Boosted makes vehicles, not toys, and just as we have innovated on battery technology and custom-engineered the drivetrain and other major elements of the board, we’ve turned our attention to one of the most critical components of the Boosted system – the deck. Our new decks are designed in-house from the ground up and are now purpose-built for the rigors of daily use. They are stronger, longer-lasting, and more fun to ride than anything we’ve offered to-date.
Feel the Flex
Both Boosted Plus and Boosted Stealth feature our new Super Flex composite deck. Though we’ve shifted away from bamboo to a composite core, the new deck is as flexible as ever. The flexibility helps in two ways. First, a flexible board acts as a suspension system to help absorb the shock and vibration from the street so your legs don’t have to. Trust us, after 1,000+ miles of riding, your body will appreciate the difference. Second, the ability to flex the deck as you lean into a turn gives you better turning control and more precise carving capabilities. (Plus, it makes the ride way more fun.)
7 Layers of Goodness
In order to achieve these characteristics, we looked beyond the boundaries of skateboard manufacturing and leveraged technology from the snowboard industry. Snowboarding is a good analog to electric skateboarding because the boards are subjected to high speeds and extremely rough and varied conditions. Utilizing composite construction techniques freed us from the limits of wood-only cores and allowed our team to custom-engineer the ride feel, while optimizing the shape, and improving overall durability. By custom building our decks, we’re able to be super selective with our material choices and ensure that we best leverage their unique characteristics.
The Super Flex deck is a 7-layer sandwich of high-performance materials, each selected to contribute a specific characteristic. We begin with a poplar spine, which has a springly, lively flex. Many skate decks are solid maple, which tends to be much stronger than poplar, but significantly heavier. The poplar core is surrounded by high-performance, vibration-dampening foam, which has the double benefit of reducing weight as well as creating a smooth, damped ride. To add strength and durability, we sandwich the core materials between top and bottom sheets of triaxial fiberglass.
We’ve added extra fiberglass reinforcements at the nose and tail of the board for long-term strength and protection against fatigue, right where road vibrations and impacts are most concentrated. We’ve also reinforced the insers around the trucks, battery, and drivetrain to make sure the connection points between the deck and components remain strong and rattle-free over thousands of miles. Finally, we wrap the edges of the board with a polymer sidewall to protect from impact on all sides and provide an additional level of protection from water, dirt, and debris.
This Is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things
All of our design and engineering expertise doesn’t mean anything if the product we make doesn’t stand up to real-life conditions. We spent years on R&D, riding tens of thousand of miles, and applying the data collected from those real world scenarios to systems that subject the boards to automotive-grade fatigue testing. Using highly accelerated lifetime testing (HALT), we test to failure, improve the design, then test again.
How do we carry out these tests? The first step is figuring out what kind and how much abuse a deck will see in its lifetime. Looking at rider data, we take the top 1% of annual mileage we see on boards we’ve shipped and use this mileage as a baseline to plan testing. Then we instrument boards and measure all kinds of things such as accelerations, deflections, and stresses. This data helps us plan which tests we’ll run and at what levels.
Then we use specialized test equipment to replicate those conditions in an amplified way so we have design margin (in engineering speak: a health factor of safety). Our flex cycling fixture bends decks repeatedly to simulate deck flex during riding. We have a similar fixture to replicate heavy vibration. We also send our boards through a temperature and humidity control chamber, UV exposure chamber, salt spray tester, tip and tail bending fixture, impact fixture, and drop tester… to name a few.
At the end of the day, ride testing is still one of our most valuable tools because it’s the truest representation of real world use. We have a team of test riders that put tens of thousands of miles on our boards before they ship. We get great subjective feedback on ride feel and build confidence in the effectiveness of our other testing methods. If a board survives our test suite, we know it’s solid.
We hope you enjoy all of the thought and attention to detail that we put into building the Super Flex deck – from the careful material selection, to the new shape, to the series of tests we put these boards through. But honestly, if the only thing you notice is the incredibly fun, super thrilling ride, that’s ok with us too.