LOOKING for a slice of the future? Grab yourself one of the best hoverboards and you’ll be gliding around effortlessly on your own personal transport.
Hoverboards are a relatively cheap way of feeling like you’re in the future; just lean forward and off you go.
Also known as self-balancing scooters, hoverboards are simple wheeled platforms with powerful motors that you control with your body weight (sorry to disappoint: they don’t actually hover).
They’re a great toy too, with nifty features like built-in Bluetooth speakers and LED lights making them perfect for gadget-obsessed kids.
You’ve got to be careful when buying one, though. Back when the hoverboard craze was at its peak, there were many reports of dangerous exploding batteries — so when shopping for the best hoverboard, look for those that are CE and UL2272 certified – these safety standards should give you peace of mind.
The type of tires and battery life are also important things to consider when buying one of these futuristic boards, depending on where you’re planning to ride it.
And speaking of which, you can only ride a hoverboard under certain conditions in the UK. Read on for more information about that, and for our pick of the best boards on the market right now.
1. Air by Hoverboard
- Air by Hoverboard – £219.99 from Hoverboard.co.uk – buy here
When it comes to hoverboards, the Air by Hoverboard.co.uk ticks all the boxes. Powered by Samsung battery cells, it’s fully compliant with all UK safety regulations, and as a bonus, it comes with an auto-balance feature.
It comes in a variety of great colours, and with a built-in Bluetooth speaker and a carry bag – you can also use it with a Hoverkart for added go-kart fun.
The safest board on the market, it includes a “quad shield protector” to prevent battery overheating and comes with a 1-year guarantee.
2. Air with Kart by Hoverboard
- Air with Kart by Hoverboard – from £249.99 from Hoverboard.co.uk – buy here
The Air with Kart is one of the best Hoverboards for kids due to its striking chrome design and camouflage colour ranges.
Bought alone or as a bundle with the Hoverkart, it’s a great choice. As a go-kart, it’s great for adults too, thanks to the Hoverkart’s adjustable length.
Kids love the extra flashing LED lights, which also make the cart more visible in low light. As with the Air, the Air with Kart has Samsung battery cells and is fully compliant with all UK safety regulations.
It also comes with a built-in Bluetooth speaker, a carry bag, and includes an auto cut-off unit to protect its battery cells from heat.
You even get a 1-year guarantee.
3. Roller by Hoverboard
- Roller by Hoverboard – £264.99 from Hoverboard.co.uk – buy here
Most of the products from Hoverboard.co.uk have fascinating design options, but the Roller takes things one step further.
This hoverboard comes in ten different eye-catching versions, plus four additional ones with kart options. Like most of the products in this list, the Monster has built-in Bluetooth speakers and LED lights. It is also designed for rides on rough terrains and is as safe as a hoverboard can be thanks to its fireproof battery casing with quad shield technology.
4. Ranger White Camo
- Ranger White Camo by Hoverboard – £269.99 from Hoverboard.co.uk – buy here
Another model by Hoverboard, the Ranger White Camo comes with all the features we expect from the brand.
These include 4400mAh Samsung-powered batteries, Quad Shield Technology, a Bluetooth sound system, and LED lights.
The Ranger White Camo also features 8.5″ wide multi-terrain wheels, weighs just 13kg, and has a top speed of 7.46 miles (12 km) per hour.
5. Zinc Smart X Hoverboard
- Zinc Smart X Hoverboard, £180 from House of Fraser – buy here
Currently on sale at House of Fraser for more than £100 less than its RRP, the Zinc Smart X Hoverboard is an absolute steal. It’s made by one of the top scooter brands in the UK, and allows you to glide at speeds of up to 7.5mph for up to 20km (12.4 miles).
It also meets all necessary UK, European and US safety requirements, meaning that you can buy one for yourself or someone you know with complete peace of mind.
6. Hover-1 Rival Black Hoverboard
- Hover-1 Rival Black Hoverboard with LED Wheels, £150 from Argos – buy here
The Hover-1 Rival is the most affordable hoverboard in our list and comes with a 1-year manufacturer guarantee.
It can reach a max. speed of 7mph and has a 1o cell battery which will help you zip up hills with inclines of 8 degrees.
It has fun LED headlights that will light up the road ahead and has a full UL certification for peace of mind.
One happy customer wrote, “Really glad I bought this, both myself and my children love it, brilliant to help with balance and coordination, and also helps build confidence. Works really well on both carpet and laminate, not tried outside yet. Battery lasts a while too.”
7. Hip Hop All-Terrain Off-Road Hoverboard
- Hip Hop Off-Road Hoverboard, £339.99 from UK Segboards – buy here
All the models above have 6.5″ wheels: perfectly fine for smooth services, but many might struggle on bumpier terrain. Fortunately, the Hip Hop All-Terrain has a solution for you.
With chunkier 8.5” tyres, the Hip Hop can handle grass and sand with ease, making it much more adaptable to new terrains than other hoverboards.
And it’s got a built-in Bluetooth speaker, loads of app features and auto self-balance capabilities: what more could you want?
8. White G2 WARRIOR PRO
- White G2 WARRIOR PRO, £259.97 from Overboard Segway – buy here
The White G2 WARRIOR PRO is the perfect mix of style and ruggedness.
With its two 350W motors, the hoverboard can reach a speed of 9mphand a maximum climbing angle of 30°. Throw in a series of features specifically designed for rough terrains, and you have the perfect device to ride anywhere.
9. FLY Plus Black Urban Camo By HOVERBOARD
- FLY Plus Black Urban Camo, £214.99 from Hoverboard – buy here
The FLY Plus Black Urban Camo By HOVERBOARD is a sleek segway board with Bluetooth functionality and built-in speakers.
Its Samsung-powered battery can be charged in under two hours and can last for roughly two hours on a single charge.
This 6.5-inch wheeled hoverboard can reach a maximum speed of 7.46 miles (12 km) per hour.
Included in the package you will find the hoverboard and battery, a CE-certified UK charger, and a dedicated carry bag.
What is a hoverboard?
Generally speaking, the term hoverboard refers to two-wheeled, electric, portable devices.
Hoverboards have been for a long time a persistent element of futuristic fiction, but today, they are very much real.
Also commonly known as self-balancing scooters, these devices traditionally have a central platform for the rider, which is situated between two wheels and powered by large lithium-ion batteries.
What hoverboards are safe?
If you’ve been into self-balancing scooters for a while, you will remember the wave of “fake” hoverboards that hit the UK in 2015.
Back then, figures by the National Trading Standards revealed that 17,000 hoverboards imported from outside the EU had been examined and over 15,000 (88%) of them had failed basic safety checks.
Those hoverboards were deemed at risk of catching fire or exploding, and since then public scrutiny of the devices has been consistent.
So how do you know that a hoverboard is safe?
First of all, it is necessary to mention that, apart from one exception, hoverboards do not require any ad-hoc certifications to be considered “safe”. In fact, when it comes to safety, these futuristic gadgets are mostly seen by regulators as another form of consumers’ electronic devices, and as such are deemed safe if they can satisfy one or more of the following standards.
The UL 2272 certification
Underwriters’ Laboratories (UL) is an American firm whose speciality is the testing of electrical equipment.
Specifically, UL certifications assess the standards of internal components and test electrical devices to determine if they can withstand extreme conditions without causing harm to users.
The UL 2272 certification, in particular, refers to the “Standard for Electrical Systems for Personal E-Mobility Devices”, and it is the most widely and sought-after certification when it comes to the safety of hoverboards and other E-Mobility Devices.
These requirements include safety standards for the electrical drive train system, including the battery system, other circuitry and electrical components.
The UL 2272 certification was introduced in February 2016 to establish a safety standard for Personal E-Mobility Devices. All in all, if a hoverboard is UL 2272-certified, you can be sure it is safe to use.
Safety Data Sheets
Safety Data Sheets (SDS) are documents required by the REACH Regulation that list information relating to occupational safety and health for the use of various substances and products.
SDS are not primarily intended for use by the general consumer since they typically focus on the hazards of working with certain chemical materials in an occupational setting.
However, since hoverboards’ batteries could be potentially classified as hazardous materials, some manufacturers are using SDS as an additional sign of safety for customers.
The Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) Directive is also known as the Directive 2002/95/EC and originated in the European Union in 2006.
RoHS restricts the use of specific hazardous materials found in electrical and electronic devices, either because they are dangerous to the environment and can pollute landfills, or because they are perilous to people in terms of occupational exposure during manufacturing and recycling processes.
The list of these substances includes lead (Pb), mercury (Hg), cadmium (Cd), hexavalent chromium (CrVI), polybrominated biphenyls (PBB), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE), and four different phthalates (DEHP, BBP, BBP, DIBP).
Realistically, it is hard to find such hazardous materials in traditional Li-ion batteries used in hoverboards, but having one more certification can’t harm when it comes to safety.
How to ride a hoverboard
Before jumping on a hoverboard for the first time, make sure you are wearing a helmet and wrist guards, as well as knee and elbow pads.
Once you are ready, place the overboard on an even surface, and step on it with one foot, making sure the board is flat.
Then step on it with the other foot, trying to keep it apart from the first one as much as possible for maximum control.
The rest is a matter of practice. Slowly lean forward using your ankles, without bending at the waist, to move forward.
To turn right push down your right toes, to turn left your left toes.
When it’s time to stop, simply to leaning and dismount using your dominant foot.
Are hoverboards banned in the UK?
Hoverboards are legal to buy and possess in the UK, as long as certain guidelines are met.
Given the recent streak of traffic collisions involving hoverboards in the past few years, however, the UK government has banned their use on public footpaths as well as roads.
That being said, hoverboards can be legally used on private property in the United Kingdom.
What to look for in a hoverboard?
There are several things to consider when purchasing a hoverboard. The main one is undoubtedly its safety certifications.
It’s not a good idea to buy a hoverboard that is not certified for safety, as this could cause harm to yourself or those around you.
Secondly, you need to consider speed, as well as battery life — make sure to get one that fits both your style and needs.
How long does it take to charge a hoverboard?
Hoverboards with not very well optimised batteries usually take between four and six hours to fully charge.
Mid-range quality ones range between two and three hours, and high-end ones usually take 90 minutes or two hours to complete a full charging cycle.
What is the best cheap hoverboard?
Typically, the cheapest hoverboards cost in the region of £150, although prices can vary wildly.
If you pay anything less than that you’ll start sacrificing features, and more importantly safety. The cheapest hoverboard in our list is the Hover-1 Rival Black Hoverboard, currently available from Argos for £150.
Are all hoverboards self-balancing?
For a hoverboard to be officially classified as such, it needs to be self-balancing.
However, not all balancing electric scooters are called hoverboards.
The self-balancing features can take a little getting used to, but once you’ve mastered them, they’re easy and safe.
In our guide you’ll find the best hoverboards around that don’t skimp on safety, so you can happily roll around with your peace of mind intact.
Where to buy hoverboards?
There’s a number of good retailers that sell hoverboards. Amazon, hoverboards.co.uk, Argos are a good place to start your search, just make sure you buy a hoverboard with a UL 2272 so you can be sure it’s safe.
How much do hoverboards cost?
Depending on what features you want your hoverboard to have, you can look to spend between £200 and £500.
For a standard hoverboard that will work on flat surfaces, £200 seems to be the going rate.
Which are the best hoverboards to buy
The Air by Hoverboard is a very good entry-point in the world of hoverboards, both for specifications and price.
MORE SUN SELECTS TECH
Looking to take to the air, or at least have a gadget do it for you? Find the best performance drones to suit your needs in our five-model round-up.
Enjoyed our roundup of the best hoverboards? Find even more best and cheap tech round-ups, and our latest recommendations, on Sun Selects Tech.
And don’t forget to check out the main Sun Selects page for our top picks across home, garden, parenting and more.
* Read the full story...This article was originally published h
Who will be Next to leave the EU? Check out who is leading in our exclusive poll Poll