A self-balancing scooter or self-balancing two-wheeled board, commonly referred to as a “hoverboard“, is a type of portable, rechargeable battery-powered scooter. They typically consist of two wheels arranged side-by-side, with two small platforms between the wheels, on which the rider stands.
Which Ones Are the Safest?
A better question to ask might be, “Which hoverboard won’t explode and kill me, resulting in a death so embarrassing it sounds like an Onion headline?” Fantastic and wise query. There have been a few reports about cheap version of the devices being sold with low-quality battery packs that overheat. And then, you know, explode. Unfortunately, these reports have all declined to name names—but most information suggests that units coming directly from China are the culprits. But, um, that’s a lot of them. A good bet is to opt for one of the popular brand names: PhunkeeDunk, Hovertrax, IO Hawk, Ninebot, and Skagway are all (relatively) big names in this market.
Really, though, if you see an ultra-cheap deal or some Groupon-type steep discount, take a hard look at those specs. And probably just don’t get it. Better to be safe than end up the butt of the saddest joke ever. If a deal seems too good to be true… it is.
Are These Little Kid-Friendly?
How dextrous is your child? If you are buying this thing for a kid, maybe check out a model that includes a handle. It’s basically a Segway for small people, but it’s certainly safer. If that’s just not going to cut it, then opt for a device with a lower max speed; 5 MPH is probably enough. Devices with bigger tires also a little easier to maneuver. The Ninebot’s middle knee rest feature might also help with balance.