I just got off the phone to Evolve and they said ‘Hey, we’ve been working on something really exciting and we want to show you what it is.’
So tomorrow morning, I’m flying up to see Evolve at their HQ to see what it’s all about.
Hang around because I want to tell you all about it.
I took a tour of Evolve’s HQ here in Australia and I go to see exactly how it all works behind the scenes.
It was super interesting to see what it takes to bring these boards to life.
I also got to meet Jeff and the amazing crew behind Evolve who have all been working super hard lately to bring you something really, really cool.
After the tour, Jeff and Matty pulled me aside and brought with them two big boxes.
Inside the first two boxes was the brand new Evolve GTR electric skateboards.
The two I got to see first were the Carbon GTR with AT wheels and the other was a Bamboo GTR with AT wheels.
Jeff gave me an entire run of what’s new on the GTR series. And I want to tell you all about it, but first, I just had to take them for a ride.
Let me be clear.
These boards are powerful, there’s no doubt about it, but they’re more than just that.
They are smooth carving machines that have been designed to offer the best riding feel possible.
And after taking them for a spin, Evolve sure have delivered.
Let’s dial the hype back for a bit and take a close look at the specs and components of these new Evolve GTR electric skateboards.
The new GTR boards are completely redesigned from the ground up and share nothing from the previous series.
So, hopefully they have addressed some of the common and renowned issues that a lot of the previous boards have had. Let’s see.
The Bamboo GTR deck is made of three layers of bamboo with two layers of fibreglass.
And the all new grip tape design that is reminiscent of those old muscle cars sticks true to the GTR name.
There’s extra truck holes on the deck, so you can extend or shorten the wheelbase depending on what kind of ride you want to have.
You can lengthen out the wheelbase for long, sturdy cruises, or shorten them for the ability to have fast and sharp turning.
But here’s the great thing about this deck.
Because of the concave shape, you can feel the edges of the board on both your toes and your heels perfectly.
So you always know where your feet are without having to dart your eyes down to have a look.
Along with the concave shape, the Bamboo GTR also has an incredible flex to it.
It really has that old school longboard feel to it, but with the added benefit of electric power!
The ride is silky smooth and you can carve effortlessly all day long.
The Carbon GTR deck, is handmade in China with a brand new design. It has a beautiful matte finish on it and is repping the honeycomb grip tape from the Bamboo GTX series.
It’s also nice to see that the grip tape on the Carbon GTR goes all the way to the edge now too.
The Evolve GTR boards are using the same Super Carve trucks, however, it is now made through a forging process that makes them super strong. Like super saiyan strong.
And that’s for all of the hardware on the board, including the motor plates. It’s all forged metal, so we should see far less, if any, bending and breaking of motor plates and trucks.
The GTR street boards come with 97mm urethane wheels that are made in the USA by the same manufacturer as top end skateboard wheel brands like ABEC.
The chemical make-up of these wheels make them really grippy, so you can carve hard and stay in control but you don’t lose any speed performance.
Evolve offer them in three different colours, white, black and orange. Plus you can put on any other longboard style wheels that have the holed cores, like Kegels and FlyWheels.
The AT setup runs the same Pneumatic tires as the previous AT boards. But now you can also get them in a smaller size of 6”
And they come in a ton of different colour combos.
As for the bearings, Evolve are now using Precision ceramic bearings which offer reduced friction so that you can squeeze every inch of range out of the GTR boards.
One of the things I’m excited about is Evolve’s new battery.
Evolve have custom designed this new battery system that they are calling the Power Flex Battery.
And check this out, you can completely flex this thing around on itself.
The unique thing about this battery system is that it doesn’t have any wires on the pack at all.
The cells are spot welded to a PCB which connect them to the BMS at one end.
A really cool piece of tech.
The battery pack is a 10S4P system running Samsung 18650-35E cells.
Now, Evolve have had battery issues in the past, in particular, the infamous ‘battery sag’ where the battery’s level indicator would drop significantly followed by the board flicking down into ECO while it was under high amounts of stress, like riding up hills or in grass with the AT setup.
Evolve have now fixed this by rewriting their software so that the battery’s level indicator decreases incrementally 1% at a time regardless of the power output.
This will prevent the ESC from thinking the battery is lower than it actually is and you won’t experience any unexpected mode drops.
On top of this, as the board begins to near 0%, you’ll continue to have access to the same amount of power as you would at 100%.
So, climbing hills at 8% battery won’t be an issue at all. You’ll still power up them with ease.
Battery sag, GAWN!
Alongside their standard battery, Evolve are also releasing a travel friendly battery pack.
It sits just under the 160Wh restriction, so you can fly with it, however, you’ll still need to get approval from your airline prior to your flight.
On the Bamboo GTR, the battery also has dual USB ports which can power USB-powered accessories, some of which Evolve are offering, which I’ll talk about in a sec. But, I am also excited to see what the eSkate community comes up with to take advantage of these extra ports.
Both the Bamboo GTR and the Carbon GTR have a silicon gasket around the edges of the enclosure to seal them up tight and prevent any moisture from getting in.
The electrics are then also housed inside a secondary enclosure for added protection.
Both the Bamboo and the Carbon GTR are running dual 1500w belt driven motors. That’s 3000w of total power that these bad boys are pumping out.
But what’s interesting about this motor setup is that they are hooked up with detachable connectors.
The connectors are proprietary so you won’t easily be able to put any set of motors on there, so I’m hanging out to see what Evolve have in store for this.
The R2 remote was one of the other major pain points for Evolve riders.
Failing to establish an initial connection and experiencing complete drop outs while riding were among the most common.
With the release of the GTR, Evolve have done a complete overhaul to their R2 remote.
It still looks like an R2 for the most part, but it’s insides are all upgraded.
The board and remote now connect via bluetooth. And it happens almost instantaneously.
I rode the new GTR boards for over 50km while I was at Evolves warehouse and I didn’t once get a single drop out nor did I ever have trouble connecting the board.
This is a huge sigh of relief for all Evolve riders out there. I would sometimes spend 10-15 minutes just trying to pair my Carbon GT board and remote before a ride.
Welcome bluetooth. Thank god you’re here.
You’ve still got four riding modes on the GTR series, however, they are a little bit different.
It starts at the beginner friendly ECO mode, then moves up to PRO, then the top mode is GTR.
But then, if you click up once more, you’ll find a CUSTOM mode. Here, you can modify the power of your board to suit your exact preferences.
You can set it to push harder than the stock GTR mode, or you can even dial it down to be safer than ECO. And then anything in between. It’s all up to you.
To make these modifications, Evolve are releasing a mobile App where you can easily make all the changes you want.
With the app you’ll also be able to track your rides and see a leaderboard of all riders from around the world.
And the app is not exclusively for Evolve riders either. Anyone with any board can use this app and join in on the fun.
All of the accessories now come in this cool little carry case. In here, you’ll find the charger, remote in its case, wrist lanyard, Y shaped skate tool, spare nuts and bolts and safety manuals.
I love these little cases. It saves me from carrying everything around in my helmet all the time..
Evolve are going to be offering a ton of extras next to their GTR boards.
There will be the Air Safe battery pack, different coloured street and AT wheels, coloured remote casings and a cool set of USB-powered Prism LED strips for under the board.
Evolve have also partnered with the helmet company, Thousand to offer a stylish head protection option.
Because of the limited amount of time I had at Evolve HQ, I wasn’t able to do my full set of tests.
But I did do some, so let me show you what I found.
To do the range test, I had to do it in 4 different segments.
On the first trip I managed 29.9km or 18.6 miles and I went from 100% battery to 38%.
The second trip was 10.4km which is 6.5 miles
The third was 6.1km – 3.8 miles
And the final trip was 3.4km which is 2.1 miles. And that last trip was from a battery level of 3% to dead flat.
When I hit 0%, the acceleration switched off but I could still use the brakes. This safety feature is going to save riders a lot of broken bones and money spent on hospital bills.
So in total, I hit 48.5km which is 30.14 miles. That’s more than any board I’ve ever ridden.
I didn’t do an official speed test, but on my first ride of the range test you’ll see I maxed out at 43.9km/h 27.3mph which is damn fast, and there was definitely still more juice to squeeze.
Here’s my really precise and detailed brake test…
They are damn smooooth.
They don’t jerk, and they are so powerful they can bring you to a stop from 30km/h within 10m. That’s 19mph within 33ft.
That’s confidence to ride at higher speeds and still be sure you can stop in time of any unexpected obstacles.
I took the Carbon GTR out to see what its climbing capabilities are.
I rode up this 16.8º hill which is 30.1%
And it powered up with ease. Loose stones, changing terrain and an AT setup.
Climbing hills in the street setup will allow you to tackle even steeper hills.
So, let’s just go ahead and say that the Evolve GTR boards are going to be able to tackle pretty much any hill near you. Even in San Fran.
So, how do you get it?
Evolve are launching a brand new website which will also have a Board Builder where you can pick and choose your accessories to create your very own unique electric skateboard.
You’ll also be able to get the new Evolve GTR electric skateboards from your local Evolve website and the many retail distributors they have around the world.
As for price, it’s still unannounced at the moment. But keep an eye on the description below, I’ll update it there when they announce it.
Overall, Evolve are living by their name and are truly evolving.
Their mission was to create an electric skateboard that is durable, safe and offers you an amazing riding feel that will leave you grinning from ear to ear.
And the ride definitely left me smiling. Their durability and longevity is yet to be seen, that will only come with time. But Evolve have taken every measure to ensure the quality of their parts are second to none.
What I like most however, is that they have listened to their customers.
They have not only fixed the battery sag and remote connectivity issues, but they have gone above and beyond to make the entire experience far better.
Let me hear what you have to say about the new Evolve GTR electric skateboards.
Will you be jumping at the chance to get one or are you going to wait to see how they perform in the hands of riders.
Thanks to Evolve for having me up at their HQ and giving me the opportunity to ride their new GTR electric skateboards.
This video was not sponsored, nor was I given a free board. It’s a straight up review of what you can expect from the new GTR series.
If you have any questions, let me know below. And Like and Subscribe if you had fun watching.
Catch you soon!
Let me kick off this Riptide R1 Review by telling you about the brains behind the company.
Riptide is a dedicated company out of Long Beach, CA. They are focused on creating fun and innovative electric skateboards for boarders from the snow, surf and skate scene.
They started out as a Crowd funded project on Indiegogo and soon they 200% of their funding goal!
Since then, they have added another eboard to their lineup giving them a total of three different boards. All of which are awesome, but for today, we’ll be focusing solely on the Riptide R1.
Who Is This Electric Skateboard For?
The Riptide R1 electric skateboard is fantastic for commuting and casual cruising. The compact design and kick tail make it easy to manoeuvre obstacles and people in crowded, inner city areas. While it has enough range to get you to where you need to be first thing in the morning.
The handles on either side of the board make it easy to carry around when you’re not riding it. Especially useful when getting on to public transport.
The Riptide R1 has a short and sweet cruiser styled deck that is 31” long x 9” wide.
The short length combined with the kick tail make it nimble and easy to control, while the wide platform assists to keep you super steady on the board.
The deck is made from 7-ply Canadian Maple which is common in traditional skateboard decks and is very durable and sturdy.
The micro-concave shape of the deck hugs your feet so that you won’t have a hard time latching onto the board.
Like I mentioned earlier, there’s a kick tail which allows you to fast track curbs easily which is crazy fun!
Cruisers are cool for manoeuvring around the city, gathering speed quickly, and the broad shape of the deck allows you to distribute your weight more equally.
Also, the built-in handles are great for carrying around when jumping on the train or walking into a cafe to grab your morning coffee.
The Wheels & Trucks
Riptide created their own custom 83mm 78a wheels to fit their board perfectly.
The 83mm wheels are smaller than what you would usually find on an electric skateboard. I believe Riptide have done this to give the R1 as close to a regular skateboard feeling as possible.
The 78a durometer makes for a soft wheel which is perfect for absorbing those rough surfaces that the small wheels might feel. This turns the ride into a smooth and silky experience.
There’s also the upgraded 90mm 75a ABEC11 wheels that are simply mind-blowing when it comes to its durability and ability to reach high speeds.
The Riptide R1 is powered by 18650 Lithium Ion batteries which is one of the most common battery types you can find in electric skateboards.
Because of the usage of 18650 Lithium-Ion battery, it has a long lifecycle and is very safe.
The battery will get you up to 7 miles of range on a single charge which is the perfect amount for most people riding to work or the station.
When it comes to charging, the standard charger takes 3.5 hours to charge from empty to full, but you also have the option to buy a fast charger which will speed up the charging time of your R1 to only 90 minutes.
The R1 is propelled by two belt-driven motors with a combined power of 1800W.
The motors are geared at a ratio of 3:1 which makes accelerating to its top speed of 18mph a breeze and climbing most hills a piece of cake.
The ESC & Remote
The R1 has three riding modes: Beginner, Eco and Fast.
The beginner mode restricts acceleration and top speed, perfect for learning.
Eco mode is a small step up from the beginner mode but still has a reduced acceleration and top speed which will allow your to maximise your range.
The fast mode unleashes the full power of the R1 without any restrictions on speed or acceleration.
What's In The Box
What Could Be Done Better?
As with all electric skateboards these days, there is always room for improvement.
The biggest issue that most people have with the R1 is that the braking is a little too soft.
This is something that the Team at Riptide are aware of. They tried to find the middle ground between people who have never skated before that might struggle with strong braking power and those who are more advanced and could manage.
If you are a more advanced rider, then you can always learn to foot brake, which to me makes this board more and more like a traditional skateboard, which I believe Riptide were aiming for.
I scoured the internet for other Riptide R1 riders and found a ton of incredibly happy people. Their reviews below say it all!
The Riptide R1 electric skateboard is a fantastic choice for casual riders and commuters.
Whether you’re travelling to work or school, or cruising down the beach boulevard, it’s an excellent board that allows you to bask in the environment of any city and explore the world.
It has enough juice to get you where you need to go around town, while having the speed to give you a thrill of ride.
It’s truly one of the most portable electric skateboards available, perfect for taking on the train, into cafes, shops and hiding under your desk at work.