Top 10 Best Hoverboards 2016-2017 – Buyer’s guide

Some call them Hoverboards while others refer to them as Self Balancing Scooters. In the beginning, they were just expensive toys for rich kids. Hoverboards were seen on TV, on YouTube and pretty much everywhere on the internet. There was a lot of hype but their pricing made them inaccessible for the vast majority of the population.

The hoverboards that were available on the market, in the beginning, were very expensive but this was not meant to last. This toy that suddenly became so hyped overnight was made available by only a handful of resellers. Since most of them got them from the same factory, competition quickly stepped in as more people wanted a piece of the pie. This lead to a sudden explosion in terms of the number of brands under which hoverboards were being sold. This also drove the prices way down, making them much more affordable. However, the hype was not meant to last.

Bad things started to happen…

The first wave of hoverboards or self-balancing scooters experienced a series of problems that were actually manufacturer defects. There were a lot of models that had problems with their batteries or had their internal board getting fried. This also showed problems with warranties and triggered an immediate reaction from the US Consumer Product Safety Commission. They issued a recall for more than 10 brands that were selling these scooters. At the same time, most resellers and online marketplaces stopped selling them. There was an immediate reaction from the ones that were buying them from China and distributing them in Europe and US. Suddenly everyone imposed more drastic quality control checks to have the hoverboards approved for sale outside of China.

Hoverboards Are Not What They Used To Be

In 2016 a lot of things changed for the beloved hoverboards. New models appeared and nobody could sell them if they were not approved as being safe by various state-owned institutions. This means that all the hoverboards sold on all major brick-and-mortar shops as well as on big online stores are safe and come with a warranty. Safety has been the biggest concern and now that the issue has been addressed, these great little toys are back.

Since there are several new models on the market and so many hoverboards that wear different branding and come with different price tags, we decided to trim down the list and narrow it down to just 10 models. For the average consumer, it can be quite confusing to pick a hoverboard since there are a lot that looks the same.

The hoverboards that were available on the market, in the beginning, were very expensive but this was not meant to last. This toy that suddenly became so hyped overnight was made available by only a handful of resellers. Since most of them got them from the same factory, competition quickly stepped in as more people wanted a piece of the pie. This lead to a sudden explosion in terms of the number of brands under which hoverboards were being sold. This also drove the prices way down, making them much more affordable. However, the hype was not meant to last.

How to Choose the Best Hoverboard

It seems like hoverboards are the newest go-to item for the upcoming holiday. But with all the different brands and models available, it can be difficult to figure out what type of hoverboard to purchase. The following tips can help you decide the type of hoverboard to buy when you are in the market for one, either for yourself or as a gift.

I. What Exactly are Hoverboards?

A hoverboard is a personal transportation type of equipment that is becoming more mainstream every day. They are self-balancing boards that are used by people who are looking for an alternative to walking, biking or driving to work or school, or just by those looking to have fun moving around on them. These boards are perfect for recreational riding outside or in the home.

II. Ease of Use

You’ll want to choose a brand of hoverboard that has a rubber footboard with a large width. This makes it easier to hop on and off the board itself, and also allows the rider to feel safe while riding it. While on a board, follow the instructions that the manual provides on safe riding. You will want to lean slightly forward to go straight, lean to the left to go left and right to go right, and press down with your feet to go faster. Be sure to practice in a clear area the first time you ride a hoverboard to avoid accidents.

III. Look for Quality Boards from the US

Your hoverboard should be a good quality board and should be built to meet or exceed global quality standards. Hoverboards have many different electronic components that can and have been defective, so finding a company that meets all standards is important. While you can get anything from overseas, US-based companies are bound to quality-control standards and are more dedicated to providing superior boards to their buyers.

IV. Multi-Functional Boards

A hoverboard isn’t just for moving around and goofing off. Many use their hoverboards to walk their dogs, shop in the mall, travel to school and work and more. You’ll want to find a board that is silent so that you can ride it in stores without creating a fuss, or ride it down the hallway at your college campus. If you plan to ride your hoverboard at night, look for a model that has LED lights on it for extra safety in the dark or in bad weather conditions.

V. User Reviews

We all know word-of-mouth is one way to decide if a product is right for you. Look up reviews on websites such as Amazon and eBay, where you will get honest user reviews about the product you are interested in. Hoverboard riders often leave reviews about the brand they are using, especially if there are problems with it. You’ll get straight-forward answers about the brand when you check out websites that sell the boards, instead of relying on reviews from the manufacturer itself.

VI. Features

Check out the many different features that hoverboards offer before you decide on a model. Some may go faster than others. You may wish to compare the navigation systems on the boards themselves to see if one brand is superior to another in the way that they move and turn. Some offer extra lights for better visibility while others don’t offer any at all. Of course, price is almost always an issue when looking for a board for yourself or as a gift. It is best to not choose the cheapest hoverboard, as quality products will almost always cost a bit more. Compare boards and do your research when you wish to make a purchase to find the absolute best choice for your needs.

Best Hoverboards In 2016 Comparison Table

To keep things short, let’s dive right into our list of the best hoverboards that money can buy in 2016!

Brand and Model Top Speed Battery Life Special Features
PowerOnBoard Powerboard 15005 6.2 mph 3 Hours LED headlights
Price
ANVL Boards Skatecycle N/A N/A Award winning design
Price
Powerboard Hoverboard 6 mph 4 Hours LED headlights
Price
Airwheel Q3 11 mph 1.5 Hours Compact form factor
Price
Hoverzon S 8 mph 3 Hours Two-speed settings
Price
Swagtron T1 8 mph 3 Hours LED headlights
Price
Swagtron T3 8 mph 3 Hours Bluetooth speakers
Price
Razor Hovertrax 2.0 8 mph 1 Hours Fast charging
Price
Segway miniPRO 10 mph 1.5 Hours Superior steering
Price
EPIKGO Hoverboard 10 MPH 1 hour All-terrain wheels
Price

Now that we have a list of all the essential details it is time to have a more detailed look at each model and what makes it so special. We will be talking about all their features, specs, design choices, what is new and pretty much everything a potential buyer should know about each hoverboard that made it to our list. Since they are still not a cheap toy, it is worth having a deeper look at each model in order to not go through buyers remorse. Also, it is important to state once more that the hoverboards that made it to our list are completely safe and come with all the required quality checks and approvals in order to be sold in US and EU.

10. PowerOnBoard Powerboard 15005

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The PowerOnBoard Powerboard 15005 is the original hoverboard that everyone saw pretty much everywhere in the early days. Since then a lot has changed at least on the inside as the exterior design remained the same. It has the classic rounded wheel guards and the metal plate on the wheels. The wheels measure 6.5 inches and they are made out of a durable rubber material that will not wear off after just a few weeks.

One of the things that everyone is looking at is the performance of the hoverboard. Its maximum speed has been limited to 6.2 miles per hour. To control how fast it goes all it takes it to lean forward. The lower the angle the faster it goes.

Powering the machine we have to have individual electric motors installed on each wheel. It has a rechargeable battery pack of 4400mAh which provides about 3 hours of run time on a full charge. Also, in case something goes wrong with it, PowerOnBoard offers a one-year limited warranty and customer support.

Key Features:

  • UL 2272 certified
  • 6.2 MPH top speed
  • large battery pack, 3 hours usage time between charges
  • better protection against collision damage
  • 1-year warranty
  • front facing LED lights
  • self-balancing mechanism
  • easy to learn how to ride

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9. ANVL Boards Skatecycle

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ANVL Boards decided to make something different. They made a new king of hoverboard that does not have motors powering its wheels. Instead, they used a different system that keeps it balanced thus making it quite safe to ride.

The design of the Skatecycle is quite futuristic. It has two thin wheels that go trough a guard. The feet of the rider go on two platforms that are installed in the wheels. It sounds a bit weird but the design is quite interesting. Also, the board bends in two places right between the wheels that helps steering a lot.

Compared to regular hoverboard the Skatecycle is a bit safer to ride. The maximum speed is determined by the physical condition of the rider. It is propelled forward by pressing of the foot pads. Basically, the rider needs to apply pressures on each pad, one at a time in order to create motion and accelerate. This makes it easy to learn and eliminates the need to ever charge the device.

Key Features:

  • no electric parts
  • innovative propelling system
  • easy to learn how to ride
  • inexpensive
  • 1-year warranty

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8. Powerboard Hoverboard

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The Powerboard brand came back with a newly revised product. Their Hoverboard is now better than ever as it managed to get UL 2272 certification. This means that it went trough quality checks that ensure it does not overheat, will not have the batteries catch on fire, does not generate smoke and its internal circuits will not get damaged as a result of a possible poor design. It has been improved from pretty much every aspect imaginable.

On the outside, the hoverboard looks the same as the original model. It has rounded wheel guards and the same chromed metal wheel plates. The foot pads are fairly large which makes the board easy to ride and control. The front facing side has two rounded LED lights that will help illuminate the path when riding forward. One thing to keep in mind is the fact that the light orientation changes based on the angle of the board when going forward.

In terms of performance, the board uses two electric motors. Both run individually which helps the hoverboard turn when the pads have different angles. The maximum speed is limited to 6 MPH which makes it quite safe. Powering the device we have a 4,400mAh battery pack that should provide enough juice to ride the board for about 4 hours. Charging it does take a few hours and some might see it as a turnoff but the hoverboard itself is reliable, safe and well built.

Key Features:

  • UL 2272 certified
  • 6 MPH top speed
  • large battery pack, 4 hours usage time between charges
  • better protection against collision damage
  • 1-year warranty
  • front facing LED lights
  • self-balancing mechanism
  • easy to learn how to ride

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7. Airwheel Q3 Series

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Airwheel is one of the few brands that offers their own original product. The Q3 is their latest iteration of what seems to be a one wheel self balancing scooter. It might sound odd but from many points of view, the scooter works the same as a regular hoverboard yet its design it totally different. It has only one wheel and two-foot pads that trigger the device to move forward.

One of the biggest challenges with this model is learning how to ride on it. Because it has only one wheel the scooter requires a bit of balance in all directions. Regular hoverboard only needd to control forward and backward body movement but the Q3 makes things a bit more difficult when it comes to mastering it. Once a person learns how to ride it, things only get better from that point.

Looking at the hardware used for the Q3, things look pretty good. Airwheel used Sony Lithium-ion batteries. They are certified and can be considered 100% safe. Since quality control is so strict the Q3 offers some of the most reliable batteries. A single charge should be good for about 14 miles. Maximum speed has been limited to 11 miles per hour making it one of the fasters products in our list.

Key Features:

  • UL 2272 certified
  • 11 MPH top speed
  • large battery pack, 1.5 hours usage time between charges
  • better protection against collision damage
  • 1-year warranty
  • self-balancing mechanism
  • easy to learn how to ride

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6. Hoverzon S Self Balancing Hoverboard

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Hoverzon is one of the brands that managed to survive the great purge. When most other brands were being banned for selling unsafe products, Hoverzon managed to survive since the implemented rigorous quality control checks right from the beginning.

The S model is a classic self-balancing scooter that has some minor cosmetic changes and much more reliable hardware. From the outside, it becomes obvious that the manufacturers shrunk the wheel guards. Also, the shape of the metal plates on the side of the wheels has changed. The foot pads have also been changed while the front facing headlights remained unchanged.

Stability has improved a lot for this model. The mechanism that keeps it balanced when the motors are running is much more responsive. The maximum speed of the model has been limited to 8 MPH which is decent. For safety reasons, the manufacturers went for two-sspeed modes. One of them has a lower top speed limit which makes it much safer for beginners. At the same time, the battery pack is large enough to keep it running for about four hours. Charging it takes about the same amount of time but what might matter the most for some is the fact that the model is UI2272 certified which means it is well made and extremely safe without any kind of design defects.

Key Features:

  • UL 2272 certified
  • 8 MPH top speed
  • better protection against collision damage
  • 1-year warranty
  • front facing LED lights
  • self-balancing mechanism
  • easy to learn how to ride

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5. Swagtron T1

5-swagtron-t1

The T1 from Swagtron is their first model that still sells well even today. It has the same classic design with some minor cosmetic changes. At the same time the model became UL 2272 certified which means it is completely safe, it has no design flaws and all the components used go through a strict quality check before reaching the market.

Reading the technical sheet, things look fairly simple. The model has a maximum speed limited to 8 MPH. This makes it safe and having a lower maximum speed means that the battery is not drained as fast. Speaking of batteries the model uses a 4,400mAh cell that can provide enough power for about 12+ miles. This does not sound like much but it is enough to enjoy the board for about 2 to 3 hours since not that many would actually use it at maximum speed.

In terms of safety, the model is UL 2272 certified. At the same time, it has LED headlights that help improve visibility and make it much safer to ride during the night. Its wheels are made out of a solid rubber material that does not wear off all that easy while the foot pads are very responsive. Learning to ride it should not take that long since the model comes with 6.5-inch wheels which means it is closer to the ground and that can help a lot especially a beginner.

Key Features:

  • UL 2272 certified
  • 8 MPH top speed
  • large battery pack, 3 hours usage time between charges
  • better protection against collision damage
  • 1-year warranty
  • front facing LED lights
  • self-balancing mechanism
  • easy to learn how to ride

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4. Swagtron T3

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The third iteration from Swagtron brings several improvements over their original hoverboard model. Some cosmetic changes happened as well as some hardware was improved. Overall it is a much better model but it is also a bit more expensive than the T1.

The T3 has redesigned wheels with more prominent metal guards. Also the plastic cover that goes on top has been extended a bit in order to protect the wheels from lateral collisions. On the front, the LED headlights had their shape changed. They are now much wider thus improving visibility.

As for the hardware the model now has a built-in Bluetooth speaker. Not that many would find this feture all that useful but it is a nice addition. Each wheel is paired with an individual independent electric motor. The foot pads activate the designated motor in order to create motion forward or backward. The maximum speed has been limited to 8 MPH while the battery should be good for about 12 miles between charges. A regular user should be able to squeeze out about 3 hours of usage as not everyone will use it continuously at maximum speed. It is worth mentioning that the Bluetooth speaker might drain the batteries faster when used. As a final note, it is important to know that the scooter is UL 2272 certified.

Key Features:

  • UL 2272 certified
  • 8 MPH top speed
  • large battery pack
  • better protection against collision damage
  • 1-year warranty
  • front facing LED lights
  • self-balancing mechanism
  • easy to learn how to ride

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3. Razor Hovertrax 2.0 Hoverboard Self-Balancing Smart Scooter

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It was a matter of time before Razor stepped in and released their own hoverboard. The Hovertrax 1.0 was a successful model but production stopped once version 2.0 was released, rendering the previous one obsolete. There was no valid reason for having an inferior model still in production. The new model comes with several improvements and a much better design.

From the outside the Hovertrax 2.0 looks much better. It is one of the most futuristic looking hoverboard. Its headlights have been changed in order to provide better luminosity and the foot pads now make it easier to know which side is the front facing one. The wheels now have wider metal guards which protect them from lateral impacts and the top guards have a rubber strip that provides, even more resilience against collision.

As far as hardware goes, Razor used a safer battery pack from LG. They provide enough power for about 60 minutes between charge at a maximum speed of 8 MPH. it does not sound like much but it is enough especially since it charges quite fast. As with all other hoverboards the model is UL 2272 certified which means it is compliant with all the safety regulations for this particular type of toy.

Key Features:

  • UL 2272 certified
  • 8 MPH top speed
  • better protection against collision damage
  • 1-year warranty
  • front facing LED lights
  • self-balancing mechanism
  • easy to learn how to ride

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2. Segway miniPRO

2-segway-minipro

Segway miniPRO is not for everyone. It is a rather expensive toy but it is also one of the better-built self-balancing scooters. The model also has a completely new design and runs a bit differently but the most part it is pretty much a hoverboard with a small pole in the middle that makes it easier to control and steer.

The model offers a maximum speed of 10 MPH. Each wheel is powered by an individual motor that runs independently from the other one. This makes it possible to steer without changin the wheels angle. It is the exact same system as the one used for regular hoverboards except the steering is not done with the aid of the foot pads but with the aid of the pole installed in the middle.

One interesting fact about the model is the use of larger wheels. This makes it easier to go over various types of terrain and improves its capability to absorb impacts with small objects. Using pneumatic or inflated tires helps a lot and makes the entire experience much smoother. Its battery pack is quite decent as it can provide enough power to travel 14 miles on a single charge which means about 1.5 hours of runtime at maximum speed. However, a regular user should not exceed 5 miles per hour thus extending its usage range to about 3 hours.

Key Features:

  • UL 2272 certified
  • 10 MPH top speed
  • larger inflated wheels
  • 1-year warranty
  • front facing LED lights
  • self-balancing mechanism
  • easy to learn how to ride

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1. EPIKGO Hoverboard

1-epikgo-hoverboard

The EPIKGO hoverboard came out of nowhere. This new model comes with a lot of improvements that make it both much more fun and a bit safer. Being a UL 2272 certified model means that it is compliant with all the safety regulations for its board and the battery pack. It is more expensive than the average hoverboard but there are some key features that will make it worth the extra spend for the ones that can afford the model.

What becomes noticeable just by looking at the model is the use of larger 8-inch wheels instead of the standard 6.5-inch ones. This means that the hoverboard is a bit raised and the distance between it and the ground is lager. It will make it easier to go across difficult terrain or small obstacles. At the same time, the wheels are inflated which means a bit of impact absorption which should make the ride a bit more enjoyable.

The hardware used has been subject to many quality assurance tests. Its 400-watt dual motors are capable of reaching maximum speeds of 10 miles per hour. A full battery charge should be good for one hour at top speed which is not that likely to happen since 10 miles per hour is a bit too fast especially for a beginner. Most users will probably get about 2 hours out of it at a speed of 5 miles per hour.

Key Features:

  • UL 2272 certified
  • 10 MPH top speed
  • larger inflated wheels
  • 1-year warranty
  • front facing LED lights
  • self-balancing mechanism
  • easy to learn how to ride

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A Few Things Everyone Should Know

The original hoverboards were developed and fabricated in a factory in China by a company named Chic Robotics. They presented the hoverboard at a tradeshow in China and some American investors saw the potential in importing it to the US. At that time Chic robotics did not have proper quality controls in place and their suppliers were sometimes doing shady things. This lead to some problems with batteries melting down or internal boards getting fried. When authorities picked up on the problem they imposed new safety regulations for these toys and everyone importing them were responsible for checking the quality of the batteries and their compliance with these regulations.

To keep things simple, all the models in our list are actually UL 2272 certified and compliant with all the safety norms. At the same time, all of them come with a one year warranty and now have fair prices that make them much more affordable.