The 8 Best Hoverboards And Self-Balancing Scooters For Fun, Safe Travel

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Hoverboards may not look how you dreamed them up when you were a kid — in fact, they don’t even hover. But these “self-balancing devices” are a fun alternative to skateboards or scooters because they’re zippy, kid-friendly and require a bit of skill and balance to maneuver from one place to the next. Some people use their hoverboard for fun, while others ride them to work or the nearest coffee shop. No matter how you intend to use this cutting edge technology, the best hoverboards should be designed to meet your personal needs.

Many brands like Segway Ninebot and Razor have been designing hoverboards for years, while other labels are newcomers to the hoverboard scene, so it helps to know your options. Classic hoverboards have two wheels and a standing platform, but if you’re looking for something different, innovative one-wheeled hoverboards or a set of “hovershoes” are also worth considering. Here are the best hoverboards available if you’re in the market for a self-balancing scooter.


Best Hoverboard Overall

A More-Than-Capable Hoverboard For All Conditions

Top Speed: 10 mph | Range: 10 miles | Weight: 31 pounds | Max Load: 265 pounds

If you’re looking for a do-it-all hoverboard, the Epikgo board is equipped to handle all terrain and travel up to 10 miles on a single charge. Its larger-than-average 8.5-inch tires are more than capable of handling both wet and dry conditions, and the scooter itself is rated IP56 for water and dust resistance.

This hoverboard ensures safety in all aspects of its design — from its UL 2272 certification to its LED turn signals. But it’s also incredibly fun to ride thanks to its speedy acceleration courtesy of powerful 400W dual motors. Overall, this is a great hoverboard for riders of all abilities and ages.

Pros:

  • Large tires create a smooth ride from asphalt to dirt
  • UL 2272 Certified battery system
  • Climbs up to 18-degree slopes

Cons:

  • You can find cheaper options with similar specs

Best Hoverboard for Beginners

An Easy-To-Ride Option From A Reputable Brand

Top Speed: 8 mph | Range: 8 miles | Weight: 20 pounds | Max Load: 176 pounds

The Razor Hovertrax 2.0 has one important thing going for it: The brand name. Along with Swagtron, Razor is perhaps the best known maker of scooters (both hovering and non-hovering varieties). It also boasts a somewhat more powerful set of motors than usual; while most hoverboards use a pair of 250-watt motors or smaller, Razor uses 350-watt motors instead, which gives it a max capacity of 220 pounds and a maximum range of 60 minutes (about 8 miles, give or take).

But here’s what sets this hoverboard apart from the rest: the Hovertrax uses a 36-volt lithium-ion pack that’s easy to swap out. If you keep a second battery topped off, you can quickly replace the battery at a moment’s notice and keep riding.

If safety is a concern (and it should be), it’s worth pointing out that Razor was the first US company to receive the UL-2272 safety certification created in the wake of the hoverboard battery fires. Hovertrax includes a training mode that takes it easy on beginning riders, too, making this a great option all-around. And although the Hovertrax 2.0 is more geared towards kids and teens with its 176-pound weight limit, it comes in a deluxe model that can accommodate riders up to 220 pounds.

Pros:

  • Affordable model suited for beginners and experienced riders
  • Removable battery to easily continue riding
  • Training and normal ride modes

Cons:

  • Smaller max load
  • Short ride time even considering the battery pack

Best Off-Road Hoverboard

When You Need to Escape the Pavement

Top Speed: 12 mph | Range: 12 miles | Weight: 31 pounds | Max Load: 420 pounds

Most hoverboards can handle pavement without a problem, but some run into trouble on more demanding terrain like dirt, grass and gravel — either the tires aren’t grippy enough or the motor isn’t up to the task. So if you’re planning to leave the flat and dry world of pavement, you’ll want a model like the Swagtron T6 Off-Road. It’s equipped with treaded, air-filled, 10-inch tires which smooth out the ride on most surfaces.

The hoverboard is powered by 300-watt dual motors that can handle any weight or speed, and fly up 30-degree inclines with ease. The motors also rip across the grass at your neighborhood park or take on the gravel trail in your backyard. Best of all, this durable hoverboard can carry up to 420 pounds and play music from an integrated bluetooth speaker.

Pros:

  • Highest max load on the list
  • Powerful motors and durable design
  • Inflatable tires take on uneven, varied terrain

Cons:

  • Air-filled tires are more prone to flats
  • Heavy weight makes it hard to carry for some users

Best Hoverboard for Adults

Embrace A unique Design

Top Speed: 10 mph | Range: 13.7 miles | Weight: 28 pounds | Max Load: 220 pounds

We’ll admit it — most hoverboards look like toys. The Segway Ninebot S Electric Transporter, on the other hand, is built for grown-ups. Thanks to the design that includes a central steering column, it looks more like something adults would ride whether commuting to work or heading around the corner for a last-minute bite at the local bodega.

It’s great for both beginners and experienced riders alike because of the steering column. In essence, the design handles differently than typical hoverboards. You turn by squeezing your legs together and applying pressure to one side, which may be easier for new riders to understand. And thanks to the large set of 10.5-inch pneumatic tires, it rides smoothly no matter how many potholes you encounter. If you plan to commute, this hoverboard will be perfect, as it can cruise up to 13 miles on a single charge. But if you need something that can go the extra mile, the S-Plus model has a staggering 22-mile range.

Pros:

  • Integrated headlight for nighttime riding
  • Max load should accommodate most riders
  • Great for hilly cities — climbs slopes up to 15 degrees

Cons:

  • Relatively heavy
  • Doesn’t have the same riding feel as a classic hoverboard

Best One-Wheeled Hoverboards

The Perfect Option For Snowboarders And Skaters

Top Speed: 20 mph | Range: 32 miles | Weight: 35 pounds | Max Load: 275 pounds

If you’re looking for the ultimate recreational riding experience, loon no further than the GT. Back in 2014, Onewheel pioneered a hoverboard with a unique singular wheel form taking after its namesake. Today, they continue to push the limits of one-wheel hoverboard technology with the introduction of the GT. As one of the most advanced hoverboards on the market, it’s capable of reaching speeds up to 20 mph and going as far as 32 miles on a single charge. No other hoverboard on this list even comes close to such impressive figures.

Although riding the GT might appear akin to skateboarding, the experience really feels more like snowboarding. With one foot on either side of the central wheel, you lean in all four directions to accelerate, slow down and turn. This well-designed board features concave footpads with grip tape to help you stay put as you ride, and adjustable, 500-lumen headlights so you can ride safely at night. While the price tag is too high for many riders, this board is ideal for those who want to dive into the sport and ride regularly.

Pros:

  • Impressive range and max speed
  • Bright headlights with a high-beam option
  • Phone app lets you control the board with ease

Cons:

  • Really pricey with features that are overkill for casual riders

Best Hoverboard for Kids

Simple, Safe And Well-Suited For Fun

Top Speed: 7.5 mph | Range: 8.7 miles | Weight: 17.6 pounds | Max Load: 165 pounds

Most hoverboards are made for all ages (including this one), but just by looking at its design, you can tell the Tomoloo Hoverboard was built primarily for kids. The main reason: this thing is eye-catching and colorful.

While it’s available in a conservative black, Tomoloo also sells a much more stylin’ cotton candy blue or bright pink. No matter which model you pick, this hoverboard has a ring of RGB LEDs embedded around the wheels and into the front and rear grills. It also has Bluetooth speakers to play music while you ride, leveling up the otherwise quiet experience.

Its maximum weight load is another cue of its kid-centric build. The Tomoloo Hoverboard can only accommodate up to 165 pounds, and it has a range of about 8 miles. But weighing in at less 18 pounds, it’s also light enough for kids to carry around.

Pros:

  • Fun, colorful design for kids
  • Great sound and easy to control with a smartphone
  • Easy to ride for beginners

Cons:

  • Although it is IPX4 water-resistant, reviewers claim it does not work on wet pavement
  • Range is limited, so you’ll have to charge the battery often

Best Budget Hoverboard

One of the Most Affordable Hoverboards Around

Top Speed: 6.2 mph | Range: 3.1 miles | Weight: 17 pounds | Max Load: 176 pounds

It’s rare to see a hoverboard listed for under $150 dollars, much less one with a rating greater than 4 stars. And yet, the GoTrax Glide is an affordable option that is especially ideal for teens and kids that comes highly rated. It’s light enough for your kid to tote around, and the top speed is low enough that you can let them play without worry (but fast enough that they’ll have fun on the board, too). And with a max weight of 176 pounds, it’s even suitable for some adults.

While it doesn’t offer top-tier performance, it’s a great introduction to the world of hoverboards if you want to dip your toes in without a pricey commitment. It also comes with some handy features, like LED lights around the wheels, and headlights and taillights for nighttime riding.

Pros:

  • Lightweight and easy to carry
  • Budget friendly

Cons:

  • Not ideal for heavier riders
  • Incredibly limited range of approximately 3 miles


Best Alternative Hoverboard

A Hoverboard That Isn’t Really A Board At All

MOST POPULAR

Top Speed: 7.5 mph | Range: 6 miles | Weight: 15 pounds a pair| Max Load: 220 pounds

Not everything that self-balances comes in the traditional form of a board with one wheel at each end. Segway’s Ninebot Drift W1, for example, isn’t a board, but a pair of self-balancing “hovershoes” that more closely resemble a pair of skates. Each shoe has a single wheel, and the riding experience is just what you’d expect: lean to accelerate, slow down and turn by shifting your weight in any given direction. The design is admittedly a bit harder to get the hang of than a standard board, but it looks distinctive and is ideal for people who would rather feel like they’re skating.

Each skate weighs 7.7 pounds, so they’re portable when you’re not riding and run for about 45 minutes on a single charge. Adults and kids alike can ride these thanks to a max load of about 220 pounds. Sadly, you won’t find any Bluetooth speakers that would likely add a few style points, but you will find RGB LED lighting and a splash-proof IPX6 rating.

Pros:

  • Unique riding experience
  • Very compact
  • Higher max load than some hoverboards

Cons:

  • Short range means frequent charging

What to Consider When Buying a Hoverboard

With the exception of some rather oddball models (like Segway’s Ninebot Drift W1 “hoverskates”), most hoverboards look similar from one model to the next, so you won’t generally choose one based on aesthetics. Instead, here are a few criteria you should keep in mind when shopping the best hoverboards.

Safety Certifications

Safety first: Make sure any model you consider is UL-certified, which should ensure the battery and charging system is safe. Also consider the motor — the more powerful it is, the faster it’ll go, and the steeper an incline it should be able to handle. And if you’re shopping for a hoverboard for children, a powerful motor may be overkill.

Rider: Kids vs Adults

Are you looking for a hoverboard for your kids or for yourself? While few hoverboards are specifically designed for kids or adults, you should pay attention to the max load when making your purchase. If you’re buying a hoverboard for an adult, you should look for one with a max load of at least 220 pounds. This will ensure it has enough power to support you without sacrificing performance or long-term reliability.

Maximum Speed

The maximum speed is the fastest a hoverboard can travel, when not fully loaded. Many hoverboards have an average top speed of approximately 7 miles per hour, but some, like the Onewheel GT, can go as fast as 20 miles per hour. More experienced riders will enjoy higher max speeds that allow you to rip around. But the faster you’re moving, the harder it is to learn, so beginners might consider an option with lower maximum speeds.

Battery Life/Range

The range is the distance or run-time of the hoverboard, and it’s important because a shorter range means more frequent charging. Some hoverboards specify how long the model will run (like an hour), while others estimate the distance you can go between charges, such as 5-7 miles. Depending on your intended use, you may want to look for one with a longer battery life or maximum range — especially if you plan on using it to commute.

Weight

While the weight of the hoverboard may not matter to some, it’s especially important if you’ll be carrying it from one place to the next. This includes hauling it up a flight of stairs or into the office. Lightweight hoverboards clock in at around 17 pounds, but these models might skimp on features to shave weight, while heavier models often have better specs but can weigh in excess of 30 pounds.

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