Welcome to the ElectricBoarder review of the Jed Board AWD!
We are beginning to consider the compilation of the “best of the best” skateboards for the year 2019. Which board can beat out our 2018 winner, the Enertion Raptor 2? We believe that the top contender for next year’s top spot is the Jed Board All Wheel Drive. Note that this is more of a preview rather than a full review since we have not done any hands-on testing. Furthermore, until it is fully tested and stressed by a greater range of users on a daily basis, we will not assign a ratings grade yet.
Jed Boards, incorporated on the island of Singapore, was founded in 2016 by Jeremy Bogan, an Aussie. What does Jed stand for? Nothing, just a name and I do know someone by that name. The owner selected the name to make it a more personable brand (“This is my Jed board!). What Mr. Bogan though has done in the past two years to productize the Jed Board AWD has been nothing short of amazing. I travel to Singapore 1-2 times per year and I hope I can meet him in person along with maybe a facility tour on my next trip there. Anyhow, for about the same price as the Raptor 2, you can purchase a board that (in my opinion) may be of a better value. In any case, you be the judge. Here is a brief comparison:
Enertion Raptor 2
Top Speed: 29.2 mph (49 km/h)
Range: 25 mile (40 km)
Weight: 22 lbs (10 kg)
Battery: 432 Wh (40 cells)
Charge Time: 120 - 150 min.
Motor: 2x 3360 W
Dimensions: 38.3" x 10.8" (97.3 cm x 27.4 cm)
Warranty: 12 months (110% Refund Policy)
Price: $1,749 USD
Jed Board AWD
Top Speed: 25 mph (40 km/h)
Range: 25 mile (40 km)
Weight: 16.8 lbs (7.6 kg)
Battery: 2x 160 Wh (16 cells per pack)
Charge Time: 45 - 60 min.
Motor: 4 x 1200W
Dimensions: 42" x 9" (106 cm x 22.8 cm)
Warranty: 24 months
Price: $1,599 USD
A Game Changer?
The numbers for both boards compare well, but behind the number is where the board truly begins to stand out as you look “under the hood.” My background is in the avionics industry, so I highly appreciate what the founder has done to design a board that is targeted for daily use. It is an well-integrated package of synergistic technologies and the team at Jed Boards are dedicated to meticulously test every aspect of its design. If you trace its brief history on Instagram, you can see how every component of the board was chosen, integrated, and tested in a very thorough manner.
From a big picture perspective, the Jed Board AWD takes another big step toward a viable and practical solution for those daily commuters who travel less than 10 miles. This is the case with over 50 percent of the commuting population in the US and probably holds true for all those who live in big cities worldwide. The appearance of the board is very eco-friendly with a very generous deck size of 42 inches (106 cm) in length and 9 inches (23 cm) in width. It does not flex as much as the average board, but the size of the board brings a sense of stability and personal security to entice the less risk-averse crowd to give it a try. (Most longboard sizes are less than 42 inches (106 cm) in length).
Tesla Batteries and Range
The Jed Board is fully charged in 45 to 60 minutes. This is very fast, if not the fastest, within the longboard industry. The only other board we know of currently that can claim a 45 minute charge time is the Acton Qu4tro but it is still in production with a release date of May or June 2018. The Panasonic Lithium-ion battery pack on the Jed Board is hot swappable. Each pack consists of 16 cells weighing 43 grams each, meaning each pack weighs 1.5 lbs (.69 kg). These are the same batteries used by the Tesla Models X and S.A single charge will yield a maximum range of 24 miles (40 kg) which is more than sufficient for the average commuter. You can always extend the range by having extra battery packs. If you do happen to run out of juice, then you can just free skate to your destination. This is one reason why I favor hub motors rather than belt-driven ones. With belt motors, once you lose power, you are stuck and carrying the board to your destination may be easier than trying to skate it. Another issue is that belt motors require regular maintenance (belt replacement), and if the belt breaks while you are using it, this could cause serious injuries.
Direct Drive Motor (Jed Drive)
The JED board motor (JED Drive) configuration though is neither hub-based or belt-driven. It is a direct-drive motor, but patented in the way the gears interact with each, so it is an unique drivetrain. For the newbies in simple terms, a belt motor uses a belt to connect the revolutions of the motor to the axle of the wheel. A hub motor is attached directly to the axle to spin the wheel. A direct drive uses gears (like a watch) to spin the wheel (one Is attached to the motor, the other is attached to the wheel’s axle). Normally, spur gears are used in direct drive motors, but JED Boards incorporate their custom “secret sauce”. The advantages are low maintenance, efficient braking, and from a user’s perspective, the board can operate almost identically as an unpowered board. The disadvantage though that some early riders of the board have complained about is the noise resulting from the two gears spinning against each other. It is an unique pitch which takes getting used to and the Jed Board will be incorporating a ship-quality lubricant to minimize the noise.
Speaking of safety, the JED Board AWD’s design incorporates a couple of “leap forward” features to help you maintain control at all times. The first is commonly known as traction control. Each motor and gear is directly connected to the wheel underneath the board. Thus each wheel is independently controlled by a motor. If the speed of any one wheel differs from the others, then this will cause instability (losing ground contact) and if you happen to go over an uneven surface, this could result in a bad fall. With the JED board, there is a speed sensor for each wheel and the sensor takes about 200 measurements per second. If one wheel is not in sync with the others, the controller will adjust the wheel speed to normalize it to be in sync with the others to insure that all 4 wheels are maintaining contact with the ground. An interesting tidbit is that each motor is made of 500 grams of copper. The 4 motors combined generates the equivalent power needed to operate a Toyota Prius running on electricity. No wonder the board can boast a maximum weight load of 330 lbs (150 kg) and sufficient power to coast up an incline grade of at least 30 percent.
Power and Brake Management
The second breakthrough feature is the area of power and brake management. In addition to the four wheel sensors, there are two additional weight sensors, one under each truck. The board’s controller uses data from the wheel sensors to implement a brake-assist feature which slows down the board so as not to stop abruptly to cause you to lose balance. Furthermore, on slopes, it will distribute power to the back or the front as needed for smoother ascents and descents as it monitors your weight distribution.
Here is a nice short clip of the Jed board in action using 100mm wheels:
The Jed Remote Controller
Another “leap forward” feature is the JED Board’s remote control. All communication to and from the board is with the remote. The handle of the remote includes a touch sensor which recognizes the rider’s hand signature (even with gloves on) and will power the board up when you are physically holding it. If there is no activity for more than 2 minutes, the power will automatically power down. If the remote senses it is no longer in contact with your hand, it will slow the board down and bring it to a complete stop. The remote’s display consists of a oval-shaped brightly lit LED screen viewable by most any angle. It will have a Lithium-ion battery capable of 6-8 hours of usage for approximately 30 days before recharging via a USB C port. Control of the remote is accomplished by a custom-made wheel located beneath the LED screen. The remote will track numerous indicators such as range remaining, power usage, battery pack metrics, etc… The JED board will have both IOS (Apple) and Android mobile apps which you can utilize to communicate to the remote. One key feature of these apps will be the ability to set a destination and the remote will help navigate you to your intended destination. It will guide you by using a haptic feedback mechanism (simply vibrations) which will indicate when you are nearing a turn so you do not have to be looking down at the screen. The remote is able to track location utilizing the ISM band with AES encryption to obtain GIS (geographic information system) data which also provides elevation coordinates. The ISM (Industrial, Scientific, and Medical) band can be used for any purpose without a license in most countries, but it will incorporate an electronic chip which will always select the appropriate frequencies in country where your board is being used.
The quality of the board’s other components are also top notch. Standard wheels are the 80mm Orangatang Kegel 83a Durometer polyurethane wheels with custom made Swiss Ceramic bearings connected to Caliber 50 Trucks. The wheels are swappable. Just remove the bolts, change the wheels, and place them back in – a five minute procedure.
The boards are constructed of vertically laminated bamboo sources from the forest in Hunan, China. Probably you are wondering why? I am too. As described in its website: “To reap the full benefits of the bamboo deck, we added layers of biaxial woven fibreglass and tuned the deck to a springy-flex that provides comfort during extended trips.” It takes an average of 4-5 days to layer and laminate the board. The standing surface uses recycled, crushed glass for its grips. The advantages of this is the transparency which enhances the look of the board and is polished sufficiently so that it feels “soft” to the skin. The board is weatherproofed and underneath it, there will be dusk sensing lights which automatically switches on to provide visibility in the evenings. Last but not least, JED Boards will provide a two-year warranty for all parts and labor except for the wheels.
Jed Board Specifications
(AWD, Dual Motor, Jr)
Jed Drive (Direct Drive)
4 x 1200 W - AWD
2 x 1200 W - Dual Motor, Jr
25 mph (40 km/h)
Panasonic Lithium Ion Battery
2 x 160 Wh (AWD)
1 x 160 Wh (Dual Motor, Jr)
45-60 min charge
25 mi. (40 km) - AWD
18.6 mi. (30 km/h) - Dual Motor, Jr
16.76 lb (7.6 kg) - AWD
14.11 lb (6.4 kg) - Dual
42" x 9" (106 cm x 22.8 cm) - AWD, Dual Motor
34.5" x 9.6" (87.6 cm x 24.4 cm) - Jr
30 % - AWD
20% - Dual Motor, Jr.
330 lbs (150 kg)
80mm Orangatang Kegel 83a Durometer
The Jed Board AWD may well be the board with the pole position in our next annual review. Since it is still untested by a broad base of users, we will be watching the responses as the board begins shipping. Furthermore, there could be manufacturing hurdles as well as customer support issues as the company ramps up production. But we are excited by what we have seen and it could be that this board could be the next game-changer in the esk8 industry.
*Prices apply at time of writing (3/28/18)