BoardUp is a company that have the ability to say that they have a world first. The BoardUp is the world’s first production self folding longboard. It began life on Kickstarter and has gone on to become one of the most popular new brands to hit longboarding in a while.
So what exactly does that mean and how well does it work? Keep reading our BoardUp review to find out.
The BoardUp is one of the most inventive longboards ever made. The self folding mechanism is designed and built brilliantly which leads to a very enjoyable ride and a super convenient and civilised way of riding in a city. The board is quite short, but it’s flexy and strong and rides very well. It could do with a bearing upgrade but the default ones will work fine. The BoardUp is one of the easiest ways to commute to work and we think for the fairly low price is one of the best products we’ve ever tested.
Check the latest price on the BoardUp website.
Deck: 33″ long 8 layers of Canadian Maple + 1 layer of fiberglass.
Trucks: 6″ Kingpin tilt 51.5 degrees. (Can be replaced by any standard trucks)
Wheels: Elastic PU 70 mm x 51mm high re-bounce Wheels. Supports 75mm and 83mm standard wheels.
Weight: 8lbs (3.6kg)
Dimensions: 19.5 x 9.75 x 5.5 in
The obvious feature that we need to talk about is the self folding mechanism. This isn’t just a hinge that’s placed in the center of the board. This is a complete system that will automatically lock the hinge in place when it is open. This adds a lot of strength and stability to a potential weak point. When you want to close the board you need to push down on the front of the board. This acts as a kind of switch that uses a cable to unlock the locking mechanism and allows the board to fold. This same action will push the front of the board down, which brings the back of the board forwards and helps the whole thing fold. It really is an ingenious design. After a couple of attempts it becomes super easy and the entire motion is so fluid that it actually becomes enjoyable getting off of a longboard.
So with that out of the way we’ll talk a bit about the rest of the board. The deck is made from 8 layers of Canadian Maple and a layer of fiberglass. This creates a very strong longboard that can really take a beating. The most recent model also has a metal plate on the underside of the deck that helps add strength to the center of the board.
The trucks are a decent pair of 6 inch Kingpins with a tilt of 51.5 degrees. These are replaceable but the front one will require a little work as the cable is integrated into the front truck.
The included wheels are 70mm x 51mm high re-bounce. These can be swapped out for 75mm, 83mm and even 90mm wheels. For the 90mm wheel you’ll need to move the rear truck to allow for enough space. BoardUp have included pre-drilled holes for this exact purpose.
Due to the excellent design the BoardUp will fit into a slightly larger than normal backpack, but the built in carry handle means that you don’t even need a bag and can easily carry it around like a carrier bag itself.
We never normally talk about the packaging on products like this, but with the BoardUp the packaging is incredibly good. It’s got a nice stylish box with solid inner packaging. It’s nice to see a company taking the time and effort to provide a complete quality experience.
Design and Build Quality
As mentioned before the design of the entire board is simple, elegant and verging on ingenious. The hinge and self folding mechanism work incredibly well, are super easy to use after a little practice and it even looks great when folded.
One small nitpick is that the board is quite thin. Obviously for it to be so light they had to make some compromises. One of the those was the thickness of the board. It is still very strong and can hold multiple fully grown adults but if you’re planning to do any serious downhill riding or even simple jumps we would recommend another longboard instead. This might seem obvious as it is designed for a completely different purpose, but I thought I’d clear that up.
Other than the thickness of the board there are very few negatives about the build quality. It’s superbly well made and can take a real beating.
We’ve found the BoardUp to feel very similar to a normal longboard when riding. It has a nice smooth ride due to the flexy deck and the soft wheels and can carve and cruise just as easily as some of the boards we’ve mentioned on our Best Longboards for Cruising post. I feel like it could benefit from being a little longer but I understand that this isn’t practical as the whole point of the board is to keep it light and small to make it ideal for commuting.
And it is ideal for commuting.
The quick, effortless transition from riding to walking with it in your hand is one of the best features any commuting product has that we’ve featured on the website. This makes commuting with it absolutely perfect. It might not be as fast as some longboards, and certainly isn’t as fast as some electric bikes or electric scooters that we’ve tested, but the sheer practicality of it being so portable will help save time and effort elsewhere.
What We Like About the BoardUp
- The Folding Mechanism – This is what makes the BoardUp what it is. I can’t rave about this enough. It’s a brilliant piece of design that makes this longboard completely unique.
- The Build Quality – With many other products out there that rely on one feature to sell them they are often very frugal with the attention paid to the rest of the product. This is certainly not the case with the BoardUp. The entire longboard is built and designed very well.
- The Performance – I was fully expecting to have to compromise on the performance of the board with a huge hinge and weak point right in the center of the board. But nope. It acts and feels just as I would expect a longboard of this size and price to act.
What We Don’t Like About the BoardUp
- Could Be Longer – As mentioned before, I feel like it could benefit from the board being longer to really help with control and carving. But as the board is focused on commuting and keeping it small and light, I totally understand that this shouldn’t be expected. Which makes it very difficult trying to find something that we don’t like about it.
If you’re looking for an exciting, innovative and efficient way to improve your commute or getting around campus then the BoardUp is one of the best products on the market. The self folding design works remarkably well and takes very little practice to become accustomed to. The rest of the board is as of a high a quality as the folding mechanism which leads to a great performance and some exciting carving. It’s also priced quite reasonably and should cost you no more than $200.
Check the latest price on the BoardUp website.
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