Melonboard is the brainchild of U.S.-based Norwegian entrepreneur, Johannes Beck. He started Melonboard out of his shed while living in Norway. After a few years of tinkering and perfecting prototypes of electric skateboards, he decided to move to California and pursue his dream full-time.
While Melonboard electric skateboards are produced in China, the company is located in California with their mailing address in Santa Barbara.
The Melonboard Gen 2 is a middle-grade board priced reasonably at $699.00. The electric skateboard has a range of 18 miles and a max speed of 22 mph, placing it at the upper end of the market in terms of these specs. A 1400-watt motor and lithium ion battery powers the electric skateboard. It’s motor utilizes a belt-driven system and features regenerative braking functionality as well.
To learn more about this electric skateboard startup, we sat down with their CEO Johannes Beck, who told us about his story and his company.
Meet Johannes Beck, CEO of Melonboards
LEV Rev: What first inspired you to found Melonboards?
Johannes: Melonboard originally started in my shed where I was playing around with motorized skateboards. I tried a 50cc chainsaw motor and welded the chain to the wheels of my brother’s longboard. It was extremely fast, but did not have brakes.
In 2011 I first encountered Boosted Board, the first electric skateboard company I was aware of. I could not understand how these tiny electric motors could pull a man. That was when I started to do some research and developed my own prototype.
Once I was ready to produce the board in quantity, I quickly realized China was the only way to go, but quality and poor communication is always a risk with Chinese manufacturing. I went back and forth considering a lot of factories until I found a good candidate and decided to travel to China for two weeks to visit. Soon after I got the logistics in order, I began to manifest my vision. I’ve been eager to wake up and work every day since.
Melon is an acronym, meaning:
M – My
E – Electric
L – Longboard
O – Origin
N – Norway
LEV Rev: Tell me about the Gen 2 board and some of the improvements added from Gen 1?
Johannes: We sold 100 Gen 1 boards and got a lot of positive and negative feedback. We tried our best to fix all the bugs and implement some of the ideas people suggested.
Gen 2 is faster, lighter, has an improved design, stronger motor, more wheel colors, new logo, new internal circuit boards, and new trucks. We also decided to switch to Abec 9 bearings instead of Bones bearings.
LEV Rev: Is the Gen 2 Melonboard water resistant?
Johannes: My personal board has been through a lot of stuff electric skateboards should not be exposed to. I want to know exactly how well it can handle hills, water etc.
The board is not waterproof but I will say it is pretty much water resistant. You can easily ride after it has been raining, but you are in the danger zone because of the lack of traction. Also, there is always the danger that water will enter through the ventilation holes where the ESC is placed. In general, no electric object should be exposed to water, but YES, the board will work fine driving in the rain, although we highly recommend you don’t ride in wet conditions.
LEV Rev: What kind of battery powers the Gen 2 board?
Johannes: We are using a Lithium Polymer 24V 8.8 AH battery.
LEV Rev: What kind of motor powers the Gen 2 board?
Johannes: We use a belt driven 1400-Watt brushless outrunner motor. We have a pretty high gear ratio, which makes the board very strong while still maintaining a good top speed because of the high KV (number of revolutions the motor does per volt) in the motor.
LEV Rev: What makes the Melonboard special compared to other brands?
Johannes: I would say price first. We are a lot cheaper than other boards on the market and provide close to the same riding experience.
You have Boosted and Evolve, which are the Porches in the industry, but Boosted suffers from a poor range (8 miles) and Evolve electric skateboards are VERY expensive.
In contrast, Melonboard performs well in all spec categories. We have a solid range of 18 miles, high top speed of 22 mph, and low price of $750, including worldwide shipping.
LEV Rev: What can we expect from Melonboards in the future?
Johannes: We are working on the Melonboard Gen 3, which will be ready for the market in a few months. We are currently going through stress tests to make sure it is stronger and performs better than the Gen 2 in all respects. I will not reveal too much yet, but I can say we are changing the board completely, internally and externally.
– Never Stop Cruizin – Best regards Johannes Beck Team Melonboard