The fastest we've ever been on an electric skateboard was about 40 km/h, or 25 mph. That was a truly scary speed in our books, but the lunatics at Baja boards are preparing to nearly double it with this 8-kilowatt monster of a thing: the Pantera.
Electric skateboards seem to be taking off like wildfire as an urban transport option, despite questionable legal status in many (if not most) places. They're fast, fun and easier to stick under your work desk than an e-bike. They can also get pretty scary - see our review of the Epic Dominator Pro, a 4-wheel drive off-road monster with some 3.2 kilowatts of power. At its full speed around 40 km/h, you want to have your wits about you.
Things have moved on considerably since 2015; Bajaboards' own G4X is a four-wheel-drive monster with a top speed around 60 km/h (37 mph). It handles 0-40 km/h (0-25 mph) in about 2.5 seconds if you can stay on the thing under that kind of acceleration, and basically looks like a bit of a widowmaker to us in its own right.
Which makes the Pantera an act of extreme lunacy. With four 3.5-kilowatt motors, a 10S, 1.1 kWh battery pack and four 110-amp motor controllers, this thing puts out a peak power around 8 kilowatts, or 10.7 horsepower. It has a range up to 45 km, or 28 miles, and a blistering top speed of 72 km/h (45 mph).
"We thought 'if we put all cost considerations aside, how much power can we stuff into a little box?'," says Bajaboards' George Li. "It was more of a technical demonstration than anything else, but we thought we'd make it into something that's available for a very niche consumer. Obviously, it's for private property and not public roads.
"We haven't made it to top speed yet in testing. We don't have the cojones to go that fast! We're still looking for an open patch of airfield or something to runs some tests. We've done acceleration tests and all that kind of thing. I think we've only been pulling about 70-80 percent. You can't stay on the thing at full throttle. Even the G4X, we can't pull full throttle. We look at this board as a bit of an ego thing, a show-off thing, like a supercar. It's not necessary. You're hardly ever going to open it right up and try to use all the power."
The Pantera doesn't look set to break any Guinness World Records for the time being – that dubious honor belongs to Nextboard out of Slovenia, which managed to clock an official speed of 95.83 km/h (59.55 mph) through a speed trap on a runway, with company test rider Mischo Erban on board in full motorcycle gear and a set of sneakers. That process included a couple of very nasty looking high-speed wipeouts that can be enjoyed in a Guinness YouTube video. Certainly, the option's there for the Bajaboards team to fit bigger controllers and batteries to get closer to the theoretical 14 kW peak output of those four motors and have a crack at that record, but you'd need a bit of a superhero to step up and volunteer to ride the thing.
As with the rest of Baja's boards, the controller can be limited to make the board as friendly as you like, all the way down to a top speed around jogging pace if you want. And, like the G4X, the Pantera has the ability to turn itself around using a mini burnout kind of action the company calls "tank mode." So you don't have to heave the 26 kg board around physically if you need to jump off and change direction at a standstill.
With adjustable suspension, alloy rims, matt black paint and custom head and tail lights, the Pantera will be a bespoke build with a price "around what a mid to high end mountain bike costs," according to Li, who also tells us that the company is actively trying to dissuade people from buying one unless they're already adept on a G4X or a similarly quick board. "It's certainly not a mass market thing," he says, "but it's an attention grabber for sure!"
He's not kidding.
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