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Evolution of Hoverboards – A Brief Guide

evolution of hoverboards

Over the past few years there has been a huge increase in the number of hoverboards being purchased. In this article we take a look at the evolution of hoverboards, from early days to the present day, where they remain a popular gift for kids and adults alike.

The idea of hopping on a flying board called “hoverboards” is far from reality for now. The 1989 movie Back to the Future Part II has shown us how cool it would be to ride these skateboards that float. In the meantime, we may have to settle for hoverboards with wheels.

Also known as “self-balancing scooters”, hoverboards currently available in the market does not fly. Instead, it has 2 parallel motorised wheels and controlled by your 2 feet. But like the real hoverboard, it does require balance and coordination to run. Although this is not the type of hoverboard we expect to see because of the name, these personal transport devices are fun to use.

Birth of the hoverboard

In 2013, Shane Chen, owner of an American company Inventis, filed a patent for this personal transport device. He launched a fund-raising campaign via Kickstarter a few months after for the hoverboard brand Hovertrax. This patent was later bought out by Mark Cuban and the rest was history.

In the first year of its manufacture, a lot of defects were found in hoverboards. Its overheating Lithium Ion batteries has caused many incidents of fire and casualties. The danger posed by these hoverboards resulted in a major recall from its Chinese manufacturers.

Even with its bad publicity due to the dangers of exploding batteries, hoverboard manufacturers still enjoyed brisk sales. Until then the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) hammered down all hoverboard manufacturers to pass the set of rules on safety requirements or face the consequence of seizure or recall for non-compliance. The safety guidelines submitted by a testing and certification company Underwriters Laboratories has become the basis for CPSC’s recall or confiscation of boards that did not pass its tests.

Evolution of Hoverboards

The CPSC’s crackdown on low-quality and unsafe hoverboards have filtered a lot of its manufacturing companies. Due to strict standards, importation of these boards coming from China reputable hoverboard manufacturers are now moving into new designs, far different from what hoverboards look like when it first came out.

With the development of the self balancing scooters, innovation began to take place. What used to be a toy for kids is now a device for recreation even for adults. This has now become a favourite personal transport device for people of different ages. As part of its evolution, these are some of the improvements in hoverboards which changed its image from simply a toy to a recreational device:

Hoverboard Tyres

evolution of hoverboards

When the first hoverboard came out, early models came with either 6.5 inches or 7 inches. Nowadays, with the evolution of hoverboards, when you shop around for scooters you are given 3 options on tyre size:

  • 6.5 inches / 7 inches – this is what the original hoverboards have when it was introduced. The sizes of these tyres are enough for kids to drive these scooters. It also makes the hoverboard light enough for the child to carry.
  • 8 inches tyres – it’s a mid-sized tire which allows the hoverboard to carry a heavier load than the ones with smaller tyres. If the smaller tyres do not give you the hype, you can choose a hoverboard with tyres of this size.
  • 10 inches tyres – These tyres can be great for recreation. Not suitable for kids, hoverboards with this size of tyres can be heavier. These hoverboards can be used on any terrain as the tyres are made of solid rubber.
  • Batteries – overheating Lithium-Ion has caused an alarm to hoverboard users. Because of the risks of an explosion which put lives and properties in danger, researchers have found a way to fix the battery issue. A team of Stanford chemical engineers has come up with a breakthrough. They were able to develop a Lithium-Ion battery which shuts down automatically when it overheats and starts again by itself when it cools down. Although this is not yet commercially available, we can expect to see safer hoverboards in the near future. In the meantime, the government’s action taken on unsafe and low-quality hoverboard was already an important milestone in the evolution of these scooters.
  • Control features – one of the reasons why hoverboards became a craze is its unique control system, apart from other personal transport devices. It does not have a handle but instead, a foot pad which was used to steer its direction. With the continuous development of hoverboards, some models now come with either a knee-high control bar or even a seat. New components are now being added on hoverboards to make it easier and more fun to ride.
  • Motor – ever since the hoverboard was created, manufacturers have continuously developed its motors. The motor is one of the most important components of the hoverboard because of the fact that it is used for transport. New models in the market now offer faster, more powerful engines and can carry a heavier load compared to its predecessors. No wonder this became popular for adults as well.

What does the future hold for hoverboards?

The next generation of hoverboards is probably on its way. Lexus attempted to develop a real-life hoverboard which floats on air through magnetic levitation. Other designers are also finding ways to produce a real hoverboard. As the evolution of hoverboards continues, hoverboard designs are getting better through the years. Who knows what comes next after these improvements.

And maybe just one day, we might see ourselves stepping on the real hoverboards like what Marty McFly did and realise that we are definitely into the future.

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What You Need To Know About Hoverboards

what you need to know about hoverboards

If you are looking into buying a hoverboard, then take a look through our guide on what you need to know about hoverboards.

What Is A Hoverboard?

what you need to know about hoverboardsHoverboards are personal transporters equipped with a pair of motorized wheels attached to a foot board.  These devices are also called self-balancing scooters because riders are able to move around in any directions even if it does not have a handle attached to it.

To operate a hoverboard, you will just have to turn the device on and put your feet on two articulated pads found on top of the board. Once you are ready to go, you can lean forward to speed up or backward to slow down.  For the direction, you can easily turn left or right just by twisting the pads.

What makes up a hoverboard?

A hoverboard is made up of different electronic parts but for brevity, we will just discuss a few items. Just to give you an idea of what’s inside your scooter:

  • First, it has a pair of motorized rubber wheels These wheels are designed to carry a rider with weight of up to 120 Kg or 55 Kg. The wheels’ motor is connected to the foot board or articulated pad which controls the direction and speed of your scooter.
  • The most important part of the hoverboard is the gyroscope and sensor pad. This are the control parts of the scooter. The gyro is responsible to keep you balanced while in transit and the sensor pads makes your scooter move directions. Since it only has two wheels and no handle, it would be impossible to operate the hoverboard without these components.
  • And lastly, a fender to cover your wheels, in case you come acoss a muddy or wet floor.

How Does A Hoverboard Work?

Hoverboards run on rechargeable lithium-ion battery packs. Recharging time varies depending on the model of your scooter.  Most manufacturers recommend 3 hours of charging, but just to be sure, always check the manual.

In regards to the speed, a typical hoverboard can go up to 6 mph. However, you may still have to consider the weight of the rider as well.

How long does a hoverboard battery last?

what you need to know about hoverboards

Depending on how fast you go and the distance you travel, a hoverboard’s battery life may vary. On the average, you should be able to run approximately 8 miles with your hoverboard on a flat surface in a single charge. Again, it’s best to read the manual to see the actual charging information of your hoverboard.

Where Did Hoverboards Came From?

It’s not really clear where these self-balancing scooters started.  As we searched for the history of this amazing board, we found out that a business man named Shane Chen filed a patent in the US for the device in 2013.

Chen’s company Inventix was enjoying the success with their hoverboards, patented as Hovertrax, until manufacturers in China, particularly from the Shenzen Region, also began to produce similar products. This lead to Chen filing suits against these companies. In April 2015, Ninebot, one of the manufacturers of hoverboards in China, acquired Segway Inc. In order to resolve the patent issue. The company claims that it holds the patent for self-balancing scooters  On the same year, Mark Cuban purchased the Hovertrax patent from Chen.

From the first year it was sold, hoverboards was a hit and became one of the hottest products in the market. This self-balancing scooter became so popular, thanks to the endorsements by many celebrities like Justin Bieber, Jamie Foxx, Kendall Jenner, Chris Brown, Soulja Boy and Wiz Khalifa

How come it was named “Hoverboard”?

Naming these scooters “hoverboard” has sparked many discussions about the use of its term. It’s kinda weird as the term was first used in a 1989 film “Back to the Future Part 2” which described  as a “skateboard-like device that floats above the ground”.  The concept of this fictional device can be traced back to a science fiction novel by M.K Joseph in 1967.

In 1999, the term “hoverboard” was first used a commercial name which refers to a wheeled scooter.

Advantages and Disadvantages

Using these self balancing scooters has its own advantages and disadvantages.  Before getting one, you can check a few pros and cons which we have listed:

Advantages

  • It’s lightweight and easy to carry. Most of the hoverboards come with a bag to make it easy for you to carry anywhere.
  • Ease of travel. Scooters were designed to transport people for a short distance.  Once you learn how to use these self-balancing boards, it will be easier for you to move around faster than just by merely walking.
  • Cost Efficiency. Since these scooters runs on rechargeable batteries to move you around, you will only have to plug it in and you’re ready you use it again. As we said earlier, a single 3 hour charge of your scooter is already sufficient for a short travel of 8 miles.
  • Many choices. The influx of these scooters in the market offered many choices which may work to your advantage. There are a lot of options now which allows you to choose the best hoverboards for you based on quality, budget, performance, availability of spare parts, etc. You only need to be keen on every detail of each option as their features may vary.

Disadvantages

  • Keep in mind that these scooters run on two wheels and does not have a handle to hold on.  Although it has its own balancing feature using a gyro, the rider still need to practice operating this device.  As with any other transport devices, it’s best to wear safety gears such as a helmet and protective pads like knee guards, elbow pads and wrist protectors.
  • Risk of battery overheat. Hoverboards run on Lithium Ion batteries. These battery packs are highly at risk of overheating, therefore, caution is advised.

Hoverboards or self-balancing scooters are indeed very popular because of its functionality.  These devices not only offers a fun way to move around, it also helps you travel faster, even for just a short distance.  However, when using these transport devices, always keep in mind all safety measures in order to enjoy its benefits. Have fun!

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5 Best Hoverboards for 2018

Best Hoverboards for 2018

Check out our guide on the best hoverboards for 2018

With the huge increase in electronic products over recent years, it is essential to make sure you find the perfect choice when selecting electronic equipment such as Hoverboards. Also technically known as a self balancing scooter, the looks are similar to that of a skateboard without wheels. Hoverboards were mainly designed for self-transportation while giving a new start to mid 80’s sci-fi machine fantasy into reality.

They come in various sizes, types, power, and variations. When buying electronic equipment such as hoverboard, it is necessary to conduct thorough research as well as analysis of reputable brands providing the best hoverboards. But don’t fear because, after extensive research and quality analysis, we are here to present some of the best yet efficient hoverboards around from some of the best manufacturing companies.

Bluefin 6.5″ Classic Segway Hoverboard

Bluefin 6.5
With a 4.7* rating on Amazon, the Bluefin 6.5” Classic Hoverboard features built-in Bluetooth speakers along with a waterproof hoverboard carry bag. The classic wheels incorporate LED lighting that adds charm to its beauty – making it stand out to other hoverboards on the market. The effective Samsung Li-Ion battery provides a great battery life. This exceptional self-balancing scooter provides a maximum speed of 10-15km and can withstand weight for up to 100kg.

The main feature of this hoverboard is certainly the LED lights in the wheel arches, making it quite attractive for teenagers. However, its unique design and appearance surely make it come out on top.

What we liked

  • Easy to use
  • Built-in Bluetooth speakers
  • LED lights in wheel arches

What we didn’t like

  • No headlamps included for darker appearances

 

EVERCROSS Challenger Basic Hoverboard Self Balancing Scooter

EVERCROSS Challenger Basic Hoverboard Self Balancing Scooter

The excellent all-weather tires EVERCROSS Challenger Self-Balancing Scooter make this an ultimate choice for outdoor activities for nature enthusiasts. It can be used both outdoor and indoor as well as provide a feel of comfort, secure, and fun. The EVERCORSS Challenger Self-Balancing Scooter offers a maximum speed of 15km/hour and comes with high-grade built-in Bluetooth speakers.  Following an overall rating of 5* on Amazon, this is certainly considered the best of its kind.

The 8.5” wheels surely provide a greater impact while driving than those 6” wheel hoverboards. The great mechanism of its inner tube provides the board to absorb shocks and vibration while roaming around on rough surfaces. It can withstand a maximum load of 120kg which is considerably higher than most hoverboards around. The 4300mAh battery takes about 1-2 hours for full charge. This product comes with charging adaptor, warranty card, certificate, and a user manual.

What we liked

  • 5” wheels
  • Quick charge
  • Max angle exceeds up to 15°

What we didn’t like

  • Heavy

Cool&Fun Two Wheel Self Balance Scooter Hoverboard

Cool&Fun Two Wheel Self Balance Scooter LED Hoverboard

The Cool&Fun two-wheel self-balancing scooter does not only serve as a trendy electronic equipment but provides you with an ultimate personal transpiration solution. Its unique design and efficient color make it stand out to other boards of its kind. Apart from such a great design, this two-wheel self-balancing tool features a long battery life, higher speed, and the best yet safest journey solution on the market.

The Cool&Fun self-balancing scooter is designed to be used for both indoor and outdoor purpose. Whether you’re on your way to the gym or roaming from your lawn to the kitchen to the study room, it is certainly the best choice. It is recommended to not to charge this hoverboard anytime soon than the battery is at 20%. Otherwise, its battery may lose efficiency. Unlike other hoverboards, it also features headlamps to illuminate the floor in darker appearances. It can withstand the maximum weight of 100kg and offers max speed of 15km/hour.

What we liked

  • Headlamps to illuminate floor in darker appearances
  • Great design
  • Efficient battery
  • Easy to carry bad

What we didn’t like

  • None

Hoverboard 6.5” Electric Scooter Self Balancing Two Wheel Skateboard

Hoverboard 6.5” Electric Scooter Self Balancing Two Wheel Skateboard

This 6.5” dual-wheel hoverboard combines the best preferences for amazing user experience as well as utmost security. This product is considered as the safest yet efficient hoverboard after passing all EU and UK safety tests. This electric self-balancing scooter uses the most advanced hardware and software to provide a smooth journey to its users. Is excellent motor system ensures great versatility, stability, and a smoother ride. It comes with built-in Bluetooth speakers with a safety bag. You can always enjoy your favorite music while on a ride and store it in the safety bad after reaching to the destination.

It offers a maximum speed of 13km/hour with the maximum range of 17km. Its amazing aluminium endoskeleton and non-slip footpads provide great grip and support with a self-calibrating design.

What we liked

  • Non-slip footpads
  • Great design
  • UK and EU safety tests passed

What we didn’t like

  • A bit bulky

Razor Hovertrax 2.0 Self Balancing Electric Scooter

Razor Hovertrax 2.0 Self Balancing Electric Scooter

Razor is one of the best hoverboard manufacturer company and a trusted leader in manufacturing electric recreational products. It has always provided its customers with excellent, durable, and versatile electric products. The Razor Hovertax 2.0 Self-Balancing Scooter meets are the safety standards and provide a smoother journey to its users.

You can enjoy a 60 minutes ride continuously on a single charge with a maximum speed of 13km/hour. Make sure to charge the board only when the charging percentage is below 20% otherwise it may affect the battery performance. There are two modes available in this personal transporter for a better yet precise functioning i.e. normal and training mode. It features modern a modern hardware and software technology with gyro sensor technology and dual hub motors for a smoother ride.

What we liked

  • Utmost safety
  • Dual hub motors provide a quiet and smooth ride
  • Detachable battery

What we didn’t like

  • Edgy design

Overall Thoughts

After many requests from our readers, we reviewed these best hoverboards around. Make sure to consider the specifications, special features, max weight limit, and other preferences in order to find the best choice for you. In case of further suggestions or queries, feel free to comment down below.