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Spectra Advanced Electric Skateboard Review – I Figured Out How To Ride This AI eBoard

Spectra Advanced Electric Skateboard Review – I Figured Out How To Ride This AI eBoard


Hey, Nate from eSkate Hub here. Please don’t be put off by that intro sequence. Yes, this electric skateboard is a little
hard to ride but my goal of this Spectra Advanced review is to help teach you how to ride it
properly and show you what the board is ultimately like. I want to let you know this is not a sponsored
video. Walnut did send me the Spectra Advanced for
free so that I could do this review, however, it is going to be completely unbiased. There are links in the description below,
whereby if you click and purchase through them, I do make a little bit of money, however,
it is at no extra expense to you. So, I do really appreciate if you do purchase
through those links because it helps keep this channel alive and me bringing you more
and more electric skateboard reviews. So the interesting thing about this electric
skateboard is that the Spectra Advanced doesn’t require a remote. You control the acceleration and the braking
by using what Spectra call their 3D Step Posture Control. By applying your weight on your front foot
you go forward and applying your weight on your back foot you brake. I pulled it out of the box, had a brief look
at the instructions and then took it out for my first ride and oh my god, my first attempt
at riding this thing was nothing but frustrating. It simply just wouldn’t work for me. It kept beeping and the LEDs were changing
colours and I just couldn’t figure out why. But then my girlfriend hopped on it and she
had no problems and then my best mate got on it to have a ride and he did it just fine. I couldn’t for the life of me figure out what
was going on until I realised they both ride goofy and I ride regular. Now surely that can’t be the reason why I
couldn’t ride this skateboard but I jumped on the eboard goofy footed and low and behold
I started moving. So I swapped back to regular foot and tried
to replicate exactly what I did when I was in the goofy stance but I just couldn’t get
it moving. I was at a loss. I couldn’t for the life of me figure out what
was going on. So I took it back inside, jumped on YouTube
to see if I could get any tips on how to ride this board properly and I was surprised to
see that pretty much everyone out there who has tried it except the dudes from Braille
Skateboarding were having trouble with it. And they all dismissed it as a piece of junk
pretty quickly but I wasn’t ready to give up on it just yet. So I emailed Spectra with my concerns and
they said that the eBoard has an AI system inside that learns how you ride. And it’s even smart enough to pick up on whether
you are a beginner rider or a more confident rider and it will tailor the experience to
your level of riding. So, with that newfound sense of wonderment
with this AI technology, I took it back outside and I just kept at it. I connected the board to the app, updated
the firmware and played around with all of the braking and acceleration settings and
I even tried a bunch of different stances to see if I could get this thing going properly. And eventually, I found an answer that worked
for me. Because I have skated before I always kick
pushed with my back foot, so I was getting on the Spectra Advanced with my front foot
first and then my back foot. So I decided to do something different. I tried putting my back foot on first then
my front foot. And then I got two fast beeps and it started
moving and I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face after figuring it out. But then, without any warning, the brakes
applied and I was thrown forward. But it didn’t matter because it was progress. I was slowly figuring it out. See, what I realised was the posture control
system in the Spectra Advanced is based on weight distribution, so in order for the Spectra
to understand how much weight needs to be applied on the front pad to go forward and
how much to be applied on the back to go back it first needs to understand how much you
weigh. And to figure this out, it does it in the
first few seconds after you initially step on the board. The Spectra Advanced will let you know when
it’s ready because it will give you two quick beeps when it’s good to go. If it’s not ready, it will give you a short
beep followed by a long beep. My problem was, I was getting on the board
and immediately leaning forward so the Spectra thought that the weight I was applying to
the front pad was my natural weight which meant that to accelerate I had to apply even
more pressure to the front pad which was just awkward and unnatural. And sometimes I was applying so much pressure
to the front pad that I would nose dive and come straight off the board. This was partly my fault but also partly because
the board is so nose-heavy. But I’ll talk about that a little bit more
when we talk about the motors. Once I figured out the acceleration my next
issue was the braking. At first when I leaned forward to accelerate
the board would move but naturally, the small amount of inertia would send my weight onto
my back foot applying the brakes. And as the brakes unexpectedly applied, my
body would move forward going onto the accelerator and it just became a balancing act. In the end, what worked best, not perfect
but best, for me was after the board had registered my bodyweight and gave me the success beep,
I moved my back foot onto the top of the kicktail, off of the rear pads. That way, when the board started to move,
I could brace myself with my back foot without applying any pressure to the brakes. Then when I needed to brake, I would just
move my back foot onto the rear pads to slow down. It’s not really Spectra’s intended method
of riding but it works for me and really, that’s probably how I would ride an electric
skateboard with a kick tail anyway. So in short, to ride the Spectra electric
skateboard here are the steps that work for me. Get on with your back foot first followed
by your front covering four of the arrows. Balance your weight evenly between the front
and the back foot until you hear two short beeps. If you hear a short then a long beep, that’s
an error. Get off the board and start again from step
1. Lean forward applying weight to your front
foot. Move your back foot to the back of the kick
tail. To brake, move your back foot onto the rear
pads and distribute your weight onto your back foot. So far from my experience, I don’t think the
Spectra Advanced would do too well on longer trips. It’s just too small and finicky. I think the best scenario for the use of this
electric skateboard is where you’ll be riding for shorter trips and you may have to carry
the board every now and then. For example, riding from class to class on
your college campus or going out to meet a friend at a coffee shop nearby. Or, if you catch the train to work it would
be the perfect last mile solution from home to the station and then station to the office. The Spectra Advanced claims to have a top
speed of 15.5mph which is 25kmh. I tried to reach that speed but I couldn’t
quite get there and I don’t think it’s because the Spectra Advanced is incapable of riding
that fast, I just think I couldn’t figure out the weight distribution properly. I got up to about 9-10mph or 15kmh and honestly,
that’s probably enough speed considering how small the board is. I didn’t do a full range test for the Spectra
Advanced because I don’t think it’s designed for long trips and I wouldn’t recommend that
you buy this board if you do plan on longer commutes. It’s really for doing lots of little short
trips without having to charge the board very often. Another cool feature of the Spectra is its
hill climbing tech. It will sense when you’re riding uphill and
it will turn the power dial up to give you more power to ride up with ease. It was kind of hard to tell if this actually
works because you don’t feel the board get any more powerful and you don’t ride any faster. However, it also senses when you’re riding
downhill and will apply a speed limit so you don’t end up flying down the hill out of control. The brakes on the Spectra Advanced almost
work too well. And I say this because they are super sensitive. But you can modify this in the app. When I was riding I actually set my braking
sensitivity to 10% and my braking power to 30%. Because you don’t actually ride that fast
on the Spectra, those settings were plenty enough to bring me to a slow enough speed
where I could just jump off the board. When you do step off the board or you fall
off, the Spectra Advanced is smart enough to apply the brakes automatically so that
it doesn’t run out into the traffic. This is great in theory and works a charm
if you’re intentionally doing it, but it is very sensitive. Quite often when I moved my feet around on
the board it would think that I’m falling off and the brakes would apply super quickly
and I would be thrown off. The Spectra Advanced has a tiny 19.4″ deck
made of carbon fibre and all of the electronics are housed inside the deck. The grip tape is fairly coarse, it has some
arrows printed on top of the deck to indicate where you need to put your feet and it also
feels a little bit spongey because the weight sensing pads are underneath the grip tape. The Spectra Advanced is powered by two dual
hub motors but the awkward thing is that the motors are in the front wheels. And two issues crop up because of this. Firstly, when you’re accelerating, if you
accelerate a little bit too much you’re going to end up nose diving into the concrete which
has happened to me a fair few times. Secondly, the board has a kicktail. And if you use a kicktail the way that it
is intended, the front wheels lift off the ground. That causes some issues when those front wheels
contain the motors. Also, about the kicktail. I don’t know why you’d even bother having
one when your core design is to apply the brakes when you put your weight on your back
foot. For all the things you would use a kicktail
for, like tic-tacking around corners, falling off ledges, popping manuals, the braking system
kind of makes them all redundant. However, I did notice that their new board
they’re releasing, the Spectra X, has the motors in the rear wheels, along with a bunch
of other features and apparently an improved 3D Step Posture Control system, so, I would
be really interested to check that one out. The Spectra Advanced is powered by an 88.8Wh
battery running Panasonic 18650 cells. So the good news is that this board is airline-travel
friendly, but because the battery is inside the enclosure, it is super difficult to swap
it out. So as standard, the Spectra Advanced doesn’t
come with a remote. You can use the app but I feel like there
is just too much latency between the board and the remote for it to be viable or you
can purchase a remote from Spectra and use it with the board. In the box, you also get a charger, a t-tool,
user manual and some cool little stickers. Plus the charger is really tiny and the connector
is actually in the shape of the Walnut logo which is a cool little touch. So, what’s the verdict? Well, I actually really like the idea of having
a posture controlled electric skateboard and the Spectra Advanced comes really close to
perfecting it. It just needs to be tweaked to make the riding
experience feel more natural from the get-go. At the moment, it has a long learning curve
but if you are patient and persistent enough, you will eventually figure it out. It also learns from you just as much as you
learn it so finding that middle ground takes a bit of time. But once you do, I think it’s a great little
electric skateboard to get you to those a little too hard to walk places. So Spectra have just emailed me saying that
the Spectra Advanced is no longer available which pretty much makes this review redundant. The good news, however, is that Spectra has
got a brand new electric skateboard coming out in the next couple of weeks called the
Spectra X which solves a ton of the issues that we have seen in the Advanced. Hopefully, I can get my hands on one to do
a full review but in the meantime, if you wanted to pick one up, use the discount code
below for $49 OFF. I also get a little bit of money off that
which helps keep this channel alive and me bringing you more and more electric skateboard
reviews.

8 comments

Terrific review, glad you actually stuck with it despite the steep learning curve.

I’ve been using mine as a last mile solution for nearly two years now, never got the hang of the posture control though and bought the remote as soon as it came out. I’ve since bought a Boosted Mini X but it’s still nowhere near as compact or convenient as the Spectra.

Subbed, to see the Spectra X review. Also, your review is the first to mention they added a handheld remote to their boards (other than the X). Well done.

I think Esk8 riders are generally wary of portable electric vehicles without a remote control, especially when it comes to the weight-based control pads… There's a reason remotes are popular, they work!

They should probably include a remote and lower the price of these if they ever hope to shift their remaining stock.

Learning curve on this board is high, but props for innovation.

Also awesome review! Such a good instructional explanation 👌🏻👌🏻

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