Whether you’re buying a hoverboard for yourself or as a gift for someone else, it always pays to be tooled up with the latest information. For everything you need to know about picking up a high quality hoverboard, here is our buying guide.
What is a hoverboard?
If someone asked for a hoverboard as their birthday present and you imagined them flying around like Marty McFly, you probably need an introduction to the concept. A hoverboard (sometimes also referred to as a swegway or a self-balancing scooter) doesn’t actually hover. Riders stand on the board and it rolls on wheels to speeds of up to 15mph.
Sensors in the board keep the rider standing at all times, and they can turn, spin and reverse. They are effectively like a mini-Segway without handlebars. The concept is the same – you lean forward to move forwards and lean backward to reverse. They are a lot of fun, and a unique form of personal transportation.
Who are you buying for?
The right product for you will depend on whether you’re buying the hoverboard for a child or an adult. Hoverboards are available in a range of styles and sizes. Generally the smaller models have wheels that are between 6.5” and 8” while larger boards have wheels that are 10” or more. The size of the wheel usually also corresponds to the weight allowance. Most models can support around 100kg but if you require something that can hold a heavier frame, those with larger wheels can support up to 120kg.
There’s no age limit on hoverboards and kids love playing on hoverboards. If you’re buying for a child, it’s up to your judgement and common sense as to whether it is suitable for them.
Hoverboards were made famous by celebrities such as Justin Bieber, Usain Bolt and Jamie Foxx riding them around, but they also received a significant amount of media coverage for catching fire and exploding. Does that mean that you need to abandon the idea of buying a hoverboard altogether? No, it just means you need to be a little careful about who you purchase from.
The issues with fires were a result of hoverboards that were manufacturerd using unregulated fake batteries and poor quality wiring. The best way that you can avoid this is to only buy through reputable dealers with years of experience. Choose a company that is compliant to CE standards and is tested in a UK-based verified test lab.
When you follow these buying rules you can be sure that you are getting a genuine product that conforms to the correct safety standards. If the hoverboard has not be tested by a verified lab, you have no guarantee that the product is safe.
The cost of a hoverboard can vary enormously depending on the brand and the model. If you find hoverboards online that are extremely cheap, it’s worth remembering the advice above regarding quality. If they are priced at cheaper than £200, you probably need to ask exactly what corners are being cut to reach this price.
Nevertheless, reputable hoverboards are well priced and affordable. In terms of high quality products, you can pick up a Bluefin hoverboard for around £250. Depending on the model you could pay up to £1,000 for your hoverboard. It’s up to you to set a budget that’s suitable to you.
What can you do with your hoverboard?
It’s worth pointing out before you buy, exactly what you can do with a hoverboard. In the UK, you’re only allowed to use your board on private property (with the permission of the land owner) as they are not allowed on the pavement or the road. This means that you can use them at home in your garden, as well as in some parks and skate parks, although you should always check with your local council as to whether you’re allowed to.
Interestingly, the laws regarding hoverboards are very different in most parts of the world including much of America and European countries like France, Germany and Italy. So if you’re going on holiday, take your hoverboard and you may be able to use it on the pavement or in cycle lanes.