The WowGo AT2 is the latest off-road electric skateboard to hit the market. Clearly aimed at taking a piece of Evolve Skateboards’ huge market share, the board is of a similar design to the Evolve GTR Carbon All Terrain, but with a few additional surprises. Strong riding dynamics, powerful motors and a comfortable ride make the AT2 one of, if not the best all-terrain electric skateboard currently available under $2500.
The original Wowgo AT which was released in 2018 had some serious issues with rear truck stability and was not a strong seller. Wowgo seems to have listened to what their customers had to say since then, and all the previous issues from the original WowGo AT are non-existent on the AT2. The drop through deck, stable ride, and powerful motor combined with the pneumatic tires makes for a comfortable ride all the way up to maximum speed (40 kmph/25 mph). Two 1500W motors offer plenty of acceleration and torque, the bushings and trucks are stable and allow for a nice carve, and the ability to switch the board on and off using only the hand controller is a welcome addition to any electric skateboard (especially a heavy one).
The only real issue with the AT2 is that it’s heavy. Weighing in at 13.6 kg/30 lbs you don’t want to be having to carry the AT2 around with you for too long. It’s bulky and awkward to lug around, and without an aftermarket handle or motor guard to grab onto, it’s quite awkward to roll around behind you as you walk as well.
WowGo is an up-and-coming brand in the esk8 world. With their electric skateboards offering value for money and high levels of quality and performance, the brand quickly built a name for itself and a strong following from its many, mostly-happy, customers.
Their range of electric street skateboards, especially the WowGo 3 and Wowgo 3X are well loved and the AT2 was a much anticipated release. Chinese company Wowgo are known to be one of the better ‘budget’ electric skateboard brands, but with the AT2 pushing above the US$1000 mark and with specs rivaling boards costing double that price, ‘budget’ isn’t really a fitting adjective anymore.
The combination of components, build quality, and technology make the range of WowGo electric skateboard the envy of many other esk8 brands. Customer service is still not at the same standard as some other manufacturers however, and while Chinese board makers are slowly getting better with their after sales service, there’s still a lot of room for improvement.
After an initial delay with the shipping of the pre-ordered AT2s, I was pleasantly surprised to receive my board very quickly. Some buyers have been unfortunate however and their shipping times have been woeful, however it seems that things are getting back to normal now.
My board arrived about a month after I had received an Ownboard Carbon AT with 7 inch pneumatic tyres for testing, so I have had a really good benchmark for comparison. I’ll try not to compare the boards too much in this review as that really needs to be a separate post of its own, however having both board to test in unison has definitely been beneficial.
With the Wowgo AT2 being almost a year newer, one would expect it to be better in many ways. I was not disappointed. Taking nothing away from the Carbon, across the board the WowGo AT2 is a solid performer. The padded foam covered, drop through deck is comfortable to ride and you can tuck down into it for stability at higher speeds. The motors are strong and torquey, even big hills don’t bother them. The breaks work great, acceleration is smooth and the pneumatic tyres give you confidence riding on even the most uneven terrain.
Another bonus is the extras WowGo provides with the board. A tyre pump is included with some spare belts, tubes and a spare tyre.
WowGo claim a range of up to 35 kilometres / 22 miles on the AT2 which is higher than the Evolve GTR Carbon All Terrain (30 kms/19 miles), the Ownboard Carbon and Bamboo AT models (30 kms/19 miles) and the Backfire Ranger X2 (24-30 kms/15-19 miles). This is an interesting figure since the motor and battery specs on the Evolve and Ownboards are almost exactly the same as the WowGo AT2, but WowGo claim their board can go further (even though it’s the heaviest of all the aforementioned boards).
In my own testing I wasn’t able to reach 35kms, however the terrain around where I live is very hilly so that would definitely have had an effect on this. Other AT2 owners claimed to have reach 35 kms/19 miles on their boards, which is impressive. My numbers weren’t too far off of 30 kms distance riding in less than ideal conditions, so that number is a fairly good indicator of a realistic range.
The AT2 has 4 speed setting so you can get comfortable riding as lower speeds if you’re not already confident electric skateboarding at speed. I find these lower settings useful when teaching people to ride for the first time as well. Even though it’s quite easy to control the speed using the hand controller, there’s something about having speed and acceleration limited that makes learners feel more comfortable when stepping on the board for the first time.
At the other end of the spectrum those of you who are seasoned riders are going to be more interested in how fast you can go on this board. On this highest speed setting acceleration of the AT2 is brisk but predictable, and the board can quite quickly hit its maximum speed at around 40 kmph / 25mph.
At maximum speed wobbles can be kept to a minimum if you’re an experiences rider, and cruising at close to maximum speed is not difficult or dangerous if you’re on a fairly flat road or pathway. I’ve hit 46 kilometres per hour on a moderate downhill on a bitumen road and I didn’t even realize until after I checked the Relive app after I reached my destination. The speed is always viewable on the hand controller, but you’re likely not going to be looking at that while riding unless you’re purposefully trying to hit a particular speed.
Many people won’t ride their boards in the rain, and I wouldn’t usually either but if a storm hits when I’m halfway home I’m going to choose to ride 5 kms up a wet bitumen road rather than walk up it carrying this thing.
This happened to me on a weekend ride and I was actually surprised at the grip the board was able to maintain in such a downpour. I was riding around 25 kmph / 15 mph without issues, but after less than 5 minutes in the heavy rain I pulled into a coffee shop to wait out the storm as I was concerned about the remote getting water damaged.
Since I’ve been testing the board out pretty thoroughly in different environments, I’ve had it covered in mud a number of times too. I’ve used both a regular hose and a high pressure hose to clean off all the dirt, and so far no issues with water damage or water getting into the electrics.
A big part of hitting top speed is getting there, and the AT2 offers plenty of power and torque to do so. The board runs an upgraded version of the Hobbywing ESC which offers smooth acceleration and breaking, both of which I cannot fault. I’m yet to do some time trials between the Ownboard Carbon AT and the WowGo AT2 but I suspect that their stats will be almost identical.
I’ve taken both boards up some very steep inclines which they both conquered quite impressively, and I’ve also tested their breaks going down some incredibly steep declines without any issues at all breaking to almost a complete stop.
The WowGo AT2 remote in an update on the older WowGo remotes with no display screen, and is compatible with many of their older boards. The unit is comfortable to hold and comes with a write strap so you won’t lose it if you fall. It’s not waterproof however, so even though the board is you need to be careful it doesn’t get too wet if you’re out riding and get stuck in the rain.
The hand controller displays the remaining battery for both the board and the remote itself, which speed setting you are in, current speed, direction, single range and total range. It is easy to use with just one button for all operations, and charges from empty to full in around half an hour. The remote uses 2.4G RF technology to connect to the board, and in all of my testing over the last month I haven’t noticed a single drop in connection at any time.
The AT2 does have a really special feature which really makes a big difference to the experience of your board. It may not seem like much but once you have a board that turns on automatically when the remote is switched on, you’ll never want to go back. Bending down to lift up a 13kg board isn’t a fun part of owning a board, so with the AT2’s auto turn on and off, you’ll not have to lift up your board, or bend down to press the power button nearly as often. Expect to see this feature become standard on all electric skateboards in the near future.
The AT2’s drop through deck suits my riding style. I love to ride fast and being able to push my feet against the ride of the board for grip offers an element of security at speed. This is also useful when riding off road on bumpy tracks or slippery gravel. The padded foam grip tape works well here too, offering a bit of extra dampening which in synergy with the air filled tyres makes for a comfortable ride even over longer distances.
The deck offers a good amount of flex, but this is less important on pneumatic tyres where the air absorbs a lot of the shock and you travel over rough terrain. It’s almost identical in size to the Evolve and Ownboard competitors, which isn’t surprising since these boards are almost certainly modelled on the highly-successful Evolve GTR Carbon All Terrain board.
The drop down deck means your centre of gravity is lower too, but with the AT wheels you’re still up high enough not to hit anything underneath unless you’re really riding off the beaten track. I’ve ridden on some pretty hectic gravel roads, forest pathways and over overgrown grasslands and bottoming out has not been an issue for me at all thus far.
If there’s a difference between various brands on 7 inch pneumatic tyres it’s minimal. The tyres on the AT2 are exactly the same brand, size and pattern as those on the Ownboard so there’s zero difference there. I haven’t ridden on the Evolve 7 inch kit as yet, but I can’t imagine the feel would be vastly different.
The tyres grip well even in the wet. I got caught out in a pretty serious storm and didn’t have any issues losing traction even on the declines. Mud and dirt does flick up off the back wheels which is a problem with most AT boards, which is why a lot of DIY esk8ers 3D print mud-guards for their boards.
Double kingpin trucks are not known for their stability at speed, but the way the WowGo AT2 is setup, I had no issues controlling the board wobbles. Feedback from the wheels is predictable and the board turns and carves really nicely. I tightened the trucks a little bit before I felt like they were in the perfect position for my weight (I’m around 70 kg / 155 lbs), and while bushings are often one of the first upgrades people get for their boards, this is unnecessary for the AT2.
WowGo claim a 30 degree incline is capable on the AT2. This is a similar stat to all competitors. I have absolutely no doubt this board is capable of overcoming a 30 degrees incline, I’m pretty sure I’ve been up steeper hills than that on it, but it’s hard to accurately measure any incline exactly, so I can’t be 100% sure. Regardless I’ve had the board going uphill for the best part of 5kms non-stop, through a mountainous section of road and I had no issues at all.
Weight is the biggest negative of the AT2 by far. Don’t plan on carrying this thing around with you too much. The extra weight of the board might offer some stability at high speeds, but when you’re carrying it or pulling it behind you, you really notice how bulky it is. This is probably not going to be an issue for most of you, but keep it in mind if you’re going to be riding this places where you can’t ride for the whole time. Especially stairs. I haven’t had the displeasure of having to carry this up many stairs, and I don’t want to ever have to try.
In terms of dimensions the AT2 is almost the same size as most of its competitors being 112cm / 44 inches long and 31cm or just over 12 inches wide. This is slightly longer than the Evolve GT Carbon and Wowgo AT2, but not by much.
To fully charge the battery from zero or close to it takes 3-4 hours.
This is a difficult question and really depends on what terrain you’re going to be riding on, what your budget is, and how experienced you are at riding. I live in an area with pretty bad roads, lots of nature (dirt tracks, gravel roads, grasslands) and pretty hilly terrain. The boards suits me because it means I can relax a bit more when riding on the shoddy bitumen, which is something I can’t do if I ride on street wheels. I can also take the board off-road for a bit of fun easily, and use it as a commuter as well for around town.
If you live in a city with good roads, nice pathways and smooth concrete, you’d probably be better off getting an electric longboard with smaller wheels (or the Cloudwheels setup on the AT2), but if you’re planning on hitting rougher terrain off-road, tackling mountains or mud, or need that extra bit of waterproofing or power, the AT2 with pneumatic tires could be the board for you.
Honestly, I can’t imaging you’d regret purchasing one of these. I love this board, it’s so much fun I just wish it was easier to carry around with me everywhere!
The WowGo AT2 has already won praise from throughout the esk8 community and I completely understand why. The board is great in almost every aspect, it’s good value for money, well designed and built, powerful and fast. If you’re not worried about the hefty weight or are looking for the best bang for your buck AT board, then this board is probably the right choice for you.
There’s other boards that come close on specs and bang for your buck, but as of October 2020, nothing else in even close to the same price tops the AT2. Why consider anything else when you’d need to be paying at least 2x more to get something better?