It’s been a little while since we’ve seen an electric skateboard come out that really dared to push the boundaries of the vehicle’s capabilities. That’s why I am excited today to discuss the new and upcoming SPECTRA X by WALNUTT. This is the newest model in a line of portable and fashionable e-skateboards that all started with the original SPECTRA model from 2017.
If you’re unfamiliar with the story so far then allow us to get you up to date. WALNUTT created an Indiegogo campaign a couple of years ago for their new e-skateboard called the SPECTRA. They promised that SPECTRA would be the first of its kind to feature an onboard AI system that could adapt itself to your riding style. This was an essential method to achieve what WALNUTT calls their “3D Posture Control System” which allows riders to control their board with specific and sensitive movements. Combine this AI with the built-in gyro and pressure sensors and you had yourself a very technologically impressive skateboard.
A couple of years later, WALNUTT is back at it and is currently holding a pre-order for the new SPECTRA X which ends on July 27th of this year. This new SPECTRA model looks even more portable and advanced than any that came before it. Let’s examine all of its features with a fine-tooth comb and find out just how good this all-new SPECTRA X e-skateboard really is.
Like any great piece of technology, the SPECTRA X incorporates all that was good about previous WALNUTT iterations while adding many of its own unique design choices. If any of you readers are fans of the features of previous SPECTRA models then have no fear. Just about all of the aspects that made SPECTRA electric skateboards great are returning for the X.
Arguably one of the key features of SPECTRA boards is their 3D posture control. This adaptive and sensitive technology was one of two ways that riders could use to ride their boards. WALNUTT has in fact upgraded the sensor systems used in the posture mechanism for the SPECTRA X that will allow for even greater accuracy when tilting and steering.
Another important element was using the SPECTRA mobile app which served not only as a location to receive analytics on battery life and firmware but also as a remote control. WALNUTT has paid great attention to fan feedback and is including a physical remote control with the SPECTRA X for those who prefer a more standard approach to e-skateboarding.
Another very important feature of SPECTRA boards is their insanely small size, being some of the most portable electric skateboards in the whole world. The SPECTRA X is slightly longer and wider than their previous boards but still comes in at a very portable size. It weighs 16.5 pounds and is only 27 inches long, with a maximum load capacity of 220 pounds which allows for very comfortable fitting for people of various sizes. Impressive portability has always been one of WALNUTT’s strengths and that is no different here.
There’s a lot more to the SPECTRA X than meets the eye, however. This new model is made out of highly durable magnesium material that gives it both an attractive shimmer and a tougher frame. This may be their smallest skateboard yet but it may also very well be their strongest one.
Let’s not forget to mention that the SPECTRA X also has water-resistant capabilities and can be used in lighter rainfall or blast through shallow puddles of water and be completely fine. Like with most electronic products labeled as water-resistant it is recommended to avoid very deep puddles or heavy downpour.
Last but not least is the all-new battery pack system that WALNUTT has implemented here. Every SPECTRA X will come with two rechargeable batteries that can be easily swapped out in a matter of seconds. Bringing along the second pack will help greatly increase your max range during your commutes. And with the dual 250-watt motors this baby can reach an impressive max speed of 18.6 miles per hour.
The cherry on top of all these fascinating features is that the SPECTRA X comes with a GPS Tracker version that you can obtain as an add-on during checkout. This tracker is used in combination with the SPECTRA mobile app and allows you to locate your board should you ever become separated from it.
Now that I’ve gone on long enough about what the SPECTRA X can do on paper (which is admittedly quite a lot) it’s time to see how this innovative board really works out in the real world.
The very first moment I laid my eyes on the SPECTRA X electric skateboard I was very impressed. At first, I loved the very feel of the board itself, including the deck, the wheels and the underside where the battery is located. The entire machine (and let’s face it, this thing is half skateboard, half machine) felt very robust and well put together. The magnesium materials were surely put to good use here. I don’t expect to be able to dent or scratch the SPECTRA X very easily.
Of course, the next thing that got my attention was the astonishingly compact size of the entire board. This thing could easily fit inside of a suitcase or even a large traveling backpack. Speaking of which, the SPECTRA X works perfectly with the already available WALNUTT Commuter Backpack. This backpack is designed to work with all SPECTRA models and the new X is no exception to this. While this board was certainly designed to be carried when not in use, it is so small and lightweight that holding it in my hand never really felt like an issue.
While I do wish the SPECTRA X were available in more colors or visual designs, the current default one looks very good. The sleek neon green lines are stylish and futuristic but I do wish other variants were available as well.
For such a small skateboard they really packed on some hefty and thick wheels relative to its overall size. For me, this is always a good thing. Stability is by far one of the most important attributes of a skateboard, electric or otherwise.
Does the WALNUTT SPECTRA X ride as smoothly and as comfortably as one would hope for? My answer has to be a resounding yes.
I should mention that I am actually a fan of both traditional remote control usage and the 3D posture control setup that SPECTRA boards have. I enjoy having the best of both worlds: a controller that directly manipulates the motors and using my own body to control the board, just like on a regular skateboard. Using either one of these methods feels pretty natural and intuitive on the SPECTRA X.
While the remote control method is certainly easier and gives you more direct control, the 3D posture system feels like I’m “manually” controlling the skateboard itself, which I find to be a more satisfying riding experience. The SPECTRA X does indeed use upgraded motion sensors and they are put to great use here. Riding this board felt uncanny due to how intuitive and natural the movement felt. This was always the case regardless of how fast I was going.
Both the manual 3D movement and the remote control felt very responsive, including on steeper inclines. The SPECTRA X has an incline climbing rate of 25% and regardless of whether I was going 8mph or 15mph it felt like it could handle the changes in degree like a champ.
The dual battery setup that comes included with the board is a fantastic little bonus that definitely came in handy. Switching out batteries is as quick and simple as it ought to be and only takes me about three seconds each time before I’m back in business.
The waterproof capabilities work like a charm as advertised. I blazed through a couple of puddles just for the fun of it and I didn’t notice a sliver of a slowdown. This is also good for when it comes to cleaning your device if it gets very dirty.
Perhaps my biggest complaint about this otherwise excellent machine is that it isn’t best suited to cold environments according to the specifications. If I ever wanted to use this on a cold day that’s around -15 degrees Celsius I’d be out of luck.
It may also just be me but with the SPECTRA X sometimes I feel like a little more legroom would be nice. This may simply be because I’m used to longer boards though. That said, if there were more space, it wouldn’t be as compact. Its super compact size is one of the reasons why this brand is so popular, so I suppose that’s a non-issue for those who realize what they’re buying. Long story short: compact boards offer a different riding experience.
WALNUTT made some very bold promises when they announced the SPECTRA X, and I have got to say that they’ve delivered on them all. The battery pack system, the high speeds and range, the compact design and all its other features simply do as they were promised. Every feature of this board combines with each other to create an electric skateboard experience like no other. The SPECTRA X is advanced, durable and stable, but most of all it is innovative and fun. It could very well go down as a watershed moment in the history of electric skateboards.