Everything You Need to Know About Hoverboards 2017

The Future

Back in the heyday of science fiction, people envisioned different ways to move out and about. When the movie Back to the Future came out in 1989, the idea of a free-flying, skateboard-like object became all the rage.

Unfortunately physics is a cruel mistress, it never came to be. While there were rumors that spread about its actual existence, it was nothing but a marketing ploy.

From 1989 onwards, the hoverboard became this fantastic, highly-coveted dream machine. Dozens of animated films, movies, videogames, and entire fictional worlds came up with their own versions of the electric hoverboard.

self balancing hoverboard

After it was popularized on the big screen, the hoverboard became a science project of sorts both for professional scientists and self-made inventors alike. The self balancing scooter saw its earliest development in the late 80’s and has come a long way since. Today’s current models are one step closer to the self-powered hoverboard which Marty McFly had used in the futuristic movie. The best hoverboard models wasn’t built until 2015 by a Romanian-born Canadian inventor named Catalin Alexandru Duru. The electric hoverboards which are currently taking the gadgetry and doodah market by storm isn’t exactly what people hoped they'd be.

Hoverboard or Two Wheel Scooter – What are they?


When you think of the stereotypical movie-type hoverboard, it isn’t difficult to imagine a skateboard-like object literally hovering in midair as it propels you to whichever direction you steer it towards – sans wheels, of course. Unfortunately, this fantastic (but altogether still very real) picture of the hoverboard isn’t behind all the rage today. In fact, the hoverboard that is taking the Internet and much of the world by storm doesn’t hover. It actually runs on wheels.

The two wheel scooter or the self balancing electric scooter, as it is more properly termed, is a relatively recent invention whose exact origins remain unclear to this day. The confusing thing about self balancing scooters or Segways is that they’re referred to as “hoverboards” by the general populace. This is a misnomer considering that all they actually do is give the illusion of hovering, but not the real deal.

A Quick Buying Guide to Self Balancing Scooters


Choice

Given the sheer number of companies, brands, varieties, and styles of electronic Segways to choose from, the casual buyer may find it difficult to identify which sellers legitimately offer durable, reliable, and top-notch products that are well worth their steep price tag.

On average, the typical potential buyer can expect to invest anywhere from $600 to a staggering $2000 for a self balancing scooter. A typical cheap hoverboard may be sourced from anywhere in Asia, although it may very well be a Chinese product that has simply been rebranded by companies that commissioned it. Don’t get us wrong. Contrary to popular belief, not all Segways from China are dangerous.

With the growing popularity of Chinese-made products, even the cheapest electric hoverboard could be just as safe and reliable as a higher priced alternative. Besides, nearly all hoverboards sold in the West either come from, or are otherwise assembled in China and then shipped elsewhere for selling. So really, these fears regarding the supposed “unreliability” of hoverboards made in China are nothing more than a marketing ploy to thin out the competition.

How Much Should One Spend

Still, if you have the cash enough to spend anywhere from upwards of $1,000 on a hoverboard, why shouldn’t you? If the best hoverboard models are what you’re after, there are a lot of brands to choose from. Some of the very best brands available to the U.S. and U.K. market are the very ones that are locally made and developed by on-shore companies. Investing in local brands does have its advantages. Besides better overall quality, more advanced technology, refinements in its mechanism or function, and superior aesthetics that only a top-notch product could boast of, you’ll also get all the help and support you’ll need.

If budget isn’t really that much of an issue but you’d rather steer clear of unnecessary expenses, opting for mid-tier electric hoverboard models can go a long way in providing you with both quality and affordability. Of course, you can’t judge the dependability and durability of a Segway on mere aesthetics. Like any type of technological investment, you likewise have to keep in mind that the specs, quality of usable parts, and the availability of spare or replacement parts in the event of damage, are also integral factors in your purchasing options.

Top 3 Best Hoverboards of 2017

1

IO Hawk


Best Hoverboard For Beginners

The Hawk

The IO Hawk was one of the earliest hoverboards to have ever graced the public market, long before PhunkeeDuck and all of the other contenders (or more aptly, ‘pretenders’) came along. They’ve gone a long way since their first electric hoverboard, having designed new and revolutionary models that now trump nearly everything else on the mid-tier market.

Hawk features a simple remote control, with only two buttons – one to turn it off or on, and one to lock or unlock the board when not in use. Despite its basic design, the remote likewise allows you to calibrate and modify the IO Hawk to your standard specifications. The lithium ion battery that comes with it is pre-charged, but you’d be better off charging it to its fullest capacity prior to use. Doing so will increase battery life and performance to optimum levels.

Colors

Available in a fiery Ferrari-red color, one could easily tell that the IO Hawk is one of the best electric hoverboards. It can go at speeds of more than 6 miles per hour and has a total mileage capacity of 12 miles before running out of battery. Underneath its board, you will find solid 7-inch diameter rubber tires that should withstand wear and tear.

The IO Hawk does have a problem when it comes to overall stability, and it may not be exactly what you’re looking for if you’re fond of traveling across grassy terrain. Overall, if you’re looking for a starter hoverboard, the IO Hawk will make for a good choice, but there are far better models currently available on the market.

Features

Price:

$380 (originally $900)

Max speed:

6.2 mph

Max range:

12 miles

Average weight:

25 lbs.

2

HVRK Intelligent Personal Mobility Device (Wonfast)

Best Hoverboard For Your Money

If you’re looking for something a little better than the IO Hawk, Wonfast would make a great investment. It has a little more class and style, and will only you an extra $20. This simple beauty features a stunningly sleek, jet-black look with streamlined edges. It is equipped with 6.5-inch solid rubber tires specifically designed to add that much-needed stability. Unfortunately, its heavier weight trades off some extra mileage. Wonfast can only go 10 miles, falling short of the 12-mile capacity of IO Hawk. With that said, you don’t lose any mobility or speed.

Battery

The HVRK Mobility Device is powered by a rechargeable lithium ion battery from Samsung Electronics. Its battery pack is undeniably superior, since it doesn’t become hot while charging. The IO Hawk experiences this problem and has caused quite a scare among consumers. This model even has a Bluetooth speaker for playing music as you take it for a ride. All you have to do is connect it to a compatible device like your smartphone, then hit play. Wonfast also boasts headlights, a feature unique to this model. That way, you get to scoot around in relative safety even when it’s dark.

Not one to skimp on quality, its entire body is built with a specialized lead-free, flexible copper axis, and is supported by industrial-grade alloy screws. It even has advanced motion sensors and a built-in control system for optimal hovering comfort and superior safety. If you want to invest your money on something worthwhile that has all the pros and very few cons, this is the best hoverboard for you!

Features

Price:

$400 (originally $1000)

Max speed:

6.2 mph

Max range:

10 miles

Average weight:

28 lbs.

3

FREEFEET 10-inch Wheel Self Balancing Board


Our Top Pick!

The Best of the Best

If you’re after the best Segway that money can buy, check out this baby. While it does come in many names (thanks to being adapted by some company or other), the FREEFEET is still one of the best hoverboards that you can ever invest in. This holds true for those who are planning to commute with an electric hoverboard. After all, it’s the next best method of transport since the invention of the car.

Equipped with 10-inch inflatable tires, this is literally as close as you can get to a non-obtrusive scooter sans the need for petrol. Thanks to its specialized wheels, you can travel across various types of terrain including grass, gravel, asphalt, and concrete with relative ease. This versatile wonder doesn’t stint on power or reliability either. Equipped with a rechargeable lithium ion 158W LG/Samsung 44000mAh battery pack, a built-in Bluetooth speaker, and a pair of full-frontal headlights for nighttime travel, this is definitely a hoverboard that you will find indispensable.

Safety Measures

The FREEFEET also provides an additional safety measure – a built-in gyroscopic auto-balancing mechanism that, combined with its anti-slip grip and wireless control system, makes for a perfectly maneuverable machine that gives you well-balanced control. And it does this without falling short on speed, stability, or mileage. The self-balancing feature also allows you to set the hoverboard’s turning radius to zero, making it perfect for traversing narrow spaces effortlessly, and without sacrificing the stability and safety of the machine.

It features two operating modes – the sine-mode and the square-mode. Sine-mode provides smooth, easy hovering that is guaranteed to feel slick and stay perfectly quiet. It offers the most amount of control and maneuverability, although it does give up some degree of accelerative power. If you’re hankering for a more powerful set-up, the square-mode not only allows you to experience faster takeoff times and greater acceleration. It also allows you to cruise at considerably greater speeds when compared to sine-mode. What this does, sadly, is make you lose a whole lot of control and maneuverability, which needs a lot getting used to.

Control Modes

These two control modes are perfect for long-term commuting, especially since sine-mode is specifically designed for level roads, grass, gravel, and downhill cruising, while the square-mode is meant for uphill cruising with very little, if any, uneven terrain. Overall, compared to the Wonfast and the IO Hawk, the FREEFEET bests both by a long shot. Not only is it versatile enough to handle various kinds of terrain (a feature not even the pretty classy Wonfast can boast of!), it also has all of the features the second hoverboard has, plus additional measures for safety, speed, and overall roadworthiness. If you have to spend your money on a hoverboard, consider the one that borders on being a veritable two wheel scooter!

Features

Price:

$600 (originally $1700)

Max speed:

10 mph

Max range:

12 miles

Average weight:

30 lbs.

Ada Sandoval

What is there to say other than 'I'm not your average girl...err woman' • Fan of BtVS, Watchmen (comics), Joss Whedon, Alan Moore, TWD (comics/TV), and zombies.

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