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Safety Tips And Guide When Buying A Hoverboard

safety tips when choosing a hoverboard

In this article we take a look at safety tips when choosing a hoverboard.

The self-balancing scooter or “hoverboards” quickly gained popularity when it came out in 2015. This two-wheeled skateboard-like transport device was indeed an amazing product ever invented. What’s great about these scooters is that it allows the rider to move around and control it without any handles at all.

Soon after the hoverboard was introduced to the market, it quickly became a craze worldwide, which made people rush to the store to get one.  This was in part, thanks to the many celebrities who endorsed these scooters as they use it.

Sadly, complaints about exploding batteries and questions about the safety began to pop-up.  Residential fire, injuries, and casualties caused by overheated Lithium Ion batteries raised serious concerns about the safety of consumers.

Safety Tips When Choosing A Hoverboard & The Risks

Are you thinking of buying a hoverboard anytime soon? With so many choices available in the market today, you may have to do your homework first. Safety should be the first thing to consider if you want to get one.

We have listed a few tips here which you might find useful when choosing for the best hoverboard for you:

Check for Safety Certifications

Despite its popularity, hoverboards gained a bad reputation for safety risks.  Complaints about overheating batteries began to mount causing fire and even death.  The Consumer Product Safety Commission reported more than USD 2 million damages on properties from December of 2015 to February of 2016 all related to hoverboards.

These tragic events were attributed to substandard Lithium Ion batteries which had overheated while being charged.   

To address the risk with these scooters, the government has implemented drastic measures to prevent more damages or casualties it may bring in the future. In order to protect the public from risks of getting hurt or killed due to these hoverboards,  the CPSC came up with a list of brands that are potentially hazardous.  A warning was also issued to advise consumers to stop charging and using these hoverboards because of the risk.

To help you choose which products are safe, Underwriters Laboratories (UL) has tested and certified a few hoverboards which do not pose any danger to its consumers.  UL, by the way,  provides safety testing and certification for companies and approved by the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). UL2772 is the certification issued by  UL for personal e-Mobility devices such as the hoverboard.  If you want to be sure about the safety, we highly recommend looking for the UL mark on its packaging. This should show a holographic label from UL. You should also see a UL mark at the bottom of your hoverboard. 

You can also check out their website if you want to know more about UL2722 certification.

Choose on functionality

There are different types of self-balancing scooters nowadays. Typically, these scooters run on 2 wheels with a footboard for control.  As you check the types, you may discover other scooters which may be totally different in their designs and functions.

The typical 2 wheel hoverboards

These were the first hoverboard designs that came out.  The scooter has two wheels and a foot pad. To operate, you just lean forward to go faster or backward to slow down.  Twist the foot pad left or right to turn.

The Unicycle

There is another type of self-balancing scooter which is available on the market today. Although it only has a wheel to run, the functionality compared to the 2 wheel type is almost the same. The price of these scooters may be a bit higher than that of the two wheels.

If you want to get more out of a self-balancing scooter, you can check out the type which also has 2 wheels but comes with a knee control bar.  This was developed and sold by one of the top brands in the hoverboard industry.

Personal Safety When Using A Hoverboard

Safety for Kids

Hoverboards were designed as a personal transporter and require balance to operate.  If you are buying these scooters for your kids, you need to be sure that they will be safe as they go. Not all hoverboards are appropriate for children.  If you are buying the best one for your kid, consider the following safety measures as well:

  • Choose hoverboards with wheels measuring 6.5 inches or maybe smaller. These scooters are easier to manoeuvre and lighter to carry.
  • Make sure that the one you choose for your kid is certified for safety.
  • Although it is recommended that the child be at least 8 years old to ride a hoverboard, it would be better if you would consider other factors such as the weight, ability to balance, coordination, etc.
  • Safety gears are very important for kids.  A helmet should be the minimum whenever they would use their hoverboards.  It is also highly recommended that they wear other protective clothing such as safety pads to cover their knees and elbows.
  • Always monitor your kids whenever they use their scooters. This way, your kids are guided to avoid accidents and be there in case something happens and they need your help.

Hoverboard Safety for Adults

If you are getting one of these scooters for yourself, keeping safe is very important as well.

  • Ensure that the scooter you’re buying has the relevant certification.  As what we keep saying, poor quality hoverboards can really pose a threat to lives and properties.
  • Wear a helmet.  Just like any other transport devices, a helmet can save from serious injury in case of a fall.
  • Check the manual to know more about the safety measures of their scooters.  Factors such as the rider’s age, weight, etc should be taken into consideration

Whether you are buying a hoverboard for yourself or as a gift for your kids, try to shop around first and research about the different options out there.  With so many designs and features, deciding which product to choose would be really hard. Also, keep in mind the safety of yourself or your children by checking if the scooter is guaranteed to be tested and safe.  A UL2722 mark on the packaging would be your best bet when you want to be safe.

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How To Use A Hoverboard

How to use a hoverboard

A Quick Guide On How To Use A Hoverboard

If you are looking for advice and guidance on buying hoverboards, we have compiled a short guide on how to use a hoverboard.

The Technical Stuff!

  • They are battery operated and can be recharged from the mains using a power adaptor supplied when purchasing
  • Depending on the model purchased, you can expect to fully charge a hoverboard within 8 hours.
  • Most models of hoverboards will have a display showing how much charge is remaining
  • The rear of the hoverboard is where you recharge and also switch on the power button

When first using a hoverboard it is worth trying indoors and ensuring you have a clear and flat area.

First Time Using A Hoverboard

Using a hoverboard for the first time can seem daunting, so it is highly recommended to gain support to assist with balance. Holding onto another person is one good way to help you with your first few times of balancing on a hoverboard.

One best method of using a hoverboard is to place one foot on at a time, ensuring that your feet are centred on the board. You need to ensure that your toes and heels are overhanging the hoverboard, adopting a wide stance.

Hoverboards have a lighting display that identifies once someone is stood on the board. The sophisticated technology of the hoverboard will be able to provide balance based on your positioning and weight. It is not uncommon for the first few attempts of using the hoverboard to be a bit shaky! As with most things, practice makes perfect!

Having gained balance – you now need to be moving on the hoverboard. This process is fairly straight forward, but only the minimum of movement is required. When wanting to travel forwards on the hoverboard, simply tilt your ankle forwards. To move backwards your heels need to be tilted slightly backwards. Moving left or right is done by moving your toes on the corresponding foot, depending on your chosen direction.

Once you are confident is manoeuvring, try picking up some speed. This can be done by simply having your toes down on both feet. For a complete spin around, have your toes pointing down on just one foot.

Of course moving backwards and forwards is great……but at some point you are going to need to know how to stop! When you are travelling and want to come to a stop, slowing the hoverboard is done by having your heels down on the board.

When going over uneven or small bumps, bend your knee slightly to absorb the impact. However, you will not be able to go over curbs. If you feel you are going too fast or want to stop, you can slow down by pressing your heels down.

Check out this video on How to Use A Hoverboard!

Why Buy A Hoverboard?

Having a hoverboard is a quick way of moving around and is ideal due to its size, weight and manoeuvrability. In busy places, it is a great way to get around. The hoverboard is great for the environment, as it does not produce any carbon monoxide or other harmful gasses.

The main reason to buy a hoverboard though, is the tremendous fun they are to use!!

Some Tips On Staying Safe Using A Hoverboard

Of course when using hoverboards, you need to ensure you are using it safely. Whilst wear and tear will occur overtime, there are a few things you can do, to ensure the longevity of your hoverboard and keeping it in tip top condition!

  • Try to avoid leaving the hoverboard on charge for prolonged periods of time. Leaving the hoverboard on charge may risk overcharging, which can affect the performance of the battery.
  • Scratches will be noticeable as you use your hoverboard, due to the fact it is used on the ground. It is therefore completely normal for scratches to appear as you continue to use it.
  • Check out our post about taking care of your hoverboard.
  • Make sure you purchase a hoverboard bag to protect your pride and joy.
  • Do not use a hoverboard on uneven surfaces, such as pathways with potholes – this could potentially damage the hoverboard or worse….YOU!!!