To use a hoverkart, the purchase of a hoverboard is obviously essential. The hoverboard is an urban mobility product that has grown in popularity considerably in recent years, especially in large cities. You have certainly come across some in the street without necessarily being able to put a name on it. Discover the world of the hoverboard through this complete buying guide.
What is a hoverboard?
“Hoverboard” is the name given to two-wheeled Segway boards without handlebars, equipped with electric propulsion. The hoverboard is therefore a means of urban transport, which the user directs thanks to the movements of his body.
Who created the hoverboard?
However, be aware that the term “hoverboard” was coined to refer to a futuristic version of the skateboard, without wheels and floating a few inches above the ground. Indeed, the concept of hoverboard first saw the light of day in fiction: it is in the film Back to the Future 2 that we see this machine for the first time. It was only after the film’s release in 1989 that scientists attempted to reproduce prototypes of the hoverboard driven by the hero of the film Marty McFly.
In 2011, the closest prototype to the film’s hoverboard was born: the Magsurf. Developed by Paris-Diderot University, this machine (similar to a flying surfboard) could float 2 or 3 centimeters above a magnetic rail. Several models were then developed, such as the Hendo Hoverboard in 2014, the Lexus Slide in 2015 or the ArcaBoard in 2016, but their marketing was never really successful.
While waiting for a real hoverboard to emerge and be adopted on a large scale, the name hoverboard has been given, by extension, to the two-wheeled electric Segway boards of which the Chinese Shane Chen was the inventor in 2012.
What is a hoverboard made of?
The hoverboard is made up of several parts:
- A board that provides a support zone for the feet (pressure pads), and the size of which varies depending on the model;
- Two wheels (one on each side of the board) also varying in size, from 7 to 25 cm in diameter, made of rubber or inflated with air;
- Two electric motors that allow it to move forward;
- One or more batteries supplying the engine, the autonomy of which varies according to the model. Samsung lithium-ion batteries are considered the best on the market because they are the most durable;
- A motherboard which ensures the connection of the various electrical components (battery, inclination speed sensor, infrared detector, etc.);
- A silicone or plastic shell, which aims to protect the hoverboard from shocks and which can be customized according to the models. Silicone cases are known to be stronger than plastic cases;
- LED lights (on certain models only), generally placed on the front of the machine.
The hoverboard can also be accompanied by a remote control . However, it is not essential because it is not it that will be used to configure and control the hoverboard. Sometimes, hoverboard designers also offer an application that will allow not only to configure the hoverboard, but also to record statistics (average speed, battery charge rate, etc.). But in general, the hoverboard works by itself thanks to its electric motor.
When the hoverboard is accompanied by a remote control, it is used to put your machine on standby and lock, to honk or play music, to change gears, to activate Bluetooth for hoverboards which are equipped with it, or to adjust the intensity of the LED lights if your hoverboard is equipped.
There are therefore 3 types of hoverboards depending on the options offered:
- The hoverboard with remote control and Bluetooth;
- The hoverboard with Bluetooth (equipped with a mobile application);
- The hoverboard without remote control and without Bluetooth.
What is bluetooth used for on a hoverboard?
Bluetooth is the most common option offered on hoverboards. It allows in particular to control the music when the hoverboard is equipped with stereo speakers.
To activate Bluetooth, you must go to your phone’s settings and activate the Bluetooth option. All you have to do is turn on your hoverboard and synchronize the two devices. Usually, an audible notification tells you when your hoverboard is well connected via Bluetooth.
For more comfort, it is possible to invest in accessories:
- The transport bag: it is ideal for transporting your hoverboard and storing it when you are not using it. Indeed, unlike a bicycle or motorbike, the hoverboard cannot be parked on the sidewalk! Moreover, depending on the brand, the transport bag is sometimes sold with it .
- If you buy it separately, you have the choice between two types of transport bags:
- The rigid bag (compact and shockproof, it is ideal for traveling with your hoverboard),
- The flexible bag (light and space-saving, it is ideal for everyday life).
- The carrying handle: if you don’t want to invest in a carrying bag, the carrying handle, often made of rigid plastic, is also very practical.
- The telescopic handlebars : ideal for transforming your hoverboard into a gyropod and thus gain stability.
How much does a hoverboard weigh?
The weight of a hoverboard is around 12 kg, which is heavy enough to give you stability, and light enough that you can carry it. Of course, depending on the hoverboard sizes, the weight will vary.
Hoverboard weight limits
Typically, hoverboard manufacturers require a minimum weight of 15-20 kg for children’s models, and 25-30 kg for adult models. The 10-inch models, with large wheels, may even require a minimum weight of 40 kg! If the weight is less, the risk is simply that the hoverboard will not detect the driver. The maximum load weight, on the other hand, is between 100 and 150 kg. It is generally indicated in the product characteristics.
What are the dimensions of a hoverboard?
There are 5 sizes of hoverboard, depending on the wheel diameter:
- The 4.5-inch hoverboard : rather suitable for children between 2 and 6 years old (less than 18 kg), it remains quite limited and is less efficient than the other models.
- The 6.5 inch hoverboard : for children over 18 kg and teens, it is perfect for smooth surfaces or indoors (but less efficient on uneven or rough surfaces). It is recommended for beginners.
- The 8-inch hoverboard : it is an alternative between the indoor hoverboard and the all-terrain hoverboard because it allows you to ride on uneven surfaces and offers more steering comfort than the small models.
- The 8.5-inch hoverboard : with its puncture-proof wheels, this hoverboard is all-terrain and it is the favorite model of experienced riders! The wheels are taller and therefore more stable, even on uneven terrain.
- The 10-inch hoverboard : this is the largest model and therefore the most stable. Usually it has inflatable wheels. It is ideal for rural areas and rough terrain.
what age can a child use a hoverboard
There is no real age to start the hoverboard. You will simply have to adjust the size of your machine to your weight . So a child under 18 kg can hoverboard very well if they choose the smallest model (4.5 inch hoverboard). This is because the 6.5 inch or larger models will only start if they detect a certain weight (from 20-30 kg) on the device.
However, you should know that even though the hoverboard is easy to use, there is still a risk of injury from falls or speeding. It is therefore recommended, for children, to wear protections (helmet, knee pads, elbow pads).
Is the hoverboard non-polluting?
The hoverboard is an ecological means of transport : like electric cars, it runs on battery power and therefore does not pollute (excluding mineral extraction during design, of course).
How to use a hoverboard
Hoverboarding is very easy.
The first thing to do is to turn it on by clicking on the “Power” button (its location depends on the brands and models but in general it is located below or on the front of the hoverboard). For models that have LEDs, you will see that the hoverboard is on because they light up. Some models also emit a sound.
Next, to get on your hoverboard, you need to place your feet on the platform . The hoverboard will detect your weight and will start up. To steer, it works like a surfboard or skateboard: you have to lean in the direction you want. To turn right or left, do a weight transfer to the right or left leg . LEDs can be used as turn signals to let pedestrians and other vehicles know you are turning.
To accelerate, lean forward, and to brake or stop the aircraft, lean back slightly. Finally, to get off the aircraft, wait until it has completely stabilized.
How to calibrate / reset a hoverboard?
Recalibration allows you to reset your hoverboard’s motherboard just in case. This option is useful if your hoverboard does not move forward or has tilting issues. To recalibrate your hoverboard, you must first make sure that it is turned off, and that the board is parallel to the ground. Then press the Power button continuously for 15 seconds. Switch off your hoverboard, then switch it on again: your device will be like new, leaving the factory. Be careful, you should not reset it too often otherwise it will wear out much faster.
How fast is a hoverboard?
On average, a hoverboard has a speed of 15 km / h (but of course it depends on the models). There are models that can go up to 10 km / h maximum, while the larger models can reach a maximum speed of 20 or 25 km / h . It is possible to increase the speed by modifying the motor coupling, but this manipulation is not recommended because it could jeopardize your warranty.
What are the dangers of the hoverboard?
Hoverboarding is easy, but you are never safe from an accident. The hoverboard still requires a certain balance and control, and a fall happens quickly, especially when going fast.
To gain balance and avoid falls, it is advisable when you begin to train on smooth and regular surfaces before moving on to more uneven surfaces, and especially to practice in less frequented places.
To protect yourself in the event of a fall, you can wear protection such as a helmet, knee pads or elbow pads.
When and how to charge your hoverboard?
Like any electrical device (computer, telephone), the battery of a hoverboard wears out over time. On average, it will last between 600 and 800 full cycles, or about 6 months of daily use. The batteries known to be the most reliable and long-lasting are Samsung batteries (but beware of counterfeits).
To find out if your hoverboard needs charging, you just need to look at the battery indicator lights available on most devices, or the app, for hoverboards that have one. The light is red when your hoverboard is at the end of its autonomy and its battery needs to be charged (sometimes this is accompanied by sound notifications).
For safety, it is advisable to leave the hoverboard switched off while charging. You must not turn it on when it is charging! Depending on the models and the state of your battery, the hoverboard will take between 2 and 5 hours to charge.
How to clean a hoverboard?
Cleaning a hoverboard is very easy. Just bring a sponge, soap and water, and a towel or paper towel to wipe off. You can clean the most inaccessible parts with a cotton swab. Be careful, do not clean your hoverboard with a karcher because the hoverboard is not waterproof (even models that are insensitive to splashes).
What is the difference between a Segway and a Hoverboard?
The Segway and the Hoverboard are two very similar devices. Both have a gyroscopic motor, unlike for example the electric scooter or the electric skateboard, which both work with conventional motors. The particularity of this engine is that it works with sensors, to remain permanently stable according to the inclination of the machine. It is therefore by creating an imbalance that we make the hoverboard work because the engine will start to restore a certain stability.
However, there are some differences between the two devices: the biggest difference is that the hoverboard does not have a handlebar , unlike the Segway. In addition, it is smaller in size because it is more compact, and is therefore more convenient to transport. The hoverboard is also cheaper and can be equipped with options like Bluetooth or LEDs, unlike the Segway. Finally, it has two motors, compared to only one for the Segway.
What is the aquatic hoverboard?
The aquatic hoverboard is the aquatic version of the hoverboard, as the name suggests. Invented by the French Francky Zapata, it consists of a board connected to a jet-ski and which floats in the air thanks to the power of water. It is possible to perform many tricks and somersaults with an aquatic hoverboard.
How much does a hoverboard cost?
The cost of a hoverboard depends on several factors:
- The model
- The brand
- The options (Bluetooth, remote control, LEDs, etc.)
To give you a price range, we can say that a hoverboard will generally cost between $ 100 and $ 1,000.
Where to buy a hoverboard? Which one to choose ?
If you want to invest in a hoverboard, you can acquire one either from a specialist or from a marketplace.
If you opt for a marketplace, such as Amazon , you will have the advantage of having the choice of the model you want. Indeed, marketplaces offer a stock of products from several sellers, and you can therefore compare the types of models, brands and customer reviews before you decide. In addition, prices are often reduced. The downside is that after-sales service (warranty, contact with the seller) is often minimal.
If you go to a specialist, be aware that you will often pay more for the same product. But the after-sales service is of better quality and you can, upon purchase, be advised by a specialist who will help you make the right choice according to your expectations.
Are there hoverboard competitions?
While there are no official international hoverboard competitions yet, there are figures that make this mode of transport an extreme sport, just like skateboarding or surfing. Among the official figures are the No Hand Spin, the 360 Spin, the 720 Double Spin, the 1080 Triple Spin, the 1440 Quadruple Spin, the Board Grab… All you have to do is get started to become a hoverboard champion!