20 HOVERBOARD SAFETY & BUYING TIPS to make your hoverboarding experience awesome

There have been several incidents of fire, injury and damage, connected to hoverboards, but you can avoid all of this and have a super safe and enjoyable hoverboarding experience by following some safety and buying guidelines.

1. As a general thumb rule, if any hoverboard is below $200, then don’t go in for it.

2. The larger the wheel size, the more stable the hoverboard, so try to choose one with 8 inches plus wheel size.

3. Read up about the specifications and make sure the hoverboard will support your weight.

4. Try to choose a hoverboard that has a low battery indicator and better still that slows down automatically when the battery is low. A rider can be thrown off if the battery suddenly dies while the hoverboard is in use. This is a standard feature in most hoverboards, but there is no harm to be sure.

5. Use protective strips on the wheel covers of the hoverboard as it gets scratched and damaged the most. You can check out some good hoverboard bumper protectors 

6. When getting off the hoverboard, don’t jump off or get off quickly, this may cause you to fall and will also cause damage to the hoverboard as it will roll several times before coming to a stop. The right way to get off is to make the hoverboard stationary and then casually step off.

7. When you are using the hoverboard for the first time, then try it out on short cut grass or a carpet so that you do not get hurt in case of a fall.

8. It is advised that you wear a helmet, knee pads and elbow guards when you are using the hoverboard the first few times, to avoid any kind of injury. Choose from the top hoverboard saftey helmets

9. To get on the hoverboard for the first time, keep these points in mind – (i) Place your dominant foot first ii) Lightly step on to it with the other foot, and at first stand calmly and quite still (iii) If someone is standing near you, take their support to get on and get off (iv) Try to only keep your balance and the hoverboard almost stationary in your first few attempts (v) If there is a beginner mode in the hoverboard, put it on (vi) Once you get used to standing still on the hoverboard, gently lean forward, and the hoverboard will move forward (vii) Remember to only slightly lean in the direction that you want to go to, that is enough (viii) Do not make any hard or sudden position changes, just lean in the direction you want to go towards (ix) Let the hoverboard do most of the work, and you will get a hang of it (x) Learn to slow it down and make it stop before taking it out (xi) The hardest part is getting on and getting off, practice that the most (xii) After some time it will become quite intuitive and easy.

10. Hoverboards with LED lights are more visible in the night to cars and other commuters, and therefore preferable.

11. The body of the hoverboard is easily scratched, so it is advised to use protective coverings, decals etc., which are easily available on Amazon and ebay. You can also use rubber bumper protectors for your new hoverboard. 

12. It is a good idea to touch the hoverboard and check if it is heating up when charging

13. Do not leave the hoverboard for charging overnight or when you are away, charge it when you are awake and can check on it often, to stop it when the battery gets fully charged

14. Make sure that there is no legislation in your area concerning battery operated scooters. You are not allowed to use a hoverboard in New York city if its maximum speed is more than 15 miles per hour. California is about to amend its transport laws to allow hoverboards to be used in sidewalks and cycling paths.

15. Though your hoverboard can withstand a splash, it is not waterproof, as most have a waterproof rating of IP54. So stay away from places where there is water or using it outdoors when it is raining. Some high-end hoverboards are waterproof and that should be clearly checked with the manufacturer.

16. Ensure that the hoverboard you are buying has all required quality and safety certifications, especially from Underwriters Laboratories. Certifications to check for are – UN 38.3 (battery), UL 1642 (battery), and UL 60950-1 (charger), FCC, RoHS, CE. The US Govt. agency CPSC (Consumer Products Safety Commission) has stated that all hoverboards must be UL 2272 certified to be sold in the US. 

17. The hoverboards are susceptible to hot and cold temperatures so it is advised to keep it in a moderate temperature area when charging

18. The hoverboard uses lithium-ion batteries, the same batteries that are found in our cellphones. These lithinum-ion batteries can puncture, overheat or explode if they suffer an impact. So, if while riding, your hoverboard hits something or crashes into anything, just observe it carefully for some time to ensure that nothing has gone wrong with the battery, and only then get back on to it. In fact, don’t drop it, kick it, or hit sharp objects with it, as although highly unlikely, it could damage the separator sheets in the battery pack and cause a fire.

19 .If you are planning to go off road with your hoverboard choose one with a bigger wheel size, 8 inches or 10 inches, as these larger wheels can handle uneven surface and bumps better.

20. If your hoverboard has smaller wheels, around 6 inches, then it is advisable to ride slowly over uneven surfaces, especially if there is a chance of the wheel coming off the ground at a higher speed, and then pitching the rider forward when it regains contact with the ground. This could happen if you are riding over a cobbled pavement or walkway. Thus, hoverboard users should ride slowly over uneven surfaces, even at walking pace, to ensure that they stay balanced and safe.

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