Design Review: Electric Longboard

Hi all,

For my final project, I am working on building an electric longboard. This idea came to my mind when I was thinking of a project that would incorporate both engineering design and aesthetics.

I have always been fascinated by longboards and the way they work but I have always wanted to add a motor so that going uphill would be a little easier. Unfortunately, it’s not as easy as just attaching a motor in. We have to make considerations for the speed, torque, amperage, stability, acceleration, and many other factors.

I also have to consider the different aesthetics I want to portray with the longboard. I have always dabbled around with sketching and I think this is a great opportunity to channel my creativity. The three aesthetics I am considering are:

Native American Art, Cosmic, and a Simple Geometric aesthetic

Sources for these images:


Another challenging aspect is the design of the electric hub to store all the components. I have used the OnShape assembly created by Arvid Hedler to modify a design of a longboard and add features that I want.

The longboard on the surface looks like a regular longboard but when we look at the rear, we can see the electronic assembly. This assembly consists of the following:

  1. VESC – to control the speed
  2. Battery pack
  3. Motor – to turn the wheel
  4. Pulley system to take mechanical advantage

These are the basic components, there are a few more parts that are smaller but still very crucial. I think this will take a long time to design and create but I am really excited to build it!

So far, I have worked on a small prototype and I have started cleaning my current longboard. Here are some images from the process:

Before cleaning
After Cleaning
Size of Electronics assembly box


There is still a long (and expensive) way to go to get to my end goal, but I am excited to get there!

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10 Comments. Leave new

  • Katherine Yarnell
    May 6, 2017 12:50 pm

    Cool idea! It’s clear that you put a lot of thought into this. The CAD design looks really good. I really like the design too. Interested to see how it turns out.

  • There have been a lot of DIY projects online but this has been the most detailed that I have came across with. Please put an update soon as to how this project will turn out.

  • Great Idea! I really like that the idea is both functional and also has huge potential for aesthetics. It’s also great that you can ride it every day and lots of people could see it. Great use of Onshape also, I actually interned for them for two summers working in customer success so if you ever need help let me know!

  • Ridhvik Gopal
    March 17, 2017 12:55 pm

    I like the geometric aesthetic. A long board is a very cool project and I totally appreciate the skills required to make the project. How do you plan to control your budget?
    The Aesthetic that you plan to go with is fascinating and if there is a way to have a clear traction surface on the top of the board you could have a nice design even on the top. Great design!

  • Electric longboards are so cool! I’ve seen many of these DIY projects online and have always been curious about them so I look forward to seeing your progression through this project. If you haven’t already seen Peter Sripol on YouTube you should check out his channel, he makes all kinds of RC devices and goes into the nerdy details too. Here’s a link to a similar project to yours:

  • Gautham Govindarajan
    March 17, 2017 12:53 pm

    How do plan to implement your aesthetic on your longboard. Do you want to go with stickers or are you going to paint something on it? Also are you going to have a separate remote? Is it possible to control the speed with maybe your mobile?

  • Cyron Completo
    March 17, 2017 12:52 pm

    I have always wanted an electric longboard! I am eager to see your progress on this project.
    I am glad that you are fabricating something that you are passionate about. I am concerned about the durability of the batteries as you are riding the longboard. How durable is the electronics casing? There is flex in the board as you are riding it due to your weight so I am wondering how the electronics can handle it. Similarly, the terrain that your board might run into (curbs, cracks, etc.) might cause a problem.
    Otherwise, this is excellent! I would love to see what board graphics you can come up with.

  • Emma Hammerton
    March 17, 2017 12:51 pm

    I think it is a very good choice on your part to allow yourself to buy some expensive components for this project ( in the name of safety if for no other reason). The CAD model in your presentation provides a really good idea of your final design being that it includes material features as well. I love the geometric and galaxy designs! Don’t weigh yourself down by focusing too much on the functionality over the aesthetic (even though that is a really important part of this project). I feel like I still don’t have a very good idea of what aesthetic you are going for.

  • Morgan Ulrich
    March 17, 2017 12:51 pm

    You’ve definitely done your research. Great CAD draft too! You’re aesthetic presents a lot of interesting juxtaposition. Namely, you want geometric shapes and an organic galaxy design. I’m interested to see how meshing the two aesthetics turns out.

  • Alexandra Rivas
    March 17, 2017 12:49 pm

    Laziness is a great source of inspiration haha. Finding a way to make every day actives easier is smart.
    Its good that you did outside research to learn that the China products won’t be of much help.
    Does the batter pack and motor make it substantially heavier? I’m just considering when you get to your destination and have to carry it indoors or something like that.
    I think a tribal design would be a great combo of the geometry you like and a more creative push for yourself.


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