kit board for a class

So I may be teaching a class on building electric skateboards at a Makerspace associated with one of the local community colleges. To do this I would need a kit that can be built in a morning (so we can ride them after lunch).

I’d need to put together some number of these kits, and the budget is around $500 in parts each.

BuildKitBoards has a kit, but it comes in at $569 with no battery and they have that swappable battery arrangement that isn’t very useful in a class where I’ll be talking about balance charge and hand built packs (no, we won’t be building any packs in the class)

On the off chance that someone has already compiled a list of components for an inexpensive build, can you please give me some starting pointers?

Deck - longboard
Motor mounts
Pulley set
Battery Pack - 10S1p?
Battery pack housing
Controller housing
Controller - VESC compatible

Or, alternately, tell me I’m on drugs and I’ll never meet that pricepoint, in which case I’d probably buy a bunch of pre-builts and tear them down.

I’m trying to stay away from Flipsky if possible.


This may not be the most popular answer, but this route should require no threadlocker (rideable same day if arrives preassembled), is cheap, and we know works
Hub motors
And if you arent interested in showing vesc tool stuff, pick up a lingyi/hobbywing esc, which should also save you a couple of bucks. commission a bunch of 10s1p packs from a pack builder, and find some cheap deck/enclosure combos that work


I’ve got a few Tayto decks and enclosures. Also a handful of $25 decks. Would need universal enclosures which I may have a couple of too.

Ok, now I’m thinking of changing tactics.

I can buy reburb Backfire G2’s for $279, then swap VESC compatible driver and remote maybe?

Has anyone stripped a G2? Is the driver compartment available to do some hacking? Or is it all potted in?

No doubt I’d have to change the wiring around before the class but I really want to make sure the students understand the process of setting up the boards via the VESC tool. My goal for the first class is to graduate a class of competent board builders, then in the next class get into customization.

So now I have $220 to spend on a driver and a remote.

@Evwan Hub motors do avoid the pain of setting up motor mounts and belts. I’d prefer to make the students suffer if possible, but it’s a good fallback.



I can get a VX1 remote for $50

So now I have $170 to get a pair of VESC4’s. does anyone have a line on good inexpensive ones that aren’t Flipsky?


This is pretty much the best bang for buck on the market.


It’s cheap but after my experience with them I cannot recommend it. I have 4 vx1s, 2 were DOA, 1 was disconnecting every 50km or so and then after like 400km or so decided to transmit full throttle without any input, and the last one was working until a few days ago, where it decided it would transmit full throttle three times during the last ride without input. So beware of the QC

If you don’t mind that the remote is not thumbwheel, a mini remote or a gt2b should do the trick much more reliably. Also both are cheaper than 50$. If you go gt2b you probably want to 3d print a case for it to make it a smaller form factor.

For the VESC i recommend a makerx dv4s, it’s small, powerful, has an on off button, and it’s reliable


and @Ac53n

Thank you, this is exactly what I wanted to know.

1 Like

Not when it also means a whole class on how to use VESC Tool and replacing 5 of them that students burned up and spending half the class troubleshooting software issues. I agree with @Evwan’s Lingyi/Hobbywing suggestion.

The question was for a vesc, which personally, i would still say to go with. In terms of learning opportunity programming a vesc is an incredibly useful skill. However, if you dont want a vesc, absolutely just buy a hobbywing and be done.

1 Like

Regarding remotes, i personally swear by the spintend uni1. Familiar form factor with the thumbwheel, great build quality and durability, and a small telemetry display that can show board voltage.

This is all set to be completed in the morning before lunch, for a whole group of folks. Adding VESC into the mix makes it all but guaranteed the deadline will be missed IMHO.

I’m heavily leaning towards VESC because I want the students to see the motor discovery process and talk about the limits and configuration. Not necessarily that they will program them, since they will already be programmed in the kit, but if any students want to go a little bit further then they can.

I want to be able to show re-config on the fly from the phone as well. Like dialing in more brake and such.

Also, I’m pretty familiar with VESC-based drivers :slight_smile:

Thank you for the input,

1 Like

I’ve opened up a backfire g2 and actually used it to test my DIY board’s VESC and motors when the battery was acting up to isolate the issue. the ESC enclosure on a G2 can comfortably fit a stormcore so use that as you will. ill see if I can find a photo of the stormcore in the enclosure.

1 Like