Test Ride: Hoverboard Technologies’ Hoverboard

Riding around on the latest self-balancing, one-wheeled wonder

The market for rechargeable rides seems to be booming as of late, especially in the self-balancing skateboard sector where new options pop up every month or so. We’ve previously covered the Onewheel, which—like its name suggests—is a board that balances itself around a wide, central tire and provides forward or backward propulsion through a gyroscopic motor. A new entrant in the category, Hoverboard Technologies, offers a similar product—simply called Hoverboard—and we were able to get our hands (and feet) on one for a quick test ride.

Out of the gate, the board’s website—which is just Hoverboard.com—marks the motor’s top speed at 16 mph with a charge time of 16 minutes and a total range of 10 miles. To reach that top speed, some practice is required; about one hour per day for one week, according to the Hoverboard’s creator Robert Bigler. And while the learning curve isn’t necessarily steep, there’s definitely an incline. Because the central wheel is so skinny, maintaining balance can be tough but, ultimately, it’s the main reason toeside and heelside maneuvers are attainable—whereas Onewheel’s thicker tire puts more restriction on these movements. And while it won’t actually levitate off the ground, this full range of motion is really what gives Hoverboard its hover-like sensations.

The board also comes with its own dedicated mobile app, which can be used to monitor stats like battery life and miles ridden, or just be accessed for entertainment purposes, like playing a song on the board’s built-in speakers or changing the hue of its LED lights. Hoverboard is available to purchase on Kickstarter right now, but its creators promise that this is just the beginning. Eventually, they’re hoping to offer it in various pricing tiers—with the lower-end offering slightly less functionality—so that everybody has a chance at owning one. Best of all, Hoverboard will be modular; meaning that when the wheel is worn down or the deck is too slippery, a brand new board is just a replacement piece away.

Early backers can secure a Hoverboard for a pledge of $3,775 on Kickstarter. But don’t hesitate for too long; there’s just over a week remaining.

Images by Cool Hunting