The best hoverboard of 2020
There is no cooler way to travel than on a hoverboard -- the rider glides across the terrain looking like a traveler from the future.
If this is the first time you are shopping for a hoverboard, you might not know which features are crucial to have and which ones are just snazzy extras. The purpose of this article is to give you a crash course in hoverboards. After reading, you'll not only know what to look for, but you will also be made privy to our picks for the best hoverboards of the year, which include a couple of newcomers to our list and a long-standing favorite that's affordably priced.
Best hoverboards of 2020
1. Segway Ninebot S Smart Self-Balancing Electric Transporter: This durable, high-end, modified hoverboard tops our list for the first time because of its unique driving method, which makes it highly adaptable to a variety of individuals and situations.
2. Swagtron Swagboard Hoverboard for Kids and Young Adults: Swagtron keeps a model on our "best of" list this year with its kid-friendly hoverboard that is sized for riders with smaller feet.
3. Hover-1 Helix Electric Hoverboard: A new entry on our list, this light-duty hoverboard is an excellent choice for kids. Its eye-catching design and affordability make it worthy of being called one of the year's best.
Jump to the bottom of this article for more information on each model.
What you need to know before buying a hoverboard
A hoverboard doesn't really float on a cushion of air -- it's a self-balancing electric skateboard with a wheel at either end. Typically, the bigger the wheels, the better suited the hoverboard will be for riding off-road.
The most important factors to consider when purchasing a hoverboard are the weight capacity, the upper speed limit, and the range. If you purchase a hoverboard that is not able to support your full weight, it may either break when you step on it or it won't have enough power to move. The faster a model goes, the more fun it may be to ride, but also the more risk there will be for injury. If you are purchasing a hoverboard for a child, keep to one with lower speed limits. Remember, the distance a model goes is under optimum conditions, rider weight and inclines can drastically decrease a hoverboard's maximum range.
Since hoverboards require some skill to operate, purchasing a model with a training mode or programmable limits, such as speed, may be desirable. It is most efficient if this can quickly be accomplished through an app, rather than fiddling with buttons on the hoverboard.
When purchasing a hoverboard, expect to spend at least $200 or $300. While it is possible to purchase a model for as little as $70, that won't likely give you the power or the range needed for a satisfying experience. As you move beyond $300, those models are best for commuters or heavy-duty users.
The last two elements you'll want to consider are the lights and sound. Lights serve two functions: They make your hoverboard look even cooler, and they make it easier to see. A Bluetooth speaker that can connect with your smartphone is desirable because it will allow you to listen to your favorite tunes while riding around the neighborhood.
Q. Is my hoverboard going to catch fire?
A. In February of 2016, a UL 2272 certification was launched by Underwriters Laboratories. It was specifically designed for hoverboard safety. Models with this certification will not catch fire. However, though rare, that doesn't mean all hoverboards are 100% free from defects. To be as safe as possible, check for any recalls for your specific model with the Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Q. Do I need any safety gear to ride a hoverboard?
A. Yes. At the very least, you need to wear a helmet and closed-toe shoes. After that, it depends on your comfort level. Long pants, knee pads, long sleeves, elbow pads, and wrist guards are all options that can help protect you from injury.
In-depth reviews for hoverboards
Best of the best: Segway Ninebot S Smart Self-Balancing Electric Transporter
What we like: This rugged, lightweight hoverboard is manufactured using aircraft-grade magnesium alloy. It features a knee control bar to help with balance and steering as well as a safety riding tutorial that must be completed before having access to maximum speeds.
What we dislike: The maximum range is only achieved during optimum conditions, many users do not get the full 13.7 miles from a single charge.
Best bang for your buck: Swagtron Swagboard Hoverboard for Kids and Young Adults
What we like: The non-slip rubber footpads, lighted rims, and top speed of 6.8 miles per hour are all appreciated features that contribute to keeping the rider safe. The Swagtron companion app allows you to elevate your experience by controlling the lights, switching riding modes, and checking your speed and battery life from your smartphone.
What we dislike: To get the longest life out of this model, it may be best to keep it on paved surfaces.
Choice 3: Hover-1 Helix Electric Hoverboard
What we like: This impressive hoverboard has cool-looking LED lights, a Bluetooth speaker, and can reach speeds of up to seven miles per hour. The battery can be fully charged in about six hours.
What we dislike: This model has a maximum range of only three miles, so it's best for kids who won't be traveling too far.
Allen Foster is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.
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