Halo Board Carbon Edition review

Like a shark with a saddle, Halo Board is sleek, smooth, and insanely fun to ride

You’ll be hard-pressed to find a board that’s smoother, stealthier, and more stylish than this one.
You’ll be hard-pressed to find a board that’s smoother, stealthier, and more stylish than this one.
You’ll be hard-pressed to find a board that’s smoother, stealthier, and more stylish than this one.

Highs

  • Integrated battery
  • Nearly frictionless coasting
  • Quiet operation

Lows

  • Touchy controller

DT Editors' Rating

Over the past few years, electric skateboards have evolved from a niche novelty to a practical – and popular – way to get around. Today, there are hundreds of different electronic boards to choose from, and as such, manufacturers have been developing increasingly sophisticated skateboards in an effort to distinguish themselves from competitors. Case in point? The Halo Board Carbon Edition. It’s arguably one of the most advanced electronic longboards on the market right now, and boasts just about every bell and whistle you could hope for. We got our hands on one for review and took it for a ride.

What it’s like on paper

In terms of specs and features, there are a few things that make this board stand out from the rest of the pack. The first and most obvious is its carbon-fiber construction, which presumably makes it lighter and more durable than its wooden counterparts. Second, it boasts a pair of beefy 1,500-watt hub motors that allow it to hit a top speed of 22 miles per hour, and allegedly travel up to 14 miles on a single charge.

That’s not too shabby — but specs only tell you half the tale, so to get a better idea of how the Carbon Edition performs in the real world, we rode it. A lot. Probably over 50 miles at this point, in fact. In the process, we took it through just about every kind of terrain imaginable, in a wide variety of different weather conditions. Here’s what we liked and disliked about it.

What it’s like on pavement

First thing’s first: The carbon fiber deck is both a blessing and a curse — although we’ll admit the blessings outnumber the curses in this case.

Carbon fiber is not only lighter and more durable than wood, it allowed Halo Board’s designers to integrate the battery directly into the deck, rather than attaching it to the underside, as you typically find on most electric boards. This gives the board a nice, sleek underbelly with lots of clearance, so it doesn’t really look like an electric board.

HaloBoard Carbon Edition review
Bill Roberson/Digital Trends

It also distributes the board’s battery weight across the full length of the deck, rather than tacking it awkwardly onto one end. This ultimately makes the board more balanced, and therefore less cumbersome to carry around when you’re not riding — which is a pretty big deal if you use the Halo Board as a commuting vehicle.

The downsides? The deck is extremely stiff, its battery can’t be swapped out when you run out of juice, and the parts without grip tape get super slippery when wet. Like we said though — these minor flaws are outweighed by the aforementioned virtues, and there’s a whole lot more to this board than just the deck.

Smooth, powerful, and damn near silent drive technology

Without a doubt, the Halo Board’s biggest assets are a pair of beefy, 1,500-Watt hub motors. This certainly isn’t the first board we’ve ridden that has hub motors instead of belt-driven wheels — but it’s definitely one of the best for one simple reason: rolling resistance, or lack thereof. The Halo Board has exceptionally smooth and free-rolling motors, which makes a massive difference in terms of how it feels under your feet.

The Halo Board is arguably one of the smoothest longboards we’ve ever ridden.

See, not all hub motors are created equal. Some don’t spin freely when they’re unpowered, which makes it feel like you’re braking when you let off the throttle, rather than coasting. And when your battery runs out, you’re not going far.

Many cheaper electric longboards suffer this “sticky wheel” effect, but the Halo Board is arguably one of the smoothest we’ve ever ridden. When you let off the throttle, there’s almost zero jarring, and the board is relatively easy to push when it’s dead. You probably won’t be pushing it around dead too much, but it’s still nice to know that you can if you need to.

These motors are also whisper quiet during acceleration — which is practically unheard of (pun thoroughly intended) in electric skateboards. On just about every other board we’ve ever tried, acceleration is accompanied by an annoying electric whine, which increases in pitch as the RPMs climb. You can still hear the Halo Board, but its volume is orders of magnitude lower. At low speeds, it’s almost silent — which only compliments the board’s stealthy, jet-black appearance.

Slowing down and getting the hang of it

Another thing we enjoyed about this board is the fact that it has pretty decent brakes — and that’s a bigger deal than you might think. Even if you know how to footbrake or slide effectively, it’s still pretty convenient to have a nice set of smooth, predictable brakes at your disposal. To activate them, you simply pull back on the joystick controller. You’ll feel a little bit of a forward lurch as the board slows down — especially if your stance isn’t good — but generally speaking the Halo Board’s brakes are far less jarring and sudden than a lot of other electronic boards on the market right now. Braking also regenerates the batteries a small amount, which extends the board’s range on hilly journeys.

halo board carbon edition review haloboard eskateboard ridedownview
Bill Roberson/Digital Trends

Really, the only major downside to this board is the flimsy, unpredictable controller it comes with. Our first one actually arrived broken, and the replacement we got feels like it wouldn’t survive a hard smack onto the pavement — which would likely happen if you took a spill and used your hands to break your fall.

On top of that, the controls are a bit touchy. If you don’t maintain perfectly consistent pressure on the joystick, the motors will sometimes switch off, which often creates a feeling that board has “died” mid-ride. To resume your former rate of acceleration, you have to let off the stick and then gingerly inch your way back up to where you were before — and if you’re not careful, you can easily over-accelerate and lose your balance. That said, this quirk is fairly easy to acclimate to, and after a couple hours of riding, you’ll get a feel for how the accelerator behaves. Just like anything else, there’s a bit of a learning curve.

Verdict

Sure, it’s a bit stiff and the controls take a minute to get used to — but between its powerful motors, excellent coasting, and sleek, easy-to-carry design; the Halo Board easily makes up for its shortcomings. So while there’s certainly room for improvement here, the Halo Board Carbon Edition is arguably one of the best electric skateboards we’ve tested thus far, and is absolutely worth considering if you’re in the market for a rideable.

Cars

This vintage Ford Bronco off-roader has a modern electric powertrain

Zero Labs took a classic Ford Bronco and replaced its gasoline engine with an electric motor and lithium-ion battery pack. So you get the style and off-road capability of a Bronco, but with zero emissions.
Cars

Café racer-inspired ebike hits 28 mph quickly and quietly with carbon belt drive

Ebike manufacturer Electra launched the Café Moto Go, an advanced ebike. The Café Moto Go's step-over frame was inspired by café racers. The Café Moto Go is a premium performance ebike built to run smoothly and extra quietly.
Gaming

These Xbox One exclusives are the definition of quality over quantity

Xbox One has a prestigious collection of handpicked titles that you can't play on other consoles. Here are the latest and greatest Xbox One exclusives, including some that are also available on PC
Cars

Nikola previews $80K NZT off-road EV speedster with 590 horsepower

Nikola Motor is taking reservations for the NZT, a high-performance, all-electric off-highway vehicle (OHV). The $80,000 NZT has 590 horsepower, 775 foot-pounds of torque, and reaches 60 miles per hour in 4 seconds.
Emerging Tech

Beresheet crash caused by manual command, but reflector device may have survived

Details are emerging about what may have gone wrong with spacecraft Beresheet's failed moon landing. A manual command was entered which led to a chain reaction. But NASA still hopes to salvage use of its Laser Retroreflector Array device.
Emerging Tech

The oldest type of molecule in the universe has been located at last

A milestone in the development of the early universe was the combination of helium and hydrogen atoms into a molecule called helium hydride. But strangely enough, this ancient molecule has never been detected in space before now.
Emerging Tech

The grid of the future will be powered by … giant subterranean bagpipes?

In order to transition to a more renewable-focused energy system, we need to scale up our grid storage capacity --- and our existing methods aren't going to cut it. Could compressed air be the key?
Emerging Tech

Mercury’s wobble as it spins reveals that it has an inner solid core

Scientists have long wondered what the inside of Mercury looks like, and they now have strong evidence that the planet has a large and solid metallic core. The data for the new findings was collected by the now-defunct MESSENGER mission.
Emerging Tech

Gravitational forces at heart of Milky Way shaped this star cluster like a comet

Hubble has captured the stunning Messier 62 cluster. The cluster is warped, with a long tail which stretches out to form a shape like a comet. It is thought this distortion is due to Messier 62's proximity to the center of the galaxy.
Emerging Tech

Burgers are just the beginning: Embracing the future of lab-grown everything

You’ve almost certainly heard of the 'farm to fork' movement, but what about 'lab to table'? Welcome to the fast-evolving world of lab-grown meat. Is this the future of food as we know it?
Emerging Tech

Troubleshooting Earth

It’s no secret that humans are killing the planet. Some say it’s actually so bad that we’re hurtling toward a sixth major extinction event -- one which we ourselves are causing. But can technology help us undo the damage we’ve…
Emerging Tech

Inside the Ocean Cleanup’s ambitious plan to rid the ocean of plastic waste

In 2013, Boyan Slat crowdfunded $2.2 million to fund the Ocean Cleanup, a nonprofit organization that builds big, floating trash collectors and sets them out to sea, where they’re designed to autonomously gobble up garbage.
Emerging Tech

Climeworks wants to clean the atmosphere with a fleet of truck-sized vacuums

Using machines that resemble jet engines, Climeworks wants to fight climate change by extracting CO2 from thin air. The gas can then be sold to carbonated drink and agriculture companies, or sequestered underground.
Emerging Tech

How 3D printing has changed the world of prosthetic limbs forever

When he was 13 years old, Christophe Debard had his leg amputated. Here in 2019, Debard's Print My Leg startup helps others to create 3D-printed prostheses. Welcome to a growing revolution!