When Marty McFly traveled to the year 2015, he found flying cars, self-tying sneakers and hovering boards. We are still far from flying cars, but so called hoverboards (often mistakenly referred to as hooverboards), can be seen everywhere. Although they cannot actually hover, these scooters got the name, and thanks to the countless headlines and celebrity viral videos, it’s here to stay.
Unless your commute is anything more than a couple of miles of smooth paved surface, this little gyroscopic scooter isn’t likely to replace your car, your bike, or the public transport as a daily form of transit. But if you need a fun gadget to get from point A to point B swiftly and give your feet a well needed break, then a hoverboard might be worth looking at.
Hoverboards are not as expensive as electric bikes or electric scooters, but you still have to spend your money wisely. Whether you want to make transportation more entertaining for yourself, or you are looking for a hoverboard as a perfect gift for a teenager, or an adult who’s into tech and gadgets, make sure that the product you want to purchase is what you expect it to be. We have reviewed some of the best and most popular self-balance boards at the moment, so it will hopefully help you be happy with your decision.
Choosing hoverboard when there is so many available is not an easy task. We have made a list of top products, making sure that we include different options that would fit the needs of different riders. Also, we made sure that all of them are UL2272 Certified. Further down you will find a brief overview of each of the models that will help you make an informed purchase decision.
What is a hover board?
Hover board is a pretty amazing piece of technology, it houses two powerful electric motors, self-balancing software and a high-capacity battery, all in a compact and lightweight package. Beside the dual motors, wheels contain a tilt and speed sensor. This detects the rpm of each wheel and sends it to the gyroscope and speed control boards located inside the main body. These components work together to provide the correct power output and manage the tilt so that the rider stays upright and is able to move at a controlled speed. Combined, these allow riders to stand up, accelerate, turn and stop, simply by shifting weight.
These vehicles do not have enough power to go fast or cover large distances, but they offer some unique advantages that makes them stand out from other personal electric vehicles, such as scooters or e-bikes. However, have in mind that they are not legal to ride on streets, in fact, they have been banned from roads and sidewalks in many cities, so check with your local authority before you take on the streets.
Buying Guide for Best Self Balancing Hoverboard
The number one factor when looking for the best electric scooter for you is your own personal comfort. Do you enjoy buzzing down the streets while standing on the deck, or do you prefer to sit down while cruising? You need to make sure that your ride matches your route. How portable does it need to be? Do you need a scooter that you can easily fold and carry around when needed, or you are willing to sacrifice portability for superior performance? Here are some key factors you should consider to find what’s right for you.
There are hundreds of different models and variations available on the market today, and there is also a wide range of differences in build quality. The frame, the housing material, metal versus plastic wheels ─ not to mention the sophistication of the internal motors, sensors and other electronics ─ may all be different. That is why it is important to do the research, check reviews and turn to the reliable sources of information before you make the purchase. The cheapest option is usually not the best one, and the most expensive one may not be the right choice either. Look for products by long-established brands that offer good warranty and customer support.
Rider weight and Maximum Load
While most hoverboards will have the same weight limit based on wheel size, you should pay attention to each manufacturer’s parameters before you purchase. Most hoverboards will have a weight range of 40 lbs. to 220 lbs.
While there may be some wiggle room with the hover board weight limits, you are increasing your risk if you are outside the manufacturer’s recommendations.However, there are some models that are built to carry heavier rider, for example Swagtron T6 has an advertised weight limit of 420lbs.
Battery and Certification
An electronic device is only as powerful as its battery – without a reliable power source, users won’t travel far from the nearest outlet. Battery safety is also a primary concern for device manufacturers. Shortly after the numerous and frequent reports of catching fire, United Laboratories (UL) created the UL 2272 standard for hoverboards. The UL 2272 certification is provided to any hoverboard after a series of 150 tests including the drop test, overcharge test, and more to ensure they’re safe. Apart from the safety testing, a thorough construction evaluation of the product is also done to make sure it isn’t made using any lo quality material.
Before buying anything, it is obvious that you’ll first keep an insight into your budget and then draw the line. The price for a two-wheel scooter can go as high as $1000 dollars and as low as under $200. Just be wary when it comes to price and remember you get what you pay for. High-quality materials and durability are going to add to the price tag. You’ll also find that models which feature a sturdier frame or are designed for heavier riders will be more expensive. Evaluate your budget and determine what features are important to you. With so many models to choose from, you should be able to get the product you want at a price you can afford.
Speed and Range
In terms of speed, most models offer a similar range, from slow speeds of 2 or so mph up to 10mph, and even up to 12 or 15 mph. That doesn’t sound fast, but consider that’s sprinting speed for many people, and you are standing on a little device only a few inches from the ground.
Range is tough to measure, as a number of factors will affect how long and how far you can go — the terrain, the incline, the speed and the weight of the rider, in particular. Most models get a couple hours or more of typical use, or about 10 up to 15 miles, on a flat surface.
Check the Reviews
Although the beauty (and the curse) of the internet is that anybody can write their own opinion, which can provide you insight into many other hoverboard riders and their experience with it. And even though what’s good for one person, may not be good for another, it’s still a good idea to check the reviews of those that have already tested the particular hover board. You will find some useful information about weaknesses, sore spots and how much actual performance differs from advertised.
How to ride a self-balancing scooter?
If you have seen all those ‘hoverboard fail compilations’ you may have been under the impression that even the best hoverboards are very unsafe and difficult to ride. However, that not at all the case. The only thing to do is relaxing and getting your balance. Here is a step-by-step guide to master riding a self balancing hoverboard:
Step 1: Getting on
First, you need to make sure your board is well charged, and turned on. Put the hoverboard on a FLAT ground in front of you, and put one foot (preferably your dominant foot) on it. You should then use this foot to set the board in an upright and level riding position, such that it is not tilting to any side. Lift up your other leg and get fully on the board. Try not to shake, just relax and act naturally. Also, make sure to look front and not down. Just relax and act naturally. Place your feet as wide apart as possible. This means placing them close to the two wheels. This will lead to more stability and an easier control.
Step 2: Get in motion
Moving on a self balancing hoverboard is very intuitive once you get the hang of it. To get going, lean forward slightly to move forward and lean backwards to slow down or move backwards. The only thing you need to do is to shift your body weight in the direction you want to move in. Most of the movement should be in your ankles, so don’t bend your knees or lean too much, or you will fall.
Step 3: Changing direction
Hoverboard steering is also based on the shifting of your bodyweight. In order to turn left or right, shift your body weight slightly in the direction that you want to go, shifting your weight onto your right foot if you want to turn right, and left foot to turn left. Each side of a hover scooter moves independently, so you can twist each side. Start slowly, take controlled turns, and you will master maneuvering in no time.
Scooters to Consider
Swagtron is one of the best electric hoverboard know brand of personal electric vehicles. Swagtron T1 is the successor of the notorious Swagway X1, one of the two-wheeled self-balancing scooters that was recalled due to safety issues of catching fire or exploding. But don’t worry, the T1 model has been put through rigorous testing and it was first to market with an overall UL2272 certification.
The T1 is excellent for beginners, as it has two riding modes. The learning mode delivers controlled speed and acceleration, so you don’t have to worry about suddenly whipping up to 8 miles per hour if lean forward to hard. It is also equipped with Safe Stop system that prevents a total shutoff of power if the battery drains, ensuring a more gradual, rolling stop. On a full charge the maximum range you can expect between 7 and 11 miles of range, depending of rider’s weight and the terrain.
- Hard ABS Outer Body Casing
- Aluminum Wheels with Rubber Tires
- Top Speed: 8 mph
- Range: 7 – 12 miles
- Weight Limit: 220 lbs
- Charging Time: ~1h
- Two Driving Modes
- Bright LED headlights
- Battery: Lithium with SentryShield™ (UL2271 Certified)
- Size: 23”x7”x7”
- Product Weight: 22 lbs
- Climbing Capability: 30°
- Turning Radius: 0°
EpikGo is not every kid’s toy. This sturdy two-wheeler packs some serious power under the hard ABS body chassis. Featuring two 400W motors it provides maximum speed of 12 mph and the ability to climb inclines of up to 15 degrees and stay stable. High-tread tires ensure safe navigation across any ground cover, be it grass, dirt, or pavement.
This ride surely stands out in the overcrowded hoverboard market. Its robust design proves that this board is all about stability and the amazing riding experience. However, it is not the easiest to carry around, as it weighs 26 pounds.
EpikGo comes with UL2271 certified LG Smart Lithium-ion battery that provides a range of up to 10 miles. This can be the best advanced hoveboard and is also IP54 certified, which means that it is water resistant.
- Motor: Dual 400W
- Top Speed: 12 mph
- Range: 10 miles
- Maximum Weight: 220 lbs
- Charging: 1-2h
- Bright LED headlights
- Battery: 37V LG Lithium Battery (UL2271 Certified)
- All-Terrain Tires
- Product Weight: 26 lbs
- Climbing Capability: 18°
- Turning Radius: 0°
GOTRAX Hoverfly ECO
Hoverfly is definitely among the best seller hoverboard. And there are more to it than it amazingly affordable price – classic design, ease of use, fun colors and prints available and all the feature you would possibly need for a fun leisure ride.
The motor power of 250W means that you can expect the top speed of up to 7.4 mph which is more than enough for two 6.5 inch wheels that you control with your own sense of balance.
Hoverfly ECO is made with high quality material, and also tested and certified to UL 2272 electrical standards. The GOTRAX company stands behind their product, so you can expect excellent customer support and fast delivery. This is a best gift hoverboard for kids and teenagers.
- Motor 250W
- Top Speed: 7.4 mph
- Single Charge Range: 9 – 12 miles
- Max Weight Limit: 220 lbs
- Charging: 1.5h
- LED headlights
- Battery: UL2271 Certified Lithium
- Solid Tires
- Built-in Bluetooth Speaker
- Product Weight: 20 lbs
- Turning Radius: 0°
- 7 different colors and designs
If this self-balancing board looks like an F1 car to you, that is because designers have tried very hard to achieve that. And they have also tried to incorporate more features of F1 into the Gyroorboard F1 – unique shape, strong power, fast speed, sturdy structure, even the sound.
Yes, you have read it right – unlike other manufacturers that are making their scooters as quiet as possible, Gyroorboard completely simulates the sound of a racing car when speeding up or braking. And it boasts some serious speed to match the sound – 10 to 12 mph max speed is not a joke on a hovewrboard.
The body is 85% aluminum board with some ABS parts, which is stronger and safer than many others. Battery is removable, which is a nice feature. This is a relatively new product to the market, but for now it seems promising, at least for the fun factor.
- Motor: 350W
- Top Speed: 10-12 mph
- Driving Mode: Speeds Adjustable by App
- Range: 7.5-9.5 miles
- Maximum Weight: 265 lbs
- Charging Time: 1.5-2h
- LED lights – Colors Adjustable by app
- Built-in Bluetooth Speaker
- Battery: Removable 36V Lithium Battery (UL2271 Certified)
- 5 inch/215mm Rubber Tires
- Product Weight: 33 lbs
- Climbing Capability: 15°-30°
- IP54 Water Resistant
Swagtron Vibe T580
If we had to describe Swagtron T580 with a single word, it would be – safe. Swagtron gives high priority to safety, and that is why the T580 comes with a wide array of safety features, including UL2272 certification, an incombustible outer casing, non-slip footpads, smart battery management system, and their patented Sentry Shield Technology.
This smart board features two motors with combined power of 300W provide a maximum speed of 7.5 mph, with three modes to choose from. The bonus feature on Swagtron T580 are the Bluetooth speakers, and a mobile app that allows you to pair it up with your phone and listen to the music, check the speed or the battery level.
The battery on this device is detachable, so it can be carried separately. This is convenient if you are planning to take your hoverboard on as plane in case the airline insist that you take the battery out and carry the battery with you.
- Motors: 300W
- Speed: 7.5 mph
- Range: 8 miles on a single charge
- Three speed modes
- Weight Capacity: 220 pounds
- Weight: 20 lbs
- Charger Included: Yes
- Bluetooth Speakers: Yes
- UL 2272 Certified: Yes
Razor Hovertrax 2.0
Razor’s name has been synonymous with high-quality scooters for a long time. It’s no surprise that one the Hovertrax 2.0, matches the standard of their brand name excellence. This model is the best-selling hoverboard of the Razor line-up.
Powered up by two motors with combined peak power of 350 W, able to achieve the top speed of 8 miles per hour, which seems crazy fast on a little hovering scooter like this one.
This hoverboard houses a 36 V lithium-ion LG battery pack which is UL2271 certified, which means you don’t have to worry about it bursting into flames. The battery provides a range of 7-8 miles on a full charge.
The standout feature of Hovertrax 2.0 is the EverBalance technology – each board has the foot-controlled multi-sensor tech that precisely (and accurately) responds to foot pressure, as opposed to single-sensor foot pads many boards have. Another great feature is the two LED lights on the front of the Hovertrax 2.0.
- Motor: 350W peak
- Speed: 8 mph
- Single Charge Range: 12 miles
- Charge time: up to 4 hours
- Battery Life: 12 miles (60 minutes of continuous riding)
- Weight Capacity: 220 pounds
- Climbing Capability: 15°
- Weight: 26.5 lbs
- LED Lights: Battery power/ balance level indicator
- Charger Included: Yes
- Bluetooth Integrated: No
- UL 2272 Certified: Yes
Hoverboards for Kids
Kids love hoverboards and year after year it is the most sought after holiday gift for a few years now. If you want to see the biggest smile on your child’s face this holiday season, you might think that a hoverboard would be the perfect gift. However, if you want to choose absolutely the best and the safest products, there are some things to consider.
When shopping for kids look for 6.5″ wheel sizes or smaller. They are lighter, making them easier for your children to carry and the small wheel sizes make them easier to maneuver by smaller riders.
Most of the kid hoverboards are designed to support riders that are at least 40 lbs. Usually, that is about age five and up, though some four-year-olds may meet that weight requirement. However we would recommends riders be at least 6 years or older to ride, as they are more likely to have a developed sense of balance and coordination, which is a must when it comes to riding a hands-free self-balancing hover-board.
Proper safety gear is essential for any scooter rider, especially kids. Just like with bikes, skateboards, and roller skates, helmets and pads are essential to prevent injuries. Even when your kid becomes a pro, there’s still a chance of accidents, especially if they ride in areas with other riders, skaters, and cyclists. A helmet is the absolute minimum safety gear a kid should wear when they ride.
If your child already owns a hoverboard and loves it, here is a little gadget that is a perfect way of breathing new life into his or her hoverboard experience. Hoverkart is an accessory that transforms your hoverboard into a three-wheeled buggy-like vehicle that is stable and maneuverable.
Even though they are hands-free, these two-wheel, self-balancing rides can be a handful to control. Hoverkart attachment harnesses the power and makes the riding experience more enjoyable and accessible for everyone. One of the major advantages of hover kart is that you have a third point of contact with the ground, so you are no longer relying on your sense of balance to keep you from falling. It is controlled by handles, that also provide a grasp of your scooter. Take a look at the video below to see more of this awesome little attachment in action:
Are hoverboards safe?
It’s been a rough start for this rideable gadget. When they first appeared on the market, the whole idea almost blew up in flames (literally). The little scooters just wouldn’t stop bursting in flames. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, hoverboard-related fires between December 2015 and February 2016 were responsible for more than $2 million in property damages nationwide. As a result, some airlines and college campuses have banned self-balancing scooters, and the United Kingdom has completely banned the use of a two-wheel self-balancing scooter in any public space.
But despite all the negative publicity the hoverboard industry have managed to clean up their act and come back bigger and better and gain the popularity their “grandfather”, the Segway, always hoped for. The safety issues that led to overheated batteries are now covered by the UL 2272 standard, and the CPSC recommended that all over hoverboards should be certified before being sold in the US.
Hoverboards are two-wheeled, electric, portable devices and one of the least expensive personal transportation devices. They are very convenient for traveling short distances, even indoors. If you decide to buy a self-balancing board for you or your loved one, we recommend that you read our guide to pick the best hoverboard of 2021. Armed with information, you’ll be able to prioritize, and figure out exactly which model fits your needs.