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Hands-On Review: Backfire Board Ranger X5 Electric Skateboard

Backfire Board Ranger X5 electric skateboard
The Backfire Ranger X5 is a capable all-terrain electric skateboard that offers a smooth and comfortable ride with its large deck and dual 1500w hub motors. This board can handle hill gradients up to 30 degrees and comes with an ergonomic handheld remote for speeds up to 42km/h (26mph).
Design & Style
Build Quality
Value for Money
Excellent range due to its 50.4v 518Wh battery
Deck is very comfortable and easy to maneuver
Powerful dual 1500w motors will move riders up hills easily
Remote is ergonomic and easy to use
At 28lb, it's portable but can be a bit heavy
Would like liked a basic handle to be incorporated

Review Summary

Want the short version? Here are my highlights for the Backfire Ranger X5:

  • he Ranger X5 is very comfortable with its large flexible deck and 10” double kingpin trucks. The deck has a slight concave which lets your feet sit securely on the board.
  • Carving on the pavement is smooth with its airless rubber tires which offer durability and reliability. The switch from pneumatic air-filled tires does not take away from the excellent ride quality.
  • Powered by dual 1500w hub motors, riders between 150lb and 200lb should have no issues with climbing small hill gradients.
  • You can expect a range of up to 30 to 35km (up to 21 miles) and a top speed of 42km/h (26mph).
  • The remote is ergonomic and easy to use so you can focus on the thrill of riding.

Backfire Ranger X5

Backfire Board Ranger X5

Backfire was founded in 2009 with the mission to deliver high-quality and affordable skateboards to the industry. They eventually made their way into the PEV industry in 2011 and by 2023, they had developed their first electric skateboard which subsequently debuted the G1 board in 2023.

Since then, they’ve continued to expand their lineup to nearly 20 electric skateboards.

The Backfire Ranger X5 is an all-terrain board powered by dual 1500W hub motors and a giant 50.4v 518Wh battery. It’s a heavy-duty board meant for enthusiasts who have a hankering need for speed and want to take the board on and off-road.

Box contents for the Backfire Board Ranger X5

Quick Specs

  • Deck: 40” x 10” made from ABS, Glass fiber, maple composite deck
  • Truck: 10-inch double kingpin die-casting axel 10mm
  • Wheels: 6.5” x 1.8” Honeycomb Airless Rubber Tires
  • Battery: 50.4V 518Wh 90A Lithium Ion Samsung Battery
  • ESC (Electronic Speed Controller): Backfire FOC
  • Motors: 1500W*2 Dual hub motors
  • Remote: 2.4GHz 1.5inch color Oled
  • Weight: 12.8Kg /28lbs
  • Max Load: 110kg/250lbs
  • Top Speed: 26mph / 42km/h
  • Range: 28-35km / 17-21 miles (80kg rider S mode 30km/h speed flat road)
  • Hill Climbing: 30%
  • Water resistant: IP65
  • Charging time: 3.5 hours

Deck and Design

Backfire Board Ranger X5

The first thing you’ll notice is that the deck on the Ranger X5 is massive. In addition to its large size, it’s also flexible which gives it a great ride quality. Movement between heel and toe edge is smooth so the board flows with you as you carve left and right. For riders who like winter sports, it’s reminiscent of a snowboard on pavement.

Standing on the Backfire Board Ranger X5

The dropdown design of the deck is also well incorporated with a concave where your feet can rest. This dip in the board provides a tactile response for your feet so you feel secure while riding.

The front and back of the deck have spots where accessories can be attached such as spoilers, handles, and lights.

Closeup of the board front Closeup of the rear board

The only drawback that I can think of to the design is that it can be a tad unwieldy to carry given the absence of an OEM handle. For a $1,299 board, incorporating a small handle would improve the ergonomics of the overall functionality. However, a standard or foldable handle can be purchased on Backfire’s website for less than $30.

Backfire Board Ranger X5

The Ranger X5 is also a beautiful board, with LEDs running all the way around the edge of the deck. These LEDs give off a nice ambient glow which is barely visible during the day but looks fantastic in lower-light settings. These ambient lights can be toggled via the remote if you want to turn them off.

Additionally, white LEDs on the corners of the board indicate when the rider is accelerating or braking.

Wheels and Trucks (Suspension)

Closeup of the rubber airless wheel

Have we mentioned how comfortable the ride is? It’s worth repeating because the Ranger X5 has opted to go with airless rubber tires which can make you raise your eyebrows.

Pneumatic (AKA air-filled) tires are the standard for a cushy ride but come at the expense of a higher risk of punctures, especially when you’re using a board for off-terrain purposes as well.

The X5’s wheel design provides the best of both worlds because these wheels are puncture-proof and not vulnerable to tire pressure changes. During our test rides, the rubber tires on the X5 sufficiently absorbed bumps and vibrations. It’s a good combination of comfort, convenience, and reliability.

The trucks on the Ranger X5 have a double kingpin 10” design that offers effortless carving. It does not take much pressure to go from toe to heel and weaving through winding paths was easy without any speed wobble.

The turning radius was enough that you could easily turn around on a cul-de-sac or narrower roads.

Closeup of the trucks suspension

Battery and Range

Battery pack under the Backfire Board Ranger X5

Powering the Ranger X5 is a Samsung 50.4v 518Wh battery. It’s a beast of a battery which contributes to the 28lb weight but it’s everything you need whether you’re looking for extended commutes or weekend adventures.

Backfire advertises the range as up to 35km and we easily achieved this during our test rides, with our rides ranging between 30-35km per charging session. The 50.4v high voltage system allows for greater efficiency which translates to a longer range. For a board that nets you up to 35km, it’s more than enough for whatever activity you’re looking to do.

The battery itself is housed in a flexible ABS enclosure that is water (IP65) and impact-resistant but it does come at the cost of not being swappable.

Motors, Speed, and Hill Climbing

Backfire Board Ranger X5

What’s better than a single 1500w motor, you ask? Two 1500w hub motors, which is what the Ranger X5 uses to move a rider max capacity of 110kg/250lb.

We’ll get to the remote in a second but acceleration is very smooth on the board and it can climb up to a 30% gradient. The nearby walking paths we used for testing were around 10-15% gradient and the X5 glided over it while maintaining constant speed (I typically ride between 15kmh as I enjoy carving more than maxing out on speed).

So, for any riders that are between 150lb and 200lb, you shouldn’t have trouble climbing any hills. The board is capable of reaching a top speed of 26mph / 45kmh so speed demons can rejoice. That goes nearly as fast as my Apollo Phantom electric scooter.

The dual motors on the X5 are also near-silent during operation. I could not hear even the slightest whirring while riding which is a testament to the quality parts used.

Handheld Remote Control

Closeup of the Backfire Board Ranger X5 remote

To control the X5 board, riders use a handheld remote that uses Backfire’s FOC ESC (which is a fancy technical term for speed controller).

The remote itself is ergonomic and easy to hold, with buttons for functions including acceleration, power mode (eco/sport/turbo), and speed display.

One of the convenience features is that you can pair your fingerprint to the remote sensor to add some security to your board. The Ranger X5 will not turn on unless it senses the correct fingerprint.

Diagram of remote functions
Credit: Backfire Boards

Riders roll their thumb forward to accelerate and backward to brake. The remote itself has a 1.5” LED color-screen that displays speed, battery life, mileage travelled, and speed modes.

Backfire Board Ranger X5 handheld remote

Enthusiasts can dial in settings to customize their ride preference but for the average rider, the standard settings were well-balanced and did not require further tweaking.

Overall Thoughts

Holding the Backfire Board Ranger X5

The Ranger X5 seamlessly combines performance and smoothness to deliver an exhilarating and comfortable ride experience. We took the board on mostly flat surfaces such as walking paths with various hill gradients where it handled like an absolute champion.

Newer riders coming from products such as Onewheel may need to get used to the “disconnect” that comes with maintaining their balance while controlling the handheld remote.

Lean slightly forward when accelerating and slightly backward when decelerating to offset momentum.

The board is intuitive to use and each press of the throttle will give you a jolt of excitement as the board blazes forward. I particularly like how smoothly the board turns from side to side and it’s a head-turner when I ride past folks in public.

Backfire Boards have created a competitively-priced board in the Ranger X5 although I do believe the value proposition could be strengthened by the inclusion of small accessories to improve functionality.

Both feet on the deck of the Ranger X5 board