BajaBoard Electric Skateboard Shock Absorbers / Suspension
One of the more noticeable differences between the BajaBoard G4 / G4X and the BajaBoard S2, is the type of shock absorber available.
On the G4 / G4X, BajaBoard uses coil shock absorbers only, but on the BajaBoard S2, it has the option of using air shock absorbers. And since the S2 came out, we have received many questions about why we can't use the air shock for the G4 / G4X.
The first point to clarify is the purpose of the shock absorber - which, as the name suggestions, is to absorb the shock from any impact created by debris or barriers in the terrain, or by the rider. For the shock absorber to function, it needs to be able to compress and rebound.
The second point to note is that BajaBoard adapts mountain bike shock absorbers. These shocks are designed to be one per rider, so by having 4 on a board, we are severely underloading them. The good part is that you will probably never break a shock with weight (unless you weigh 4 x the average person, in which case, please look after your health!), but the downside is that due to the lack of weight, there isn’t enough force acting on the shocks in their default state, so the ride will be super stiff. And if it’s super stiff, it’s kind of pointless having any shocks.
To overcome this, BajaBoard makes its own coils, which are much lighter than your average mountain bike coil. About a quarter (surprise, surprise). We also modify the shock damper so that it reacts a bit quicker than your average mountain bike shock. With these 2 factors combined, you end up with a nice cushiony feel on the suspension.
The air shock however, has a seal. And this seal generates a certain amount of friction. For the air shock to move, it needs to first overcome that seal friction. The problem on a BajaBoard G4 or G4X is that there simply wasn’t enough weight / force under normal riding circumstances, unless you took a huge bump (e.g. jumped onto the board from half a metre above). So it basically rode as if you had no suspension.
And you couldn’t let too much air out to soften the compression, as then there wouldn’t be enough pressure to return the shock to its fully extended position.
On the S2, however, with only 2 shocks, the air shock suddenly became more tenable. It still doesn’t react as finely as a coil would, but it’s much more active. We still recommend that air shocks are better if you ride on really bump terrain or want to do jumps, and coils are better for the average cruise. But, if you chose the air and you have no intention of jumping, it will still be ok, and will probably be a bit more efficient on smooth tarmac surfaces.