If the skateboard doesn’t go too fast, yes, certain eSk8s are wonderful electric transportation vehicles (EVT) for beginning riders. There are a lot of free riding tutorials on YouTube for beginners and intermediate riders alike, from standing on the board to push-riding, to ensuring maximum safety and more.
It is difficult if you’ve never been on a skateboard before. It’s even more difficult maintaining balance while the board is in motion. However, as is the most case in life, the more you practice a certain activity or skill, the more efficient you’ll become at performing this skill/activity. Hardly anyone ever gets on a bike and knows how to successfully get from one end of the driveway to the other without falling. Balancing (and riding) an e-skateboard, or any skateboard for that matter, requires practice. Practice, practice, practice.
Yes, e-sk8s can be used as a regular skateboard. However, it is strongly discouraged they be used that way. Electric skateboards have one (or two) motors that can be damaged if taken for a grind at the skatepark. Esk8s have hundreds of electric parts (not to mention Lithium-ion batteries) that, when damaged, can and will explode. This could be potentially fatal, and most definitely cause an injury. In theory, eSk8s can be taken to a vert ramp and be used for tricks. In practice, though, they should not be.
In the simplest terms, “Longboard” refers to boards that are longer than 3ft. and shaped like a surfboard. Longboards were specifically designed to be ridden down steep hills, as their “carve” (or turning ability) is a lot tighter and more agile than regular-sized skateboards. Imagine slalom skating competitions where riders carve around orange traffic cones at high speeds. This is the “heart” of Longboarding.
Regular-sized Skateboards are designed for street and vert tricks. Thusly, they should not be taken downhills – as they were not constructed to be used like that. In the same manner, Longboards should not be taken to skateparks or used for grinding, as this isn’t their primary purpose.
The “lifetime” of an e-skateboard depends on how you treat it and whether you take care of it or not. There is no way to tell if eSk8s last longer or not, because it depends entirely on how well you take care of your investment. If you leave your electric skateboard out in the rain, or constantly drop it from X amount of ft., then no it will not last longer than a non-electric skateboard.
Yes. A lot of boards can carry only so many pounds (usually 220-240) before drastically slowing down. The size of the board goes hand in hand with the “total weight capacity” of the board, as–in general–longer and wider boards have more power wattage in their motors.
Hub motors are often called in-wheel motors or hub motor. These motors require electric power (provided by the batteries) to run, and are usually attached to the wheel. Single motor hubs, normally, have a power wattage of 350W, 500W or 750W. Belt motors under the deck to connect the motors to the wheels via a pulley, gears and clutches.
No electric skateboard is waterproof. However, a lot of them are water-resistant. Water-resistant boards (from reputable manufacturers/brands) are graded with an IP-56/IP-65 certificate. Boards with this certificate specifically passed hundreds of water tests without catching fire or being damaged in any way.