Surely you have seen some famous on social networks showing off on their hoverboard, or maybe you have seen some young people in your neighborhood walking around in these gadgets. Now you have become envious and also somewhat curious, and you are thinking that you could buy one but you don’t really know where to start. In that case, good news! You have come to the right place!
What is a hoverboard?
A hoverboard is a self-balancing electric scooter made up of 2 parallel wheels and a platform where the feet rest. If you have ever seen a Segway, the hoverboard is very similar, although without handlebars and also smaller and less expensive.
Why is it called a hoverboard?
The hoverboard is technically a levitating platform (a skateboard without wheels) that can be used as a means of personal transportation. The term was invented for the film Back to the Future II, in which protagonist Marty McFly travels to the future and discovers that teenagers ride on boards without wheels that levitate.
Although self-balancing scooters don’t actually float, this term has been commonly adopted as a more colloquial way of referring to these vehicles.
How does a hoverboard type electric scooter work?
These self-balancing scooters have five basic components:
- The platform itself, where we will rest our feet.
- A gyroscope to determine if the machine is tilted or balanced.
- Motors that keep the board balanced and allow it to be moved forward or backward.
- A microprocessor to start the motors based on the signals captured by the gyroscope.
- A large battery to power the device.
The most important feature of these machines is to always remain in an upright position. To do this, the microprocessor, thanks to the gyroscope, monitors the direction in which the driver is leaning and activates the motors to keep the rider balanced.
Every hoverboard is different. Each one uses a battery, a set of microchips, motors, and even different boards, which determines the quality of the device and its price.
Everything you need to know before buying a hoverboard
Here are all the points that you will have to assess before buying your new hoverboard type scooter.
The first hoverboards to be marketed were of very good quality, but they were also very expensive. Because of this, the Chinese manufacturing industry quickly came onto the scene with a series of cheap and unsafe knockoffs that were almost completely identical to the originals.
However, it was not long before the media reported people falling off faulty scooters and exploding batteries. For this reason, it is very important that you make sure that the hoverboard you buy has the appropriate safety certification. It must be UL certified and have a protection system that prevents overloads, overheating, and short circuits.
The battery is the main component that we must take into account if we talk about safety on the scooter. Most modern electronic components use lithium polymer (lipo) batteries, which are currently the best for consumer products. They are the ones that carry telephones, laptops, and other common rechargeable devices.
The downside to other less powerful battery types is that they are also more unstable. It is not that rare for a lipo battery to catch fire or explode, especially if it has not been manufactured with the precision and experience of a serious and recognized manufacturer such as Samsung, LG, or Panasonic.
On the other hand, and even in the case of good batteries, it is a good habit that you recharge your hoverboard in a place where a possible fire is the least harmful possible, away from wood and fabrics for example.
Wheel size and type
Most hoverboards have 6.5-inch wheels (approximately 16.5 cm in diameter), which makes the deck that your feet rest on to slide quite close to the ground. These types of electric scooters are perfect for totally smooth terrain, on the other hand, on terrain that does not meet these characteristics, scratches, and scratches will be added to the bottom.
In order not to have this problem on other types of terrain, we should look for a hoverboard with wheels between 8 and 10 inches (between 20 and 25 cm in diameter). On the other hand, if we are going to use the device indoors, wheels that are too big can be a problem. You will therefore have to consider the terrain in which you plan to travel.
As for the type of wheels, in general, they are usually solid but some hoverboards have pneumatic wheels. Solid wheels obviously cannot be punctured but, in return, provide less shock absorption and worse grip on uneven surfaces than pneumatic ones.
In general, a hoverboard can reach speeds of about 10 km / h, although some models can exceed 20 km / h. If the vehicle is for a child, it is best to look for something slower. 10 km / h may seem like little, but when you are moving at that speed a few inches from the ground it feels quite fast.
The most common in these devices is a range with a single charge is about 15 km. Keep in mind that the more you weigh and the faster you move, the less distance you can travel.
If your intention is to take a daily trip, you have to make sure that the distance capable of traveling on the hoverboard is greater. In general, it takes about 2 or 3 hours to recharge one of these vehicles so you will also have to take this into account when traveling.
Maximum weight supported
The weight that a hoverboard can support depends mainly on the platform and the strength of the motor. Most of them will hold up to 100 kg in weight, which may be low for some adult men, but there are also those who can support up to 150 kg.
The price of the hoverboard
The top of the line hoverboards are currently at prices around € 500 and those that are beginning to be interesting are more or less from € 200. Pay special attention if you are considering purchasing one of these gadgets for a much cheaper price than that. You may have found a good deal, but you’ll have to make sure.
In this guide to buying a hoverboard, if you need more we will talk about everything you need to know.
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