When was the last time you had a proper tumble? One that left you in agonizing pain. It’s been more than a decade for me. But I can finally revert my “Days Since Last Accident” sign back to zero, and it’s all thanks to a skateboard. I knew I should’ve listened to my mom.  

On my first real ride with Evolve’s new Hadean Carbon All Terrain electric skateboard, I didn’t go more than 30 feet before I lost my balance and landed chest first on the road. The board rolled off toward the sidewalk. Groaning, I slowly picked myself up and limped toward it. I scuffed up my palm and knee, but my torso was stiff and in pain. By the next morning, it felt like I got hit by a truck. It took around two weeks to feel completely normal again. 

I was naive. I’d never ridden a skateboard before, let alone an electric one! That day, it became obvious that this thing was nothing like the electric scooters and electric bikes that I’ve tested. Balance actually matters! I figured I could learn as I went along. Well. Chest, meet asphalt.

Sk8er Boi

Photograph: Evolve

Evolve’s Hadean is an electric longboard with dual 3000-watt motors baked into the chassis, along with a beefy battery. The carbon fiber construction feels high-end and durable. You control it with an equally premium-feeling remote you hold in your hand, called the Phaze, secured by a wrist strap. The Phaze has an LCD display, a throttle, a brake, and buttons to switch modes, configure speeds, and customize visibility lights on the board.

Squeeze the throttle on the back of the Phaze and you’ll move forward on the board. (There’s a dead man’s switch you can toggle on so it never accelerates without you pressing both.) Gently hit the brakes and you’ll stop. You steer by leaning your body left or right and turning the board’s trucks (the devices on the bottom of the board that contain the wheel axles on a pivot point). Hadean includes a tool to tighten or loosen the trucks; I prefer more stiff trucks, as I found it easier to control my balance. 

During those two weeks of pain, the Hadean leaned against the wall next to my front door, staring at me as I left the house without it. Shortly after the pain went away, I’d consider taking the board somewhere for an errand—the post office, a nearby deli—but then suddenly remember how great walking feels. 

I finally mustered the courage. Cue the training montage. I watched YouTube videos with riding tips. I took the Hadean to a parking lot and practiced riding it powered off, kicking off with my leg to get a proper feel for the board and balance. Then I slowly eased into its electric assist, starting at 5 mph and ratcheting it up to 10. Last week, I hit 21 mph.

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