I wanted to put this together because although there are lots of reviews and youtube videos out there I think most are from reviewers who have been sent out demo models or have an affiliation.
This is my view from the perspective of an ordinary customer buying an electric skateboard with my own money and going through the same process that you will probably have.
I’ll keep updating this as I go along, as of today’s update (29 July 2021) I have put 1,739km (1,080 Miles) on my board and I love it. I broke my arm a few months ago, “wet roads and eBoards don’t mix”. but that hasn’t stopped me. I wanted an eSkate for about 8 years before I put my hand in my pocket and it’s been everything I thought it would be.
Areas I’ll Cover.
You can skip to the part you’re interested in or bounce about.
- Pricing ➢
- Ordering ➢
- Delivery Time ➢
- First Look ➢
- Pros & Cons ➢
- Quality ➢
- Design ➢
- Deck ➢
- Wheels ➢
- Motors ➢.
- Battery & Range ➢
- Remote ➢
- Riding ➢
- Weight and Portability ➢.
- Upgrades ➢
- Riptide Cups & Evolve Bushes ➢
- Conclusion ➢
- New to Esk8? ➢
- New to Skateboarding? ➢
Verreal play a bit of a game on the website with the price but if you look through the site and the videos Vic posted when they introduced the board you’ll see it was designed to be a $700 board.
They try to pitch it as being a slightly cheaper version of the Evolve Bamboo at $1,399 with a standard discount of 36% making the board $899 and regally run discount codes giving you $200 off getting us right back to that $699.
This gives them the opportunity to play around with the pricing and test the market without looking like they are changing the price. A good business decision and a nice bit of marketing.
On the topic of Evolve, they don’t hide the fact that it’s pretty much a copy. This will give you some options if you want to upgrade this board.
At $699 I think it’s a great value piece of kit, it’s only when you start adding some of the options that you start to lose out and this again is a nice bit of marketing on their side. Hats of to Vic and the team they understand marketing and profitability.
I’ll go into this a little more when we look at upgrades.
I got a little carried away when ordering and opted for the biggest battery 19.2 Ah Tesla, I wanted lots of range and I got it, pitty the remote starts to pack in after 20 miles or so but it’s easy to charge when you take a break.
The fast charger, if you have the big battery it takes longer to charge so I wanted to cut that time so I could get back out quicker.
The 120mm cloud wheels. Love the wheels but a big mistake buying them as an upgrade but I’ll cover that later.
The ordering process is straight forward with Paypal integration (I like having a little protection especially when ordering from China).
At the time of ordering delivery was advertised as being 30-35 days, Vic has since updated this after lots of complaints about the time it takes to get the boards, but more on that in delivery.
I’ve messaged Vic a few times and he always gets back to me quickly with answers, not always the answer I wanted but he’s generally on the ball.
Update – Vic hasn’t been quite so quick getting back to me (or just hasn’t responded) when I’ve contacted him about the problems I’m having with the deck screws failing. This is the major difference in dealing with companies like Verreal vs talking to Evolve and where the difference in price starts to show.
The only answer I’ve had is that they’ve now fixed the problem.
If you look at the reviews or any forums or the Facebook page you’ll see countless comments of people saying “where’s my board” “What the hell is going on, am I ever getting my board” and some quite irate comments.
My board arrived on day 73, I’m in Barcelona at the moment (Hiding from UK Lockdown and the winter back home). With Brexit I think UK orders will have a slightly longer delay because when I was tracking the shipment, EU orders were released from customs in Poland before the UK orders by a few days and of course they’ll now have to go through the customs checks again when they reach the UK.
Vic has set up a distribution centre in California so this will greatly help US customers. At the time of writing this, there are limited options for wheels, chargers and batteries but it’s a big step in the right direction.
I know this is a personal thing but I think the Verreal RS is a beautiful looking board and the look was one of my deciding factors when I picked it.
The board comes pretty well packaged and already set up. As well as the options you selected you get a skate tool, a couple of Alan keys and a bag spare nuts and bolts. At the moment they are also including the bash guard. I wish I’d have known that before I ordered on separately, now I have two! I could have saved myself $69 but I have a plan for the spare and maybe a self build back in the UK.
It would have been nice if they had included a couple of spare belts as this is the normal failure on belt drive boards. I expected to get the standard wheels included with he board and when you look at the numbers you probably should but I’ll go through that here ➢
Check all screws, nuts and belt tensions. I had a couple of loose nuts and the belts were a bit tight out of the box.
Overall the Verreal RS is made from good parts where it counts but they have cut corners on some of the smaller things.
The Good – Pros.
The Motors – The 6368 motors are quite a bit beefier than the ones Evolve use and they work really well, giving lots of torque even on 120mm wheels.
Trucks – Good solid construction and the double kingpin design feels great carving at speeds up to 20mph on the standard bushings.
The Deck – I like a more rigid board and this one is RIGID! the w-concave along with the grip tape feel really secure and give you lots of confidence when carving and cornering, it feels like your feet are glued to the board.
The Bad – Cons.
Nuts and Bolts – Some of the hardware is not up to scratch with things like the heads on truck mounting plates already being rounded and unremovable.
Battery Mounting – I’ve not had a problem yet but there are lots of reports of the deck inserts breaking and lots of people have swapped them for M5/6 bolts and fibre nuts. UPDATE – I’ve had problems, 3 of the 4 corners have failed, I’ll be replacing these with some M6 bolts today.
Bushings – This is another area that feels like they’ve cheeped out, I’ve played around dialling in the bushings but they’re not quite there. I’ve ordered some replacements from Evolve (see bushings below).
Motor Cables – I noticed on some of the boards out there that the motor cables have a braided protective sleeve but mine doesn’t. Is this one of the differences between the review models sent out and what the average consumer gets? I’m a little worried because the retaining clips are metal and will cut into the cables at some point. I need to arrange some protection soon for this.
If you look at the Evolve Bamboo GT from 2017 you might notice some similarities. I think it’s a beautiful design.
It’s a nicely put together board only let down by a few cost cutting options.
The low profile battery pack and motors make it look sleek and tidy. The RS branding isn’t too in your face.
At 94cm (37″) I’d like an extra inch or two for my stance but that’s the story of my life I guess. It’s comfortable. total length with the bash guard and 120mm Cloud wheels is 106cm (41 1/2″).
Because it is such a rigid board it does send quite a bit of vibration to your feet on rough surfaces even with the cloud wheels but that’s the payoff.
120mm Cloud Wheels.
I went for the upgraded 120mm Cloud Wheels (The very thing I’ll advise you not to do). it’s not that they are bad, I love them and think they are a good match to the board.
They’re not an AT wheel and not a street wheel and although they don’t do either of these really well they are good at fitting between the two and dealing with city riding in Barcelona where you’ll have a mix of surfaces, some cracked pavements and a few bumps.
From smooth tarmac to loose gravel they feel fine and deal with moving from one to the other perfectly.
You’re not going to get the same level of comfort as you would from aired tyres but you’re not going to compromise your range as much either.
The curved tread means your contact patch is smaller than standard urethane wheels so you lose some grip and they can let go if you push too hard but that also helps reduce rolling resistance and help you on your range.
I was worried I’d lose quite a bit of torque with the 120mm wheels but the board still pulls strong enough even on steep hills.
They aren’t the perfect allrounder giving you the best of both worlds but they are a good compromise giving you real-world usability.
97mm Abec11 Flywheels.
I picked these up when Evolve UK had them on offer in December. I was in Spain so I didn’t get to try them out until I nipped back to the UK in June then returned to Barcelona in July.
They look great on the board and the smaller size makes the board sit a little lower. The motor pullies from my cloud wheels slip straight on so an easy swap.
They make the board feel more skate-y, more like a traditional longboard. I expected more grip but even when they were warmed up on some good hot tarmac they didn’t feel grippier, maybe because you can hear and feel them more as they lose traction and you get that skate sound. There is also an increase in the vibration feel in your feet, but that’s no surprise, smaller thinner urathane wheels with a bigger contact patch.
On smooth surfaces, they feel great, as I said much more of a longboard feel but they’re not as well suited to the mixed surfaces you get here in Barcelona. I had two offs where the front wheels dug in on things my 120 cloud wheels would have bumped over. Nothing serious and I just had to run off the board. (nothing broken this time).
If I knew I was going to be riding on a smooth surface all day I would use these wheels. The Abec11 97mm Flywheels have a great skate feel to them, I love the sound and feel but for everyday use over the mix of surfaces, lumps, bumps and loose gravel in Barcelona I’m going to stick with the 120mm Cloudwheels.
I will get my hands on some AT wheels at some point and add my thoughts on those. I am pushing back on that a little because it seems and looks a lot less like a skateboard and I’m worried I’m going to love them for the comfort and handling.
Double Kingpin Trucks – Love them, they carve so nicely and with the upgraded bushed from Evolve the board feels stable and predictable.
The Dual 6368 1500w 170KV motors are probably what makes this board stand out. The size makes them quite prominent on the board and they have lots of torque and power, I’ve not noticed them getting too hot and take pretty much everything in their stride.
I’ve been out with my partner a few times on her Xiaomi scooter and even in speed 1 I’ll zip past her on sport mode and fly up hills that’d have her having to get off and walk.
I opted for the Tesla 19.2Ah just before they discontinued it. I asked Vic during an Instagram live why they dropped it and he said they had some issues with this pack, I’ll have to see if mine is one of the problem packs.
I wanted good range, partly because I’m in Barcelona at the moment and it is a fantastic city to explore on a board so good range helps but also because not totally draining this kind of cell will increase the life span.
Yesterday I did a run of 28 miles (45 KM) and I still had 2 bars left on the battery, that’s pretty good as it’s still winter here, not that it’s that cold I think it was around 14C (57F). The remote didn’t do as well and that tends to start complaining around the 20-mile mark but it’s easily charged while you stop for a coffee, I use this power pack because it charges really quick and has tons of capacity.
Note. I was cruising at around 14mph (22km/h) with a few spirits to 20mph (32km/h). Some hills and loose gravel.
It fits pretty well in my hand and the thumbwheel sits in a natural position. There is a little roll-on and a slight delay in communication but it’s hardly noticeable.
The screen is clear and easy to see your speed without getting distracted but you’re better judging your speed by feel and your confidence.
With the 19.2Ah battery, the remote will be dead long before the board is but I’ve started carrying a small phone power bank so it’s easy to give it a charge when I take a break.
I’ve been out a few times with my partner on her mountain bike and because I’m spending more time at a slower speed I don’t get as much range from the remote. This makes sense because the remote is doing the same work at 10mph as it is at 30mph.
Once you have the bushings dialled in a little to suit your style and weight it’s a very stable board and carves fairly easily. (See bushing upgraded below ➢).
The torque and acceleration curve feels pretty much the same in all 3 modes, the only difference is when it stops accelerating.
The torque is good enough to deal with pretty much any hill and only a few will actually slow the board down. When I’ve been out with my partner on her mountain bike I’ll often put my hand on her back and let the board push us both along for a while, including hills!
Braking is nice and feels progressive, it is sharp enough to catch you off guard if your weight isn’t right but I think they’ve tuned it well. it’s strong enough to keep you at a crawl on most downhills but not stop. You’ll have to get off the board for that. Even on a small incline, it will struggle to keep you stationary but maybe it’s a good time to step off and give your feet a break.
Weight and Portability.
The board was designed to be ridden and not carried, it’s far from a light board but I normally carry it the same way I carry a standard longboard, under my arm with the base facing out, be aware most of the weight is at the back so get the balance right.
Alternatively, if you have the bash guard fitted that’s pretty easy to grab and let it roll on the front wheels.
The place I am staying at the moment in Barcelona is on the 5th floor with no lift so it can be a bit of a hike up those stairs with the board under your arm especially after a 30-mile ride but think of it as an extra workout.
I’ll split this into two, first Verreal upgrades and the costs you need to consider when specing up your board and then I’ll talk about upgrades I have done, am going to do or suggest should be done.
We’ll start with the standard board and I’ll include the prices of the standard upgradeable parts on the Verreal site so you also know what’s been taken away If you add that to the upgrade price you’ve got real the value.
Some upgrades make more sense than others.
Although they don’t sell the standard wheels as a kit if you price the wheels, pullies and belts on their site it’ll cost you $144, that doesn’t include wheel bearings, spacers and speed rings so I’ll allow an extra $20 making the standard 85mm Grey wheels valued at $164 for the comparison.
Prices based on Verreals website at the time of writing this – I have mentioned this to Vic so he might have taken my advice and adjusted the pricing structure.
|Wheels||Kit Cost||Upgrade Cost||Total Cost||Total if bought as an addition||Upgrade cost including loosing the STD 85mm|
|STD 85mm Greys||$164||N/A||$699||N/A||N/A|
|97mm Glow Wheels||$109||$30||$729||$808||$194|
|105mm Cloud Wheels||$179||$120||$829||$878||$284|
|120mm Cloud Wheels||$169||$120||$829||$868||$284|
If you know you will never want to use the standard 85mm wheels than the upgrade will save you some money but for my example of going for the 120mm Cloud wheels, the upgrade has cost me $284 in real terms and for an extra $39 I could have had both sets of wheels.
If I was buying again I’d buy the board with the standard 85mm wheels and buy the cloud wheels separately either from Verreal or direct from iCloudWheels.com. Delivery might be a bit quicker direct from the manufactures and they often run discounts.
This wasn’t as straight forward as they don’t list either the 16Ah LS or the 19.2Ah Tesla on the site now and maybe the need to have two batteries isn’t as relevant. Either way, it’s interesting to see the figures.
|Battery||Item Price||Upgrade Cost||Total Cost||Total if bought as an addition||Upgrade cost including loosing the STD 12Ah|
Again this is more about good marketing and maximising profit from Verreal. The 20Ah Mega Battery would cost you £430 if you buy it from them (you could save by buying from a battery maker but that’s another story). Once you take into account the removal of the STD 12Ah Samsung, that $430 battery has just cost you $559.
Again Vic is running a business and needs to make a profit but I think he is being a little greedy in a few places or maybe it’s just a good business decision. That’s up to you to decide how you feel about it.
The 3A charger is priced at $69 and the 4A at $99 – The upgrade cost is $30 so makes perfect sense. Because I opted for the 19.2Ah battery I went with the fast charger simply because a bigger battery will take longer to charge and I wanted to mitigate that extra time.
Safety Gear – Not cool, I know but you’re not going at a speed you can jump off and run and as good as you might be on a board and as observant as you are some other “&%$@” will do something and they’ll cause you to come off or you’ll miss something in the road that bites that front wheel.
At a minimum wear a helmet, I went for a bright orange one, if I’m going to wear a helmet it’s going to be one that shouts at people so they see me coming. I also have knee pads over my jeans and elbow pads under a denim jacket.
A backpack is really handy to keep a few tools and bits you might need as well as a drink, snacks and I keep a phone power bank to charge my remote on longer runs. I’ve put it in safety because it also Offers a little extra protection. I opted for one designed to be used on motorbike.
It’s a little lower profiled, secures around my waste and has a semi rigid outer shell for a little more protection as well as having reflective patches and strips.
Bash Guard – those motors are not cheap and it’ll be a hassle to swap then out. Verreal have been including a bash guard kits with there orders recently but even if they haven’t with your order I think it is a must to protect the motors. Plus I like the look and it’s handy to grab to walk with the board.
Lights – Better to be seen, everybody pushes Shredlights and I’m sure they are fantastic, I opted for something a little more budget-friendly from Amazon, Link Below. Even if you’re not going out in the dark at least a red flashing light on the back will make you more noticeable. You’re likely to spend at least some time on the road and anything that helps cars see you is well worth having.
Bushings – The bushings that come with the board are pretty stiff and I guess they’d have to be to have a double kingpin board have any chance of hitting close to 30mph. I’m more about carving and cruising, at 50 my need for speed is limited to being inside a car so I’ve fitted a set of Evolve 98a bushings board side and 95a truck side as well as some riptide pivot cups.
This has made a big difference to the board and it turns so much faster, easier and more predictably. Have I’ve lost a little stability at higher speeds? Maybe, but if I have that’s ok with me. At 15-20mph it actually feels very stable.
I was worried they’d be too loose so when I went out the first time I did take the original set with me in case I decided to swap them back in while I was out but in no time I was delighted with the new set up.
If you do this be aware that the Evolve bushes are thinner so you’ll need to tighten the nut down quite a bit more than the standard Verreal bushes.
Update – Maybe it’s my confidence level (and skill or course 🤪) but I’m finding the new bushings very stable at speed, I hit 30mph (48km/h) the other day very briefly and the board felt solid. I do have them tightened down just a little more than ideal but I was very pleased with how they felt.
Wheels – I’ve also ordered a set of 97mm Abec Flywheels from Evelove, just to have options and for when I know I’m going to be on pretty flat smooth ground. They are waiting for me back in the UK so it might be a while before I can check them out.
At the time Evolve had them on sale for £80. I did consider the 107s but because I already have 120mm wheels I thought it would be better to have something a little different and closer to what I have run on my longboards.
Nuts & Bolts – I’d like to swap out some of the hardware, as I said earlier they’ve cut corners but fortunately, they cut them on fairly easy to change and inexpensive parts, I’d be more upset if they’d have cheaped out on the motors.
A new set of mounting plate bolts for the trucks and 10 m6 nuts and bolts to hold the battery enclosure isn’t going to cost me too much. Vic says they have fixed the earlier problems with the deck inserts that hold the battery but I have already had 3 that have failed and is going to be a bit of a hassle to get them out. I’d say swap them as soon as possible.
My beck fixings have started failing so I have ordered some M6 bolts with flat-ish tops and fibre locking nuts from Amazon that should look pretty nice and fix the problem. I’ll include a link if you want to check them out.
I opted for flat rather than countersunk but that’s a personal choice. I’ll leave the existing fixings in the deck if possible and might even do a little repair on some of the holes they are a bit big.
Bottom Protector – The battery enclosure is metal and pretty tough but I’ve scratched it a bit already and might see if I can find something to stick on it and give a little extra protection.
A slightly frustrating 73-day wait for the board to be delivered, a little disappointing to see corners cut on some very basic parts but the board is everything and more than I thought it would be. I’ve been longboarding for about 8 years but at 50 pushing isn’t much fun over a long distance.
I started watching Jeff and evolution of Evolve on YouTube in 2012 and I was fascinated with what he was doing but when I saw the first twin motor bamboos I knew I had to have one. If you’re like me and can’t quite stretch to the Evolve price tag or you’re looking for something with more range this board is seriously worth a look, just understand there are things you’ll need to update quickly and you’re not going to get the same level of support you might expect.
After 3 weeks with the board and going out pretty much every day doing runs upto about 30 miles (48km), I’ve covered about 350 miles (565km). My feet ache after a few minutes when I first get on the board, my Achilles tendon sometimes cramps but that passes quickly and everything loosens up nicely once I get riding.
I’m out on the board most days and it’s a fantastic way to get around Barcelona, I love riding my board and I always look forward to getting out again tomorrow.
Would I feel different on an Evolve or any other brand, I doubt it, e-skating is about the ride and pleasure. Getting out there on your own and being lost in that focus and feeling as you carve along, or out with a group enjoying the sense of community, helping each other or talking the crap blokes talk when out in groups.
Whatever name is printed on your board or deck you’ve cobbled together yourself, it makes no difference, just get out there and enjoy.
New to Esk8?
If you have experience skateboarding and especially longboarding you’re going to get comfortable on an electric board pretty quickly. Having a board accelerate and being able to brake take. a little getting use to but that’s the big bonus with these things.
Find a nice open space and practice accelerating and breaking, you’ll quickly get to grips with the placement of your weight.
Unless you’ve been doing downhill the speed will take some time to get used to but any snowboarders out there will feel at home pretty quickly.
New to Skateboarding?
There’s nothing like jumping in at the deep end! Take it easy, get used to positioning your feet. Again a good open space to practice will pay off.
Bend your legs, this will help hugely with your stability, make it easier to turn, accelerate and brake as well be your suspension. Put your weight on your front foot when accelerating and on your back foot when braking.
When you see something dangerous the automatic response is to tense your legs and go upright, this is more likely to have you spat off the board, keeping your legs bent with some flex will avoid most problems.
Gently transfer your weight from your toes to your heals to start a turn, it helps if you rotate your body in the direction you want to go.
Is it Like Riding an Electric Scooter?
As far as they are both electric and have wheels, I guess so but the experience and feel are very different. Pretty much anybody can hop into a scooter and be confident in no time.
An electric skateboard takes a little more practice and balance but it is also so much more fun. Maybe it’s the danger element or the sense of achievement but for me, they are worlds apart.
I learned this riding motorbikes, you will go where you look. Most people crash because they focus on the dangerous obstacle. When you do this you subconsciously steer towards it. focus and look where you want to go.
You have a much better chance to dodge that pothole if you are looking at the route that misses it. If you are focused on the pothole odds are you’re going to hit it.
Safety gear is not an option if you never need it fantastic but that one day you do could be life-changing.