The board for the people?
If you’re looking for a no-nonsense board to introduce you to the world of e-boarding, we highly advise you check out the Evolve Bamboo ONE board. Evolve is quite a prominent brand, with many top-notch boards being their making. Take, for example, the Bamboo GT and the Carbon GTX series, and everything will be clear to you.
Evolve is the brainchild of Jeff Anning, an Australian enthusiast for surfing, snowboarding and skateboarding. His vision was to create a series of electric boards that were not only of extremely high quality, but were fast, energy efficient and could carve like surf boards. And, thus, Evolve boards were born.
Evolve is most known for their flashing and performant GT series. These do come with a cost though. The Bamboo One should be the market filler. A premium mid class electric skateboard.
And with that, let us start our review of the Evolve Bamboo ONE board.
This board made it to the list of the Best Electric Skateboards for 2018! Check it out!
Evolve Bamboo One Specifications
The board is designed to be an efficient, fast and powerful board. It’s got quite a price tag attached to it, but it’s clear from what this board brings to the table why this is so. And, as always, we take a deep dive into the specs first:
Single Brushless Outrunner motor, 2000W
36V, 7 Ah Lithium Ion
Motors & Speed:
The motor this little board boasts is the very reason it carries the name it carries. The ONE features a single brushless outrunner electric motor with an incredible 2000 watt power output. Though many people prefer dual-motor boards, as they’re supposed to be more energy-efficient and produce more power, ONE’s motor can match them pound for pound. The motor is capable of propelling the board at a very high speed of about 20mph while using the standard 83mm wheels. However, Evolve offers several wheel sizes, with larger wheels being capable of ensuring higher top speeds. In addition, the motor is capable of propelling the board up a 20% incline with minimal loss of speed.
Like most boards, Evolve offers several speed modes. ONE has four speeds – Eco, Beginner, Fast and Pro. Of course, moving at higher speeds will drain the battery more quickly, so be careful to always keep an eye for the battery level indicator. The current speed you’re using is displayed on the remote via an LED light – blinking green for Beginner, green steady for Beginner, blue for Fast and red for Pro.
The motor’s power can generate quite the acceleration, so be wary of slamming hard on the trigger. The board hits max speed very quickly, even under max load, which might cause the board to simply fly out from under your legs if you’re not careful with the throttle.
Battery And Range
Bamboo ONE features a fairly large 36V, 7 Ah battery. The battery takes up almost the entirety of the board’s deck’s underside, and is not removable. This means that, once battery runs out of juice, you won’t be able to use the motor. This is slightly disadvantageous, as most modern boards feature interchangeable batteries that allow you to increase your board’s effective range. Even so, the board will be able to carry you some 20 miles, but this distance might vary, depending on the weight of the rider and the speed at which you’re travelling, as well as the inclines you’re encountering and other factors.
One of the cool things about ONE is that it features regenerative breaking. This allows the friction generated by the breaks to be transferred as power and feed the battery, ensuring a longer ride. The battery, once completely empty, will require some three and a half hours to charge, but, if you purchase Evolve’s quick charger, you can cut that time to about 80 minutes.
As for the deck, it’s made of bamboo layers to provide extensive flexibility, but, due to fewer layers being used in, for example, the Bamboo GT, the deck doesn’t flex as much as we would like. The surface of the deck features a sand-blasted grip tape that offers fair amounts of security, but isn’t as grippy as regular grip tape. The deck is some 37.5’’ long with a snub nose and a kick tail at the end. The kick tail aids in carving and turning, but it cannot be used to kick up the board, as the motor is mounted, somewhat awkwardly, directly underneath the tail and will impact the ground if you attempt the kick.
Talking about the trucks, you’re looking at custom double kingpin 12’’ Super carve trucks. These trucks offer excellent reactivity and handling, as well as shock absorption. Due to the relative stiffness of the deck, the trucks are there to take make the ride smoother, and take pressure off the deck. Their custom design allows you to personalize them to your preference, and you can adjust them for more control when moving fast or for better carving and turning capabilities.
Finally, let’s talk about the wheels. Bamboo ONE features stock 83mm wheels, as we’ve mentioned before, but you can also purchase a board with 97mm wheels that allow for higher speeds to be achieved. Finally, the wheels are mounted on ABEC 9 bearings, ensuring minimal friction and, thus, higher speed. Another note is that ONE can be used as a regular board if you run out of juice, as the motor offers surprisingly resistance when you’re simply kick-pushing it.
The Remote Controller and App
If there is one bad thing about the board, it’s that it has a very crappy remote. The whole thing is very flimsily built, and feels too soft and too light, as if it were a toy. The plastic is of low quality, and trigger is very sensitive, which can cause the board to simply jolt forward and leave you flat on your back. Additionally, the trigger is sometimes less than responsive, and it requires you to press it some distance before it starts working, and, again, resulting in a jolt. There’s also no safety, so you need to be watchful of accidental taps, which could send you flying.
Another very serious problem with the remote is that it sometimes simply disconnects. This happens at random times, seemingly, and can leave you dead in the water. This may not be a concern when you want to move, as you can still kick-push yourself, but it poses a problem when you want to stop. You might be approaching a red light and you want to break, but the controller will disconnect and you’ll have to use your foot to slow down.
The controller also shows you the speed selected, battery life of the board and battery life of the remote, top to bottom in this order.
Now, all of this wouldn’t pose such a problem if the board were able to connect to your smartphone, but, unfortunately, there exists no app for this board. That being said, there exists an Evolve app that lets you track your board’s GPS location, and other people that ride the same board, but you can’t set the speed for your board, nor check the battery life, troubleshoot or view any statistics for the board.
The Good & The Bad
Every board has its pros and its cons, the Acton Blink S2 is no different:
How does it stack up against the Competition?
In this section of our reviews we take a look at how the board stacks up against the competition in its price/spec class:
The Lou 3.0
- Top Speed: 21 mph
- Range: 15 miles
- Weight: 12 lbs
- Price: 990 $ *
Acton Blink S2
- Top Speed: 18 mph
- Range: 14 miles
- Weight: 15 lbs
- Price: check latest price here
Evolve Bamboo One
- Top Speed: 20 mph
- Range: 20 miles
- Weight: 16.3 lbs
- Price: 1049 $*
*Prices apply at time of writing (12/12/2017)
Conclusion, is this board for you?
The most definitive answer we can give is “maybe”. ONE is not a bad board by any means, but it’s not that good either, at least not as good to warrant a $1000 price tag. It’s a good ride and it handles wonderfully, but the controller issues really weigh it down. An app would also be deeply appreciated, but, alas, there isn’t one. So, if you’re looking for a beginner board, maybe you should skip this one unless you really, really, like carving on the roads, and go for GT or GTX series.