Using a hoverboard can seem quite new and unusual for those not accustomed to it. It’s a lot different from other fun activities like skating, using a scooter or roller blading! In this article, we are going to go over the 5 main tips you need to know before stepping on a hoverboard.

1. Safety First

There was a big ruckus with hoverboards back in 2015 – 2016 with a lot of their batteries exploding and catching fire. In fact, over 500,000 hoverboards (also called balancing scooters) were recalled.

Since then, it’s compulsory for manufacturers to get proper UL or Underwriter’s Laboratory certification which is a rigid set of tests that ensures every hoverboard reaches a certain level of safety.

Nowadays, only purchase a hoverboard with such a certification (identified as UL certification) or else you risk more harm than good. Many manufacturers also add in additional safety features – primarily extra protection for the battery unit.

The popular brand Swagtron, for example, uses patented SentryShield technology for their batteries as well as inbuilt software that actively manages the battery activity.

You are best getting some safety gear as well. A helmet and knee pads are recommended. Even elbow pads are useful especially if you are a first-time rider. You are sure to fall over at least once and when you do, you’ll be glad you are wearing some protection!

2. Getting the Hang of Things

Before getting on your hoverboard and going at the maximum speed which can easily reach over 10 miles an hour, you need to get used to it first.

Many hoverboards come with several modes that help you get the hang of things before unlocking all features. For example, Segway’s training mode for their Ninebot model throttles the speed for a set amount of distance. Many other manufacturers will also provide similar modes to help you get accustomed to the hoverboard first.

In terms of riding the hoverboard itself, here are a few pointers:

  • Step on the board one foot at a time. Aim to put your feet further apart (closer to each wheel) instead of close together. This will give you more control and balance.
  • To move forward or backwards, you will have to gently lean in either direction. This uses mainly your ankles. Don’t lean too much either way as this will cause you to fall off.
  • Turning is usually done by pressing down with your toes. The pressure will activate the wheel to turn. Left foot for a right turn and right foot for a left turn.

It can take a bit of getting use to, but once you have the hang of it you’ll be able to enjoy the full features of your new hoverboard without getting in to too many accidents.

3. All Terrain vs Paved

Some hoverboards are either great for off-terrain usage or on paved roads. Before buying them, ensure to read the product description carefully and know which hoverboard you are getting.

Simply put, you can’t ride a hoverboard on a dirt road if it isn’t made as such. An easy tell for this is to take a look at the tires. If they have heavy treads and are thick and heavy then the hoverboard is probably made for the outdoors.

Hoverboards that are made for the indoors or paved surfaces generally have smaller tires that are lightly treaded. If you were to ride this on bumpy or muddy surfaces, they wouldn’t last long. 

Be sure to also look at water and dirt resistant ratings. The last thing you want if for your $300 hoverboard to get wet and then stop functioning.

4. The Brand is Important

Unlike a lot of other consumer products, there are not many hoverboard brands that have really established themselves in the market as a reliable and well performing product.

Many companies (of which many are Chinese based) make hoverboards for the American market. You’ll see these hoverboards on Amazon. One moment they are there and the next they are gone. For the most part, these do perform well and get the job done. However; be wary of customer support and warranty follow through which can be less than adequate. This is especially true for less established brands where the goal is to make profit instead of making a truly great product.

With this in mind, it’s a good idea to purchase from a brand with reliable customer support. Brands like Segway, Swagtron and Razor are good choices. Another good policy is to take a close look at review websites as well as customer reviews. Generally, the customer reviews that are rated 3 stars are more trustworthy and would not be paid for by the manufacturer.

5. Is the Hoverboard for an Adult or Child?

Lastly, there are hoverboards that are made for both adults and children. All hoverboards come with a weight limit and vary in sizes and this is mainly due to the type of rider and if it is for outdoors or indoor usage.

Hoverboards for children are smaller and generally reach slower speeds. They are safer to use and come with more quirky features like blinking LED lights and speakers. They also have a lower weight limit around 180 lbs.

Hoverboards for adults are a lot larger, faster and feature a longer base and larger wheels. They also can carry greater weight – some more than 300 lbs. Considering these specifications, they are also more expensive. Many models can cost in the 100’s of dollars and so are suitable for more experienced riders who really want to push their hoverboarding experience to the limit.

Hoverboarding should be a fun and safe experience

By following these tips, you can help ensure that your hoverboarding experience is a fun and safe one.

It’s always good to do the proper research and know what you are looking for. Reading these types of articles before deciding which hoverboard to purchase is the best thing you can do to ensure you don’t waste your money.

Happy riding!