Hoverboards have been a “thing” for quite a while now, and with Christmas season just around the corner, it is reasonable to think that hoverboard sales are going to spike again.
If you are a kid or a teenager, there is a huge likelihood that you are definitely getting a hoverboard from one of your relatives. If you are an adult, there is a big possibility that you are planning to get a hoverboard for a beloved child or relative.
There is one thing you have to keep in mind when shopping for hoverboards, though. They can be dangerous if not used correctly. Here are some hoverboard safety tips and precautions for avoiding hoverboard-related accidents.
1. Buy a quality hoverboard.
This can be a little tricky because there are no universally established or accepted standards related to hoverboards mainly because they are new. Also, there is still a little argument among some groups as to whether these things are vehicles or mere toys.
Anyway, we think the safest option is for you to be as careful as if you are buying a motorized scooter. Buy only from reputable sellers, and check the labels on the box or the device itself. See to it that your hoverboard passes all required inspections and standards and has all the necessary certifications.
Research thoroughly first, and compare prices last. When you (or whoever you are giving a hoverboard to) will be standing on a highly insecure vehicle that can send you hurtling toward your nan’s garden or set you on fire, you really do not want to prioritize money.
2. Do not leave it charging unattended.
You may think that because it is relatively safe to leave your smartphone charging overnight, you can do the same thing to your hoverboard just because they have the same battery. Smartphones are engineered to stop consuming power once they are fully charged, but we are not sure if the same thing can be said about hoverboards.
In fact, there have been incidents where a hoverboard exploded or caught on fire while charging. To be safe, never leave your hoverboard charging unattended. Keep a fire extinguisher handy as well just in case. It is not too much to ask, really. A hoverboard takes merely two to four hours to charge fully.
3. Don’t beat it up too much.
All consumer goods undergo quality assurance testing before they are sold to the public. However, this does not mean that the hoverboard you purchased is invincible and unbreakable. It can handle small bumps and minor crashes, sure, but that does not give you the license to do it all the time.
Handle and ride your hoverboard with care, especially because it is powered by a highly volatile lithium ion battery. Hey, if smartphones can explode due to battery-related matters, there is no reason for your hoverboard, which faces much more possibility of bumping, crashing, and many other forms of mishandling, should be spared from such accidents.
In fact, hoverboards have been in the news a lot due to incidents of them exploding or simply just catching fire.
4. Know where you can ride it without a cop chasing you.
Different states, cities, establishments, and other territories have different laws and regulations regarding hoverboards. Make sure to find out if you are even allowed to ride hoverboards where you are before you even buy one.
Aside from the possibility of being reprimanded by authorities and paying fines, there is another (although indirect) danger from riding hoverboards in places that do not allow them. In case you do get chased by a cop for example, your first reaction may be panic, and nothing good ever comes out of that.
Do not assume that hoverboards are banned only in few obscure places. In fact, riding them is illegal in the UK, in New York City, and in several colleges.
5. Wear safety gear.
To a teenager, nothing is dorkier than wearing a helmet and some protective pads. However, it is highly recommended that you wear these, especially if you are just starting out. In addition to your helmet, you want elbow and knee pads and a wrist guard.
Remember to buy only quality protective gear. You will look even dorkier if you end up getting injured because of substandard gear. Buy from reputable sellers, choose products with high-grade materials, and do not skimp on quality just because of price.
6. Do not treat it like a skateboard.
Although they look similar, hoverboards and skateboards are not the same and definitely do not work the same way. Skateboards are lightweight and easier to maneuver because you are only working against momentum. Hoverboards are a completely different story.
Do not attempt to go as fast on them as you would on a skateboard, let alone do the same tricks! By no means should you try to ride your hoverboard down a flight of stairs on some railings. Forget about ramps altogether.
Hoverboards should be restricted to even pavements and low speeds. Quit trying to push those limits because they may not end well for you.
7. Ride it properly.
Those who have had the honor of riding hoverboards before the rest of us have a few pieces of advice on how to ride it properly. First, you have to make sure that your hoverboard is nicely calibrated.
Lift the wheel, and press the foot pad with your hand (the same thing your foot will touch it once you are actually riding it). The wheel should spin nicely and smoothly. If you observe that it is shaking a bit, that means your hoverboard is not yet calibrated. Check its manual to find out how to rectify it.
Other tips include having proper posture, disembarking by stepping back, and standing correctly. Keep your back straight and look ahead. Avoid committing the novice mistake of looking down because that may cause your weight to shift forward, causing you to fall. The same thing goes for having the right posture.
When getting off your hoverboard, you may want to step back instead of forward. To be more specific, slow to a stop, and then step backward one foot at a time. Finally, do not jump on and off your hoverboard.
8. Start by practicing indoors.
Find a place in your home where you can practice your hoverboard-riding skills before trying your toy out on the street. This is essential for two reasons. First, it helps you avoid embarrassment. Accept it. You will fall on your first few attempts, and your dad’s tools in his garage will never tell the neighbors how silly you looked on your first try.
Second, you get to avoid damaging your neighbor’s property. Sure, your mom may fry you alive if you break her vase, but there is a lot more drama if neighbors are involved. Also, you avoid the risk of injuring other people by practicing indoors first.
Test it out first. Know how to balance, accelerate, decelerate, and stop safely in a big room and away from sharp and/or breakable objects.
9. Improve visibility.
Make sure you are visible regardless of the time of day. That white shirt won’t do because to the eyes of the driver of that incoming truck, you can easily get “whitewashed” by the bright surroundings or be confused with a part of the landscape.
Wear clothes and/or shoes with reflectorized trims. You can also wear one of those shoes that light up. This is because when riding your hoverboard, you do not just want to be bright. You want to grab attention. It is not enough that you are bright. People around you should be able to tell that you are a moving human being riding a non-secure vehicle.
10. Go slow.
When you drive a car fast, at least you know that you will somehow be protected by your seatbelt, airbags, and the hulking metal frame of your car during most crashes.
When you speed up on a hoverboard, it is like standing on a sideways soda can down a hill. It is just your body against every mailbox, tree, signpost, and lord knows what else your hoverboard crashes you into.
Hoverboards do not have brakes. In case you have to make an abrupt stop, you better pray that you are not thrown off of it, which is what usually happens when the rider attempts to stop out of panic. Keep safe by going slow. Always remember that speeding by on a hoverboard ceases to be cool once you are all mangled.
Conclusion: These are just some of the most important safety tips and precautions for riding hoverboards. If you would like to share your own tips, feel free to hit us up! Finally, do not hesitate to share this with your friends and fellow hoverboard lovers.