The year 2015 was the year of the hoverboard!
Mostly because of the so called Back of the Future Day on Oktober 10/21/2015. That was the day Marty Mcfly and Doc travelled to in the cult movie Back to the Future II.
One item of that movie became very famous over time: The hoverboards.
Hoverboards are more or less flying skateboards.
It goes without saying that riding such a gadget must be very cool. What a pitty that it looks much more like fiction and much less than science. In 2014 the creation of the first Hoverboard seemed to be lightyears away.
However, that didn’t stop Lexus from trying to create the first flying Hoverboard. In summer 2015 they installed a huge magnetic field under a skate park in Barcelona and let pro-skater Ross McGouran hovering over it:
The science behind that demonstration is explained in detail here.
This technology is working and topnotch, however it’s probably nothing for the average Joe because most streets are not equipped with electro magnetic tracks. Moreover, the Hoverboard is quite expensive due to superconducting material used that must be cooled down to minus 197° Celsius.
It seems that we are still far away from seeing this kind of Hoverboards regularly on our streets.
Still, while the wole world was astonished about this publicity stunt from Lexus, somewhere else a somehow differentHoverboard revolution was starting. To be honest, we are not talking about flying Hoverboard. The boards responsible for this revolution are using 2 wheels. That’s why they are officially called self-balancing-two-wheeled-boards.
By now you have probably seen these hoverboards. At least you should have watched some videos of celebrities – like Justin Biber – playing around with them.
Electric transportation is booming at the moment: Electric Schooters, Electric Unicycles and now Electric Hoverboards all belong to the new trend of using small and flexible electric vehicles in the urban environment.
How do these Hoverboards actually work?
The Hoverboards use the same technic like Self Balancing Unicycles: They are powered by a rechargable battery and use a gyroscop for keeping the balance. Other than the unicycles they use 2 wheels, which are equipped with 2 standing platforms in between for the driver. Driving, steering and braking is simply done with shifting the body into the right direction.
Leaning forwards accelerates the board, leaning backwards is slowing the board down. You may know that from the Self Balancing Unicycles or the Segways.
The Hoverboards evolved in China in 2014 – the exact origin is unclear due to Chinas lax patent laws. In the course of 2015 the Hoverboards became more and more popular in the USA and Europe. Today, a tremendous numbers of companies are selling Hoverboards. Many companies are selling the same product from the same chinese company, just with there own logo engraved on the product.
By the way: Hoverboard is of course not the official name for this…well…boards. Different producers use different names for it. It’s no wonder that many consumers get confused. The official name is „Two Wheels Smart Self Balancing Scooters Drifting Board Electric“ but we guess that is too long for an efficient marketing.
To be honest. Finding an attractive name for that vehicles is not an easy task:
They function like segways without handles, look like Skateboards turned to the side and are powered from a battery like an electric scooter.
So, it’s not wonder that Hoverboard soon became the inofficial name for that device. At least riding them looks a little bit like hovering above the street.
Is driving a Hoverboard legal?
That’s a crucial question, you don’t want to by a vehicle that you can only drive in front of your doorway.
Most cities in the US and most countries around the world don’t have any legislation yet. However, that might change in the next months. So far we are aware of the following restrictions.
New York City: The devices are banned but might get legalized in the future.
England and Wales: Only legal on private property.
Germany: It’s not legal to use them on public property, however it might get legal with a moped driving licence.
We are not lawyers, therefore enjoy the legal information on this page with caution.
How fast can you learn to drive a Hoverboard?
It takes some practice time to use the Hoverboard in such an acrobatic way like the girls in the following video:
Just driving this device is much easier. Normally you should get it in 1 or 2 hours. If you try to ride them the first time, you should be assisted by a second person. You should also practice in a safe environment with a helmet and protective clothes. In the beginning, it is very likely that you will fall down several times. Don’t underestimate the risk of getting hurt.
Your body needs some time to get used to the unusual feeling of driving a Hoverboard. However, as soon as your muscle memories gets the hang of it, it should become very easy for you.
How does driving the Hoverboard works?
The Hoverboard is powered from 2 different motors. You can drive and direct the board by simply shiffting your body. If you want to start your ride, you just need to lean forward slowly. If you want to brake or slow down, you just need to lean bckwards.
Getting in the right direction is also very easy: If you shift your body weight to the left side, the left wheel accelerates and you are turning right and vice versa.
How safe is driving the Hoverboard?
Well, lets look at that video:
Doesn’t look too safe, no?
Well, basically driving a hoverboard shouldn’t be more dangerous than driving a bike. Still, we recommend that you are using protection clothes and a helmet because falling down can happen all the time.
What’s the price of a Hoverboard?
Hoverboards are a very new product, therefore the prices can go up and down dramatically sometimes. In the USA many Hoverboards are sold for less than $ 500 and in general the prices are decreasing at the moment.
Where can I buy a Hoverboard?
Which Hoverboards do we recommend? Review
Razor Hovertrax Electric Self-Balancing Scooter – Review
This Hoverboardcan reach a speed of 6,2 mph. The battery allows rides up to 2 hours under ideal conditions.
This Hoverboard is made for flat streets. On rough streets, gras or gravel you will get problems with your balance.
Skque – Hoverboard / Self Balancing Board Review
The Skqueu has a different design compared to the Razors: The standing plattforms are larger and the wheels wider. Therefore it is a little bit better for rough undergorund.
You can also use a remote controll for locking and unlocking of this Hoverboard.
Summarized: The Skque is a Hoverboardwith with an excellent price-performance-ratio: It can be used from persons with a maximum weight of up to 330 lbs. Although its wheels are a little bit larger the Skque is not faster than the other Hoverboards. The maximum speed of almost all products is 6,2 mph. That might sound slow, however it feels really fast when you are standing on the Hoverboard.
Koogo X1 – Hoverboard /Smart Balancing Electric – Review
We think that the Koogo X1 Hoverboardis the best looking product in the Hoverboard niche. The black design looks very elegant but the technical facts are good as well: It can be used from persons with an maximum weight of up to 220 lbs and can also be driven on rough underground due to its large wheels.