Backfire Vs. Meepo: Battle Of The Budget Boards

Electric skateboards have exploded in popularity in recent years. And with good reason – they’re an absolute blast to ride! Gliding effortlessly down the street or kicking up to 20mph with just a lean of your hips feels like something out of a sci-fi movie.

But electric skateboards can also be quite pricey, with premium models easily costing over $1000. Thankfully, companies like Backfire and Meepo have stepped in to offer budget-friendly options without sacrificing too much performance.

In this article, we’ll take an in-depth look at boards from these two brands to help you decide which is best for your needs and budget.

A Brief Comparison Table

Motor TypeBelt driveHub motor
Top SpeedUp to 34 mphUp to 32 mph
RangeUp to 18 milesUp to 20 miles
DecksFlexible maple & bambooFlexible maple
BatteriesLG lithium-ionLG/Samsung lithium-ion
BrakingRegenerative brakingRegenerative braking
Terrain HandlingBetter on rougher terrainBetter on smooth surfaces
Water ResistanceBetter in wet conditionsCan handle light rain
Warranty6 months6 months
Average Cost$399 – $799$279 – $799

Overview Of Backfire And Meepo

Backfire and Meepo are two of the most popular budget electric skateboard brands. Based out of China, both companies focus on delivering a lot of bang for your buck.

Backfire got its start on Kickstarter in 2016. Their boards struck a chord with the community for offering great performance and quality at a reasonable price point.

Meepo emerged a year later in 2017. They took a similar budget-focused approach, but differentiated themselves with hub motors rather than belt drives like Backfire.

Overall, both brands quickly earned a reputation for excellent starter and commuter boards thanks to their combination of low cost and good specs.


Backfire Boards

Backfire currently offers four electric skateboard models:

  • Backfire Zealot: Backfire’s high-performance flagship board. Top speed of 34 mph and range up to 18 miles. Retails for $799.
  • Backfire G3: Backfire’s best-selling board. Top speed of 25 mph and range up to 12 miles. Retails for $399.
  • Backfire G2 Black: Very similar performance to the G3 but with some downgraded components. Top speed of 22 mph and range up to 9 miles. Retails for $299.
  • Backfire G2T: An upgraded G2 with better range and speed. Up to 20 mph and 12 miles of range. Retails for $369.

Some key specs that are consistent across Backfire’s boards:

  • Belt drive motors
  • Caliber II trucks
  • Flexible maple and bamboo decks
  • LG lithium-ion batteries
  • Regenerative braking
  • Water-resistance: Light rain OK, but avoid puddles

Meepo Boards


Meepo currently has five boards available:

  • Meepo Hurricane: Meepo’s highest performance board. Top speed of 32 mph and range up to 20 miles. Retails for $799.
  • Meepo V4: Meepo’s newest commuter board. Up to 28mph and 18 miles of range. Retails for $429.
  • Meepo NLS Pro: Improved version of their popular NLS board. Top speed of 28 mph and 14 mile range. Retails for $459.
  • Meepo Classic 2: Meepo’s entry-level board. Up to 22 mph and 11 mile range. Retails for $279.
  • Meepo Mini 2: A shortboard version. Up to 22 mph and 10 miles of range. Retails for $319.

Some key specs across Meepo’s line:

  • Hub motors
  • Flexible maple decks
  • PU wheels
  • LG or Samsung lithium-ion batteries
  • Regenerative braking
  • Water resistance: Light rain OK, avoid puddles

As you can see, Meepo’s boards are comparable to Backfire’s in terms of speed and range. The main difference comes down to the motors.

Backfire And Meepo: In-Depth Comparison Of Key Features

Hub Motors Vs. Belt Drives

The type of motor impacts a board’s performance, durability, and ride feel.

Hub motors are contained entirely within the wheels themselves. Meepo uses hub motors exclusively across their boards.

Belt drives use motors mounted underneath the board that turn the wheels via a belt and gears. This is Backfire’s approach.

Hub motors offer some advantages:

  • Lower maintenance since there are fewer moving parts
  • Better traction control as power is applied directly at the wheels
  • Allow for a more flex in the deck since nothing is mounted underneath

However, hub motors also come with some downsides:

  • Less durable over time especially on poor roads
  • Provide a “rougher” ride quality since vibration transfers through the wheels
  • Off-road performance not as good due to less torque

Belt drives counteract those weaknesses but introduce their own tradeoffs:

  • Require more maintenance and adjustment
  • Can slip or snap if not properly tensioned
  • Stiffen the ride due to components mounted under deck

So in summary:

  • Hub motors prioritize convenience, flexibility, and smoothness
  • Belt drives offer better durability and torque for off-road

Which is better comes down to your priorities and riding style. For most beginners, hubs offer a good starting point. But belt drives are preferred by more advanced riders taking their boards off-road.

Also Read: Differences Between Drift And BOTE Paddle Boards.

Ride Experience

When it comes to actually riding these boards, Backfire and Meepo deliver a very comparable experience.

Both boast strong acceleration and hill climbing power to reach speeds of 20+ mph. The rides are smooth thanks to the flexy decks. And it only takes a few minutes to get the hang of controlling speed via the handheld remote.

A key difference is that Meepo’s hub motors provide a slightly softer and quieter ride. Backfire’s belt drives have more vibration and noise from the mechanical components.

But the stability and control feel similar due to the strong trucks and grippy wheels common to both brands. And their long wheelbases make even 25+ mph feel secure.

For carving and maneuverability, the shorter Meepo Mini 2 has an advantage with its kicktail design. But the other boards are fairly evenly matched.

One final difference is braking. Backfire offers a smoother regenerative braking experience versus Meepo’s slightly more abrupt hub motor braking.


Range anxiety is always a concern with electric vehicles. Thankfully both Backfire and Meepo offer impressive mileage from their lithium-ion battery packs.

Most boards from the two brands can easily hit 10+ miles in real world conditions. Top-end models approach 20 miles of distance.

Meepo rates its batteries using a slightly different testing methodology than Backfire. So direct comparisons are tricky.

But know that both will provide enough juice for most commuters and casual cruising. Only hardcore, long-distance riders will be left wanting more mileage.

Range does suffer in cold weather or when carrying heavier loads. Expect decreases of 25% or more in those conditions. And range diminishes over time as batteries degrade.

But occasional, partial recharges can help maximize longevity. Overall battery life typically lasts 300-500 charge cycles before needing replacement.

Terrain Capabilities

While electric skateboards clearly excel on smooth pavement, how do Backfire and Meepo handle rougher terrain?

Their flexible decks provide good shock absorption over cracked streets and small pebbles. Bushings can be tightened to increase stability if needed.

Most boards can also tackle small curbs and bumps. But the lower ground clearance does limit their off-road abilities.

That said, the higher torque and traction of Backfire’s belt drives gives them an advantage on loose dirt, grass, or gravel. Meepo’s hubs struggle more on those surfaces.

Neither brand is ideal for serious off-roading. But Backfire boards are better equipped for the occasional dirt path thanks to their drivetrain.

For snowy conditions, riders report Meepo’s hubs hold up better when dry. But Backfire’s water resistance gives it the edge in wet weather.

Reliability & Durability

Given their bargain price tags, some may question the reliability and durability of budget boards like these. But both Backfire and Meepo have earned impressive reputations for quality.

Components are thoughtfully designed and user complaints about mechanical issues are surprisingly rare. Neither company cuts too many corners.

Meepo’s hubs do require less maintenance and hold up well outside of tire changes. Belt drives need more adjusting and occasional belt replacements.

The flexy decks work with the smooth hubs/belts to withstand reasonable shock and vibration. Though excessive curb drops or speed bumps will take a toll.

Backfire uses name brand batteries like LG for proven longevity. And both brands limit maximum output to avoid overtaxing the packs.

Bottom line is that their boards deliver impressive reliability for the price. Careful riders can expect to log hundreds of miles before any major issues arise.

Warranty & Customer Service

Backfire offers a 180-day warranty covering manufacturing defects under normal use. Meepo provides 6 months of coverage for the same.

Some users complain response times and follow up could be faster for support issues. But in most cases, problems are eventually resolved satisfactorily.

Third party repair shops can also service many problems once the warranty expires. So it’s not too difficult or expensive to get extra life out of these boards with some DIY maintenance.

Compared to premium brands offering 1+ years of warranty coverage, Meepo and Backfire come up a bit short. But the policies are reasonable given the lower prices.

Also watch this video!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Is the Meepo board worth it?

Yes, Meepo boards are absolutely worth it for most riders. They provide an incredibly fun electric skateboard experience at very affordable pricing. Most models cost below $500. Performance is still great thanks to speeds of 20+ mph and 10+ mile range from the hub motors. A Meepo makes an excellent entry-level commuter and recreational board.

How fast do Backfire boards go?

Backfire’s top speeds range from 20-34 mph depending on the model. The G2 can hit around 20 mph, the popular G3 reaches 25 mph, the G2T does 22 mph, and the high-performance Zealot tops out at 34 mph.
These speeds come courtesy of Backfire’s powerful belt drive motors. Advanced riders will appreciate the high-end torque for hills and quick acceleration. But beginners should be wary of going too fast too soon.

Do Backfire boards have regenerative braking?

Yes, all Backfire boards utilize regenerative braking to recharge the battery while slowing down. This makes the braking smooth and intuitive. Riders just lean back on the heel side to engage the regen braking. The motor kicks in to slow the board down while also sending juice back to the battery.
This helps extend ride times compared to boards with only friction brakes. Backfire sets the standard for budget boards with excellent regenerative braking.

Can Meepo go in the rain?

Meepo boards have basic water resistance and can handle light rain and small puddles. The electronics are sealed and the hub motors are naturally more water-resistant than belt drives. But the boards are not fully waterproof. Riding through deep puddles or heavy downpours can still damage the internals if water gets inside.
Meepo does not recommend submerging their boards or purposefully getting them wet. For the safest experience, avoid rain riding when possible. Apply extra protective sealant if you anticipate getting caught in wet conditions.

Also Read: Comparison Between Gili And iRocker Paddle Boards.

The Verdict

So when comparing Meepo Vs. Backfire, which budget board reigns supreme?

For pure value, Meepo boards are hard to beat. Most models come in $50-$100 less than comparable Backfire boards. And the hub motors require less maintenance over time.

Backfire boards justify their slightly higher prices with better torque and durability from the belt drives. They also perform better off-road.

So if choosing between them, consider your priorities:

  • Meepo is best for smooth commuting and beginners. Unbeatable value.
  • Backfire shines for faster riding, rougher terrain, and advanced users. Offers more performance.

Either provides awesome electric skateboarding experience at prices below $500. New riders are wise to start on an entry-level model from one of these two brands.

Once you outgrow your starter board, you can always upgrade to a premium $1000+ model and pass the Meepo or Backfire to a friend. Enjoy the thrill of eskating on a budget!

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