The Consumer Product Safety Commission in the United States recently released a statement, claiming that nearly all hoverboards on the market are unsafe for consumers. This comes after the CPSC had already sent an updated list of safety standards to retailers and manufacturers. The new rules state that all hoverboards must meet the UL certifications, given by UL, which is an independent safety certification company. So, the first and most important thing you must look at when buying a hoverboard for your child is for the UL certification. In this blog, we’ll give out some hoverboard buying tips for kids that you need to know.
If the hoverboard you purchased doesn’t have a UL certification, you can get a refund on it. Provided you purchased it from Amazon. We are going to cover the unstoppable craze of hoverboard, which was the number one holiday purchase in the country this year! Call it whatever you want, a hoverboard, smart scooter, or a self-balancing scooter, the one thing everyone agrees on is that, this is the next generation of personal transport. The great thing about hoverboards is that they are easy to ride, and provide endless entertainment for everyone.
However, the one thing you must pay attention to is the model you are buying. The range of options in the marketplace is endless. There are just so many different manufacturers trying to cash in on the hoverboard craze. Looking at the models, you will be hard-pressed to differentiate them with the naked eye. Most of them look the same, with only the boxes, names, and packaging changed.
Fortunately for you, if the idea is to buy the right hoverboard for your kid, we are going to cover some of the most important factors you should consider before you make your purchase.
If you’re in a rush, and want a brief overview of what we are going to cover in this blog, here are some quick tips that will help you buy the right hoverboard for your kids.
- Don’t mistake hoverboards to hover, since most are self-balancing electric scooters.
- The recommended age for hoverboards is 12 and above, so don’t get it for young kids.
- Always read customer reviews for build quality and safety.
- Look at U.S. based brands that offer customer support and warranties.
- Hoverboards have batteries that need to be charged. It takes a few hours to charge.
- The speed these boards travel at, range from 2 mph to 10 mph, with a range of 10 to 15 miles.
- Check the weight of the hoverboard before buying it, because carrying one isn’t feasible.
- If you only plan on using it for leisure, don’t spend more than $600 on it.
- Check with your local police department and read up on local laws. Learn where you can ride, or if there are any fines you may have to pay.
- Lookout for knockoffs that claim to be major brands. Never purchase a hoverboard that doesn’t offer a return policy.
- Learn why hoverboards are a great device for your kids.
So, let’s get started, and reveal everything you should know about hoverboards. You need to know this before you buy the right one for your kids.
What Is a Hoverboard and How Do They Work?
Even if you have never heard about hoverboards, you must have seen some, as they are everywhere. People have been using them as personal transporters for quite some time. And you must have certainly come across the mini Segways.
The riders must stand with their legs apart, and move the device through their feet by balancing forward or sideways to make it move. There are sensors installed in the device, that depicts movement, and moves the board in that direction.
Hoverboards come with self-balancing technology, so you don’t have to worry about taking any aerobic classes to refine your balance. All you need to do to make them move is lean forward, and it will zoom forward. Leaning backwards will slow it down. These hoverboards come with a rechargeable battery, which propels the motors. And there are different models in the market that come with a smart key system. This prevents others from using your hoverboard when you are not riding it.
Hoverboards maybe the future of self-transportation, but many people still feel ripped off. They feel this is not the future they had imagined. The hoverboards of today aren’t the sci-fi gadgets shown in Back to the Future, since they don’t fly. However, lots of manufacturers in the industry are currently working on building boards that can levitate and fly. Models like the Hendo and Lexus are already in production.
The Safety Concerns
There are lots of safety concerns you must look at before buying hoverboards, especially after the bad reviews it was getting a couple of years. You must have come across news of exploding hoverboards, and boards catching fire. Especially when being charged. Things got so bad that the National Association of State Fire Marshals had to issue an advisory warning about all the explosions.
The Consumer Product Safety Commission also investigated hoverboard fires, and due to all the safety concerns hoverboard manufacturers had to stop production and recall all their products.
However, there is nothing to be worried about anymore, since all hoverboards that are on the market today, must have the UL certification. This guarantees that the hoverboard has met all the updated safety regulations, and will not be exploding or catching fire when you ride or charge it.
Where Can I Buy One?
Due to all the hype surrounding hoverboards, it can be difficult to find a proper hoverboard on sale, but it isn’t impossible. There are lots of major retailers still offering great prices on hoverboards. And since the holidays have come and gone, there is more variety out there now. You can easily find lots of different options at online retailers like Amazon, and choose from hundreds of different options. There are quite a few knockoffs also on the market. Make sure you don’t end up buying one of them.
Which Ones Are the Safest?
This is one question that will be on the minds of parents that are looking to buy hoverboards for their kids. Fortunately, for all parents, the latest hoverboards on the market all come with UL certification, which guarantees that the hoverboard has met all the strictest regulations and safety standards. However, you must avoid buying cheap versions and knockoffs of famous brands. These come with low quality batteries that are prone to overheating.
It isn’t worth taking the risk of one of them exploding while you are charging it or riding it. You should consider shopping hoverboards from any of the major brands, like Swagway, Ninebot, IO Hawk, Hovertrax, Razer, and PhunkeeDunk to name a few.
Consider Your Rider
When buying a hoverboard for your little one, you must consider their height and whether they are comfortable in riding a hoverboard. There is no point in getting a hoverboard for your kid, if they have shown no interest in them or any inclination to want to ride one. There are different models for kids in the market, and you should go for hoverboards that don’t go too fast.
Most hoverboards come with a recommended age of 12 and above. There are directions about the best ways to train on the hoverboard. So, when buying a hoverboard for your kids, make sure that you consider their size, height, and age.
Another thing you must look at when ordering a hoverboard for your children is the build quality of the board. You don’t want to purchase a cheap knockoff model that has a high chance of exploding or catching fire. There is massive variety in hoverboards online, and most models have varying degrees of difference in the build quality.
You can easily tell the difference by checking the housing material, the frame, whether they have plastic or metal wheels, or if it has additional electronics like sensors and internal motors. The best way to check build quality before buying the product is by reading the customer reviews on the website.
It is advised to thoroughly research any hoverboard you are buying for your child, since it will help you avoid complications in the future. So, make sure that you checkout the reviews on build quality for any hoverboard that catches your fancy. It is advised that you only buy U.S. brands, since they are governed by federal and state laws, and these companies must provide warranty and customer support.
You should also check the charging time that each hoverboard requires for their batteries. The most important thing you should check in a hoverboard is the battery, and how long it takes to charge. The battery determines how far and fast you can go, and adds weight to the hoverboard. You don’t want to be sitting around waiting for hours for the battery to charge, while your child throws a tantrum.
Speed and Range
When it comes to speed, you will notice that most hoverboards in the market offer the same maximum speed, depending on who they are marketing to. Companies that make hoverboards for kids generally have boards that go as slow as 2 mph and as fast as 10 mph.
Measuring range can be a challenge, since it depends on how far and long your child wants to ride the hoverboard. You must also consider the weight of the rider, the terrain where they ride, and how frequently they ride.
The Portability Factor
Kids tend to lose interest very quickly in their toys, but there is something uniquely addictive in hoverboards. However, there have been instances when the batteries of the hoverboard run out, and it is only then, do you realize how heavy it really is. That is why you must consider portability, when you buy a hoverboard for your kid, because you may have to carry it if your kid decides they don’t want to ride it anymore.
Most hoverboards generally weigh about 20 pounds, and some are closer to 30 pounds. That is still heavy luggage to carry around, can become a burden if you are carrying it around for some time. The portability factor counts, because you don’t want to be burdened by carrying your hoverboard around. So, make sure that you get a board that isn’t too heavy, and is portable.
The Pricing Factor
When it comes to pricing, generally all hoverboards are the same price in the market, and the difference could only be a couple of hundred dollars. However, better quality models that have just been released in the market may cost a lot more than older models. This is because they come with new features, better batteries, and more durability. Some models even come out with their own mobile app that allows you to control your hoverboard and even lock it when you’re not riding it.
You choose to buy the newer models that are out on the market, but you should also consider who you are buying the hoverboard for. If you know that your child will lose interest in the board after a couple of months, and you don’t plan on keeping it for yourself, then it is not a good idea to make an expensive purchase. That is why we recommend that you don’t spend more than $600 on a hoverboard.
Legal Gray Area
It may sound strange to you, but lots of municipalities have introduced local regulations and laws that prevent vehicles to be used on sidewalks. There are even laws against unlicensed vehicles in the streets, and hoverboards count as a vehicle. This means that your child could be breaking the law by riding their hoverboard out on the road. They can ride it in a parking lot, their basement or driveway, but not on the roads. There are even fines for hoverboard riding on sidewalks, in places like New York City, which charge a $200 fine.
However, the laws are changing because hoverboards are safe again, and are the future of self-transport. New laws are going to be introduced that will make hoverboards legal to be ridden in bike lanes if they meet all safety and age requirements. So, before you purchase a hoverboard for your child, make sure that there aren’t laws against hoverboards in your locality.
Beware of Knockoffs
When shopping for hoverboards online, you will be amazed at the sheer number of options that are available to you. There are so many different brands, and each one of them are marketing some new type of board that is designed for adults and children. To the untrained eye, it can be confusing to differentiate between a knockoff and an authentic hoverboard. The reason for that is because most hoverboards look the same, but it is the specifications that are different.
You can easily tell a knockoff from an original model by looking at the specifications and branding of the hoverboard model. For most people, buying a knockoff model is not a big deal, but when it comes to hoverboards it is advised that you pay for quality, instead of trying to cash in on a deal. That is because the knockoff models in the market are made from cheap materials, and have less powerful motors, less sensitive gyroscopes, and weaker batteries.
They may also not meet the UL certification, meaning that they pose a higher risk of catching fire or exploding, and are not safe for your child.
Reasons Why You Should Buy a Hoverboard For Your Child
It is not a secret to learn that everyone is hyped up about hoverboards today. Everyone is going crazy about hoverboards, since they are fun, innovative, and new. The days of scooters and skateboards are over, and kids now want hoverboards, because all their friends are out playing with theirs. If your child has also asked for their personal hoverboard, it is time that you should consider buying one for them. Most parents don’t trust hoverboards, due to all the negative news about exploding boards, and who can blame them?
No parent wants to buy a gadget for their child that may put them at risk. However, there is no real threat of hoverboards exploding or catching fire anymore, since manufacturers are required by law to get UL certification on all hoverboard models. This certification means that the board has met all new safety standards, and there is nothing to worry about.
The great thing about hoverboards is that they are a great way to get your child out and about outside. They will not only be active, but will make new friends, and have incredible experiences. That is reason enough to buy a hoverboard for your child, but if you’re still not convinced, here are some more:
Help Your Child Get Active
Kids these days don’t want to go outside and play. They seem to be immersed in their own digital world, playing video games, streaming videos, using their tablets, and smartphones. Gone are the days when children would go outside and play in the garden, get down and dirty in the mud. Technology has changed the way children are brought up, and if you’re concerned about the amount of time your kids spend in front of the television or their computer, the best thing you can get them is a hoverboard.
It is not only different, but fun, and will ensure that your kids can pass the time, play with their friends, and make new ones out in the real world. This will get your child active, get them excited, and will improve their health. You will notice that your kids will get excited to play outside on their hoverboards, and will be looking for an excuse to go outside and play with their friends, instead of moping inside.
Your Child Will Learn New Skills
Mastering a hoverboard isn’t as easy as mastering a traditional scooter, skateboard, or bicycle. You need intuitive balance and motion to control a hoverboard, even though it balances itself. Your child will need to perfect counterbalancing their weight, bending their knees, and leaning to make the hoverboard perform to their commands. They will learn new skills, and ensure that your child becomes more athletic and learns about muscle control.
Your Child’s Independence Will Grow
The more time your child spends playing outside, the more independent they will start becoming, as they stop relying on your guidance for everything. Getting them their own personal transport is a great way to help them become independent, and they will start going on short rides and mini-adventures with their friends around the neighborhoods.
If you are worried that your child may get in trouble, you can take them to the park or any outdoor place where they can easily play with their hoverboard under your supervision.
Hoverboards are Tons of Fun
One of the main reasons why you should buy your child a hoverboard is because it is so much fun to ride on and play with. Your child will have the time of their lives, and will let their imagination run wild, as they can play-act their favorite super heroes, and have a ball with futuristic technology. The problem you may face as a parent is that if you buy one of your kids a hoverboard, you may very well have to buy one for your other kids.
However, that is something that you can manage easily, and use it to your advantage. You can ensure that your kids listen to and you can reward them by buying them a hoverboard for good behavior. One concern you would have when buying a hoverboard for your child is that these boards are expensive, but if you want a quality board that is completely safe, then it’s worth the money. There are lots of different types of hoverboards coming out in the market, and 2018 promises to be another great year, where hoverboard sales are expected to go through the roof.
So, don’t wait till your kid asks you for a hoverboard, get them one now!