Opinions and stories vary on the motorized scooter known as the hoverboard, but one thing remains for certain- the vehicles have continued to remain popular. While today’s hoverboards don’t levitate like the ones in Back to the Future Part II, they roll on wheels when the rider puts pressure on a left and right footpad.
Hoverboards are easy to operate, and may be the next best thing to walking. But you may have heard that they have developed one problem: they tend to catch on fire. And the list of cities where they have caught fire is continuing to grow.
The fires are being blamed on the large, lithium-ion batteries that operate the scooter. Those batteries are usually found in the cheaper models, and contain a flammable electrolyte. Oh, they have this little habit of overheating and even exploding.
So what can a consumer do about it, and are hoverboards safe to operate? We’ll give you five reasons that you can still run one safely.
1.) Spend the money on your board.
I know it’s hard these days, but to avoid problems you need to buy a higher quality product. Don’t buy a hoverboard for less than $300. Hover X and Monorover’s boards come in at around $500, while IO Hawk and Phunkeeduck offer you top of the line models at $1,000 and higher.
2.) Take proper care of your hoverboard.
To steer your device, you lean forward on the footpads to go forward and lean backward to reverse. But according to Wired, those lithium-ion batteries that we mentioned are placed inside the foot rest, and are more prone to damage if you play too rough with your board. The cheaper model is most likely to invest in a less expensive, poor quality battery.
3.) Make sure your hoverboard’s credentials are in order.
There are plenty of cheap, counterfeit hoverboards in circulation. Look your model over carefully, and check the manufacturer’s warranty before you purchase a board. Also, boards purchased within the European Economic Area are required to have a CE conformity marking. The manufacturer’s name and address also have to be displayed, along with the product’s serial number.
4.) Read your board’s weight limits.
Hoverboards come with minimum and maximum weight limits. According to Best Electric Hoverboard, most models can support 220 lbs., while the10-inch tire hoverboards have a limit of 264 lbs. For the kids, a mini-hoverboard with a 4.5-inch wheel carries 120 lbs.
Boards have no height limits, but consider the effect you might have on your board if you are extremely tall.
5.) Do not overcharge your hoverboard.
Risk of fire increases when you overcharge your hoverboard. You might want to monitor your board while it is charging, and be sure to unplug the device after it is fully charged. Fires have occurred when boards have been left charging overnight, so don’t leave it alone while it is still charging. You should also consider purchasing a top quality charger.
Mainly, if you’re in the market for a hoverboard, educate yourself and do your research before making your purchase. Many worthwhile sites recommend buying yours directly from a manufacturer’s website, and look over their customer service policy.
We recommend doing your homework, taking extreme care, and disregarding any celebrities on hoverboard videos you will find before buying your board.