Cheap AF Beginner Build (Info & Parts)

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So you wanna build an ESK8 (Lightning Powered Murder Board) but don’t wanna empty your checking account before you know if you actually like it? I won’t answer every question that you come up with, because there is a search function on most forums that will help you get 99% of the answers you need. If you can’t find an answer, ask. There’s always someone around to give bad advice and laugh at you (these same people are prolly still working on their 1st esk8 too).

All of the parts listed are easy to source and ship quickly. Feel free to substitute gear of similar value. You may not like what I’ve listed for one reason or another and that’s fine. In fact, I encourage you to make your own choices as long as you do the research needed. There are many parts which are readily available that I personally find useless because of quality or install process. So, I repeat, “do the research”.

Here’s a quick and dirty tutorial on how to make a budget build happen for around 500 bucks:

This is a cheap VESC derivative that is reliable and easy to use.
Mini FSESC4.20 50A with Aluminum Anodized Heat Sink

There are less expensive remotes out there, but not many This one is reliable and comfortable in the hand.
2.4G Nano Remote Controller for Electric Skateboard

Caliber 2 trucks are most widely used trucks in DIY ESK8, bar none. They aren’t bad trucks, they aren’t great trucks either. They ARE easy to ride and easy to get parts for.
Caliber Trucks Cal II 50° RKP Longboard Trucks – set of two

This is the simplest and most robust Caliber 2 motor mount I’ve ever used.
BKB Motor Mount

A 6374 motor on a single is a must IMHO. The added thermal mass makes them run cooler and you want that since you have only 1 motor to propel you along the path to death and dismemberment as fast as you can stand.
TB 6374 190KV Motor
– or –
BKB 6374 190kv Motor

Motor Pulleys are fairly cheap, and there are many options on eBay as well as from countless vendors. This is one that I like as it’s steel and I’ve never had one fail.
BKB 15t 15mm Motor Pulley

I hate recommending wheels to people because it’s a very subjective topic. In this case I’m listing cheap and serviceable gear, which these are. If you want lush (and more expensive) wheels that last go look at ABEC SuperFly’s in 97mm or 107mm.
BKB 97mm 78a Premium Build Wheels

There are dozens of wheel pulley options available in multiple materials with different widths and tooth count. This is a model I made a while back that I have found serviceable and easy to get right on the first install. Oh yeah, and it’s free–you just gotta print it.
Flywheels Modular Pulley Kit
$0.00 + printing costs and nuts & bolts

This is the cheapest and most reliable method to turn your board on and off. You can get an Anti-Spark switch if you want, just be ready to buy another and another and another. To date I have yet to find an AS switch that consistently works without fail. The only thing that works all the time, every time (mostly) is an XT90-S Loop Key or a BMS with E-Switch.
XT90-S Anti Spark Male and Female Connector
XT90s panel mount
$0.00 + printing costs and nuts & bolts
XT90-S Loop Key Fob Cover
$0.00 + printing costs and glue

Get a voltmeter. It lets you know how much time you’ve got left to ride and when your pack is fully charged.
DROK DC 8-63V Voltmeter

Pick up a couple of 5s Lipo packs or a Meepo 10s2p battery pack. I haven’t linked them here because availability on both is sporadic and types change, exercise your google-fu. These are the cheapest battery packs available. They are crap to be sure, but it will get you riding and get you to the question that you will eventually ask…How much battery do I need to go really frikkin fast? If you need help figuring this out there are multiple threads on ESK8 Battery Packs where you can find and ask questions.

If you go the Meepo route, they have enclosures specific to the packs offered plus they have a matching ESC enclosure. Both are simple & cheap and easy to install but eat up a lot of clearance. Honestly, I’m not a fan but it will do for fast & cheap.

Make sure you get a charger & charge port to match the battery pack.

Once you decide on your deck and battery pack, start measuring. If you want a highly usable enclosure that will last a long time take those measurements to Psychotiller and figure out which enclosure fits your needs. Pay attention to these 2 enclosures, 1 of them is likely to fit your application.

The Altar Wedge (for long decks)
The Flagship V2 (for short decks)

I saved this one for last. Decks are the most subjective item on any & all ESK8 buy lists. I know people that absolutely love the Jet Spud, but I am not one of them. I’ve built 3 over the years and never found a combo that worked for me. I can see the attraction, because physically it’s a very useful combination of features, but it’s just not for me. I know people that absolutely hate the Landyachtz Evo, but I find it to be one of the most comfortable and maneuverable decks available (NOTE: not the Evo Falcon 36, thats thing is just weird).

In closing…

You will find that you need 12, 20 & 24 gauge silicone wire, a PPM (servo) cable, 4mm and/or 5.5mm bullet connectors among other things. Amazon and Hobbyking are the places to find most anything.

If you’ve never skated before I would encourage you to get a deck that is at least 36 inches long and has at least some drop. It will be more comfortable and forgiving while you find your legs. If you’ve been skating since you fell out of the womb, then do WTF you want, your prolly used to street facing.

Good Luck suckers 🙂


I’d also recommend choosing your items in a certain order. Don’t choose anything else until you’ve chosen your deck and enclosure. Because you need to know if it will even fit. Enclosures are much more difficult than you think, and you need to know if flexibility will be something you design for, or not. So go in a certain order, along the whole way making sure you choose things that are compatible with each other.

  1. helmet
  2. deck + enclosure (flex?)
  3. battery (flex?)
  4. ESC(s)
  5. drivetrain & trucks & motor mount
  6. wheels
  7. motors
  8. {everything else}
  9. remote
  10. aesthetics: grip, colors, lights

Leaving enclosures until last as an afterthought is a surefire way to end up in less-than-ideal position.


Definitely agree with this. Enclosure fitting was the hardest part of my first build.


Don’t fall for it guys, this is the equivalent of the first hit is free.

You will soon be homeless doing unspeakable things for more esk8 parts.


Why don’t we choose first a battery based on the performances we want to achieved (using a calculator) and then choose a deck and enclosure to fit the chosen battery ?

If you choose your enclosure before your battery, you restrict your performance possibilities to fit the enclosure (imagine you want a 12S5P for range and discharge value but the already chosen deck and enclosure can’t accept the battery). I know enclosures are difficult to deal with as I faced this problem with every build I made cos I use Lipos.

What did I miss ? What is wrong with the way I think of it ?

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It’s the @SeanHacker way. He’s gotten some pretty sweet esk8 stuff so who knows?

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Very nice, it’s a good thing, we need to do the same for EU parts, because that would be quit expensive here to get those parts !

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I agree:)

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One part was left off the list and that was a charge because as it sits you will have fun for about an hour or so and then you wont be able to charge it back up.


Sometimes that way is better. I’m trying to help avoid common mistakes by noob builders. Having a pile of stuff that won’t fit on your deck and you have no enclosure is a common problem.


Sure about that ?


I scrolled right over that. Thanks for pointing out my missteps :crazy_face:


Honestly, 99% of the time the deck is most important decision. That decision will either make or break an esk8. I usually start with a deck, make a tentative decision on what I want in a battery and trucks, then go look for an enclosure and lastly make sure all my parts work together.


I almost thought i wouldn’t find an enclosure for my latest build. Got lucky. Im happy with it for abs. Thanks @monsterbuilder

Think i need to try and make one on the next board


Wait, why don’t we like the evo 36"?

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Because we’re full grown and the 36 isn’t lol


But like…people here ride tiny boards all the time, you’d get the same foot space as a nickle board at least right?

This! :slight_smile:

with the drop you have about 28in of usable real estate to stand on, not enough for most people.

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Its one thing to stand over the trucks on a shot board. Its awkward having that same 28inch stance when standing between the trucks.

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I actually nap on my board sometimes so that definitely wouldn’t be enough for that :rofl: