One of the things that is high on the wish list of many young people for birthdays and Christmas is hoverboards. However, when you start looking into buying a hoverboard, whether it is for yourself or someone else, you might feel like a fish out of water.
You might also remember news stories in the the past of hoverboards overheating and catching on fire, which only makes the process of selecting a hoverboard to buy feel even more daunting.
So what do you need to know to find a quality hoverboard that won’t catch on fire, has the features you are looking for, and won’t break your budget.
I really wish I could tell you that hoverboards, which are also called self balancing scooters, on sale today were like what we saw in “Back to the Future”, but they are not.
Instead of actually floating above the ground hoverboards are like mini-segways without any handlebars. Once you get on the hoverboard you can just lean forward to glide forward and lean back to go in reverse.
Before taking the plunge and buying a hoverboard for yourself or someone else you should check out the local laws where you (or the person you will be buying it for) will be using it. Some cities have strict limitations as to where you can ride a hoverboard.
Most of the problems people were reporting stemmed from faulty batteries. Some of those problems might have been to poor quality control with some models. You must remember that at the time when people were reporting hoverboards exploding or catching on fire some manufacturers were having a hard time keeping up with demand and basically couldn’t make them fast enough.
Other manufacturers simply weren’t using high quality batteries, instead opting for lower cost batteries.
In any case, those days are in the past and steps have been taken to make sure that consumers are buying hoverboards with the high quality batteries they expect. We will explain more about this in a minute.
So what do you need to consider when buying a hoverboard? Continue reading our buying guide to see our top 7 tips to make you a well informed hoverboard shopper.
There are all kinds of extras and options to consider when buying a hoverboard. Things you can get or consider include:
Quality hoverboards, much like other products, use quality components and quality components aren’t cheap. So if you all you focus on is the lowest price you will run the risk that you will end up with a hoverboard that won’t last.
That being said, there are still ways to avoid paying top dollar for a hoverboard. Identify which features you want and which features you can live without. Avoiding hoverboards with extra features is a sure way to save some money.
There is no one size fits all when it comes to hoverboards. You need to look at the weight and height restrictions for each hoverboard you are considering.
You will see some hoverboards that are build for children or smaller adults. These hoverboards will be smaller (including footpads designed for smaller feet) and might have less powerful batteries and motors. Sometimes they might also have smaller wheels than the 6.5 inch wheels that are commonly found on so many models. You will also find that hoverboards built for younger or newer riders will also have a learning mode and will often have a lower top speed. It’s also important to note that there a minimum size requirements on hoverboards as well. Ignoring these minimum requirements might put the rider at increased risk of injury.
There are also hoverboards that are build with larger adults in mind. They will be wider, have larger footpads, and sometimes will have bigger wheels. You will also find that many times they will have bigger batteries and more powerful motors. Plus, these hoverboards will often have a higher top speed. Not surprisingly, these hoverboards are going to be more expensive, which can feel frustrating, but getting a hoverboard that is built for for the size of the rider will last longer and probably be safer as well.
Another thing you need to think about is the weight of the hoverboard because the person using the hoverboard will need to be able to lift or carry it as needed. Many hoverboards are in the 20-25 pound range. However, if you buy a hoverboard that was designed for a 220+ lb. adult it can easily weight more than 30 lbs and odds are it might be a bit heavy for a 12 year old to carry. That is another reason we say there is no one size fits all when it comes to hoverboards.
The standard wheel size for most models is in the 6.5 – 7 inch range and this is fine for sidewalks and paved surfaces, which is how most people use their hoverboards. However, if you plan on riding the hoverboard on grass and other rougher surfaces you probably want to consider buying one with larger wheels. Many of these off-road models will have wheels that range between 8.5-12 inches. These taller wheels not only provide more ground clearance, but they will also have more aggressive tread. Both of these things are important when you are not riding a hoverboard on smooth surfaces.
If you are thinking about getting one of these “off-road” models be prepared to spend a bit more money. In addition to having larger wheels these models will often also have larger motors, bigger batteries, and water resistance (all of which are good things).
If you aren’t sure if you picking a good model check out online reviews at places like Amazon.com. There is no product out there that has a perfect rating and makes everyone completely happy. That being said, it is good to hear what other people say about the pros and cons for a given product. Plus, sometimes you might learn something about the product’s features that you didn’t know before.
When looking at online reviews the higher the average rating the better. You also should feel good if there are a lot of reviews. Typically the more reviews you see the more confident you can feel in the average ratings for a product. If you only see a handful of reviews for a particular product the average rating can get greatly influenced just a couple of really high or low reviews and those reviews might not be reflective of what a larger number of customers might report (good or bad).
If you see a something with a lot of reviews that has a rating of 4 out of 5 or better you should feel fairly certain that you are looking at a quality product.
Companies that make quality products stand behind those products. So another good idea is to check out the warranty information for the hoverboard before you buy it. The two things you want to look for in a warranty is the length of the warranty and what is covered under the warranty. Obviously a longer warranty that covers more things will give you more peace of mind about your purchase.
In addition to checking out the warranty it is also a good idea to know the return policy of the retailer you are purchasing it from. If you are buying the hoverboard online you will want to make sure the online retailer has a solid return policy like Amazon.com
The UL 2272 certification came in response to hoverboards that were overheating, catching fire, or exploding due to electrical problems a few years ago. The last thing you want to worry about when buying a hoverboard is the possibility of it overheating and catching on fire.
Consumers who purchase a hoverboard that is UL 2272 certified can rest easy knowing that the hoverboard has an electrical drive train system including the battery system, other circuitry and electrical components that are deemed safe. If you are thinking about buying a hoverboard that doesn’t have this certification our advice to you would be to RUN THE OTHER WAY!
If you only pay attention to one thing on our list make sure this is it. Any good hoverboard will have this certification and proudly tell you that it does. Many retailers refuse to sell hoverboards that are not UL 2272 approved, but it is still good to know the importance of this certification in case you run into a model that doesn’t have it.
Hopefully this list of 7 things to remember helped prepare you to find the perfect hoverboard for yourself or whoever you are shopping for. However, you want to always remember that there are risks associated with using hoverboards – just like there are risks for using other equipment such as bikes, skates, and other motorized equipment. So always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for the safe of use and don’t forget to wear the appropriate safety equipment.
Image Credit: www.soarboards.com
Prices are accurate as of January 22, 2018 6:25 pm. Product prices and available are subject to change. Any price and availablility information displayed on Amazon.com at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of any products.
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