If you’ve ever seen someone cruising down the sidewalk on a hoverboard, you’ve probably thought they look like a lot of fun. Hoverboards have been around for a few years now, but they are becoming more and more popular as a mode of transportation, a way to tour around with friends, or for younger people who’d like to speed around the neighbourhood.
There are a lot of different types of hoverboards, so the key to choosing the best one for you is to take a look at the features and see which fits best.
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What is a hoverboard?
A hoverboard may look like a skateboard and appear to operate as an electric scooter, but it’s a bit more unique than that. It’s an electric device with a platform that’s suspended over two wheels. When you’re riding it feels as though you’re gliding, but you’re always connected to the ground. There are a few different types to consider.
Types of hoverboards
When looking for the best model for you, you’ll notice there are three main types.
- Classic hoverboards have a gyroscope and standard body style, but they don’t have a smart balance mode. Wheel size on a classic is 6.5 inches and this style is mainly for sidewalks and paved streets
- Offroad hoverboards, also called all-terrain or heavy duty, have larger 8-inch wheels, larger motors, and off-road tires so you can use them on gravel or other off-road areas
- Self-balancing hoverboards have an inner gyroscope and are self-balancing to keep you level with the ground at all times
How do hoverboards work?
Hoverboards are powered by rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, and a standard model will have a gyroscope, microprocessors, and a motor that detects weight and pressure. Because it’s self-balancing you won’t tip forward, but you’ll need a bit of balance to control it.
To move and turn you’ll just need to adjust your foot position. You can lean backward, forward, left, and right so your wheels move in that direction.
5 benefits of owning a hoverboard
There are a lot of reasons you’ll want to own one of these fun devices, but the reason is that it’s a lot of fun to ride one. You can ride it anywhere, over bumpy terrain or sidewalks, and it’s a speedy way to get where you need to go or just roll around and see the sights.
1. An affordable way to get around
With the cost of fuel rising, hoverboards are an efficient, inexpensive means of transportation between school and work.
2. They reduce your carbon footprint
Because they run on rechargeable batteries, a hoverboard is a more eco-friendly means of transport.
3. They are inexpensive to maintain
There is minimal maintenance required when using one of these devices, and they are lightweight so they are easy to pick up and store when you’re not using them.
4. They can help you get fit
It might seem like all you’re doing is gliding, but using a hoverboard does burn up calories. It also tones your muscles, improves your flexibility and core strength, and improves your posture and balance as you’re always shifting and turning your body to propel yourself forward.
5. They come in a wide range of styles
Select a hoverboard that matches your personal style. You’ll find models in a wide range of colours. Some models also have unique features like mirrors, LED lights on the tires—some even have built-in Bluetooth speakers.
Key features to note when buying a hoverboard
There are a few features you’ll want to make note of when choosing the best model for you. When looking, keep in mind that most hoverboards will state a recommended age range. For regular hoverboards, the recommended age range is often 13+ years old; though, some are specifically designed with additional safety features to be suitable for younger children.
For safety, the latest hoverboards need to be UL certified. That means the hoverboard you purchase follows industry safety standards as set out by Underwriter Laboratories (UL). You’ll find a UL certificate within the packaging of your new device.
Hoverboards have a range of charge times, so if you need to get back on the road quickly you’ll want to choose a model with a shorter charging time. You’ll find hoverboards that take a half-hour to charge and some models that take up to six hours to charge.
Range of hoverboards (how far can they go on a charge)
Depending on the size of your motor and battery, hoverboards will vary in the distance they can travel without needing to recharge. Most hoverboards can travel for up to 20 km before the battery needs to be recharged, and some models can reach a range of just under 35 km before the battery has depleted.
Maximum load and rider weight
You’ll want to make note of who you’re purchasing the device for before choosing a model. Because the maximum load or weight on the board will affect the battery life and range, you’ll want to choose a hoverboard that will support the weight of an adult if an adult is the primary user.
Hoverboards have a 6.5-inch wheel or an 8-inch wheel, so you’ll want to note what type of terrain you’re going to travel on before you choose the best wheel size for you. A larger wheel will be able to handle gravel and other bumpy terrains better, but it won’t be able to climb a hill as easily as a smaller wheel. On the other hand, a smaller wheel won’t be as fun to ride on bumps, but it will be able to cruise up hills and down smooth pavement.
A hoverboard can take you to your destination in a hurry, with some UL Certified models achieving speeds of 15km/h (9.3mph).
Water resistance of hoverboards
Can you use your hoverboard in the rain? Unless your model specifies that it’s water-resistant, the answer is no. These devices are not water-tight, and hoverboards have a computer chip on board that could be affected by water. Rain also creates slippery surfaces, so it’s possible you could lose balance and fall on wet pavement.
Hoverboards are a cool mode of transportation, and you’ll find some models have smart features like Bluetooth, built-in speakers, and app control. You can stream your favourite music while you glide to your next destination.
Hoverboards are a fairly inexpensive mode of transportation. You can find hoverboards for less than $100 and they range in price all the way up to $1500 or more as you add features and extend the range it can travel.
Accessories for hoverboards
There are a lot of accessories you can choose from, including the most important of accessories: safety gear and helmets. Hoverboard helmets look like bike helmets, and some models have adjustable dials so you can fit them perfectly on a younger person’s head.
You can choose additional chargers for your specific model so you can leave a charger at work or school and one at home. You’ll also find hoverboard accessories like covers and bags so you can protect and carry your hoverboard when you’re not using it.
Take the next step
Hoverboards are a fun, economical, and easy way to travel. You can find all types of hoverboards on Best Buy right now.