Getting Started: A Hoverboard Buyers Guide
If last holiday season is any indicator, hoverboards are a hot item and bound to be a hit throughout 2016. With summer approaching, you might want to get out of the house and give hoverboards a try, but where do you begin? The world of hoverboards can certainly be daunting, especially if you’re a first time buyer. Fortunately, we’re here to help.
Before we get into buying a hoverboard, we have to know what they are and how they work. As you may know, what we commonly refer to as hoverboards aren’t actually hovering – they’re rolling on two wheels. Hoverboards use gyroscopes and microprocessors to determine the tilt of the board, as well as the direction the rider is leaning. The board uses these inputs to self-balance, and to determine what you, the rider, want to do. For example, if you lean forward the board will move forward. If you twist your right foot forward, the board will respond by turning right and vice-versa.
Hoverboards aren’t always called hoverboards either. They’re frequently referred to as “self-balancing scooters” as well as “hands free scooters.” Any of the names are fine, and you’ll see all three names used by different hoverboard manufactures.
When buying hoverboards, your best option is typically to go to the manufacturer’s website. Hoverboards can be purchased at some stores and on major retail websites, but options are limited. Auction sites like eBay, for example, offer a wide variety of hoverboards for sale. However, you never know if the item you’re buying on these large auction sites is legitimate. You also won’t know if the hoverboard you’re buying is safe and well designed. By far, the best option is to go directly to the source, like the official SWAGTRON hoverboard shop.
Hoverboard costs vary greatly from board to board, with some lower quality hoverboards selling for under $200, and some highly expensive brands selling for more than $1000! When looking for your first hoverboard, your best option is to pick one from a reputable brand such as SWAGTRON with good quality reviews that is within your budget. Hoverboards will also come in a variety of colors, and some even include extra features like Bluetooth speakers. However, keep in mind that these extra features cost money, and if they’re available on an already cheap
hoverboard, some quality may have been sacrificed. Overall, your best option is to pick a hoverboard that offers dependable quality at a good price.
Before taking your hoverboard outside for your first ride, be sure to check the laws in your area. Hoverboards are currently not allowed in New York and are not allowed on the road or sidewalk in the U.K. Local laws regarding riding outdoors may vary, be sure to find out what laws are in place in your area before you go out for your first ride.
No matter what hoverboard you choose, make sure to practice and get the hang of your new mode of transportation. Riding hoverboards is not hard, but there’s certainly a learning curve, and practice makes perfect. Be sure to learn the basics before going on your first lengthy ride.
Hoverboards: A Brief History
Though the popularity of hoverboards is only beginning to rise, the concept of a hoverboard and the technology that goes into the wide variety of hoverboards commercially available today has a substantial history.
The idea of the hoverboard first entered the public imagination with Robert Zemeckis’ Back to the Future II, though according to uproxx.com, it had appeared prior to this in comic books and animation. Current technological advances have helped us create hoverboards that actually allow the user to hover. However, what we commonly refer to as hoverboards are far different than Marty McFly’s iconic symbol of pop culture.
Our current hoverboards (commonly referred to as self-balancing scooters) used gyroscopes and tilt sensors to keep itself upright. This technology allows them to stay self-balancing and stable.
As mentioned above, there are numerous types of hoverboards, both on the market and in popular imagination. The most common type is the aforementioned two-wheeled self-balancing scooter type, like the SWAGTRON. These types of hoverboards do not hover above the ground, but instead roll on two wheels and change directions based on your body movement, which is read by microprocessors and gyroscopes These hoverboards sell for a wide range of prices, running below $200 for a low quality model, all the way up to $1500 on up for a higher end model. If you’re interested in learning more about this type of hoverboard, check out our price comparison here (Link to article I wrote).
Though we’re typically talking about self-balancing scooters when we say hoverboard, prototypes that hover off of the ground do exist. Sadly, these hoverboards usually require some sort of metal ground, as the levitation effect is based on magnetism. One such design is even hired professional skateboarder Tony Hawk giving the prototype a try. Sadly, this type of hoverboard is not commercially available and, as mentioned above, cannot function off of specially designed areas. These models are, of course, based more off of the concept of the hoverboard seen in pop culture.
Another readily available type floats on water, though they’re quite expensive and require a lot of equipment. This Aqav model, for example, functions similarly to wakeboards and jet skis. According to the Aquv website, this hoverboard must be attached to a 60 foot hose, which expels water and lifts the rider into the air. Though this is certainly an interesting piece of technology, the unit retails between $3000 and $12,000, and requires training and access to a body of water. This barrier certainly limits its use and practicality.
The word hoverboard brings to mind different concepts for different people. No matter what crosses your mind when you think of hoverboards, remember to compare your options before buying. If you’re interested in learning more about two wheeled self-balancing hoverboards like the SWAGTRON, be sure to check out our buyer’s guide!
Learn to Ride Without Breaking the Bank: A Hoverboard Price Comparison
With warmer weather approaching, hoverboards are bound to be a hot item over the next few months. However, Hoverboards (or self-balancing scooters, as their sometimes called) come in a wide variety of prices, with some options falling below $200 and some landing well above $1000! With so many options at such a wide range of costs, comparing your options by price is nearly essential. Fortunately, we’re here to help with our hoverboard price comparison.
On the low end of the pricing spectrum, a few options are available through online auction sites, and at a variety of retail stores across the country. For example, a variety of very low end options appear on eBay. Some even feature Bluetooth speakers and other accessories.
Though their sub $200 and $300 price tags may be tempting, they are not coming from reputable companies. Because they’re being sold through eBay, the return policies and customer service might also be limited, not to mention the possible quality control issues these low priced hoverboards could have. Ultimately, it’s far better (and safer) to move up to a higher quality self-balancing scooter.
Mid-range hoverboards offer much better quality for the price, and several options are available. For example, the Swagway (click here to buy hoverboard for sale), is a fantastic option in this price range. Retailing between $379.99 and $439.99, the Swagway (available in a wide variety of colors) offers great value for its price, with an aluminum alloy frame and 20 miles worth of battery life. This, in combination with strong customer service and reviews make the Swagway a hard to beat bargain.
Swagway’s design and architecture make it the best hoverboard in the mid-range class. The Swagway X1 is available in eight colors, and features an aluminum body that provides strong and safe support for the users. The Swagway X1 has become the market leader in the mid-range price group, compare to other competitors that retail for considerably more than other mid-range hoverboards at $599. It’s also worth mentioning that several other models exist between $350-and $600. Be sure to look around and find the hoverboard that’s right for you and your wallet.
The high end of the hoverboard price range includes several great options as well, though they come at a very steep price. One contender is selling its hoverboard for $1,299.99 and $1799.99 respectively. Although these hoverboards offer great battery life, and are reliable Hoverboards (the 2.0 version even includes Bluetooth connectivity.) However, the steep price tag might not match the quality, with these two units offering similar features to the Swagway X1 for far more money.
There is another contender in the high end market that retails for $1,499.99. It features 6-7 hours of battery life, and can carry a load of up to 300 pounds. Though the this hoverboard appears to be a high quality hoverboard (and a favorite amongst celebrities), it’s hard to believe that the price is justified, especially with better battery life and customer service available with mid-range hoverboards.
No matter what hoverboard ends up at your door step, remember to practice and learn the basic controls first, and to follow local laws. For more information and advice on purchasing a hoverboard, check out our buyer’s guide (Link to buyers guide I wrote).