His name is Damon Wood, but he goes by Long Haired Boy or LHB for short. He’s the owner and mad scientist behind Long Haired Boy Fine Electric Skateboards, a company that designs and handcrafts the most badass electric skateboards. Starting at around $1,800, LHB will build you a completely custom electric skateboard to your specifications.
LHB’s boards are totally custom. He presses and cuts his own wood decks, smashes coke and liquor bottles to use as the grip tape, paints the boards, wires them up, and even installs his very own branded motors. Heck, you can even customize the shape of your board. Want a skateboard shaped like a sword? Why not! You can choose from a single motor, dual motors, and you can choose between a 360 watt hour battery pack or a 430 watt hour battery pack. LHB only uses the finest skateboard parts, like Caliber trucks Bones Reds bearings, Ollin VESCs (electronic speed controllers), and Samsung power cells.
I got the chance to speak with LHB about his craft, how he got into the skateboard business, and more. You’ll see some snippets from our discussion scattered throughout this review.
Gear Diary: How did you get into the electric skateboarding scene?
LHB: “Believe it or not, I got into esk8s on a joke. One day about 3 years ago I was at work talking about my longboard I had just bought and was using to try and lose some weight. I pushed that thing everywhere and did actually lose a fair amount of weight. But I was talking about it and my coworker asked if I was going to put rockets on it, so we joked about that for a few minutes and then I went back and started youtubing rocket longboards. I found a few videos that were utterly ridiculous and awesome, but then I came across some kits for electric skateboards. One in particular looked pretty good, the original 6S kit from Enertion. I had money saved up for a theatrical storm trooper costume, but when my wife told me how silly that would be I decided to buy an electric skateboard kit instead, because that’s even sillier. The minute I had that thing running I was hooked. 3 years later I’m still completely ate up with it and now I build them for other people.”
LHB is so dedicated to his craft and he is so proud of his custom builds that he offered to build a brand new custom skateboard for Gear Diary’s review, even though we told him that he could simply let us borrow one of his existing test boards. He thought it would be wrong not to customize a board for the review since that’s really what his business is all about, making one of a kind boards for his customers. So, he took the Gear Diary logo and color scheme and ran with it, and what he came up with was pure genius and took some fine craftsmanship to build.
As part of the service he provides, LHB documents the build process on his Instagram account, @longhairedboy. You’ll see that I embedded a number of his build process photos within this interview. I believe that in order to fully understand the nature of what Long Haired Boy Fine Electric Skateboards is all about, you need to see what the build process entails.
Gear Diary: What would you say the advantage is to your boards over other high-end commercial boards on the market?
LHB: “When you get a commercial board, you’re getting a board that was designed by committee to maximize profits and delivers just enough performance and glamour to separate you from the amount of money it takes to give them a reasonable margin. That board is about business. It’s not about you. They decide for you how fast or powerful your board is, what it looks like, how far it can go on a charge. Usually, that means limited range and speed. Some of those boards are utterly anemic.
When you come to me you decide what the board is you’re getting. You decide you want a board that will utterly destroy any commercial board available on the market right now in raw performance, top speed, and range, and you want it shaped like a dagger with hello kitty under the red liquor bottle glass grip and pink wheels. I build that, just for you, not for some committee.
I’m not even going to mention my financially irresponsible warranty where I just fix it and don’t argue with you if something goes wrong later.”
Before taking delivery of our custom Gear Diary board, LHB warned me that this board can do some real speed. In one of his Instagram posts, LHB asked “Anyone qualified to sh*t their pants above 35mph?” While I can say that I’m certainly not qualified to do such a thing, I was excited to see what the board could do.
The board we received is a dual motor skateboard that utilizes LHB’s very own branded sensored 190 kV motors. The trucks are silk green Caliber II while the wheels are 83mm baby blue beauties. LHB coopted the Gear Diary gear logo and painted it in light blue on the deck while the rest of the deck was painted in dark blue. The grip tape is made of smashed coke bottles and provides excellent grip while shredding the streets. LHB left the edges of the board natural, which allow the beautiful maple to show through. It’s a gorgeous touch.
Bolted to the underside of the deck is a custom molded enclosure that houses the electronics, including battery pack and VESCs. On the side of the enclosure is the power switch as well as an LED display that shows the remaining battery percentage. LHB notes that although he does his best to waterproof and weatherproof the board, he does not guarantee that riding through a puddle won’t fry your board, so be warned.
Check out the video below I posted to Instagram, showing one of my test runs:
Check out these clips of the @GearDiary @longhairedboy electric skateboard taking on some hills in my neighborhood. Super smooth and I wasn’t anywhere close to full throttle. Full throttle would have had me flying up the hill at around 25 mph. Check out the full review on GearDiary.com coming very soon! . . . . #esk8 #ev #electric #electricskateboard #skateboard #speed #technology #roadrash #skateboarding #batterypowered #tech #reviews #techlife
Here’s the full spec list of the build from LHB’s own blog post titled “The Gear Diary Build”:
- dual rear drive
- twin 6355 LHB Totally Bitchin’ 190KVS sensored brushless outrunners
- 60 Samsung INR-18650-25R cells arranged in a 12S5P pack for a total of 537 watt hours of power
- twin VESC-X motor controllers by Enertion
- Steeze remote from MayTech
- 83mm wheels
- 33T LHB wheel pulleys
- 15T Enertion motor pulleys
- 9mm x 255mm HTD-5M belts from BesTorque
- modified Vedder antispark switch with 75v mosfets
- fuel guage
- 4 amp charger for 2.5-3hr charge time
- 38mph theoretical top speed, likely 35 actual with 150 pound rider
- ~30 miles of range at ~20mph with ~150 pound rider
- bones reds racer bearings
- caliber II trucks
- matching blue hardware
- Torqueboards motor mounts
- 60amp BatterySupports BMS
After having a quick phone call with LHB, where he taught me how to use the remote and gave me a quick warning about the throttle sensitivity, I was ready to give the board a test ride. The gist of the warning was that since the board has so much power and the throttle has a physically limited amount of travel, a small push on the throttle can result in a serious amount of acceleration. Once I got the hang of the throttle sensitivity, I was off to the races.
The board feels amazing to ride, the concave shape of the board allows you to lean into the curves and maneuver the board easily. The ride is incredibly smooth and the electronics are very responsive. The sensored motors do their job, as you’re able to accelerate from a standstill smoothly, without any disconcerting jolts. I was surprised how powerful the brakes were, which almost caused me to fly off of the front of the board a couple of times until I got used to them. But, they’re incredibly useful while cruising downhill.
I was amazed at how powerful the dual motors were. I weigh around 185 pounds and the board was, without much strain, able to propel me up hills that are around a 30% incline. Those same motors provide a seriously smooth ride on level terrain and are able to make you feel like you’re a much more experienced skateboarder than you really are. Cruising around my neighborhood has never been easier.
To control his creations, LHB customizes MayTech Steeze remotes to his liking. He opens up the remotes and reinforces a momentary switch on the circuit board that gives the electronics some resilience to falls. The throttle and brakes are controlled with your thumb; you push forward to hit the gas and pull back to hit the brakes, pretty simple. The controller has a silicone cover that gives the user a much better grip on the remote. There’s also a wrist strap to ensure that you can’t accidentally drop the remove during a ride or that the remote doesn’t go flying in the event of a crash.
Gear Diary: Where do you see electric skateboarding and LHB Custom Skateboards going in the future?
LHB: “My plan is to keep building boards and keep refining the process of building, ordering, and supporting them. My ultimate goal for LHB Fine Electric Skateboards is to have a board builder web app that lets you select and use a variety of components that are all compatible in most combinations. Sort of like an interface you might see in a video game where you have stats and inventory. I want people to pick their deck, pick their battery capacity, pick their wheels, colors, gear ratios, and even upload their own artwork that i can put on the board somehow. During all of that, you’ll be able to see estimates of performance such as top speed and range. I want to do that and provide the most stellar customer service experience imaginable. Electric skateboards are Personal Electric Vehicles. My mission is to put the Personal back in it and go directly up against the entire esk8 industry as it stands now whose mission is to stamp out a bunch of cookie cutter boards and not provide any customization or personalization.”
As mentioned in one of his responses, LHB also provides a killer warranty on all of this custom boards. If anything happens to the board within the first 90 days that was not caused by irresponsible riding, LHB will fix it for free, no questions asked, including shipping. If anything happens to the board after the first 90 days, LHB will still pay for shipping and labor to fix the board, and will only charge you the cost of parts. This is an excellent warranty that is unmatched in the electric skateboard arena.
I’ve ridden a number of personal electric vehicles, but never one that was designed with such care, craftsmanship, and attention to detail. The skateboards that Damon Wood produces out of his garage are nothing short of incredible and his work is worth the price of admission. If you’re a serious skateboard enthusiast or you’re looking for a board with which to cruise around your neighborhood, you would do well to contact Long Haired Boy Fine Electric Skateboards. LHB will work closely with you to ensure that you get what you want, how you want it.
You can start the conversation with Long Haired Boy by visiting http://longhairedboy.com and filling out the contact form at the bottom of the “completes” page. You won’t regret it.
Source: The custom Long Haired Boy Electric Skateboard was a manufacturer loaned review sample.
What I Like: Premium build quality and high-end craftsmanship; High-quality parts; Gorgeous design; Amazing ride; Incredible power and speed; Class-leading warranty; Completely personalized
What Needs Improvement: Nothing, since you can customize the entire board