12 Things You Should Know Before You Buy a Hoverboard
Are you thinking about getting a hoverboard? There are a lot of things to consider when choosing the perfect one. Here are 12 things you need to know before you buy a hoverboard.
Before you ask, no: you won't be the next Marty McFly. But even Back to the Future's hero would have loved the hoverboards being released on the market today.
You've probably seen kids zooming around on them, and chances are if you're reading this, you or your child wants one. After all, users can ride around effortlessly to get from point A to B. What's not to love?
But those gadgets are expensive, and you're not really sure which hoverboard you should buy.
However, if you take these 12 points into consideration, it will be the perfect match for you or your kids daily recreational activities and commuting pleasures.
Plus, let's be honest: they look really cool.
What Are These Things?
Particularly safety-oriented parents might envision their young one zooming around, hovering a few feet above the ground and laughing maniacally. In reality, the hoverboard is a fantastic blend of technology and wheels.
These devices have two wheels and are self-propelled. Think of them as electronic skateboards because that's really what they are (except way cooler.)
A platform between the two wheels allows users to stand on the board, which, by the way, is self-balancing.
So don't be baffled the next time you see those youngsters on the street, hands in pockets, zooming down the sidewalk. If it looks like they don't have to work to stay balanced and move it's because they don't.
How Do They Work?
There are four main components that allow a hoverboard to function:
- A gyroscope
- A battery
- A motor
The gyroscope helps maintain balance by adjusting the hoverboard's tilt. The motor aids in balance, as well, by providing power to the wheels, allowing the board to propel forward or backward.
Microprocessors are in charge of regulating the power output to the wheels, and the battery stores the electrical power necessary to make the scooter do its thing.
All these elements work together to let the user balance on the hoverboard while it moves. To change direction, riders simply adjust their feet. Placing the weight forward causes the electric scooter to drive forward while placing the weight in the heels will cause it to reverse.
Turning is accomplished by pressing the weight on one foot forward and the other backward.
12 Notions to Consider Before You Buy a Hoverboard
Hoverboards are a bit pricey, but they are well worth the money if you take everything into consideration before purchasing. We guarantee if you purchase one for your child, you'll end up stealing it for a bit of your own fun.
1. UL Certification
First and foremost, we have to discuss safety. Because zooming around at 10 miles per hour on an electronic device charged by a lithium-ion battery can be a tad risky. Consequently, hoverboards are not meant to be used by children.
You may have heard horror stories of these devices exploding due to the battery they contain. It is possible, but it is extremely unlikely..
Lithium-ion batteries have proven problematic in other devices, as well, such as e-cigarettes and smart luggage. The CPSC states that there is no guarantee these devices will be 100% safe. However, parents and users can take several steps to discourage fires or malfunctions:
- Purchase only hoverboards which are UL certified. Buyers can find the certification on the product's packaging.
- Do not charge hoverboards unattended.
- Keep the hoverboard away from flammable items.
- Use only the chargers sold with the hoverboard.
If you purchased a hoverboard before January 29, 2016, it is not in compliance with new regulations.
ALL GOTRAX HOVERBOARDS ARE UL2272 CERTIFIED!
2. Types of Hoverboard
The next major consideration is which model type to purchase. There are hundreds of models to choose from, and potential buyers may feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of possibilities.
Generally, hoverboards are made with the same basic concept in mind, but several characteristics may vary. The main things to keep track of when comparing models are the battery power, speed, materials and internal motors. Each of these will have impressive impacts on the functionality of the hoverboard.
The battery is especially important, so be sure to always check the specs. It will determine how long your hovercraft can carry you. Some can keep a good pace for an hour while others may last as long as three.
The 3 main types are
- Classic - Like the Hoverfly ECO below this features the classic 6.5" wheels and body style without a smart balance mode. It uses a gyroscope to move and keep the rider upright
- Off Road - The Hoverfly XL below is an example of an all terrain hoverboard. These hoverboards feature larger 8"+ wheels and 350 watt motors. They can handle just about anything you put them through and are better for heavier riders.
- Self Balancing - The hoverfly ION is a true self balancing hoverboard. It has a self balancing mode that will keep the board perfectly level to the ground with or without a rider. It uses its inner gyroscope to compensate for any tilt
Compare our vehicles
|Max Speed||7.4 MPH||7.4 MPH||6.2 MPH|
|Distance||~9- to 10 miles||~9- to 10 miles||~5- to 9 miles|
|Wheel Material||Hard Rubber Tires||Solid Rubber Tires||Solid Rubber Tires|
|Weight Limit||220 lb||220 lb||176 lb|
|Charging Time||2-3 hours||1.5 hours||3-4 hours|
3. Charging Times
So they can take a while to recharge.
. . .
A long while.
If you're a patient sort, this might be perfectly fine for you. However, if you can't stand watching your goody charge up for about three hours (give or take), you might want to go ride a bicycle instead.
You won't look as dapper, but at least you won't have to wait. Then again, if you do wait it means you can laugh (internally) at sweating passerby as the cool wind streams around you.
Do you prefer a slow, leisurely pace or are you a wannabe speedster?
Speeds vary depending on the model, but some scooters can reach up to 7 or 8 miles per hour. That might sound slow compared to a motorized vehicle, but it won't feel so sluggish when you're actually riding it.
Reviews indicate the best hoverboards are in the six to eight mile-per-hour range. This is also the best type for anyone under 18.
Before buying, consider who it's for and the speeds they can handle. While it might be funny to watch your friend run into a tree like George of the Jungle, we want to avoid injuries.
How far do you want to go? Consider if you'll be using the hoverboard for commutes or fun. This can be vital in determining which hoverboard is right for you.
Many hoverboards can reach 3 to 7 miles on a full charge, but always check this important feature to ensure the gadget will take you from A to B without delay.
6. Rider's Height and Weight
In addition to the hoverboard's features, the rider's bulk must also be considered. Those who weigh more, are broader or are taller may find certain models work better than others. Additionally, weight impacts the longevity of the battery and range.
7. Hoverboard's Weight
If you plan to lug your hoverboard around, you might want to consider weight as a purchasing factor. Many boards can weigh between 20 and 30 pounds.
There is a security feature we'll discuss shortly, but chances are you won't want to leave that fashionable mode of transportation just sitting outside.
The wheels should also be considered. Most models have three basic wheel types:
- 6.5 inch
- 8 inch
Each wheel type has its own optimal environment. What might work nicely in Ohio's flat, northern lands won't bode so well in the rolling hills of Vermont.
Logically, as the wheels get bigger, the terrain gets bumpier. Smaller wheels are great for level grounds or indoor uses. The 8-inchers meet halfway, but you may have trouble getting up steep hills.
And the super large wheels are made for off-road terrain.
But don't count the 7 to 8-inch range out just yet. After all, the HOVERFLY XL is completely capable of scaling 30-degree slopes.
9. Local Laws
Unfortunately, some agencies and governments still haven't caught up to the hype.
Throughout the nation and even internationally, many cities have banned the use of hoverboards in certain areas. In 2016, New York City banned the transportation devices in subways, trains and buses. Other municipalities followed suit.
Before buying a hoverboard, be sure to check your city's regulations.
10. Additional Features
If you don't mind spending some extra cash, newer models offer some unique and fun features.
Do you like listening to your tunes? To promote safety while riding, some hoverboards are complete with speakers and Bluetooth so users can whistle as they . . . roll.
We like to keep it hands-free here, folks.
Additionally, smart hoverboards may even offer learning modes. Beginner modes will help new riders learn to control their board by setting speed limits. (No, it won't spit out a speeding ticket at you.)
Sports mode lets the little monster loose, allowing users to go full speed ahead. If you're worried about security or safety, some even offer anti-theft controls using your cell and LED lighting to avoid accidents.
Oh, and you can even control certain models with your cell, meaning you can wait patiently as your hoverboard comes to you.
Cheaper hoverboards can be found for $150 or below, but some may require paying $200 to $400. Generally, the higher prices are due to additional features or stronger materials.
Be sure to always research reviews before purchasing and to check out the board's specs! If you stay within these ranges, you can expect a decent hoverboard. Anything too much higher and you may be getting the same board for an unfair price.
12. Is the company safe to buy from?
Gotrax offers 14 day returns and a 90 day warranty on all products, you can additionally purchase an extended warranty for any of our products for up to 1 year.
How did you fare? Still wanting that sizzling hot hoverboard?
We don't blame you for that determination in the least. Hoverboards are an eco-friendly way to travel that are effortless, fun and convenient.