fucking idiot, go figure).

Well about 21 years ago a man and a woman loved each other very much… Oh you mean like in my esk8 journey? Just about everything possible. I bit off WAY more than I could chew with my first build, and committed several of the cardinal noob mistakes.

  • I started with a wildly unrealistic budget
  • I didnt plan out my build, just figured “I’ll solve that when I get to it”
  • I didnt select a deck and enclosure combo, I decided to make my own enclosure
  • I didnt have the foresight to make the enclosure first, then plan my build into that. Oh no. I decided to make the build I wanted, then just figured I would make an enclosure that would fit what I had built. Dont do that lol.
  • Because of all that, I ended up scrapping my first build after riding it around with a cardboard enclosure for a few months and it was reborn into my third build, which was somewhat better executed, but in which I still made a lot of the same mistakes.

So much. So much. More than I could ever list off. Not just about building an esk8, but also just about engineering and the world in general. I have met amazing people, found an amazing community, and am currently taking a crack as making a living off selling esk8 batteries associated with DRI.

I am so thankful and grateful to everyone in this community, and specifically to the friends I have made because of it. Making friends is hard as an adult, especially when you work from home first due to a global pandemic, then due to taking a crack at self employment :joy: I’m glad that yall found me and took me in. And I look forward to making more friends and getting further into this amazing world.

Esk8 has literally changed my life, and I cant wait to see where things go from here.

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I’ve always been a builder. My friends used to joke when we would find something cool “Oh I wonder how long until Eric builds his own”
And thats exactly what happened with esk8. My friend at work bought a boosted board and let me try it out. I was hooked instantly, I’d been skating since I was 8 so it just felt right.

After researching I figured out that the boosted wouldn’t do what i expected out of a $1500 machine. I wanted more. So I ended up on the builders forum, met some good people that way and some how found myself surrounded by amazing people that only wanted to help me succeed in this hobby.

At first it was youtube, then i realized most of them at that time were super biased towards chinese boards since they were getting them for free. We didn’t have great contributors like @Lee_Wright and his channel at the time. A quick google search led me to the builders forum. I didn’t learn from that forum, but from the relationships with the people I met.

Probably @SeanHacker’s mom. She’s really good at encouragement when you fall short.

Every single part I bought for my first build was never used and sold off at a loss. I should have read more to figure out exactly what i needed vs what one “respected” member sold me. Fucking psychofucker.

Base my opinions on facts instead of other peoples opinion. Yea, everyone is riding a certain truck…but is it going to work for me? The only way to find out is to try it…and try something else, then try something else.

Eventually you’ll end up with something you love and that matches your riding style. Then your next build is going to be based off of something that your current can’t do. I love purpose builds.

These community has been pretty damn amazing. I’m honored to be included in it and the ability to get to know most of you…

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I’d skated for many years, also fell in love with snowboarding but I live in the wrong part of the world for that to be a regular thing! A mate got an Evolve GTX after a snowboarding trip to try and scratch the itch a bit and gave me a crack. I loved it but didn’t want to fork out 2k on a board. I chose the Meepo AWD GT on pre-order and waited about 4 months for it to arrive. And so began the pain of long waits on esk8 boards and parts haha. The range sucked donkey dick though, so wanted more (more range, not donkey dick). I then ended up purchasing a CarvLab Type R (essentially an over priced 4wd meepo on a direct drive mod drivetrain and 10s4p Sony VTC6 battery).

This is what pretty much kick started my DIY journey. I had issues with the Type R and lots of back and forth with the owner (who was super helpful though and sent out replacement parts). I started to learn how everything worked and just wanted more power and range.

After months and months of trying to get a bigger battery and enclosure made for my Type R, I stumbled across some dodgey cunt on a Facebook DIY group who’d sell me a deck and enclosure combo to house a bigger battery. He offered to build me a battery too but thought I’d be better off getting it built local and wasn’t entirely sure if I could trust this @glyphiks character.

It wasn’t long until I’d been opened up to the world of DIY so decided to scrap the CarvLab stuff and go all out on a TB 4wd DD build.

I did a little semi diy hub build to get my head around vesc based escs and soldering etc. It was a very good decision because I could iron out some kinks in my poor workmanship.

Andrew from CarvLab originally, then Esk8 News forum, FB Esk8 groups, then an Aussie Facebook msg group thread and now here :slight_smile:

A bunch of help from Esk8 news members. Al turned out to be a half decent bloke and without sucking his dick too much, was actually super helpful and inspiring.

-I couldn’t solder for shit to start with. I blame my iron, but a good tradesman never blames his tools (and I was certainly no good). I had a bunch of cold joints on my phase wires on first build. I also didn’t realise I had to program both sides of a dual esc, so for a while I was running one hub motor at double amps to the other :man_facepalming:.

-My first crack at fibreglassing a deck I didn’t mix enough hardener (I measured resin with a large analogue kitchen scale and was nowhere near accurate enough for small batches of resin). I bung her in the oven to try get it to cure but no luck haha.

-Not spending enough time shaping the enclosure buck and then having heaps more sanding and patching of the enclosure.

-I’ve not waited for loctite to cure on a belt drive build and destroyed a motor mount.

-I’ve destroyed a motor pulley by hammering it on over the keyway, only to discover I put it on backwards and hammered it back off with a screwdriver. I sanded the key in the keyway down a little for next pulley haha. Oh and have since purchased a bearing puller.

-broken a USB C port off a Torque6 ESC and now can’t use it (I blame a shithouse joint).

I’m sure there’s plenty more but I’ve probably blocked them out of memory to maintain my already fading sanity.

Patience is everything!!! I repeat, patience :joy:.
I learnt that it’s actually awesome learning new shit. There are so many useful skill sets in esk8 that can be applied to different contexts.
Oh and patience.

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I knew you were smart from day one.

Looking forward to stealing some beers from you one day.

Can confirm. If esk8 has taught me nothing else, it has certainly taught me patience.

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And patience…

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Cheers dude🤙

What inspired you to make your first build?

Seeing people riding esk8s and thinking ‘that looks like fun’ combined with needing a hobby which is safe(ish) and relatively easy to get into in my small amount of spare time (wife and 2 young kids). Had skated for years growing up and snowboarded lots so the big challenge for me was (is) the building / electronics side of it.

How did you start?

Jumped in with both feet. Bought second hand longboard, turnigy sk8 6374 and 4.12vesc and 40samsung 30qs. Followed by welder and then bail out option of 2/5s lipos. Had never ridden an esk8 before I made my first one. None of my mates are into it, so was a solo project. Virginal esk8 ride on your first build is a great feeling :smiley:

Where was your go to to find information?

Builders forum (pre esk8 news). Got super inspired by whitepony stuff from there.

Who was the biggest contributor to you succeeding?

Myself…? Not sure I’m succeeding, but I’m having fun.

What went wrong?

Blew up a lipo battery in my face by soldering on battery connectors with reverse polarity (drinking a bit much for a noob :joy:). Which bricked esc. No big deal (had safety goggles on and the fire didn’t spread).

Stuck enclosure to buck. Broke enclosure removing from buck…

Stuck mould to buck. Broke buck removing from mould. :man_facepalming:

Fucked up resin infusion deck project, leaving nose of deck uninfused, without any resin content after infusion. :joy:

Many other things.

What did you learn?

You can make almost anything you’d like to. Everything takes a long time. Read lots and don’t be afraid to try new shit. Be prepared for failure. When you fail, keep going and fix that shit, it’ll work out if you keep going.

Esk8 is a great way to learn new skills. There’s a bunch of different areas where you can make stuff for yourself and a great community to learn from. Enjoy the journey, there’s lots of projects out there snd you can’t do all of them, so may as well enjoy the ones you are working on right now :call_me_hand: churrr :beer:

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Was the donkeys name Kelly?

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I feel your pain. And also laughed entirely to loud at this.

It can be whatever turns u on

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Toejam is a weird name for a donkey

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here’s my first
lasted about 2 weeks before i scrapped it, bad idea to use the icarus
kind of my first hobby other than pens/pencils

made it cause my parents didn’t let me get a boosted so i said screw it and made my own,

note to self about the build, drill the holes in the right spots, make sure you have extra space, don’t get a shit remote, annnnnd careful if you make a flexy build that has a stiff battery spanning the length
duck tape tho to the rescue lol

second build immediately after was miles better

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