I’ve always wanted to do a custom direct-drive electric setup.
It started with the below thought…
How could I translate my riding style (flowy, carvey, surfskatey) into an electric build?
So, that's what I tried. In this article, I'll share my experience shredding it on a few different setups.
Just to give you context, my electric skateboarding journey has gone like this…
I started with an extremely cheap $127 board, just to see if I even enjoyed shredding an electric setup.
Then a Shark Wheels Electric, next an Onsra challenger belt drive. And now I have the Revel kit.
I wanted to share that because if you’re further along in your journey, then you might not find much value in this article and I don’t wanna waste your time.
I’m 5’11, weigh 165lbs and my style of riding for this one averaged around 8-12mphs doing deep carves.
If you'd rather watch a video, check our YT review below
Where To Buy?
You can buy it directly from here.
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What's In The Box?
When you purchase a Revel Kit you get…
- Charging Dock
- Revel Front RKP
- Remote Control
- Direct Drive Back Truck
- Revel 74a ABEC 11 Wheels
- Standard or Extended Battery
- Orangatang Wheel Adapters
- ABEC 11 Wheel Adapters
Now that you know what's included, let’s cover some notable features.
First, let me cover the weight of this kit…
- The battery and no wheels is about 10lbs
- The battery is about 2.8lbs
So you can either get their standard battery (10-16 Km 144WH / 4000mAh) which they claim will get you 6-10 miles.
Or their extended battery (16-24 Km 216WH / 6000mAh) which will get you 10-15 miles.
I went with the extended range revel kit because at the time of purchasing it wasn't that much more compared to the standard – kind of a no brainer in my opinion.
It’s direct drive, giving you the option to swap out the wheels, which personally I love.
The neat part about this kit is you can easily swap batteries, so if you’re going for a longer ride, you could get two batteries and swap.
You also have the ability to get 4wd if you want more power, but for my riding style I didn’t really find that necessary.
The first component I wanna cover is the remote because it’s different from any of the other remotes I’ve tried.
Instead of having a scroll/wheel, the revel has an up/down slider.
At first I wasn’t sure about this remote design but it actually feels really natural to use and I enjoy it.
Pushing the dial up and down feels buttery smooth.
Although if it came down to it, I much rather have a scroll wheel remote but it does the job.
The screen had all the necessary info I was looking for…
- Trip distance
- Remote battery indicator
- Main battery indicator
- Wheel diameter adjustment
- Braking power adjustment
The charging port uses a micro USB and if I’m being picky, I kind of wish it was USB C instead so you don’t have to figure out which side lines up.
Now I want to share my experience riding this thing.
I used the stock Revel Kit setup to do a range test since that’s what most people will probably use. All said and done I got 11.1 miles on the remote (10.8mi on Phone tracker), until I got the 10% remaining indicator.
I’d consider my environment somewhat hilly, so I’d say their claim of 10-15 miles is spot on.
I’m not sure if anyone is interested in this but even after the 10% low voltage indicator, I maxed out the speed and was still able to hit like 18/19 mphs.
It took about 8 seconds to go from a standstill to max speed on a flat straightaway. Honestly it has pretty solid torque that I wasn’t ecpecting.
I would say braking is on the stronger side, not in a bad way though. I’d rather have it like that so I could stop if I was in a sketchy situation. But even on the lowest setting, the braking takes some getting used to.
Revel Kit Components
Revel’s reverse kingpins and wheels were solid quality. If I were to only have this setup, I’d be content with it.
The 90mm 74a wheels have a high rebound urethane and are obviously super sticky. The quality is actually pretty decent and something I wasn’t expecting.
I feel like the 94a bushings were a good choice because I didn’t experience any speed wobbles maxing it out and I still could carve pretty hard if I pushed it.
Although if you’re heavier than 165lbs, you'll have a higher chance of getting speed wobbles.
There’s so many factors that come into play, so I think by providing you my weight and bushing duro, that should hopefully help you.
I wish the bearings had built-in spacers because it was a pain to line up the wheels with the adapters and spacers. Not a big deal, but would be nice as a future upgrade.
Paris V3 165mm
The next setup I tested was the Omakase with the Paris V3 165mm 50 degrees front truck, Orangatang orange knuckles bushings and Orangatang 85mm Caguamas (swapping between the 80a and 83as).
I swapped the stock bushings out with Orangatang orange knuckles, which allowed for some deeper, juicer carves.
Overall my favorite and probably permanent Revel setup. It’s a nice crossbreed of stability and carviness.
Moving on, I tested it with some surfskate adapters because I was curious to see how it would pair. I used my YOW Snappers deck (Length: 32.5″ Wheelbase: 17″) for all the setups because I like the smaller wheelbase and concave.
The first surfskate setup I tried was with the Carver CX & C7.
Compared to the Omakase rkp setups, it was definitely more maneuverable but since it’s impossible to switch out the back truck, the range of motion felt off.
I think it was fun, but not what I was searching for. I tried it with the YOW and Waterborne as well, but they both still felt off.
Out of all of them, I felt like the Waterborne adapter made the most sense because it’s not spring-based and it used a more compact design with a cube urethane bushing.
If there was a way to add Waterborne’s rail adapter, then I think it could help with the range of motion. For the surfskate feel I was looking for, the revel kit isn’t ideal.
I think I'm gonna have to try out the Unlimited hub motor kit soon.
Pros & Cons
So to summarize my experience, I’ll briefly share the pros & cons I could think of.
Starting with the cons…
Minimal Motor Clearance
Since it’s direct drive, the motor clearance is minimal if you use wheels smaller than 90mm. I didn’t have too many issues with the 85mm Caguamas, but I did bottom out the motors when I was on rougher pavement.
90mm revel wheels have about ½ inch of clearance from the motors. 85mm Orangatang Caguamas have about ⅜ inch of clearance.
Not sure how many of you shred Caguamas but just wanted to mention that.
Next, I kind of wish the battery was easier to remove. Not only that but the stock 90mm revel wheels were tough to get off the truck axles. I did end up getting both off but I wish there was an easier way.
The last con I could think of would be that the remote charging port is a micro USB and I wish the remote charging port was USB C. Minor but I think it’d be a nice addition.
Ease of Use
And for the pros, I love how easy it is out of the box to setup. I feel like Revel has made it super simple for anyone to make an electric board.
Secondly, the stock Revel setup – the wheels, bushings, trucks are all pretty solid in my opinion. Nothing really stood out to me as being low quality.
The last minor thing I would say is that I love that their manual is simple and straight to the point.
My overall experience with Revel has been positive and I would buy it again – I’m stoked to have it in my quiver.
Hope this article helped you out!