Portable electric skateboard for beginners

Here I am, back at it with another test run of a new product in electric mobility. This go-around is with Base Camp and its F11 electric skateboard. Unlike many of the longboards I’ve reviewed in the past, the F11 is much closer to the skateboards I grew up unsuccessfully kickflipping on. Its specs won’t blow you away, but its portability, ease of use, and available accessories are definitely worth a look.

Base Camp wants to be a skateboard brand for the people

Base Camp was founded by two product design students while they were still in college. Although the company specializes in electric skateboards and scooters today, its roots were paved in surfing… and failure.

The company’s first product was a surfing accessory whose manufacturing ended up 3 millimeters askew from the original design draft. Rather than sell the incorrect size accessory and risk a 0.6% failure rate, Base Camp founder Steven decided to pull the product and eat a loss of $150,000.

Clearly, quality is important to the Base Camp team. According to the company’s website, the customer’s love for its products is far more important than the pursuit of profits. Most economists might argue there’s a middle ground there, but this is an admirable ethos nonetheless.

Since then, the company has (hopefully) recouped from its early losses and is offering an expanded lineup of electrified mobility solutions and safety accessories. My first exposure to Base Camp is its lone electric skateboard offering – the F11. This mini-board is light, portable, and super fun to carve around on, especially if you grew up skating.

The Base Camp F11 electric skateboard specs

As you’ll see in my video review below, this is a significantly smaller board than I’m used to… at least compared to all-electric rides. The F11 from Base Camp is a mini-board, although I’d argue it’s only mini compared to a longboard and is similar in size to a classic skateboard from the ’80s. Bart Simpson would love this thing.

It measures 29.1 inches in length and is 9.3 inches wide, offering a compact, mobile footprint that’s a blast to carve around on. I felt like one of the Lords of Dogtowncrouching and zooming around on this board, and found myself much more comfortable on it from the first ride thanks to its smaller size (I’m admittedly more comfortable on skateboards rather than longboards).

  • Base Camp skateboard
  • Base Camp skateboard

The Base Camp F11’s small size does have its downsides, however, especially if you’re a seasoned electric skateboard rider. The limited space on the 8-ply maple deck allows for a 4,000 mAh (14.8 Wh) battery pack, and the right rear wheel houses the board’s single 300-watt hub motor.

As a result, the F11 can only reach a top speed of 10 mph – quite a bit lower than other boards that usually top out around 25-30 mph. Some would argue that level of speed is unnecessary for an electric skateboard. I’ll agree that 30 mph on a deck scares me, but it would have been nice to go a bit faster. The remote control offers four different speed modes in addition to four different levels of braking distance (something I’ve never seen before):

  • Beginner Mode: 0-3.1 mph
  • Eco Mode: 0-6.2 mph
  • Expert Mode: 0-10 mph
  • Pro Mode: 0-10 mph (faster acceleration)

It would have been nice to have a second motor for some extra power going up inclines. The F11 is only designed to handle hills up to 10 degrees, a fact that was immediately apparent. I lost a lot of speed on the slightest inclines.

On flat surfaces and downhill rides, however, Base Camp’s skateboard and its 90 mm wheels provide one helluva ride to cruise around on. It’s also, hands down, the most portable electric skateboard I’ve ridden yet.

Backpack, helmet, and accessories to boot

Be sure to check out the video review below so you can get a feel for the accessories that come with the purchase of a new F11 electric skateboard from Base Camp. Each deck comes with a backpack that can be folded up and used on its own or can securely store the F11 and your tools/other stuff during travels around town.

I threw everything into the backpack, hopped on my electric bike, and rode to a flat open area to test the F11 out. It may not seem like much, but the backpack accessory is a really nice touch here by Base Camp – I loved having all my skate stuff in one portable bag. It’s great for storage when not using the board, as well.

In addition to the skateboard, Base Camp also sent me a brand new BC019 helmet to test out – complete with a rechargeable rear light with five different display settings. It’s like having taillights on the back of your head!

While I remain a proponent of safety, I am admittedly not a huge fan of helmets – mostly because I have a bigger head and have struggled to find one that fits comfortably without making my dome look like an egg. The BC019 offers a lightweight ABS shell that is easily adjustable and an EPS liner that is very comfortable. The color I chose is called Tumbled-Rigid, which is dark denim, but there are four other options to choose from.

Pricing, availability, and my video review

Overall, I would classify Base Camp’s F11 as a beginner skateboard due to its limited speed (10 mph) and range (9 miles real world). It’s definitely not a commuter board, nor is it trying to be. I’d recommend the F11 to riders who are not only new to electric skateboarding but are perhaps more comfortable on a shorter board.

You won’t go breaking any land speed records, and you’re going to want to keep your terrain as flat as possible, but when you do ride the F11, it’s a blast to crouch, carve, and cruise… just don’t try to ollie! (You’ll see why in the video.)

The compact size and portability is the real selling point of this board, in my opinion, as you can strap it into the backpack, hop on your bike or the train, then easily skate around on it wherever you end up. I can’t say that about most electric skateboards.

Another huge perk of the F11 is pricing – Base Camp is currently selling the skateboard package (including the backpack) for $299.99 – that’s almost $200 off. Be sure to check out Base Camp’s site if you’re interested, and if you’d like to learn more – watch my full video review below.

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