As someone who doesn’t own a car, and instead commutes by all manners of personal electric vehicles (e-bike, e-scooter, e-skateboard, basically e-anything), I was super excited to try out Linky’s new folding electric longboard.
Electric longboards are one of the most fun ways to commute around a city, in my opinion. I love feeling like I’m surfing down the street or bike lane and adding excitement to what would otherwise be a pretty mundane chore of grabbing some vegetables from the market.
But the most annoying part of using a longboard, which is an elongated skateboard meant for cruising instead of tricks, is just how long they are. Anytime I have to pick it up, it feels like I’m carrying a step-ladder around. At least, until I got my hands on a Linky folding electric longboard.
The abbreviated version of the review is this: Linky is a fun and more importantly functional electric longboard. Unlike other products that try to be too many things and end up failing at all of them, Linky is a really solid ride and the folding mechanism actually works. It holds its own as a powerful and maneuverable electric longboard – folding or otherwise.
I found it really hard to find anything to complain about, but if forced to, I would have liked to see some type of handle added to allow you to fold it without holding the wheels, and potentially a dual motor design using two lower power motors instead of the single high power motor it comes with. I’ve found it is sometimes a little too powerful for lighter weight riders like myself. Other than that, Linky gets an A+ in my book.
But this little folding electric longboard is too cool for summaries, so let’s dive into the details.
Build quality – 9/10
Linky is solid. Surprisingly solid. I was jumping up and down it as best I could without flying off, and it just flexed smoothly like any other longboard – the good kind of flex that helps to absorb vibrations.
The upper deck is bamboo with clear grip tape, and the underside of the deck is carbon fiber. The two help keep the board strong and lightweight, while still allowing enough give to remain comfortable.
The folding mechanism is also very well designed. I spent the first few days cautious that I was going to lose a finger, but that never happened. As it turns out, in order to open and close Linky, you have to hold onto the wheels, which keeps your hands as far away as possible from the folding mechanism in the center of the board.
The trucks are also solid and the bushings felt great right out of the box, if not a tiny bit loose. I used the included T-tool to tighten the trucks just a bit to a level that felt more comfortable to me.
Speaking of the box, Linky came beautifully packaged, almost like opening an Apple product. Whoever designed the packaging did a great job – it was oddly fun to unbox!
Ride quality – 8/10
Generally speaking, Linky rides great. However, it took a couple of days to get used to it, as it rides differently than any other electric skateboard I’ve ridden. The two-part deck is angled up towards the center of the board, which seems funny at first but soon begins to feel natural after a couple of days.
Almost all of the electric skateboards I’ve ridden have been dual motor affairs, and the single motor boards have been weaker budget boards. Linky is the first single motor board I’ve ridden that is also high power – which meant that it took a couple of days to get used to the slight pull to one side during acceleration and braking.
Speaking of pull, Linky is a puller, not a pusher. While most electric skateboards use rear wheel drive, Linky uses a front wheel drive setup to keep all the electronics on the same end of the board.
All of these design choices are fairly unique to Linky. If this is your first board, you probably won’t even notice them, but if you are used to riding electric skateboards and longboards, it will definitely feel different. However, I was surprised how quickly I acclimated to the differences. Within 48 hours or so, I didn’t really notice the front wheel single motor drive, it just felt intuitive and natural as my body got used to it.
When it comes to ride comfort, Linky blows my other electric longboards out of the water. I’ve usually been a fan of hub motors as they tend to be a bit quieter than belt drive motors. However, the downside to hub motors is that they create a harsher ride because the polyurethane on the wheels is thinner to accommodate the in-wheel motor.
Linky uses a belt drive motor, allowing it to take advantage of larger polyurethane wheels. Between the true longboard wheels and the flex of the deck, bumps and shocks are nicely absorbed – much more so than any other board I’ve ridden.
Ironically, Linky is even quieter on brick and other uneven surfaces, despite the slightly louder belt drive motors. My other boards tend to resonate loudly with vibrations on uneven surfaces, but Linky absorbs those vibrations and results in an overall quieter and more pleasant ride on anything other than perfectly smooth surfaces. On brand new asphalt, Linky is still just a bit louder than hub motor boards.
Maneuverability – 9/10
Linky is shorter than most longboards, measuring around 29” or 80 cm. The shorter wheel base and exposed wheels mean that it not only has a tighter turning radius, but you can also lean much harder into turns without worrying about wheel bite, or having the deck touch the wheels.
With my previous boards, I usually have to hop off and turn the board by hand whenever I need to make a 90 degree turn, such as transitioning from a crosswalk onto the sidewalk or bike lane.
With Linky, I was amazed that I could actually stay on the board and make super tight turns. I don’t know how it does it really, but the thing just turns on a dime.
I actually hopped back on my regular electric longboard the other day, and I nearly fell off when I tried to turn. I had gotten used to the nimbleness of Linky, but when I tried to turn my 44” pin tail electric longboard, it felt like I was riding a canoe down the bike lane.
The only way Linky could be better in this respect would be if it had a small kick tail, or the little ramp at the back of some skateboards, which would allow you to make the tightest of turns and also to pop the board up to grab it instead of bending over to pick it up. But this feature is pretty rare on electric longboards, and would have also made the board bigger in its folded position, so I can see why the designers didn’t include it.
Convenience – 8/10
The most convenient thing about Linky is its folding ability. The fact that it folds and unfolds quickly and easily makes it a pleasure to use for commuting around the city. If I know I’ll be going to a crowded coffee shop or bar, I used to think twice about bringing my longboards because I dreaded dealing with finding a corner to stash it in, or having it hang out from under my seat like a waitress-tripping tool.
With Linky, I can literally take it just about anywhere. The included backpack it came with is nice quality and fits the folded Linky perfectly. There’s even enough room for extra stuff in the front pocket. When traveling, I kept my laptop, magazines and a small bottle of water in it even with Linky inside. When riding my bike to the beach to film my Linky review video (below), I kept my folding tripod, microphone and other smaller filming gear in the bag with the folded board.
I also love that Linky has a built-in holder for the remote. When you fold the board, you can lock the remote in so you don’t lose it.
The one major inconvenience is the way the folding mechanism actuates. Essentially, you need to hold onto the wheels in order to open and close the board. While this helps to keep your hands away from the folding mechanism, it ends up leaving your fingers dirty once your wheels inevitably become covered in road dust after the first few rides. The pretty red wheels don’t stay looking pretty for long, and that transfers to your fingers when you open and close the board.
If you’re like me, you’ll probably just give your hands a quick wipe on your shorts and call it a day. I enjoy living a pretty chill Mediterranean lifestyle and haven’t worn a suit since my wedding, but I can imagine that if I was riding Linky to work, I wouldn’t want to be wiping my hands off on my good pants.
Power – 8/10
Linky is quite powerful, and if anything, it might be more power than I need. I’m a fairly lightweight guy at 68 kg (150 lbs), and occasionally I could get the motor to spin free when accelerating if I floored the throttle. There’s nothing quite like performing a burnout on a skateboard.
But by ensuring I put more weight on my front foot when accelerating (which you should do anyways on an electric skateboard by leaning into the acceleration), that issue was mostly mitigated.
When I can maintain traction with the powerful motor, the acceleration is impressive. It’s not going to beat my 1,600 W dual hub motor longboard in a drag race, but it is almost as good. That’s saying something, because there’s no way this motor is rated for 1,600 W. So if it can keep up with the big boys, then that’s what matters.
Speed – 7/10
While Linky is quite powerful, it isn’t super fast. My Linky topped out at about 25 km/h (15 mph), even in sport mode. For beginners at least, that’s plenty fast. Most people don’t go that fast until they learn to feel comfortable on an electric skateboard.
However, having ridden electric longboards at speeds up to 42 km/h (25 mph), Linky occasionally left me wanting more speed.
Range – 9/10
Linky’s range is quite good. The longest trip I made on a single charge was 14.7 km (8.8 mi) and the Linky app told me I still had 10% battery left. That was in sport mode, which is presumably the largest watt hog.
The manufacturer rates Linky for 16 km (10 mi) of range, which seems to be dead accurate based on my experience. If you’re familiar with light electric vehicles like electric bicycles or skateboards, then you know that you never actually get the manufacturer’s stated range in the real world. So the fact that Linky actually achieves its claimed range is impressive in its own right, and perhaps says even more about the integrity of the company than the board itself.
I imagine that I would have gotten even better range on a single charge if I was in Eco mode or even Cruise mode, since those modes limit your acceleration and speed, which saves battery life. But hey, life is too short to worry about battery life when you’re carving down the street, so sport mode it is for me!
Remote – 9/10
The remote is well designed, and I like the gentle curve that fits nicely in my hand. Other electric skateboards often have straight or boxy remotes, which aren’t as much fun to hold.
The throttle button is nicely rubberized so I always felt like I had a good grip on it, even when going over rougher terrain.
I liked that I could turn on the Linky’s headlight from the remote too, which was good for when it was starting to get dark but I didn’t want to stop and pull out my phone to access the app.
Unlike other electric longboard remotes that use small LEDs to tell you battery stats, the Linky remote uses big fat LED lenses that make the battery level of the remote and board clear at a glance.
My only complaint about the remote is that it doesn’t light up to tell you when the remote is finished charging – you have to turn the remote on during charging to see its charge level. However, in the first 82 km (51 mi) that I’ve put on the board so far, I haven’t had to juiced up the remote since its first charge when I took it out of the box, so I guess that won’t be an issue very often. The remote seems to hold a charge forever.
Linky App – 8/10
I actually didn’t start using the Linky app until about half way through my testing, since most of these companion apps are usually just novelties to try to sell you on the features. But once I fired it up, I was instantly impressed.
I love that you don’t need to use the remote to work your way through the mode settings, which takes a series of multiple button clicks on the remote. Instead, the app uses an intuitive user interface that makes selecting the riding mode easy.
The trip recorder is really cool if you’re a data junky like me. I really like comparing my different trips and seeing states like time, distance, average speed, average power, etc.
The app also records lifetime stats too, and it’s fun to watch your total distance increase over time like the odometer in a car. I’m still a bit confused about the total time though, which seems like many fewer hours than I’ve actually spent on the board. I believe it might just be tracking hours that you recorded in trips, and not total hours, but I’m not sure about that.
While I didn’t have to do this yet, when new firmware versions for the board or remote are released, you can use the app to update either piece of hardware directly.
Linky broadcasts a bluetooth signal when it’s open, which allows your phone to connect to the board so you can use the app. However, when the board is closed or not near you, the app won’t work. That is a bit of a bummer if you want to show your stats to a friend or check them out yourself but your board isn’t open or next to you at the time. Hopefully in a future software update they will include this sort of “offline” support for the app.
Price – 7/10
Linky isn’t cheap, starting at $1,099. However, in the world of premium electric skateboards, that’s a pretty fair price. Boosted Boards recently unveiled their new line of electric skateboards and their longboards start at around $1,399. Other higher quality electric skateboards, such as the $999 Inboard M1 electric longboard, are also in the same price range as Linky. But of all the premium electric longboards, only Linky is going to fit in a backpack and travel easily.
On the other end of the spectrum, you can of course find budget electric skateboards like the Riptide for $599 and even super budget electric skateboards for under $200, but none of them will have the power, speed or convenience of Linky.
So while Linky isn’t the most affordable board out there, you definitely get what you pay for with this one.
Traveling – 10/10
This is where Linky really shines. The board came with a Linky shirt that said:
The world is a book, and those who don’t travel read only the first page.
Plus it speaks to the entire reason the Linky team set out to build a folding longboard: for traveling.
I found Linky to be perfectly suited for the task. While I received the board in the US, I tested its travel ability by taking it home with me to Tel Aviv. What was supposed to be a 24 hour, rather painless journey turned into a 3-day odyssey including multiple flight delays which led to 3 connections through 4 airports and bookings on a total of 6 different flights before the airlines finally got me home.
Even though I was a bit worse for wear by the end (and my next couple articles suffered some embarrassing typos), Linky handled the trip like an absolute champ.
I removed the battery from the board as instructed by Linky’s handy guide, and packed the board in the Linky backpack. TSA in Miami didn’t even give the board a second look. Dusseldorf security gave me a few funny looks and the guy in Vienna ran it through the bomb tester, but was perfectly nice about it as explained that it was standard operating procedure for anything “unusual”.
That’s fair, there’s nothing usual about Linky.
But in the end, I was never given any problems and I had an electric skateboard to ride around in the airport and at my destination.
You’ll have to check your local airline regulations to make sure they allow Linky. Most allow both the board and the battery to be carried on, so long as you remove the battery from the board like I did. But laws are always changing so be sure to check in advance each time you fly to avoid unpleasantries at the airport.
I think the biggest judge of the quality of a product is the “are you going to use it” test. Anyone can say something nice about a product in a review, but if it’s really something good, then you’ll actually want to use it.
For me, Linky has definitely become my go-to electric longboard. It’s just so convenient that I have almost stopped using my other three electric skateboards completely. My electric scooter and three electric bicycles have also been getting neglected because now I usually hop on the Linky for the majority of my errands around town.
Linky is a really solidly built board that has respectable performance for what it does. It isn’t the fastest board out there, so if you have a need for extreme speed, this isn’t it. But if you want a longboard that works as well as any other electric longboard yet is more convenient to carry around than even a small electric skateboard, Linky is definitely the ticket.
If you’ve never ridden an electric skateboard before, or any skateboard for that matter, you might be wondering how hard it is to pick up. For reference, I had never set foot on any skateboard before about 4 or 5 months ago, when I tried my first electric skateboard. I took it slow while I was learning, but within about 2 weeks I felt pretty confident at speeds of around 20 km/h (12 mph), and within a couple months I was confident at speeds over 30 km/h (18.6 mph). I consider myself to have pretty decent balance already though from a number of sports, so your mileage may vary.
What do you think? Would you want to try out a Linky? Let us know in the comments below.
Subscribe to Electrek on YouTube for exclusive videos and subscribe to the podcast.