Cheap AF Beginner Build (Info & Parts)

So you wanna build an ESK8 (Lightning Powered Murder Board) but don’t wanna empty your checking account before you know if you actually like it? I won’t answer every question that you come up with, because there is a search function on most forums that will help you get 99% of the answers you need. If you can’t find an answer, ask. There’s always someone around to give bad advice and laugh at you (these same people are prolly still working on their 1st esk8 too).

All of the parts listed are easy to source and ship quickly. Feel free to substitute gear of similar value. You may not like what I’ve listed for one reason or another and that’s fine. In fact, I encourage you to make your own choices as long as you do the research needed. There are many parts which are readily available that I personally find useless because of quality or install process. So, I repeat, “do the research”.

Here’s a quick and dirty tutorial on how to make a budget build happen for around 500 bucks:


ESC (VESC)
This is a cheap VESC derivative that is reliable and easy to use.
Mini FSESC4.20 50A with Aluminum Anodized Heat Sink
$75.00


REMOTE
There are less expensive remotes out there, but not many This one is reliable and comfortable in the hand.
2.4G Nano Remote Controller for Electric Skateboard
$49.00


TRUCKS
Caliber 2 trucks are most widely used trucks in DIY ESK8, bar none. They aren’t bad trucks, they aren’t great trucks either. They ARE easy to ride and easy to get parts for.
Caliber Trucks Cal II 50° RKP Longboard Trucks – set of two
$39.95


MOTOR MOUNT
This is the simplest and most robust Caliber 2 motor mount I’ve ever used.
BKB Motor Mount
$39.99


MOTOR
A 6374 motor on a single is a must IMHO. The added thermal mass makes them run cooler and you want that since you have only 1 motor to propel you along the path to death and dismemberment as fast as you can stand.
TB 6374 190KV Motor
$120.00
– or –
BKB 6374 190kv Motor
$134.99


MOTOR PULLEY
Motor Pulleys are fairly cheap, and there are many options on eBay as well as from countless vendors. This is one that I like as it’s steel and I’ve never had one fail.
BKB 15t 15mm Motor Pulley
$9.99


WHEELS
I hate recommending wheels to people because it’s a very subjective topic. In this case I’m listing cheap and serviceable gear, which these are. If you want lush (and more expensive) wheels that last go look at ABEC SuperFly’s in 97mm or 107mm.
BKB 97mm 78a Premium Build Wheels
$39.99


WHEEL PULLEY
There are dozens of wheel pulley options available in multiple materials with different widths and tooth count. This is a model I made a while back that I have found serviceable and easy to get right on the first install. Oh yeah, and it’s free–you just gotta print it.
Flywheels Modular Pulley Kit
$0.00 + printing costs and nuts & bolts


XT90-S LOOP KEY
This is the cheapest and most reliable method to turn your board on and off. You can get an Anti-Spark switch if you want, just be ready to buy another and another and another. To date I have yet to find an AS switch that consistently works without fail. The only thing that works all the time, every time (mostly) is an XT90-S Loop Key or a BMS with E-Switch.
XT90-S Anti Spark Male and Female Connector
$5.99
XT90s panel mount
$0.00 + printing costs and nuts & bolts
XT90-S Loop Key Fob Cover
$0.00 + printing costs and glue


VOLTMETER
Get a voltmeter. It lets you know how much time you’ve got left to ride and when your pack is fully charged.
DROK DC 8-63V Voltmeter
$12.98


BATTERY
Pick up a couple of 5s Lipo packs or a Meepo 10s2p battery pack. I haven’t linked them here because availability on both is sporadic and types change, exercise your google-fu. These are the cheapest battery packs available. They are crap to be sure, but it will get you riding and get you to the question that you will eventually ask…How much battery do I need to go really frikkin fast? If you need help figuring this out there are multiple threads on ESK8 Battery Packs where you can find and ask questions.

If you go the Meepo route, they have enclosures specific to the packs offered plus they have a matching ESC enclosure. Both are simple & cheap and easy to install but eat up a lot of clearance. Honestly, I’m not a fan but it will do for fast & cheap.

Make sure you get a charger & charge port to match the battery pack.


ENCLOSURE
Once you decide on your deck and battery pack, start measuring. If you want a highly usable enclosure that will last a long time take those measurements to Psychotiller and figure out which enclosure fits your needs. Pay attention to these 2 enclosures, 1 of them is likely to fit your application.

The Altar Wedge (for long decks)
$60.00
The Flagship V2 (for short decks)
$50.00


DECK
I saved this one for last. Decks are the most subjective item on any & all ESK8 buy lists. I know people that absolutely love the Jet Spud, but I am not one of them. I’ve built 3 over the years and never found a combo that worked for me. I can see the attraction, because physically it’s a very useful combination of features, but it’s just not for me. I know people that absolutely hate the Landyachtz Evo, but I find it to be one of the most comfortable and maneuverable decks available (NOTE: not the Evo Falcon 36, thats thing is just weird).


In closing…

You will find that you need 12, 20 & 24 gauge silicone wire, a PPM (servo) cable, 4mm and/or 5.5mm bullet connectors among other things. Amazon and Hobbyking are the places to find most anything.

If you’ve never skated before I would encourage you to get a deck that is at least 36 inches long and has at least some drop. It will be more comfortable and forgiving while you find your legs. If you’ve been skating since you fell out of the womb, then do WTF you want, your prolly used to street facing.

Good Luck suckers 🙂

Mike Maner

Mike is a systems/communications engineer and a dad to 4 kids as well as being a member and forum leader of the electric skateboard building community.Mike is NOT a traitor, screw a damn unicycle!*shakes head in confusion at Damon thinking "why man, just why?"