The Top Hoverboards To Buy In 2018 | The Trust Compass
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The Top Hoverboards To Buy In 2018

How Do Hoverboards Work?

Modern hoverboards or personal transporters resemble mini Segways but without the handlebars. A rider stands with their feet near a wheel on each side and can maintain their balance due to the build in sensors. Hoverboards are easy to use and can travel at a speed of up to 15 mph. All you need to do is lean forward to go faster and lean back to slow down or reverse. In order to turn, press forward with one foot as you press back with the other.

A Hoverboard is powered by a rechargeable battery which propels either one or two motors near the wheels. Some models also come with other features like an app to stop others from using your ride or a smart key system. However, today’s Hoverboards are not like the futuristic sci-fi gadgets seen in movies that actually levitate. There are companies out there like Hendo and Lexus working on models that don’t use any wheels, but these are not for sale.

Types of Hoverboards

Standard Hoverboards

Standard hoverboards are basic models that can get you from one point to another. They are meant for recreational use and do well on smooth surfaces. However, when it comes to off-road terrain, cracks or rough roads, these hoverboards can falter. These models are maneuverable, snappy and ideal for just having fun. They typically come in a wide range of colors, have additional features like Bluetooth speakers and are compatible with third-party accessories.

Off-Road Hoverboards

These are self-balancing models that are meant for more serious riders. They have a longer ride time and range thanks to the large battery that they come with. These hoverboards come with larger tires which makes them more adept at handling rough terrain. They are also more comfortable for longer rides.

Now that you’re aware of the types of hoverboards and have made the decision to buy one, your next move should be to take a look at all the options available to determine the perfect one for you. To help you understand what to look for, we’ve put together detailed reviews of the best brands in the market. Keep reading to find out more.

Best Hoverboards of 2018

1. Segway miniPRO | Smart Self Balancing Personal Transporter with Mobile App Control (Black)

If you’re looking for an authentic self-balancing personal transporter, look no further than the original hoverboard, the Segway miniPro. This model from Ninebot is among the best and safest options with mobile app control available today. It comes packed with useful features making it much more than a traditional hoverboard. It is responsive, smooth and silent which makes the riding experience extremely enjoyable. A Bluetooth remote is included which can be used to control it. While it doesn’t have a very high speed, it is easy to ride and navigate even through crowds.

The Pros

  • Well designed and constructed
  • It is easy to ride and navigate
  • Gives you a safe ride
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    The app is simple to use

The Cons

  • It is heavier than some other mode.

2. App-Enabled SWAGTRON T580 Bluetooth Hoverboard w/ Speaker Smart Self-Balancing Wheel

The SWAGTRON T580 Bluetooth Hoverboard is suitable for users of all ages and experience levels since it is incredibly safe. It comes with some great features like advanced Bluetooth speakers and an app that’s compatible with iOS and Android. This model weighs only 20lbs making it one of the most lightweight hoverboards out there. Since it has zero carbon emissions, it is very eco-friendly. It is also quite affordable, making it a great option if you’re seeking a high-quality product.

The Pros

  • Ideal for children as well as adults
  • Modern and sleek design
  • Portable and Light
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    Multi-layered defense against fire and heat hazards
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    Inbuilt Bluetooth speakers

The Cons

  • Low motor power of 150W
  • Limited color range

3. EPIKGO Self Balancing Scooter Hover Self-Balance Board – UL2272 Certified

The EPIKGO Self Balancing Scooter Hover Self-Balance Board is a recent entrant into the scene of hoverboarding. It is faster than many other hoverboards and can take on even rough terrains at speeds of over 12 miles per hour. The EPIKGO hoverboard is built sturdily, and its great design gives it excellent stability. It also has a good battery life that lasts for many hours. The wheels of this model have inbuilt dual 400-watt motors as a result of which uphill climbs can be made effortlessly.

The Pros

  • Excellent design which makes it safe and stable
  • Can take on rough terrain
  • Faster than many other models
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    Powerful motors for great balance

The Cons

  • The wheels are on the larger side causing some stability issues

4. SWAGTRON T6 Off-Road Hoverboard - First in the World to Handle Over 380 LBS, Up to 12 MPH, UL2272 Certified

The SWAGTRON T6 Off-Road Hoverboard hit the market in 2017 and is a model with great potential. It can be used by both kids and adults and comes with excellent safety features. With a price of less than $500, this is one of the most affordable off-road options. While most other models can only accommodate weights of 200lbs to 300lbs, this hoverboard can handle weights of up to 400lbs. It also comes with excellent safety features such as non-slip footpads and LED lights.

The Pros

  • Offers a comfortable and stable ride
  • High load capacity of over 400lbs
  • Can handle rough terrains
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    Come with a carrying handle for better portability

The Cons

  • High price tag due to its added features and off-road capacity

5. Razor Hovertrax 2.0 Hoverboard Self-Balancing Smart Scooter

The Razor Hovertrax 2.0 Hoverboard Self-Balancing Smart Scooter is the latest offering from the brand that has some great new features. It is a UL 2272 certified model that comes with a ton of safety features. This is an excellent pick that is suitable for children and adults alike.

Since this is a completely electric device, it offers an eco-friendly way to travel. It has a powerful motor which makes it quite fast and self-balancing. This model is also packed with additional features like a battery management system and inbuilt speakers.

The Pros

  • It is quite fast thanks to its powerful battery
  • Safe and UL 2272 certified model
  • Extended battery life
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    Comes in a number of colors

The Cons

  • It is not water resistant

6. SWAGTRON T1 - UL 2272 Certified Hoverboard - Electric Self-Balancing Scooter

The SWAGTRON T1 Electric Self-Balancing Scooter is safe, stylish, easy-to-use and fun. It has plenty to offer whether this is your first hoverboard or an upgrade from a previous model. The safety features it comes with such as SentryShield which provides layers of battery protection, make it a good option for people of all ages. Another huge plus point is its reasonable price tag. It can handle all terrains and has no problem climbing surfaces up to angles of 30 degrees.

The Pros

  • It has a durable ABS body and sturdy aluminum wheels
  • Improved safety features
  • Comes with gear and motor stabilization features
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    Comes in many bold colors

The Cons

  • The fireproof plastic material is prone to cracking

7. EPIKGO SPORT Balance Board Self Balance Scooter Hover Balancing Board -UL2272 Certified

The EPIKGO SPORT Balance Board Self Balance Scooter Hover Balancing Board is a premium model with a price point in the vicinity of the Segway miniPRO. The build quality is excellent, and it has a good weight to it that makes it quite stable. You can ride this hoverboard at slow or fast speeds without putting any strain on the engine. The frame is constructed from aluminum alloy, and the wheel cages are metal, making it a durable device that’s sure to last you many years.

The Pros

  • Comfortable to ride even at high speeds
  • Made from premium high-quality materials
  • Can travel an impressive distance on a single charge

The Cons

  • ​While it performs well on flat surfaces, its off-road capabilities are not impressive

8. TOMOLOO Hoverboard with Bluetooth Speaker Smart Scooter

The TOMOLOO Hoverboard Smart Scooter is a good performer with long-lasting battery life. It is well-designed with sturdy parts made of aluminum alloy. It is UL22772 certified and is safe even at high speeds. It comes at a reasonable price tag and is a good option for beginners and children. Although it comes with different modes, it performs at its best only on its maximum output setting. Some users complained of some vibrations during usage and also that the outer shell got damaged easily.

The Pros

  • Great customizable design
  • Excellent performance and high safety measures
  • Reasonable price tag

What you won’t

  • The different rider modes do not work as promised
  • Outer shell scratches easily

9. Segway miniLITE - Smart Self Balancing Personal Transporter

Unlike previous models like the MiniPro and the MiniPlus that were never meant for children, the MiniLite caters primarily to kids and lightweight users. The unit is well-balanced and straightforward to use. Its mobile app is easy to use, and the maximum speed of the unit can be set within the app itself. It is an amazingly stable and secure unit that will give parents peace of mind as they can be assured of safety.

The Pros

  • Comes with a knee pad for smooth steering
  • Made with high-quality materials for a comfortable ride
  • Distinctive endurance and stability
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    Lower priced than other models from Segway

What you won’t

  • The Mobile app is not completely secure

10. Skque X1/I Series - UL2272 (MAX 264 lbs) Self Balancing Scooter / Hoverboard

Although Skque is a more entrant into the hoverboard market, they have launched a number of different models. The Skque X1 Self Balancing Scooter is the latest offering with several standout features. It is a device that’s appreciated by beginners and hoverboard enthusiasts alike. Since it has a turning radius of zero, it is ideal for use in compact spaces. It is powered by dual 350-watt motors. This model is UL2272 certified and comes in 3 different sizes—6.5, 8, and 10 inches.

The Pros

  • Well-built motherboard, chassis, and shell
  • Comes in 3 different sizes
  • UL 2272 certified, making it safe for use
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    Ideal for small spaces
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    Charges quickly and the battery lasts long
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    Build in LED lights and Bluetooth options

The Cons

  • Has lights only on the front and not the back
  • High price tag

Are Hoverboards Safe?

Most modern devices use Lithium-ion batteries and the battery powering your phone is most likely the same. These batteries have incredible energy density but come with a downside. They are quite unstable.

When hoverboards first became available commercially, there were quite a few instances of malfunctions due to low-quality components, poor manufacturing and the inherent nature of the batteries. When such incidents were reported in the media, several leading retailers stopped stocking Hoverboards.

While lithium batteries are safe for your phone, this is not the case when it comes to hoverboards. This is due to the fact that they are transportation devices. So, they are naturally exposed to more impacts and vibrations than your phone. These movements are likely to exacerbate any manufacturing flaws in the battery and increase fire risks.

Fortunately, hoverboard companies responded by creating safer prototypes that would pass inspection, and certain certifications by organizations like Underwriters’ Laboratories were put in place. They are devoted to testing out electronic equipment and conducted extensive tests on hoverboards. These gauged the resilience, manufacturing, and quality of the components used. They also subject the hoverboards to drops, motor overloads, vibrations, high and low temperatures, water exposure and other kinds of physical stress.

Many hoverboards that are available today are made in China. While some of these are manufactured from high-quality components, others are put together badly using low-quality parts. No matter how good and well-made a hoverboard looks, it’s a good idea to stay away from cheap unbranded hoverboards.

The standard regulating hoverboards is the UL standard 2272. So, you can be sure that a hoverboard with a legitimate UL certification is safe to use. Hoverboards that are not UL 2272 approved cannot be legally marketed in the U.S.

Other Factors to Consider Before Making A Purchase

Minimum and Maximum speed

Before you purchase a hoverboard, it is important to consider who will be using it. Some hoverboards can go pretty fast. So, if you’re getting it for a small child, it’s a good idea to opt for a slower one with a max speed of 10km an hour. This is definitely a better choice for kids, especially since they grow up so fast and get more adventurous with every passing day. By choosing a hoverboard with a low maximum speed, you can alleviate the potential for injuries. Never allow kids to ride the hoverboard without proper guidance. It is not recommended for kids under 12 years to use it without an adult present.

On the other hand, if you’re buying the hoverboard for a teenager or adult usage, you could go for one with a higher maximum speed. Go for one that has a top speed of more than 12 km per hour. This may not sound that fast, but it feels quite speedy when it is being ridden. Also, keep in mind that hoverboards normally support riders who weigh between 20 to 110 kgs.

Music Playback

When you’re riding a hoverboard, you should avoid using headphones, since it is important to be aware of your surroundings. If you can’t go without listening to music, go for a Bluetooth enabled hoverboard. This way music will play straight from the board while you cruise around. This way you can avoid being tuned out of what’s happening around you. However, you should be aware of the fact that playing music out loud can draw a lot of attention. So be prepared to have people staring at you as you ride down the street.

Safety First

You’ve probably heard some horror stories about hoverboards exploding or catching fire. However, these are often exaggerated and baseless. It’s always better to err on the side of caution, though. The chance of igniting into flames isn’t a feature that you want in an electronic device. So, it is critical to opt for a hoverboard that comes with a UL 2272 certified battery. This certification provides strict guidelines under which these products are tested, evaluated and given a seal of approval.

Laws and Legalities

Some municipalities have local regulations or laws that forbid the use of hoverboards on sidewalks and unlicensed vehicles in the streets. It may sound absurd, but it may actually be illegal for you to ride a hoverboard in your locale, other than in your basement, driveway or parking lot.

For instance, in New York City riding a hoverboard on a sidewalk or the street can get you a $200 fine. This is the case in London as well, and the city banned electric vehicles when the Segway was launched. Additionally, most of the big-box stores have policies prohibiting the riding of these devices within their premises.

On the other hand, in California, a law was recently passed making it legal to ride hoverboards in bike lanes, provided some safety and age requirements are met. Before purchasing your hoverboard, it’s a good idea to check with your local police department and understand the laws governing the usage of these devices.

Stay Away from Knockoffs

If you look at online hoverboard retailer, you’ll be amazed by the number of options available. But, if you take a closer look, you’ll see that not all of these are from genuine brands. In many cases, they may all be the same boards with different names and stickers. It is important only to purchase a reliable brand even if it comes at a higher price. Low priced knockoffs often come with weaker batteries, less sensitive gyroscopes or less powerful motors. Cheap batteries are dangerous since they pose a fire hazard.

Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to differentiate between genuine brands and knockoffs. So, it’s essential to buy your hoverboard from an authorized retailer or one of the better-known brands like IO Hawk or PhunkeeDuck. This way you’ll be able to return the product in case you experience problems. You’ll also be able to benefit from any warranties. If you choose to make your purchase online, Amazon is an excellent option to consider. Just ensure that you buy the hoverboard directly from the company instead of resellers.

Pick Up the Right Accessories

Once you’ve decided which brand to opt for, another thing to look into is the additional original or aftermarket accessories and features you can make use of. Many models come with built-in Bluetooth speakers that will provide you with entertainment while riding. However, these are not the best quality speakers, so you may want to investigate other options like carrying a Bluetooth speaker with you. There is also a wide range of protective skins available that come in many different colors. These add an element of personalization and protect your hoverboard from the scrapes, cracks, and scuffs that can occur during use.

Another nice addition is a carrying case since hoverboards can be awkward to hold and cumbersome. However, these case and skins are usually offered by third-party brands and may not be compatible with every model. If it is important to you to be able to use a skin or carrying case, check if these are compatible with your hoverboard before making your purchase.

Where Can You Buy a Hoverboard?

It can be a bit challenging to buy a hoverboard since many large retailers have stopped stocking them due to liability issues. Your best bet is to buy one from the website of the manufacturer. Online retailers like Amazon also have a number of reputed brands on offer. The fact that they come with warranties and guarantees is an added advantage. However, you do need to watch out for knockoffs on these websites.

Conclusion

You may be looking forward to the day when hoverboards actually leave the ground. While you wait, these products are good interim options. While purchasing one doesn’t mean that you’ll never have to walk anywhere again, a hoverboard is a fun way to get around and can provide hours of fun. Only purchase a UL certified board and check local regulations and laws to have a safe and fun hoverboard experience.

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