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How to choose a hoverboard for your child?

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The English language has got a popular idiom “to reinvent the wheel” which has a slightly ironic and even negative tone with reference to someone engaged in a useless task of inventing something that already exists.

However, despite that, it is also true to say that without inventors, the world would still have been walking around by foot without any means of transportation.

Putting a petrol motor and then an electric motor on a regular pedal bicycle is not a big deal, it is hard to even be named an “invention”. But inventing a completely new construction with a revolutionary system of driving cannot be done by everyone.

A hoverboard for a child is a perfect option to get any “young tech geek” out of their smartphone and to have them spend some time in the outdoors. This gadget will be of interest even to the most internet-dependent kid.

 Contents:

Segway or hoverboard?

Dean Kamen became the “not your average” inventor of individual means of transportation. He invented a two-wheeled vehicle that does not really require to be driven. Tilting the body is enough and the self-running chariot moves forward or backward, accelerates or slows down, and turns, too. Interestingly, the vehicle maintains balance on its own, not requiring the skills of a circus artist from the rider.

Dean’s “chariot”, the Segway, has been copied, improved, simplified, and made more complex, countless times.

Respectable people, tourists, and even the police use the expensive, heavy segways – which can be considered as a full-on means of transportation, as an analog to a motor scooter.

And there are lighter, cheaper and simpler self-balancing scooters “just for fun” that a child can handle. We will discuss them in more detail: we will see how to choose the right thing, what to look out for etc.

The structure of the hoverboard

In order to make an informed choice, it is better to understand what any gadget has got inside. If the main selection criterion is the price, you can skip this section. If you also want quality together with functionality for the price you will be paying, take a look at the information below.

The hoverboard is comprised of the following parts:

  • frame;
  • two wheels;
  • two electric motors;
  • two batteries;
  • control board;
  • wheel fender.

The frame should support the expected weight of the rider, and the wheels should provide a smooth ride. Electric motors must be powerful enough to reach their stated speed. The goal of the control unit is to detect the movements of the rider’s body, guide and balance the vehicle. The battery brings power to the motors and the control board. The plastic cover, in turn, protects the delicate parts inside and ensures a decent aesthetic appearance of the overboard.

How to choose the right hoverboard for your child

The first aspect that requires our attention is the age of the child. A hoverboard for a 5-year old and a 10-year old are two completely different devices.

Below are the main features of the machine that need to be taken into account:

  1. Wheel diameter.
  2. Engine power.
  3. Maximum weight limit of the rider.
  4. Frame material and plastic cover, waterproof equipment.
  5. The capacity of the battery and its quality. The quality of the good in general.
  6. Brand and visual appearance.

The first three parameters have a significant impact on the primary selection of vehicles for a certain age.

Details

A hoverboard is not a means of transportation for a daily commute, but rather a device for entertainment. And this is why it should be the source of joy, and not of a headache. When making a choice, it is obvious that products of poor quality should be avoided. However, spending hours contemplating whether to pay extra for a 6000 mAh battery or whether to buy a 4000 mAh one which will be enough in the event when the child would want to ride not for 3 consecutive hours, but for 4 hours, is unnecessary. Nevertheless, we will not talk you out of making a well-informed decision. Take into account the mileage in relation to the charge time. Usually, the mileage is 8-10 miles, and the charging time can be of a couple of hours.

Choosing of a hoverboard at an e-store

Credit: Designed by macrovector / Freepik

When choosing a self-balancing scooter, a couple of things need to be taken into account. First, many stores do not indicate the type of product. Be sure to look at the pictures, otherwise, there will be a risk of buying a monowheel instead of a two-wheeled board.

The power of the vehicle needs to be indicated as “gross”. Be sure to open the product card and inspect the real power of the engines. It may happen that the list allegedly states a total power of 1200 W, whereas the product card indicates 2×350 W. We will discuss the power of the engine later on. Note that the “W” unit of measurement stands for “Wat”.

How much does a hoverboard cost

The price of a hoverboard, oddly enough, does not always have a strong correlation with its performance. The power, speed, and range indicators are just numbers on the screen. Online stores offer models from unknown manufacturers with good prescribed indicators at quite affordable prices. At the same time, the information that is quite covert in terms of the presence of dust and moisture protection, and the quality of plastic, as well as the quantity and quality of the motherboards of the control unit. As a result, for the price of 40 dollars on paper, the product turns out to be almost a competitor to Segway. Which, of course, does not correspond to reality.

For branded models, the opposite is true. The price is high – you can find hoverboards priced at $200 and even $350. However, the mentioned characteristics may often seem to be quite modest. But at least, they are honest and real, sometimes even underestimated, as well-known manufacturers are afraid of lawsuits for dishonest claims in advertising. But the reliability, handling, and driving pleasure of such vehicles are well worth the money spent. And, of course, nobody is to take the brand image out of the equation. “The cooler the brand, the cooler the rider”- that’s what many kids and teenagers think.

Choosing the self-balancing scooter according to the age

Credit: Designed by mdjaff / Freepik

So, let’s figure out the main technical indicators for each age group. The age in this review is a subjective means of measure. There are no “standardized measures for kids”, hence, you rather need to focus on height and weight.

The measures of height and weight are important. Nevertheless, other parameters are also important when making a choice. In particular, the ability and desire of the child to learn, their level of development. Moreover, the vestibular apparatus, level of physical fitness, as well as the skills of falling and grouping properly. For example, a child that practices martial arts or wrestling, a priori has got those grouping skills as they have been taught during their sports classes.

The level of intellectual development and reaction to external stimuli as well as the general temperament of the child are the factors that should not be discounted either. Even gender plays a role: perhaps a girl would be afraid of a hoverboard that develops high speeds. However, this is not certain, what matters more in here is the temperament of the child. Put a groovy, highly active child of 6 years old on a slow-speed hoverboard – and it is unlikely that they will be using it for more than five minutes. After that, the expensive device will end up on eBay or will move around in circles between relatives and friends.

5-8 years old

There are special models for children of the age of 5 to 8 years old. They are designed for more of a lightweight rider – usually up to 80 kg and have a maximum speed limit of 5 km/h, which should be enough for a young adventurous child.

Their wheel diameter is 4.5 or 6 inches – such wheels ensure a comfortable ride only on smooth surfaces. The engine power should be around 2×150 W, there is no need to aim for more. The same applies to the battery – the standard capacity of around 3500-4000 mAh, is more than enough. Especially if its power is as stated.

Pay special attention to the weight of the product. The child will be picking it up and carrying it himself in any case, so choose a light vehicle in order for the child not to overstrain and so that the scooter can be carried inside of a child’s backpack.

9-12 years old

Older kids will not ride at 5 km/h. For them, “adult” models can be already chosen. It is worth considering the wheels of 8 or 10 inches, which would allow you to ride not only on fresh asphalt but also on tiles and on set ground. The weight is to be chosen depending on the child – and since children may sometimes be larger than their age, it is better to allow a certain margin. As a rule of thumb, the weight of 100 kg is enough. If the child is not very tall yet, special attention should be devoted to the minimum weight of the rider. Usually, it is not indicated in the characteristics, you need to test it or ask the seller, discussing the possibility of a return.

Here is an example from life: a grandfather decided to purchase their grandson a hoverboard, ordered it and paid for it, and had it delivered. Unfortunately, the self-balancing scooter could not move as there was not enough body mass to make it move. As the conditions for a return have been somehow violated, too, the hoverboard couldn’t be returned. The grandfather was even more disappointed than the grandson.

The power has to be of at least 2x250W. It is also worth looking into a more powerful battery, but it is not worth purchasing the cheap Chinese version of it. Study the reviews very carefully: if the author indicates the real charging time, you can roughly calculate the real capacity of the battery.

Pay attention to the material of the frame and the dust-proof and waterproof feature with moisture protection. It is best not to strive for place the most importance on lightweight and be focused on reliability.

Consult the young rider to find out about their color and design preferences. Peer approval is important for a child, so they would rather fully refuse to ride than turn up on a “not cool” hoverboard. At first glance, it may feature some excellent options such as the backlighting and a Bluetooth speaker, but even they turn a child out into an “outcast”. Or, on the contrary, their absence may indicate insufficient “coolness”.

Bright colors can also play a negative role – such self-balancing scooters may be considered “girly”.

With the purchase of the hoverboard for a girl, the same issues may arise. Therefore, it is important not to neglect the opinion of the finite user of the gadget.

13 years old and up

Only adult models can be purchased, there are no other options. 10 inches pneumatic wheels, and the power of 2x350W or more. Check the maximum allowed weight of the rider – the larger it is, the more reliable the design, the better the battery should be, and the stronger the frame. Pay attention to water resistance, which also implies the term “dust protection”. A good hoverboard should have at least an IP54 standard, which implies the protection against dust and moisture, and dirt and water splashes.

On adult models, it makes sense to meticulously study the control unit. Good blocks have three motherboards – these ones are worth the purchase. They say that two-board hoverboards may sometimes “freeze”.

Additional features, such as the LED-light, running lights, a built-in speaker with Bluetooth can both attract a child and push them away – here it all depends on the opinions of their peers and of the already well-formed ideas about what is good and what is bad with regards to overboard.

For girls

Everything that was said about the technical side of the matter is just as relevant for girls as it is for boys. For girls, self-identification and the status in the peer group are very important, so it is better to choose a hoverboard together with your child. Otherwise, it may be likely that those driving a cute pink hoverboard would be the mom and the dad.

Big online retailers don’t make any gender difference in models, in comparison to bicycles. Therefore, the opinion of a young hoverboard rider girl should be the turning point for when making a choice.

Safety measures

A hoverboard is a fully mechanical vehicle and a source of increased danger. Therefore, some basic rules must be followed at all times:

  1. Do not ride a faulty hoverboard. Mechanical damage, tightly rotating and wedging wheels, bare wiring and electrical elements – all of these can lead to falls and injuries.
  2. The child should have the correct protective equipment- a helmet and some knee pads, at least. Elbow pads and gloves would also be useful.
  3. The road is not the right place for the hoverboard.
  4. Even if it’s a very quiet road. Strictly forbid children to ride close to the roadway, or to cross it on a hoverboard. The street is to be crossed strictly on feet- in the same way as on the bicycle.

Don’t worry if the child is going for a ride with their friends or if they ride quite far away from you. The “Find my kids” app will allow you to track the location of your young athlete in real-time conditions if the child has gone out of sight. Download the app from GooglePlay or AppStore.

The ranking of hoverboards

Here are some models suitable for both boys and girls. We will group them by their age and will list both expensive and budget-friendly options.

5-8 years old

Swagtron Swagboard Classic T500

Credit: https://swagtron.com/

  • Maximum weight: 187.4lbs
  • Maximum speed: 6.8 mph
  • Wheel diameter: 7 inches
  • Maximum distance: 7 miles
  • Weight: 18.9lbs
  • Extra options: Bluetooth connection, Android or IOS app, 1-year warranty, capable of withstanding splashes and minimal contact with water

Price: $148

Verdict: Functional, good price point, good extra features.

SRX Mini Hoverboard

  • Maximum weight: 132lbs
  • Maximum speed: 6mph
  • Wheel diameter: 6,5 inches
  • Maximum distance: 3 miles
  • Weight: 15lbs
  • Extra options: N/A

Price: $79

Verdict: Good as a first hoverboard, lightweight and convenient.

Razor 36 Volt Hovertrax DLX 2.0

  • Maximum weight: 220lbs
  • Maximum speed: 9 mph
  • Wheel diameter:
  • Maximum distance: 9 miles
  • Weight: 19.62lbs
  • Extra options: LED lights, color shifting

Price: $229

Verdict: Good maneuvers, changing colors, unusual design inspired by space, solid frame.

9-12 years old

Zinc Smart ST Hoverboard

Credit: https://www.zincsports.com/

  • Maximum weight: 210lbs
  • Maximum speed: 7.5mph
  • Wheel diameter: 6,5 inches
  • Maximum distance: 3 miles
  • Weight: 18.3lbs
  • Extra options: N/A

Price: $160

Verdict: Fair model for the price.

Hover-1 Horizon

  • Maximum weight: 200lbs
  • Maximum speed: 7.5mph
  • Wheel diameter: 8 inches
  • Maximum distance: 7.5 miles
  • Weight: 24lbs
  • Extra options: Bluetooth, LED headlights, tripometer, odometer, GPS location and route recording

Price: $300

Verdict: Very good model with unique iridescent body design.

TOMOLOO Hoverboard

  • Maximum weight: 220lbs
  • Maximum speed: 7.5mph
  • Wheel diameter: 6,5 inches
  • Maximum distance: 7.5 miles
  • Weight: 32lbs
  • Extra options: Music Bluetooth speaker, ABS polymer frame with fender bumper protection.

Price: $205.99

Verdict: Good for the city, reliable. Very decent option.

13 years old and up

Gyroor Hoverboard Off Road All Terrain Warrior

Credit: https://gyroorboard.com/

  • Maximum weight: 250lbs
  • Maximum speed: up 9.5 mph
  • Wheel diameter: 8,5 inches
  • Maximum distance: 2-3 hours worth
  • Weight: 32.7lbs
  • Extra options: suitable for rough terrains, IP54 water-resistance, app, warranty, music speaker

Price: $299

Verdict: Very strong, reliable, durable and functional.

VOYAGER Hoverboard Air Wheel Offroad Electric Hoverboard

  • Maximum weight: 220lbs
  • Maximum speed: 10mph
  • Wheel diameter: 8.6 inches
  • Maximum distance: 8.7 miles
  • Weight: 30lbs
  • Extra options: Bluetooth, LED, smooth ride mechanism, water and dirt resistance

Price: $399

Verdict: Highest safety rating in the industry, solid body, all-terrain adaptable wheels.

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