Backfire Boards

Hammer Sledge

Updated: May, 2024

Our Score


I've been riding various e-skate boards for quite awhile, using my trusty Meepo Mini to commute whenever the weather is nice and I don't have to carry much. I was pretty stoked when Backfire Boards reached out about reviewing the Hammer Sledge! When it arrived I was pretty surprised by just how different it rides than any other board I've been on. I've you're looking for that carving feeling of snowboarding on pavement, this just might be your next board.

As the name implies, the Hammer Sledge is a monster board

This beast is quite imposing in person, weighing in at 40lbs (18kg) and standing over three feet tall when up on one end. The standard deck feels great for my size 11 feet, but if you want a little more room you can install some side wings with grip handles (which will also stiffen up the board a bit). It's pretty heavy and awkward to carry, definitely not a convenient commuter; sure, it's an absolute blast to ride to school or work, but lugging it around after you get there is less fun. That hasn't stopped me from using it as a commuter, though, mostly because it's just too darn fun to ride! Grocery store runs are the best, because I can just toss it on the bottom of a shopping cart while I'm inside.

Premium electronic components with detailed specifications provided

Kudos to Backfire boards for providing detailed specifications for all of their components; let's dive into the electronics specs and what they mean.

Dual 1600 Watt 6370 155Kv Motors There's a lot of information going on here! The short version is that these motors are quite powerful by e-skate standards, and specced to provide a good balance between top speed and torque. 1600 watts describes the power draw of each motor, and this is the nominal figure (which means they can theoretically peak even higher). 6370 is size measurements; the first two numbers refer to the motor diameter in millimeters, while the second two numbers measure the length (also in millimeters). That's pretty big for a skateboard, and of course we've got two of them! The last figure, 155Kv, is a measure of motor performance; Kv is essentially "RPM per Volt". Motors with high Kv have high top speeds but poor torque; low KV means slow speeds, but great hill-climbing abilities. 155 is about in the middle, which means the Hammer Sledge has a good balance between these two specs.

I'll also note that the motors use a belt drive system. This is a more premium setup and offers excellent torque and performance, but the downside is that belts wear out after around 150-300 miles (241-483km) and need to be replaced. The other downside is that they have significant drag, preventing the board from coasting enough that it would be difficult to kick push it home if you run out of juice.

50.4V 820Wh 150A Lithium-Polymer Battery The total battery capacity is a whopping 820 watt-hours, which sounds more like something you'd find on a large e-bike than on a skateboard. 150 amps of output is quite high as well, achieved in part by the lithium-polymer chemistry. This offers some advantages over lithium-ion: it's lighter weight, has higher amperage output, and is more fire resistant. Unfortunately, it's also more expensive and doesn't last as long 🤷🏻

Looking at the voltage of 50.4 and doing some math tells us that the battery has a total of 12 cells. If you look underneath the board you'll see that the battery pack is broken up into six segments (two cells per segment) running the length of the board. This clever distribution allows the entire battery unit to flex with the board.

BACKFIRE 12S 150A FOC ESC This describes the ESC, or "Electronic Speed Controller". It's one of the most important parts of an e-skate board; think of it as the brains of the drive system. 12S simply confirms that there are 12 cells in the battery, and 150A also matches the total amperage of the battery. FOC stands for "Field-Oriented Control", which is in a nutshell how the power delivery and acceleration of the board are managed. I don't understand the mechanics of it myself, but suffice to say that FOC is awesome, providing smooth and responsive power delivery across the entire speed range of the board.

Are you used to riding traditional skateboards or longboards? Adapting to the Hammer Sledge will take some time.

At first I was put off by how wonky the Hammer Sledge felt when I first hopped on it. Some of this is from the large 6" pneumatic wheels, which are filled with air and have excellent grip. The biggest factor, however, is the 10" double kingpin trucks, which look kind of like two normal sets of bushings stacked on top of each other with a divider plate in between. They allow a much larger range of movement in multiple directions, and feel very loose compared to traditional longboard trucks. You'll be tempted to tighten them up as far as possible but I advise against it; I took the advice in this guide when adjusting mine and love the feeling now. The greater range of movement and grippy tires mean you can get some really deep carves on this thing! Plus I love how the large diameter wheels can roll right over many obstacles, even railroad tracks, without any risk of throwing you overboard.

It also means that the Hammer Sledge is very responsive, only needing a slight pressure change in your toes or heels to turn the board. It has a ridiculously small turning radius for such a massive board, too, making it feel more nimble than any other board I've ridden (e-skate or otherwise). Of course, the downside of this responsiveness is the risk of speed wobbles when you're traveling at high speed; just remember to stay calm and carve to recover from them.

High Speed, High Range (sometimes)

The Hammer Sledge has an advertised top speed of 31mph (50kph). Not that I've been brave enough to go that fast yet; I've gotten it up to 25 but I'm waiting to truly test it for when I get some better safety gear. I have no doubt it will be able to get there, because these motors are spicy! You can choose between Eco, Sport, and TURBO modes, and TURBO can reach 25mph in just a couple seconds if you hammer on the throttle... hopefully you remembered to lean far forward!

Speaking of the power modes, I found the three to be configured pretty well out of the box, but you can use the remote settings menu to finely tune the acceleration, top speed, and brake strength for each mode. This is awesome and most remotes don't offer this level of customization. The remote also feels amazing to use, with a nice heft to it and great feedback from the jog wheel. My only gripe is that the display is quite dim and difficult to see when it's bright out.

The Hammer Sledge also claims a max range of 31 miles (50km)... but that's really a best case scenario figure, that you will only hit if you're trying to conserve power. If you're riding this board "the fun way" then around 20 miles (32km) is a more realistic figure. If you want more range, check out the Cloud Wheel Rovers, which can supposedly increase your range by as much as 80%.



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Reasons to Buy the Hammer Sledge

  • Backfire Boards provides detailed specifications for all components

  • Dual 1600 watt motors provide massive amounts of power (they even have a quad motor version if you're feeling extra spicy)

  • Belt drive system provides excellent torque

  • Specced to provide a good balance between speed and torque, capable of climbing steep hills and reaching a max speed of 31mph (50kmh)

  • Six-inch pneumatic wheels have excellent traction and can roll over obstacles that would stop a normal e-skate board dead in its tracks

  • Double kingpin trucks allow for sharp turns and provide a carving feeling that feels remarkably similar to snowboarding

  • Its a surprisingly agile board, very responsive to even the smallest of weight shifts

  • Lithium Polymer battery chemistry provides excellent power output and is more fire-resistant than lithium-ion, the pack is also segmented so it can flex with the board

  • Huge deck with plenty of foot space for large riders

  • Tons of excellent accessories are available for tricking it out: wing extensions for more foot space, front and rear lights, more range efficient wheels, and more

  • Remote throttle wheel feels awesome to use with just the right amount of resistance. The remote is very configurable, allowing you to adjust speed, acceleration, and braking independently for each mode. Plus it has a fingerprint scanner for security!

  • Some basic running lights are included

Reasons Not to Buy the Hammer Sledge

  • The responsiveness and range of movement for the trucks takes some getting used to; it feels closer to snowboarding than it does to a traditional longboard, so don't buy this if you're looking for a typical e-skate experience

  • Belt drive system is kind of loud and has considerable drag, this is not a board you can kick push home if you run out of battery

  • The belts wear out and need to be replaced, usually every 150-300 miles (241-483km). However, two replacement belts are included in the box

  • Pneumatic tires can get punctured and need to be repaired. However, four replacement tubes are included in the box

  • It's very big and heavy (about 40lb / 18kg) which is good for stability at speed, but not for carrying in to work or school with you

  • Remote display is very dim and difficult to see in bright sunlight

  • With a starting price of $1,649 USD, it's not cheap, especially if you start adding accessories

Bottom Line

The Hammer Sledge is rocking premium quality components from stem to stern and is built extremely well. It is specced to provide a balance between hill-climbing torque and adrenaline junkie speed, with large pneumatic wheels that allow it to conquer any terrain. It's quite capable right out of the box, and designed for easy modding with accessories whether from Backfire Boards or a third party.

Our Scores

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Review by Tyson Roehrkasse
Photo of the author, Tyson Roehrkasse

Tyson Roehrkasse is a technical specialist who has worn just about every hat there is in the IT and software development fields. He began working with PEVs in 2018 as a developer for Electric Bike Review, and immediately became obsessed with learning about e-bike technology. He soon began creating his own reviews on the EBR platform and to date is the second largest contributor of review content there. After a five-year tenure with EBR Tyson moved on to work with other companies in the industry, building websites for other reviewing companies and e-commerce platforms for EV manufacturers. He also continued working as a freelance reviewer, eventually partnering with the Micromobility Industries to produce reviews and other content for their partner site, Ride Review.

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