When comparing Stary vs Airwheel M3, the Slant community recommends Stary for most people. In the question“What is the best electric skateboard?” Stary is ranked 22nd while Airwheel M3 is ranked 26th. 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 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 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 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 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.)
Pro App for tracking statistics and tweaking available on both Android and iOS
A chip inside the board tracks stats and wirelessly relays them to the app, enabling the user to check them in real time. This leads to better decision making while riding the board.
Pro No external motor
The motor is encased inside the wheel (instead of an external motor and belt drive), which keeps it protected and offers a good, high-powered experience.
Pro Awesome design
The board has a striking design with one tail and large wheels fastened to backward-facing trucks.
Pro Smooth ride
The trucks and bushings have a dampening effect on vibration and bumps making for a smooth ride. The large wheels and cushioning risers used above the trucks enhance this effect.
Pro For €499 it is one of the cheaper boards on the market
Pro Good warranties
The board comes with a 1-month warranty on the wheels, a 6-month warranty on the battery, and a 1-year warranty on the rest of the components.
Pro Able to ride on medium rough terrain
The large wheels allow the board to traverse rough terrain easily. This makes it a good board to use in off-road conditions, including forested terrain and parks.
Pro Can operate in very wet conditions
The electrical components are secured from the elements, and the board can be used even in wet conditions.
Pro Feels really durable
The components are strong and stand up well to wipeouts and poor weather.
Pro Can mount setup on any board imaginable, even on a snowboard
The motor setup can be mounted on any number of decks, including decks not originally intended to serve as skateboards. This gives a great deal of flexibility in customizing your ride.
Pro Good brakes
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 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 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.
Con Quite heavy
The 25 lb weight needs to be taken into account. It is not the easiest to carry around if that’s something you’ll need to do.
Con People can see it's motorized quite easily
Thanks to the very large battery box attached under the board, it’s quite obvious that the board is motorized.
Con Bulky battery pack isn’t great to look at
The battery pack is quite large and really stands out – but not in a good way. Its size also adds weight to the board, which is the tradeoff you make for a more powerful battery that lasts longer.
Con The range is unimpressive
When ridden by a 65 kg (140 lb) rider at full speed at 14 degrees Celsius (60 degrees Fahrenheit), the board only has a range of 10 km (6 miles). When it’s colder than this, the batteries will offer even less power. This is true of all batteries, so if you live in a cold environment be sure to consider the impact weather may have on performance.
Con One-wheel drive
Only one wheel has a motor, which can lead to too much torque on one side.
Con Dishonest advertising of specs
Airwheel is advertised with a top speed of 20 kph and a 20-km range (12 mph and 12 miles). The company also claims it can be fully charged in 60 minutes and that it will alert the rider when they reach 12 kph (7.5 mph). In reality, there is no alert at 12 kph, the board only charges to 55 percent capacity in an hour, and listed the top speed can only be reached if you weigh less then 60 kg (130 lb) or are going downhill. It’s possible that a 20 km range could be achieved in first gear, but in the top gear you will only be able to travel half that distance.
Con Miserable top speed
Even with a fairly light, 150 lb rider, the board will only reach a top speed of 11 mph. Obviously this speed will only decrease as the rider weight increases.
Con Doesn’t charge very quickly
The board takes three hours to fully charge. It will only reach 55 percent charge after the first hour. This makes it difficult to quickly top off the battery.