Exway have finally given us a bit of a teaser of their up-and-coming Flex board. It doesn't look like an Exway though. C'mon, we're all thinking it. But I think it's time to re-calibrate our thinking. It's 2020.
Flexy decks with split enclosure systems are pretty common. It's a sought after combination. It's not about who is a copy or a clone of who anymore. The industry has moved passed that. Not every SUV is a copy of the first ever SUV. No, these things evolve. It's just a combination of features and benefits that work well, so every manufacturer wants to capitalise on it. That's all there is to it.
I have to admit though, a slightly flexible X1 Pro probably would have been intriguing enough. These days it's probably light weight boards that are able to extract maximum range with minimal cells (and thus weight) that intrigue me the most, and the X1 Pro was a perfect example. Adding to my love for the X1/X1 Pro was the sleek, stealth and minimalist design. Combined with the quietness of the hub drive drive-train, this was the perfect sleeper board. They just needed to find a way to add a little bit of flex.
Instead, Exway have surprised me by moving away from its trademark look entirely. We have flex. The damn board is named after the concept! But the sleek, enclosure-less sleeper style is gone. Instead we have a split enclosure system like "every other board." Yeah, that kinda crushed my hopes and dreams a little bit. But hey, we can't have everything, right?
So what do we get?
First let's start with the price point. $649 USD. Ummm, okay. Shit! This should seriously have the market doing a tailspin right now! Let's talk about rivals for a second. The Boosted Stealth still retails at $1599 USD at the time of writing this. The Wowgo 3X is $749.99. The Exway Flex's $649 price point is set to completely destabilize both upper and lower end of the markets in my honest opinion.
Exway has probably rivaled Boosted's quality since the beginning and has completely outshone them in extra features and benefits (so far anyway). To-date though the two brands have had different flagship products that haven't entirely been in direct competition with each other. Now they do, and the Exway is not only cheaper than Boosted, it's cheaper than Boosted's closest "inspired by" product, the Wowgo 3X by $100, on paper will perform better than both and based on past history will have a quality level (at least) matching Boosted's.
Exway are serious!
Let's break it down: 25 mph, 20 miles range and 16.5 lbs in weight. In my neck of the woods this translates to 40 kph, 32 km range and 7.48 kg. We all know the quality of their products too. Hobbywing tech, Seismic hardware (edit: I have been informed that the trucks on the new models will not be Seismic, but rather Trist) and from what I understand the battery pack is packing some of the best 18650's on the planet (announced soon. You won't be disappointed). Plus it comes in belt (Riot) and hub versions. Let's not forget the customisation options in Exway's app too.
All of this for $649 USD (that's approx $944 AUD today for my Aussie friends playing at home. Yep, that's under a grand). That's a hell of a lot of board for $649 USD! The problem for the rest of the market is that Exway have now taken the "what's your budget" question completely out of the equation. If you're after a street board and let's say 20-25 km range is plenty for you (let's be realistic here) and you don't particularly care about dual kingpin trucks or all-terrain tyres. You just want a comfortable and reliable street board. If Exway pull this off, it means there is literally no other recommendation. It's not, oh maybe Boosted or maybe Wowgo, or maybe this or maybe that depending on your budget or whatever. Nope. It's done. It's over. The answer is the Exway Flex. Whether you have $700 or $1700, it doesn't matter. In the case of the latter, do you want one Boosted Stealth or two Exway Flex's, or an Exway Flex, a sick helmet and a 360 cam? (That would be my personal choice).
Man, I know I said I was done reviewing and testing, but I literally have my Boosted Stealth sitting in the next room. I'd love to compare the two to see if my hype is justified. I think I'm right though. I've owned both the X1 and X1 Pro. I know the level of quality Exway produce. I have a genuine feeling this board is the board that will change the (street board) e-skate landscape forever. In other industries when a product comes out that's this good at such a tantalising price point, this is when we start to see other brands who can't compete disappear and we do have a glut of brands right now that might have already left themselves without too much room to move.
It's only January, folks. 2020 is going to be an interesting year.