All hail the Capybara! It’s only been a few months since electric skateboard brand Defiant Board Society introduced the Defiant: One. I recently got my hands on one to see this beauty of a board up close and give it a spin. Despite its best efforts to knock me off, I was able to eventually carve this electric skateboard around town and had a blast doing so. Here are my thoughts.
Table of contents
Defiant Board Society wants to recruit you
Defiant’s name is an excellent summation of its entire ethos. It is more than just another eskate company, but a social club that describes itself as “inclusively rebellious.” I love that. Here’s a blurb from its website to give you an idea of what this group is all about:
Across the board, we stand for human rights. We’re not afraid to have an opinion. If that doesn’t sit well with some people, that means we’re doing something right. Although we’re against-the-grain, we have a supportive ethos for our community. We’re always seeking to build people up, create an approachable atmosphere, and help people do what makes them happy.
Defiant makes people happy by delivering electric skateboards designed to give experienced riders a rush back to their youth, where consequences (and blatant risk of injury if you’re me) are overshadowed by the sheer thrill of skating fast and living faster.
Long before the company even delivered its first board – the Defiant: One – this past February, it was working behind the scenes to ensure it delivered a flagship product curated and tested using the highest quality parts available.
Behold! The Defiant: One.
The Defiant: One sets new rebellious tone in design, function
We’ve covered plenty of electric skateboards on Electrek, many of which have impressed us and are worth a ride. While the segment continues to grow, a community of riders has begun to blossom. However, this world is still missing a tremendous element, in my opinion – culture.
I grew up pretending like I could kickflip on traditional skateboards, donning my favorite Spitfire or Zero tee while brandishing a subtle middle finger to every imaginary defiance my teen angst could drum up. Man, those were the days. Skating is just as much a state of mind and style as it is kicking, pushing, falling, and in the electric world, cruising… fast.
The Capybara logo with a safety pin through its ear (so punk) and thick chain strengthen a company name that already says it all – Defiant. The Defiant: One brings a fresh and welcomed rebelliousness to the world of electric skateboards that has previously skitched parallel to traditional skate culture but has rarely crossed over.
Although there are a few kinks to work out, this brand is off to an awesome start.
40 miles of range and speeds up to 38 mph? Sign me up
I talk a big game, but I admittedly did not get the Defiant: One all the way up to 38 mph, but I got close! My helmet is in storage as I’m in the process of a move, so I had to gear it back a little bit to ensure I stayed alive for my next skate review. You’re welcome.
As I said before, the Defiant team is no stranger to skateboards, and it did its homework when designing the One. After you get past the unique center logo and the beautiful deep cherry stain on this ten-ply maple deck, the next thing you’ll probably notice is its massive motors.
To reach such high speeds, the Defiant: One is propelled by two 6396 4,550-watt motors, which are powered by a 930Wh Molicel P42A battery pack – designed in a modular accordion style to flex along with the deck.
Moving along the side, you’ll notice the board’s big shiny, white wheels (which didn’t stay that way for long – trust me!). These are 100mm 76a duro urethane wheels, chosen by the team to deliver a smooth and grippy ride on any street.
Where the rear of the Defiant: One shines in pure power, the nose stands out in innovation. Defiant Board Society has implemented a “digital dashboard” at the front that offers real-time ride data such as speed, remaining range, plus odometers for a given trip and the lifetime stats of the board.
This was easily the coolest feature on an overall unique board, but it could use some fine-tuning. More on that below. Before that, here are some more specific specs of the Defiant: One:
- 2 x Large 6396 4550-watt motors
- 930 Wh Molicel battery pack
- 100mm 76a duro urethane wheels
- Hoyt St Puck remote control
- Genuine RipTide bushings (87a board side, 84a roadside)
- Adjustable trucks can be set to 50-, 43-, and 36-degree angles
- Three different ride modes of varying speeds
- Top speed: 38+ mph (depending on height and weight of rider)
- Range: 40+ miles (depending on height and weight of rider)
The One is defiant in both look and speed – can you tame it?
Defiant Board Society describes the One as a skateboard designed by seasoned riders for seasoned riders, and that couldn’t be more apparent. If the nearly 40 mph top speed wasn’t a dead giveaway, this is not a beginner-level board.
It is built in the USA with materials of the utmost quality from what I could tell, but every chance it got to knock me off, it tried and often succeeded… at least at first. As you’ll see if my full video review below, the sheer flexibility of the board took some getting used to, and I found the trucks (although great for carving) far too loose for my ride style. I had to tighten those bad boys up to stop them from wobbling at speeds above 15 mph.
The duro urethane wheels are stickier than they are smooth, gripping the road around each corner and wide carving sessions. However, they don’t absorb as well as some other wheels I’ve ridden, especially on all-terrain boards. Still, I felt zero vibration and never even got close to that uncomfortable sensation like my feet were falling asleep.
When I first saw the puck remote control, I was intrigued because I’m used to longer, more slender remotes, but I learned to love how the puck fit in my hand, although it was a bit trickier to switch ride modes.
The board’s brakes were really good… too good, actually. As you’ll see below, my first couple of attempts to stop in front of the camera sent me lunging forward, with the board suddenly taking off in reverse behind me. This is due to a unique feature Defiant Board Society added called “Smart Reverse.”
After you apply the brake trigger and the board comes to a halt, it will transition into reverse if you hold it long enough. Defiant says the feature is great for backing up out of a crosswalk or stopping on a hill, but I’m used to stopping and staying there, so there was a brief learning curve. Cool feature, though.
The digital dashboard is a truly unique piece of tech on an electric skateboard, but I found it a lot more useful when stopped and especially in the shade. Riding in the sun, I couldn’t really see the screen, and honestly, I wasn’t really looking at it as much as I thought I would. I was just enjoying the smooth, curvy ride it delivered.
I hit a couple of bugs with the display as well. When I first booted it up, it said my speed was 62 mph, and I didn’t even have the motors engaged. Later on, after riding outside for a while, I got red and blue police lights blinking at me on the screen, saying, “VESC fault: OVER CURRENT.” I think it had something to do with the speed controller, but it didn’t affect the ride of the board as far as I could tell, just the display.
This review process was a bit of a rollercoaster of emotions with the Defiant: One. When I unboxed it, I thought it was the most beautiful electric skateboard I had ever seen, but then I rode it for the first time and could not stop wobbling and fearing for my life. I tightened up the trucks, steeled myself, and learned to truly enjoy the smooth, quick ride this board can deliver.
If you’re a first-time rider, I would not recommend the Defiant: One. If you’ve been riding for a while and are perhaps looking for a second or possibly a third board to replace your old ones, this one is definitely worth a look. Like all boards, it really depends on your local terrain and how you intend to use it.
The 40-mile range is awesome as a commuter board, but your route better be smooth as you won’t be cutting through any dirt or grass. This is a street board for sure, and it’s designed and priced as such.
Pricing, discounts, and our video review
As a top-tier model built in the US with power and craftsmanship in mind, the Defiant: One is priced a tad higher than other boards, but you pay a premium for its beauty and function.
It starts at a price of $2,999, but you can use Promo Code SCOOTER100 for $100 off your Defiant One order or click the following link.
Now onto the video review. Watch me whip, wobble, and win below.
Author: Scooter Doll