Hoberboards!! Sounds fun right?
2015 was the year for some crazy tech geeks and added a lot to the pool of futuristic devices, one of which was the hoverboard…
So, we bring you a guide to everything you need know before buying a hoverboard for yourself or for a loved one as a gift this holiday season.
What exactly are hoverboards??
Well they don’t actually hover around like the name suggests, instead they run on two wheels just like a segway. One might also call them mini-segways or even swegways. No matter what the name is, all of them are the same in terms of how they function or what they do.
It consists of a pair of wheels connected by a hinge in between to allow separate movement of both the wheels. The Motion is controlled by two pressure sensitive pads on the board between the wheels. You just have to lean a little forward to go forward, back to go backwards. In order to change direction just lean more on one side, like move the left foot more forward in order to make the left wheel go faster and making the board turn right, vice-versa. It may seem complicated at first but it will take no time getting used to it.
Types of hoverboards in the market
Hoverboards are manufactured by various companies but don’t usually differ much. The differentiating factor is mostly the wheel size, common wheel size is around 7 inches which helps it remain compact and efficient it’s fine for smooth and flat surfaces. When it comes to off road use these tires aren’t that efficient and might end up in wheel spins on uneven surfaces and will also not perform well on curbs and elevations. In order to remove that limitation, we recently saw the introduction of sizes up to 10 inches which are great off road but do look exceptionally large as compared to 6.5-7 inch variants.
So now that you know about hoverboards, you must be having a whole lot of questions in mind. Let’s get them one by one…
Will it support my weight?
The general weight limit of the hoverboards vary between 100 Kg to 120 Kg depending upon which wheel size you prefer. I recommend you to buy these from sites like flipkart, amazon, etc. People have reported bad quality products from Chinese websites like alibaba and more.
Also don’t forget to keep your feet at the ends so that the wheels can take your weight, the center is comparitively weak and might get damaged.
While we are talking about the weight, let’s throw some light upon the weight of the device itself. Although it will vary from manufacturer to manufacturer but in general the 7 inch ones are about 10 Kg and the 10 inch ones are nearly about 12 Kg. This is important to know because at some point or the other you have to carry them.
Is it waterproof?
Pretty much like most of the gadgets out there we would say that these aren’t waterproof. Most of them would survive little splashes but not more than that. So we would recommend you to keep it inside for the rainy days.
How fast can it go?
Some speed freaks might want to know the maximum speed the device can attain. To be honest it is not much of a speedy guy and it’s definitely recommended to keep it slow because you might fall and you will fall. People have claimed to reach about 15 Km/hr before the board starts to beep and tell you that it has achieved it’s top speed.
How about battery life? How far can it go?
Just like the weight, the distance also changes from variant to variant, you can travel from about 20 Km to 30Km depending upon what variant you go for.
As for the charging times it is going to take roughly 3 hours and you usually do get some charge out of the box.
Do make sure not to overcharge it though, it might ruin the battery life. So, whenever you plug it in just set a timer on your phone or something.
Some newer boards do offer you the ability to play music via bluetooth and I suppose some even have inbuilt GPS for global tracking. In my opinion these are just gimmicky features to a gimmicky device and would not have any effect on the performance what so ever.
So to finally sum it all up…
This is definitely not a commuting device for large distances or something like that. You can use it to go to the grocery store, the medic, roam around, show off to your friends and stuff but yeah the use is very limited I would say. There are some precautions to take, not everybody learns in one go. It’s more of a trial and error situation, you learn as you use it, and the learning curve will be different for different people so don’t worry.
Although it’s fun to ride but believe me you will not be able to travel for more than 15 minutes in one go. It looks as if you are just standing but it does put some amount of pressure on your calves. So for longer distances I would recommend you go for a bike or something like that.
One of the most important thing you need to know before riding it is that “Don’t Hesitate”. The more confident you are the easier it will be to control because obviously it’s more difficult to balance with shaky legs. When you climb up place one foot on it and then quickly place the other one *in the right position*. As for getting of, let it slow down and come to rest then always, I mean ALWAYS get off the back.
Give the first try on a carpet or some soft material because as I mentioned earlier, it takes time to get used to it.
I guess that would be all for the basic stuff, if you have any more questions feel free to comment below.
Good Luck riding your new toy.
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Happy New Year!
A Tech Geek...
I love tech, gadgets, gear and everything in between.
Pursuing engineering in IT.
Oh ya! I also make videos on YouTube as a hobby...