Many people buying their first hoverboard have a lot of questions about maintenance, use, safety and other concerns. That’s why we’ve created this My First Hoverboard – Comprehensive Q&A that will answer the most frequently asked questions about your first ever hoverboard. Ready to dive in?
A hoverboard is a portable electric transportation device that is more technically referred to as a self-balancing personal scooter. While it does not literally hover, it can give the impression that the rider is hovering above ground because of the thick foot pads and the minimal effort it takes to operate.
Hoverboards have two key functions: they are self-balancing and they move by leaning the body.
Hoverboards self-balance by making it hard for you to fall off no matter which direction you’re leaning in. As for movement, the rider can go forward or backward simply by leaning slightly in the appropriate direction.
The first hoverboard was invented and released in 2013 by Shane Chen. It was first funded by a Kickstarter campaign and was then being manufactured by several companies around the world in 2015, around the time when they reached mass appeal.
Like skateboards or bicycles, hoverboards come in all shapes and sizes. As a result, they come in different price ranges as well.
The cheapest hoverboards will cost around $100 but there are some that can be as expensive as $1000. What determines the price of a hoverboard is the power of the motor, the power of the battery, how large the device is (including the wheels) and the quality and durability of the components. Price is also determined by extra features it may have such as headlights, smartphone apps, speakers, etc.
Despite their reputation, hoverboards are actually safe to use and very easy to learn how to operate. This is primarily because of their self-balancing function and because they were designed to be used by anyone. One could argue that hoverboards are actually safer to use than skateboards!
Another reason why hoverboards are safe is because there are very few tricks one can pull off with one. Many accidents by young people are the result of tricks gone bad. This is why skateboard users get more injuries than bicycle or hoverboard users.
Just like with the weight, the speed of a hoverboard will vary depending on its size and its motor.
The average hoverboards will go around five to eight miles per hour, but the most powerful hoverboards on the planet have been known to attain speeds of 13 mph.
On average, most hoverboards will take about 3 hours to fully charge, though this may take longer if you have a hoverboard battery than can hold more juice than others. This can increase the charge time by nearly double.
As a rule of thumb, users should always plug in and charge their hoverboard when it is not in use. You can also purchase a hoverboard with a higher quality battery that charges faster if you plan on using your hoverboard very often and want to cut down on charging times.
Average hoverboards typically weigh around 25 pounds if they are adult-sized. Kid-sized hoverboards will weigh a little less, around 18 to 20 pounds.
Off-road hoverboards are usually larger, have thicker wheels, and thus will weigh more overall. These specific models can be expected to weigh anywhere from 30 to 35 pounds.
Most hoverboards will work on carpet surfaces pretty well, though riders should expect the riding experience to not be as smooth as when using it on solid ground. The speed and acceleration will not be as powerful. You’ll also have to learn different leaning postures to account for the terrain difference.
It’s important to keep in mind that while hoverboards can work on carpets, some wheels are rougher than others and may damage carpet fibers.
A general rule to keep in mind is that the thinner the carpet, the easier it will be to ride on.
Most hoverboards are not waterproof, though some do have better water resistance than others. Some of them can handle puddles without having damage to the wheels, motor or battery.
If you’re also wondering if you can ride a hoverboard in the rain, then once again the answer depends on how water-resistant your hoverboard is. Keep in mind that this refers to light or maybe moderate rainfall. Riding a hoverboard in a thunderstorm is never a good idea.
Yes, some hoverboards can handle different outdoor terrains just fine, including grass. While there are all-terrain or off-road hoverboards, your own board doesn’t need to be an official off-road one to be able to handle grass. Those models often refer to sand, dirt, mud, and bike trails.
Like with carpets, the thinner the grass the smoother the ride will be, but many hoverboards are powerful enough to handle grass decently, even if acceleration will take a bit of a hit. If your kid’s hoverboard does not meet the expectation for off-road terrain, consider getting a kid’s electric dirt bike.
Many hoverboards can be reset by pressing and holding down the power button for 5 to 10 seconds should any glitch occur. This method may vary depending on the model you own, so refer to the instruction manual to understand the specific steps.
Hoverboards can beep for a variety of reasons. The most common one is that the hoverboard has detected that it is on a surface it was not designed for. This is usually referring to the incline of the surface rather than the nature of the terrain itself. The hoverboard will often beep in this scenario even if you are not moving it.
If the hoverboard is beeping while you are riding it, it might be because you are operating it at a speed that is too fast. It is a safety function and it is the hoverboard’s way of telling you that you need to slow down.
Another common reason for hoverboard beeping is that the battery is low and is about to turn off. Many hoverboards will beep when there is less than 10% or 5% of remaining battery life. This style of beeping is often accompanied by orange or red flashing lights.
In order to test your hoverboard motor, you will need a brushless motor controller and a potentiometer to help measure speed. With these tools you can measure the exact voltage and get an accurate reading of the minimum and maximum speed or RPM of the hoverboard motor.
Thank you for making it to the end of our comprehensive Hoverboard Q&A! These are all valuable bits of information that anyone who just got their first hoverboard should know. Now that you’ve mastered the basics, it’s time to get back on and start using your first hoverboard as a wiser and more experienced rider.-