LOOKING for a slice of the future? Grab yourself one of the best hoverboards and you’ll be gliding around effortlessly on your own personal transport.
Hoverboards are also known as self-balancing scooters, are a relatively cheap way of feeling like you’re in the future, it's simple wheeled platforms with powerful motors that you control with your body weight. They’re a great toy too, with nifty features like built-in Bluetooth speakers and LED lights making them perfect for gadget-obsessed kids.
You’ve got to be careful when buying one, though. Back when the hoverboard craze was at its peak, there were many reports of dangerous exploding batteries — so when shopping for the best hoverboard, look for those that are CE and UL2272 certified – these safety standards should give you peace of mind.
The type of tires and battery life are also important things to consider when buying one of these futuristic boards, depending on where you’re planning to ride it.
And speaking of which, there is some information to help you choose the best boards on the market right now.
What hoverboards are safe?
If you’ve been into self-balancing scooters for a while, you will remember the wave of “fake” hoverboards that hit the UK in 2015. Back then, figures by the National Trading Standards revealed that 17,000 hoverboards imported from outside the EU had been examined and over 15,000 (88%) of them had failed basic safety checks. Those hoverboards were deemed at risk of catching fire or exploding, and since then public scrutiny of the devices has been consistent.
So how do you know that a hoverboard is safe?
First of all, it is necessary to mention that, apart from one exception, hoverboards do not require any ad-hoc certifications to be considered “safe”. In fact, when it comes to safety, these futuristic gadgets are mostly seen by regulators as another form of consumers’ electronic devices, and as such is deemed safe if they can satisfy one or more of the following standards.
The UL 2272 certification—Underwriters’ Laboratories (UL) is an American firm whose specialty is the testing of electrical equipment. Specifically, UL certifications assess the standards of internal components and test electrical devices to determine if they can withstand extreme conditions without causing harm to users. The UL 2272 certification, in particular, refers to the “Standard for Electrical Systems for Personal E-Mobility Devices”, and it is the most widely and sought-after certification when it comes to the safety of hoverboards and other E-Mobility Devices. All in all, if a hoverboard is UL 2272-certified, you can be sure it is safe to use.
How to ride a hoverboard?
Before jumping on a hoverboard for the first time, make sure you are wearing a helmet and wrist guards, as well as knee and elbow pads； Once you are ready, place the overboard on an even surface, and step on it with one foot, making sure the board is flat; Then step on it with the other foot, trying to keep it apart from the first one as much as possible for maximum control. The rest is a matter of practice. Slowly lean forward using your ankles, without bending at the waist, to move forward. To turn right push down your right toes, to turn left your left toes. When it’s time to stop, simply lean and dismount using your dominant foot.
How long does it take to charge a hoverboard?
It’s good to know how often you plan on using your hoverboard or Segway, and how much riding time and distance you plan on between charges. If possible, make sure a single battery charge will take you where you want to go and back again.
Hoverboards with not very well optimized batteries usually take between four and six hours to fully charge.
Mid-range quality ones range between two and three hours, and high-end ones usually take 90 minutes or two hours to complete a full charging cycle.
Portability and storage
The device’s size, weight, and features determine how easy it is to haul your hoverboard around. This is especially important if you plan on boarding public transportation. It’s also crucial to understand how it folds down and stores away. If you have tight quarters at home, it’s best to find something that collapses down easily.
How much do hoverboards cost?
Typically, the cheapest hoverboards cost in the region $200, although prices can vary wildly. If you pay anything less than that you’ll start sacrificing features, and more importantly safety.
Are all hoverboards self-balancing?
For a hoverboard to be officially classified as such, it needs to be self-balancing. However, not all balancing electric scooters are called hoverboards. The self-balancing features can take a little getting used to, but once you’ve mastered them, they’re easy and safe.
Where to buy hoverboards?
There’s a number of good retailers that sell hoverboards. Amazon, hoverboards.co.uk, Argos are a good place to start your search, just make sure you buy a hoverboard with a UL 2272 so you can be sure it’s safe.