Motorized Flowboards

Hello, I’m new to this forum and would like to get feedback and suggestions for a couple projects I’m working on. They’re motorized Flowboards, which seem to me to be about the closest wheeled board type thing that recreates surfy, snowboard-like turns. They’re really slow on flat ground though. My first build is the one with a Razor scooter drivetrain. It works better than expected. The 24 volt 250 watt motor is pretty gutless and and doesn’t push my 190 lbs plus the 60+ pound rig for very long. I ordered a 36 volt, 500 watt kit hoping that will make it a little bit more fun for a bit longer.

I’m just about done with the chopped off Arbor snowboard iteration. I just need to get the electronics and battery mounted and connected. I have not taken the time to figure what the gear ratio is, if that’s the right wording for a friction driven wheel. I’m hoping to get at least 10 mph out of it with the 350 watt brushless motor and 36 volt battery. My first attempt to power it was with a Razor scooter drivetrain but I quickly found out that the board lacked torsional stiffness and the chain came off when I made my first turn.

For my third iteration I tried to envision a way to apply power directly to the wheels. I figured having the side wheels and the center one powered should work well for going straight and carving turns. I’ll start by powering just the rear wheels and if it works well maybe I’ll do the front ones too.

My girlfriend helped me photoshop what I have in mind. I wanted the belts on the side wheels angled more inward but Kim insisted the perspective of the power pulleys to the wheel pulleys was accurate, so I didn’t argue with her since she’s the photoshop wiz. It didn’t occur to me until she was just about done with the mock-up that changing a belt will be a major undertaking. So, I’ll be open to feedback about the pros and cons of belts versus chains.

I’ve never calculated gear ratios and this arrangement seems more complicated than a standard motor to wheel scenario. Any suggestions for gear/pulley sizes that I’ll need would be greatly appreciated. I don’t think I want it to go over 10 or 12 mph but I think a bit of torque will be good for surfstyle carving in parks, ditches, pumptracks, etc. So I’m open to motor size and power suggestions as well as battery suggestions. I’m open to any other design insights and suggestions. I’ll be replacing the 7 stock wheels with 10 standard parkboard wheels.

I’m stoked to finally be posting here and I hope my ideas inspire others to come up with cool ways to motorize flowboards. They can still be found on ebay. I think the ‘El Arco’ wheel hanger design is genius.


Welcome! I don’t have any good suggestions for motorizing flowboards but I did want to say hello and hope you get some great feedback here. Cool project!


Thanks a lot BM! Cheers :slight_smile:


Hello and welcome! Definitely landed in the right spot here.

I’m not sure how many other people here have explored the idea of converting Flowboards to electric, hopefully more than a few.

I didn’t come up with any better solutions than you have for getting the regular wheels to be driven. My idea was pretty in line with your centered pneumatic drive wheel. Except I was going to try slapping on the suspension powered Castor from E-Freeboard Open source Electric Caster project.

I’m not sure if you felt like having the extra center driven wheel made the ride much worse than without it, but I was hoping a suspension caster would basically make it feel exactly as it does normally.

Obviously it’d be ideal to avoid friction drives but I wonder if a simple solution would be putting a custom oval/football shaped drive wheel transferring torque to all the wheels somehow (Having all the wheels not driven at the same speed would be a problem). If instead of a friction drive each wheel had a small gear and the oval drive thing would have a bunch of different size/angle (some bevel) gears then it would be ok.

Absolutely! have searched for those motorized casters and even thought about how I might build one myself. I’d like to try one, for sure. Your CAD renderings are awesome. I’d love to buy one if you end up building some.

Thanks for the suggestion. I hadn’t thought about a football shaped drive device. I’ll be mulling it over!

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Why are there two threads?

could you make one of them clearly a General discussion thread and this one your personal build?

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For sure, thanks for the suggestion. I guess i should have read the guidelines better.

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