One thing which every new hoverboard owner is afraid of is falling down. While there isn’t really that much of a danger of falling down, it just seems dangerous to freely stand on a hoverboard as it zooms around. If you want to use your hoverboard but want to be fully safe. Or if you are worried that someone you bought the hoverboard for may use it dangerously.
We have the perfect hoverboard safety tips for you. These tips will make sure that you are protected from bodily harm as you use your hoverboard in different places.
1 – Protective gear
You don’t really need protective gear for your hoverboard, for the same reason that you don’t need protective gear when you go out running. Your speed is never really so much on a hoverboard that you will seriously injure yourself just by hitting something, unless you fall at a bad angle. So you do not need protective gear once you know how to ride one.
Using protective gear for when you start riding a hoverboard is a good idea – just for the first few hours. Hoverboards are incredibly intuitive to control – you will be reflexively making the right moves in just a few hours.
Just make sure you get to that point safe and you can ride without protective gear at all. You just need the basic things for the beginning. We would recommend a helmet, as well as knee and elbow pads if you are riding them outside.
2 – See what terrain your hoverboard can traverse
A lot of people make this mistake. They ride their hoverboard from a pavement into gravel or sand and up falling down because the hoverboard suddenly stops. You need to check the specifications of your hoverboard and make sure that it can traverse the terrain you are putting it on.
Generally the underpowered and inexpensive hoverboards are the only ones which have trouble with sand or gravel. They are only good for pavements. The better quality hoverboards will be able to go over such terrain, so just make sure that your hoverboard is capable enough to do it.
Do not try to ride your hoverboard if there is water on the way. There are many things which can go wrong. You may slip a bit. The bigger problem is that the water may get inside the hoverboard and cause electrical problems.
3 – Beware of slopes
When you start riding a hoverboard you suddenly realize how many slopes there are on your daily walk. You don’t need to avoid slopes – you just need to be cautious. One thing you need to know is the angle at which your hoverboard can properly run. Going up a slope takes a significant amount of power for a hoverboard.
If you have a cheap novelty hoverboard then you will have a bit of trouble going over slopes. This happens because low quality hoverboards barely have enough power to go straight, so going up a slope is almost impossible.
That is why when you look at the specifications of hoverboards you will notice that almost all of them will mention the angle of a slope they can climb. You don’t need to bust out geometry to determine the angle of the slope you are riding – if the specifications say you are going up a slope, you will be able to do it.
Going down a slope is something we would not recommend unless you are very good at riding your hoverboard. If it is a short slope you will be fine. If it is a long slope, if you live in a place where there are many slopes, then we would recommend just doing it on foot.
The higher quality hoverboards should be able to compensate for the slope, but the lower quality ones will just start freefalling. Their tires may give out as well. It is better to just walk down the slope instead of risking it. Going down a slope walking isn’t physically taxing at all. Just get back on the hoverboard once you cross the slope.
Hoverboards don’t have brakes, because they don’t need brakes – but you do need brakes going down a slope.
4 – Don’t overcharge it
One of the biggest mistakes which people make is overcharging their hoverboards. You only need to charge it until the battery is full, and you should never just leave it plugged in even after it has completed charging. The issue is very simple – all lithium-ion batteries slowly lose efficiency.
Leaving them fully charged when you are not using them is bad for them and will result in them losing power faster. It is much better to charge the hoverboard when you use it. If you use it daily then charge it daily, just don’t leave it plugged in overnight. It can result in a few other issues as well, such as the hoverboard heating up.
You should also make sure you charge it enough for your ride. It is not fun to lose power halfway and then carry the hoverboard in your hand, frustrated that you forgot to charge it.
5 – Get the right hoverboard
You also need to make sure you buy the hoverboard from a company that you can trust. Remember when hoverboards became famous and then were briefly banned because they started catching fire? The reason that happened is that people bought super cheap hoverboards made by companies that no one had heard of before.
These cheap hoverboards used low quality lithium ion batteries which can explode. That is why you should only buy the hoverboard from a company that has a local presence and has been selling hoverboards for at least a year. That way you can see the customer reviews of their products and make a proper informed purchase decision.
6 – Learn how your hoverboard handles bumps
Most sidewalks and roads have a few bumps and cracks. Before you take it outdoors, you need to test how your hoverboard handles this stuff. A cheap hoverboard will simply stop when faced with such an obstacle. A good one will be able to go over small bumps and cracks without any problems.
You don’t want to test these out outside. We recommend putting a few obstacles in the way of the hoverboard in your home so you can test it under safe conditions. Once you know how it performs you can take it out and ride it around with confidence, but until then be cautious and smart.
7 – Learn how to get on the hoverboard
This is one of the first things you need to learn – literally. This is also where many people make mistakes and fall down. It is easy to see why people mess this step up. You are stepping on something which, by all accounts, will make you fall down. Yes, it is self-balancing, so it will not actually make you fall down,
but your brain doesn’t know that the first time you are stepping on it. This results in us stepping on it like it will suddenly start moving ahead, which results in us stepping on it the wrong way.
You don’t need to worry about the hoverboard going out from below your feet – hoverboards don’t start working until both your feet are on them, so you have nothing to worry about. The right way to do it is to adapt a wide stance, then place your dominant foot on. Simply put on your other foot.
If you want to ensure that the hoverboard doesn’t move the best way to do it is to place the hoverboard at the center of your feet. People often use their toes to step on things, which results in the wrong foot placement. If you put your toes on the center, most of your foot will be behind the hoverboard. If you use your heel, you get the opposite problem. So place it in the center flat and you are good to do.
8 – Learn how to get off the hoverboard
The only time when people fall off hoverboards than getting on them is when they are getting off them. Most people do it the wrong way and it isn’t even their fault. If you step off the hoverboard the way you intuitively think you should you will fall down.
We always step off with one foot ahead, which is not a good idea for hoverboards. It increases the chance that you’ll accidentally accelerate, and the hoverboard will start moving, resulting in you falling down.
Getting off the hoverboard is super simple. All you have to do is step off it backwards. It may seem counter intuitive but it is the safest way.
Do it the same way you would get off a ladder when stepping down. This ensures that your foot doesn’t accidentally accelerate the hoverboard. It also makes sure that even if you do, it will just go forward without hitting you at all. Just make it a habit and you will never fall while stepping off the hoverboard again.
9 – Keep it clean
If you happen to use your hoverboard on rough terrain you need to maintain it before you use it again. Mud can get stuck to the tires. It is possible that you may slip or something else might happen if there is too much dirt/mud in the tire, and it can get inside the hoverboard as well. It isn’t hard to keep the tires clean.
All you will need is a damp cloth and a few minutes of cleaning. If you really want to keep it running at full efficiency, we would recommend a little more maintenance as well, like lubricants, but that isn’t safety related.
10 – Know the local laws
You wouldn’t think you would need to worry about laws when it comes to hoverboards but you do. While hoverboard related laws are not commonplace, they have popped up in a few places. Then there is the opposite problem – some places had laws against riding powered vehicles in certain areas and hoverboards just happened to technically fall into the same category, even though they are so different in reality.
You won’t be arrested for riding a hoverboard unless you are having an exceptionally bad day, but you may get a talking to or even get a ticket. Most places do not have such laws but it is always a good idea to check the local laws before you end up having to pay a fine.
Also note that many places have bans on hoverboards in certain places. So you may not be able to use it in a park or on a walkway.
11 – Keep it off the road
Your hoverboard is perfectly capable of traversing the road but it doesn’t mean you should do it. Going on a road is a bad idea in every way you can imagine. It is illegal in most places and will result in you getting a ticket.
The legality isn’t the biggest problem – the biggest problem is that it is very dangerous to take a hoverboard on the road. The speed of these hoverboards is very low, most max out at around 10 miles per hour. You are in danger of being hit by a car going much faster.
Riding a hoverboard on a road is just like walking on a road – which is also something you shouldn’t do. Even if the road is empty you should stay away from it. Falling on asphalt is not good for you and you may need to get a few injections to prevent infection from even a small scrape you get by falling on the road. This isn’t true if you fall somewhere else – just a problem if you fall on roads. So stick to the sidewalk.
12 – Remember that it is not a skateboard
You will find this surprising but skateboarders are not good at hoverboards – they may even be worse at it than people who have never skated. The problem is very simple. A skateboarder treats the hoverboard like a skateboard. A hoverboard is NOTHING like a skateboard. So, naturally,
it results in them falling down or even breaking the hoverboard. You should NEVER use a hoverboard in the same way that you would use a skateboard.
Just look at the physics involved and you will understand why. A skateboard is used by putting one foot forward and one backwards – the skateboard isn’t on both your feet the way a hoverboard is. This means that you can easily make turns, even at high speeds, without major issues.
You just use the momentum in your favor and you are good to go. Look at how different a hoverboard’s tires are placed compared to a skateboard in motion. Another big problem is that skateboard tires are made to turn whatever way you need them to, while hoverboard tires turn only slightly.
So if you are feeling confident and you try to use a hoverboard the way one would use a skateboard, it will only result in you falling down.
13- Ride it indoors first – a lot
The minute you get a hoverboard you will want to head out and just ride everywhere. It is joyous to just casually ride a hoverboard around places you usually walk. The problem is that this will just result in you falling outside in public where everyone can see.
The first thing you need to do is practice. The good thing is that hoverboards are very easy to use, so it will just take a few hours to be good enough to take the hoverboard outside. We would recommend 2-3 hours of indoor riding before you take it outside.
If you really want to get good at it you should practice under different circumstances so you can truly learn the limits of your hoverboard in a safe location. We recommend putting obstacles in the way. Start with something small and keep replacing it with something bigger.
This will give you an idea of how high an obstacle your hoverboard can cross without any issues. This way you will not make a fool of yourself by trying to go over an obstacle that is too high and falling down. You should do the same with slopes. Practice on a slope near your place so you know the limits of your hoverboard.
14 – Hoverboards do not have brakes
Here’s something you need to understand – hoverboards do not have brakes. They simply stop going forward once you stop giving them power. However, if you have too much momentum, they will not suddenly stop, because, again, they do not have brakes.
This is why you need to make sure you drive them at the right speed. If you are in an open area with no obstacles or people around you, feel free to ride the hoverboard at its maximum speed. However, it is no fun running into a mailbox or someone else or even a wall at full speed.
The most common thing people do in such a situation is attempt to jump off. Jumping off in a panic and trying to balance yourself after you land the jump is something most people fail at, and they end up falling. Practice how long it takes you to come to a stop at home. Also, this is another reason you shouldn’t ride your hoverboard down a slope. It will gain too much momentum thanks to the slope and then you will have trouble stopping it if you need to.
15 – Charge it in a safe place
The hoverboards available in the market right now do not have the battery and charging related issues that the first few hoverboard models had, but it is still a good idea to be cautious. You should not charge the hoverboard in any place which has flammable items nearby. Do not charge it on a carpeted surface or near curtains.
Under normal conditions it would be completely fine to leave the hoverboard charging on a carpet. The problems is that you may forget it there, and it may start heating up. This results in a fire hazard. Make sure you charge it in a safe place and never leave it on charging overnight. The best time to charge the hoverboard is right after you’re done using it.
16 -Supervise kids on hoverboards
If you bought the hoverboards for your kids then you made the right decision. Kids love hoverboards. You just need to make sure you supervise their hoverboard activity. Don’t leave them unsupervised because they may end up doing something stupid, like kids do all the time.
The biggest mistake kids make is taking the hoverboard on the road. Kids are ridiculously bad at understanding risks and dangers, which is why you need to supervise them.
17 – Get a hoverboard with lights
Most new hoverboards have lights on them. If yours doesn’t then you need to install a cheap LED light on it. Lights are required for two reasons. One is that they allow you to see the obstacles you are going over. The bigger reason is that they allow others to see you.
You want to be visible because you are moving fast and you don’t want anyone to hit you. The lights will alert everyone about your presence and they will give you the way so you don’t crash into them.
As long as you follow these safety tips you will be perfectly fine on a hoverboard. Do not be worried that this list seems long – it isn’t. If we were to right a similar guide to safely riding a bicycle we would need to write a much longer list. Hoverboards are one of the safest ways of transportation available.
You just have to use them the right way and in the right place. Learn where you need to get off and walk, and learn where you can unleash the full speed. A little bit of precaution will result in lots of safe riding.