When comparing ZBoard 2 Pearl vs Stary, the Slant community recommends Stary for most people. In the question“What is the best electric skateboard?” Stary is ranked 19th while ZBoard 2 Pearl is ranked 24th. The most important reason people chose Stary is:
Like the Inboard, Stary has no belts. Belts are more cheaply replaced, but they are also less durable. The Stary’s in-wheel motor has a robust casing that allows for a longer lifespan. Planetary gearing allows a reduction ratio to help with low-end torque – a common issue for in-wheel motors. This is a unique feature of Stary, making its single motor work better than other in-wheel "hub" motors on hills and starting acceleration.
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Pro Front and back lights enable riding at night
There is a headlight and taillight for riding in the dark. These lights allow the rider to be seen and to see where the board is going.
Pro Pressure sensitive pads
The pressure sensitive pads allow users to control their acceleration and speed without using their hands or a remote.
Pro Extremely long range
ZBoard 2 Pearl has a claimed range of 24 miles, which was the longest range of any electric board available at the time of its release.
Pro Low battery warning lights
In order to keep users from being surprised by a dead battery, the ZBoard 2 now comes with LED indicators that keep you apprised of the remaining battery life.
Pro Can be pushed like a regular skateboard
When the battery is completely drained, the brushless motor allows ZBoard to be pushed like a regular skateboard.
Pro In-wheel motor (with planetary gearing)
Like the Inboard, Stary has no belts. Belts are more cheaply replaced, but they are also less durable. The Stary’s in-wheel motor has a robust casing that allows for a longer lifespan.
Planetary gearing allows a reduction ratio to help with low-end torque – a common issue for in-wheel motors. This is a unique feature of Stary, making its single motor work better than other in-wheel "hub" motors on hills and starting acceleration.
Pro Durable and strong deck
The deck is made out of maple wood, glass fiber, and carbon fiber. By combining all three of these materials you get a sturdy deck that is strong but still allows for flex.
Pro Can climb a 30 degree slope
The company claims that the board is powerful enough to climb slopes of up to 30 degrees; great for those in hilly regions. As always, the maximum incline will be lower for heavier riders, but the planetary gearing will help in this regard.
Pro 18.6 mph top speed
The top speed of this board is listed at 18.6 mph, placing it squarely in the middle of the pack for e-boards. This top speed will not be confirmed until the board is released.
Pro 10 mile range
According to the company, the included battery allows for a 10-mile range on average when fully charged. Hills, heavier riders, and aggressive acceleration will significantly impact the actual range on a case-by-base basis. A 10-mile range should be enough for most commuters; those looking for longer rides will probably need to charge at work before making the return trip. (No info about charging rate or battery capacity has been released so far.)
Con Still not shipped
Even though backers on Indiegogo backed the project as far back as two years ago, they have yet to receive their boards. Even on their own storefront, current orders are shown as shipping Oct-Nov (2016).
Con Difficult to learn
ZBoard has a unique design. While it is similar to other skateboards in many ways, riding ZBoard doesn't come naturally, even for experienced skaters. Controlling the board's speed and direction using the pressure pads can be difficult to accomplish while remaining balanced, so lots of practice is necessary before riding this in a crowded environment.
Con Single motors are not particularly powerful
While a single motor will help with battery life, it also will have less power than a comparable dual motor. This will be more apparent for larger riders or those who want to go up larger hills. Planetary gearing will help with this, but it's still only a single 1,350 W motor (claimed wattage).
Con The website is hard to navigate
Some parts of the website are only in Chinese - such as their blog, where the most recent April 20 post translates roughly to "The female accountant can play high heels stepping up electric scooter" (translated by Google Translate).
Con The motor is complex and loud – and may require increased maintenance
While planetary gearing increases the low-end torque for hills and startup speed (both of which are positive things), it also adds complexity and may add additional noise. In the videos of the Stary you can definitely hear the motor and gear noise. This sound will only become more noticeable when the motor needs lubrication or is carrying a heavier load. By contrast, other boards on the market are growing quieter and quieter. Maintenance details of the planetary gears haven’t been released yet, but all gears require lubrication to prevent premature wear.
Con Hub motors are hard for users to maintain and service
Almost all hub motors are a challenge to service. While it’s nice not to have belts to replace, the flip side is that worn or damaged items may need Stary service to be repaired properly. Replacing wheels may be expensive as they are not yet listed on Stary's website. Planetary gears incorporated into a hub motor is both unique and a standout feature, but it's also untried – and if it fails you have a 9lb paperweight instead of a skateboard.
A major con of any hub motor is the fact that the motor wheel is proprietary and wears out quickly. Generally these wheels are made of super thin urethane layers covering the motor, and can be expensive to replace. A standard skateboard wheel, by contrast, is relatively inexpensive. Additionally, the thinness of the wheel material transmits more road bumps and does not absorb shock as well as a similarly sized, normal skateboard wheel with the same hardness.
Con Not yet available
Stary is expected to ship in 2016 to Kickstarter backers.
Con Motor casing has huge ventilation holes that let in dirt
The ventilation holes for the motor wheel are large enough that you can see all the copper coils inside. Water, grass, dust, pebbles, and more can surely enter the motor cavity through these vents. You will have to be very careful not to have things get lodged inside, and will need to air blow the vent holes frequently protect the motor and preserve its lifespan.
Con LiPo batteries have a small chance of catching fire
There has been at least one case where their Lithium polymer batteries has gone up in flames. This could have been due to misuse on the rider's part, or the battery could have been punctured. Generally LiPo batteries are safe - it is the same technology which has been used in phone batteries for years.
Con Too many issues with remote connectivity
At times the board would disconnect from the so it would not react to go or stop from the hand remote controller. Must be updated
Con Maximum rider weight not specified
Most electric skateboards will clearly state maximum recommended rider weight. The only references on Stary's website is "To reach 18.6 mph with more than 90 kg load, we said ‘no’ to all the existing motor designs." What we can assume from this is that anyone at or above 200 lb should expect reduced performance (range and acceleration).
Con Poor customer service; slow response
It takes forever for someone to respond.