Practically two years in the past, a Californian startup named Acton launched a Kickstarter marketing campaign to lift funds for a four-wheel-drive skateboard. Now, that board is lastly right here. It’s referred to as the QU4TRO (henceforth referred to easily as “Quatro”), and we rode it round Portland for a number of weeks to see the way it stacks up in opposition to a few of the greater names within the electrical longboard area.
Standout options and specs
On paper, the Quatro is a beast. This monstrosity of a skateboard carries 4 hub motors (one in every wheel) that collectively present 2,000 watts of energy, and propel the board alongside at speeds as much as 23 miles per hour. It additionally has insane quantities of torque, and might enhance riders weighing as much as 280 kilos over hills with a 30-percent grade. Suppose San Francisco steep.
On prime of that, it’s additionally geared up with a large battery that fills up nearly all of the board’s 39-inch deck, and offers over 22 miles of vary on a single cost. To carry all that battery, the board is constructed from aircraft-grade aluminum, and feels extraordinarily sturdy in consequence.
You’ll additionally discover a handful of little thrives that don’t come normal on most electrical longboards — issues like lights round all 4 sides, and an progressive suspension system constructed into the vehicles. It’s simply one of the vital feature-packed eboards we’ve ever stood on.
An exhilarating, polished journey
The Quatro’s burly four-wheel drive system and outrageous quantities of velocity and torque are arguably the board’s largest promoting factors, however they’re actually simply the tip of the iceberg. There’s quite a bit occurring behind the scenes that offers the Quatro a particularly polished underfoot really feel.
The Quatro is well one of the vital feature-packed eboards we’ve ever stood on.
At first, there’s the motors. In contrast to another boards in the marketplace, the Quatro sports activities a set of hub motors, which means the motors dwell contained in the wheel and don’t should be hooked up through a belt or chain. This primarily signifies that the Quatro’s wheels roll with much less resistance once they’re unpowered, permitting you to coast freely if you let off the throttle, and in addition push the board manually if vital. Sadly, the Quatro’s large weight (24 kilos) means it’s a little bit of a chore to push even with the low-friction drive mechanism, however to be truthful, the board has such a ridiculously lengthy vary that you just’ll hardly ever must kick it manually.
Along with the board’s improbable coasting skills, the Quatro’s throttle is exquisitely well-tuned. Each acceleration and deceleration are extremely easy, and actuated in a gradual method that doesn’t throw you off stability — even when you’re fast and heavy on the throttle. It’s undoubtedly nonetheless potential to speed up or decelerate too arduous and ship your self flying onto the pavement (particularly in “Professional” mode), however Acton’s throttle and brakes are far much less sensitive in comparison with most different eboards we’ve ridden.
Acton additionally geared up the Quatro with one thing we’ve by no means seen earlier than on a longboard: a set of shock-absorbing vehicles. Most vehicles are merely a swiveling crossbar that attaches the wheels to the deck and will let you flip by leaning — however Acton’s “Pressure Suspension” vehicles take issues to an entire new stage, and incorporate a intelligent C-shaped spring that permit the deck to journey up and down a number of centimeters. This ingenious design ingredient helps the board take up small bumps within the street, and in the end makes for a smoother using expertise. With out this suspension, using this all-metal board would in all probability be fairly jarring — however due to the shocks, it’s like using on a cloud.
A cumbersome commuter
Although this board is undoubtedly one of the vital highly effective and pleasing boards we’ve ever set foot on, it’s additionally not probably the most handy commuter car. Right here’s why:
At first, it’s large. Quatro is a leviathan of a longboard, so when you ever end up in a state of affairs the place it’s essential carry it, be ready for a little bit of an arm exercise. With none handles or something to carry onto, it’s a ache within the ass to lug round — particularly within the tight confines of a bus or prepare. The upside? It’s additionally so lengthy you could simply carry up the entrance and drag it behind you want a curler suitcase.
Second, the board isn’t precisely the best to whip round. With a protracted wheelbase, a heavy physique, and no kicktail, the Quatro isn’t nice at taking tight turns or making fast directional adjustments. In case your route is predictably straight and clear, you’ll be high quality. However when you often encounter obstacles and tight turns, you would possibly wish to discover one thing that’s simpler to throw round together with your toes.
On the plus aspect, the headlights, tail lights, and working lights make you extra seen at evening, and will let you journey on the street extra safely.
There’s quite a bit to love concerning the Quatro. It’s quick as hell, has insane battery life, and provides one of many smoothest, most exhilarating using experiences you will get from an electrical longboard proper now. The one actual draw back is the Quatro’s lack of maneuverability in tight areas, and lack of portability if you’re not using.
Take it out on a curvy street for a couple of minutes and also you’ll fall in love.
Consider it like a sports activities automobile. It may not be probably the most sensible factor to drive to work day by day, however when you ever begin to doubt your buy, simply take it out on a curvy street for a couple of minutes and also you’ll fall in love yet again.
Are there higher alternate options?
The electrical longboard area is extraordinarily aggressive proper now, so potential patrons have a ton of choices.
In comparison with Acton’s Quatro, the Boosted 2 Dual+ provides a comparable stage of energy, and in addition boasts a particularly polished using expertise. Sadly, it’s additionally belt-driven, doesn’t take pleasure in the identical coasting skills that the Quatro does, and has a most vary that pales as compared — simply 12 miles in comparison with Acton’s 22.
One other one to contemplate is the Haloboard Carbon Edition. It’s smaller and lighter than the Quatro, and subsequently extra commuter-friendly — however doesn’t have four-wheel drive, headlights, or 22 miles of vary. On the upside, it does have hub motors and loads of energy, so it provides a reasonably wonderful using expertise. It’s additionally fairly a bit cheaper.
And naturally, we’d be remiss if we didn’t point out the Onewheel+ and newly-released Onewheel+ XR. Whereas technically not skateboards, each autos provide a supremely easy journey and promote for the same worth. Neither can evaluate in relation to vary, although. The brand new XR boasts a variety of as much as 16 miles, whereas the Onewheel+ can solely journey eight miles on a single cost. That stated, Onewheels are arguably extra maneuverable, transportable, and commuter-friendly than the Quatro. They will additionally deal with much more terrain.
How lengthy will it final?
The Quatro’s lifespan possible will depend on how arduous and the way usually you journey. The aluminum physique will in all probability final for ages, however the lithium battery, hub motors, and urethane wheels will possible put on out after a number of years — particularly when you journey day by day.
The aluminum physique will in all probability final for ages.
The very first thing to kick the bucket will undoubtedly be the urethane “shells” that shroud the board’s hub motors and function your wheels. When these shells put on out, you’ll have to switch them to make sure the board rides correctly. Sadly, shell replacements aren’t at present obtainable for the Quatro’s 88mm wheels and we don’t know the way a lot they’ll value — however primarily based on the price of shells for Acton’s other boards, we’re pretty sure they gained’t be low cost.
Our greatest guess is that this board can in all probability survive three to 6 years of abuse earlier than it craps out, and you’ll count on to pay at the least $200 for brand spanking new wheels after the primary 12 months or two.
Must you purchase it?
If all you’re after is an exhilarating journey, then sure. Add this monster to your buying cart with out hesitation. The Quatro is virtually assured to get your adrenaline pumping, and get you from A to B in file time.
If you’d like one thing extra sensible that you should utilize as an city commuting car, then we’d advocate trying into one thing smaller, lighter, and extra maneuverable.