What to Know About Hoverboards Before Purchasing One as a Gift

The most popular gift of 2015 has been tarnished by reports of fires and unsafe batteries, but many believe that the hoverboard is here to stay. Mark Cuban, a big-time investor, recently announced a new hoverboard that will be appearing on KickStarter. The hoverboard goes by many names, including self-balancing board and hands-free Segway. It’s neat device made popular by many celebrities and it has some great benefits:

  • Easy to learn to use
  • Only 20-25 lbs and small enough to stash in a bag
  • Zooms up to 10 mph
  • Range of 10-15 miles on a single charge
  • Works the abs for balance

Basically, a hoverboard is a great solution for commutes that may be a little too long for walking. Plus, riding them looks pretty cool.

Purchasing a Hoverboard

Due to reports of fatal fires from unsafe batteries, hoverboards have developed a bad reputation. They have been banned from airplanes and some public sidewalks. However, you can most certainly find a safe and fun hoverboard for sale from a reputable retailer. While some reports have recommended purchasing from known vendors like PhunkeeDuck and HoverTrax, the key is to find a hoverboard with UL certified batteries. This certification is an American standard that confirms that the hoverboard batteries are safe to use.

The cost of a hoverboard varies drastically depending upon the model. In 2015, it was safer to spend more money on a hoverboard to confirm that the batteries were okay. Wired recommended spending more than $300 and budgeting at least $500. Some models can cost more than $1000. However, since consumer are now wary of cheap prices, many hoverboard retailers have become more upfront about the battery safety. A cheaper model with a UL certified battery may be safer than a more expensive model without a UL certified battery. However, more expensive models may have more features, like a higher speed or better range.

Riding a Hoverboard

Videos of celebrities falling off of hoverboards is one way that this gift gained popularity. However, it doesn’t have to be that difficult to ride a hoverboard. USA Today recommends starting out with a helmet and other protection in case you fall. They also say to practice in an area without people. For more practical tips about balancing on a hoverboard, check out one of the many videos uploaded by teenage boys.

Despite the bad reputation of hoverboards, they are still an enjoyable and fun device to use. Even investors are betting on their continued popularity. The key is to find a model that has UL certified batteries and a good safety record. After an initial training period, it’s easy to cruise down the street in style.