Hoverboards are an increasingly popular toy among children these days. These super fun and high-tech personal transportation devices appeal to adults and children, boys and girls alike, and for good reason.
Just have a look at my five recommended hoverboards for kids, and you’ll get a pretty good idea of what kind of tempting features they come with! From spinning LED lights to syncronized music played through bluetooth speakers, it’s no wonder your kid wants to jump on the hoverboard bandwagon.
But is getting a hoverboard for your kid a good idea? Are they safe? Could your kid get hurt? Are they really worth the money? Below I’m going to answer all these questions and more, to help you make that important decision.
Should I Buy My Kid a Hoverboard?
To make this decision, let’s first weigh the pros and cons of getting a hoverboard for your child, no matter what age he or she might be.
- Hoverboards are super fun! OK, so they don’t really hover, but they give riders a sensation of hovering.
- Cool points: How awesome is your kid going to look (and feel) with his or her new electronic hovering device? How many of his or her friends will be jealous?
- Releasing energy. Does your kid constantly need excitement, but you just don’t have the energy to keep up? Why not let a hoverboard take care of that?
- Awesome features. Almost all hoverboards designed for kids nowadays come with LED lights and speakers which your kid can play music through from any bluetooth-enabled device, such as a smartphone.
- Easy to learn. Even though balancing on a hoverboard might seem difficult before you actually try, it is surprisingly easy, and kids seem to be especially good at picking it up. After that, they can’t seem to get off their hoverboard, and want to ride it everywhere!
- Some hoverboards can even be ridden by both kids and adults. For example, this one can easily handle both. Thus it can be a fun toy for the whole family!
If you’re still in doubt, watch this girl teach us how to ride a hoverboard!
- Hoverboard batteries don’t last super long. You basically need to charge them after each use.
- They are heavier than a traditional skateboard. Young kids might have trouble carrying them (but shouldn’t normally have to).
- If a board malfunctions or the battery dies while riding, it could suddenly turn off, and your kid could wipe out. Thus it’s important for your kid to wear a helmet like this and other safety gear.
- These boards don’t last forever. Like any electronic device, they eventually just die, sometimes sooner, sometimes later. Fixing them can be complicated and/or expensive.
- Hoverboards used have a bad reputation for catching fire. They are regulated and much safer now, so this seldom happens anymore, but you still need to be careful not to overcharge the battery, such as leaving it charging overnight.
- Hoverboards and electric skateboards are not technically legal to ride in many cities. You are unlikely to get in trouble for just riding around in front of your house, but it’s still something to be aware off.
Does my kid need to be a certain weight to ride a hoverboard?
Glad you asked, because yes, your child must be at least 44 pounds (20 kilograms) to ride almost any hoverboard on the market. The reason for this is simple: that is the minimum weight it takes to trigger the hoverboard’s sensors.
If your kid weighs less, the board won’t go anywhere! Most kids reach this weight sometime around the age of 6, but it’s important that you double check.
At the upper end, the maximum weight limit for hoverboards can be surprisingly high. Some children’s hoverboards can handle anywhere from 165 to 220 pounds. But even if you the parent fall within that range, kids’ hoverboards aren’t really designed for you, so they won’t function ideally, and will drain battery power faster. The Gyroor is a more powerful board that is designed to handle kids or heavier adults.
But are hoverboards really safe?
This is problem the number one question you have in your head when deciding whether to get a hoverboard for your kid. I can’t lie an say that they are 100% safe (you couldn’t say that for a skateboard, either, or even a car, really!)
When hoverboards first hit the market, they were a brand new product and quickly became popular. Cheap brands flooded the market, but many of them ended up catching fire or even exploding while charging.
Fortunately, those days are behind us, and now every hoverboard sold in the United States is carefully tested and must be UL 2272 certified (don’t even buy a hoverboard online that isn’t!)
So hoverboards are no longer the dangerous, exploding products they once were. However, these boards still do heat up quite a bit if they are overcharged for too long. Therefore, it’s important not to leave them charging for many hours while you aren’t there, or to charge them all night. You can find out more about this in my complete guide to hoverboard safety.
What about the riding itself? Well, just like on a skateboard, kids sometimes fall down. To reduce injuries, just make sure your kids wear proper safety gear.
And if it makes you feel any better, you can’t do so many tricks or stunts on a hoverboard, compared to a skateboard. So your kid won’t be hoverboarding down ramps, doing ollies off benches, or anything like that. Generally, hoverboards are meant to be ridden on smooth, flat surfaces, or ones with only slight inclines. They are too heavy to jump up off the ground.
Do hoverboards come with parental controls?
In fact, some hoverboards do come with some parental controls. For example, this one comes with three different speed modes, so you can make sure your kid doesn’t go too fast. This one also comes with a child and kid modes, to customize the board’s speed and sensitivity to the rider’s size.
One of the best ways you can assert control of your kid’s riding experience, though, is buying a hoverboard that is of suitable power and speed, according to the age/size of your child. In this article, I give recommendations for the best hoverboard for kids for every age from 5-14.
If you get a hoverboard that is designed for adults, not kids, it may be harder for your kid to control it and it may go too fast. For young kids, you’ll want to stick to boards with maximum speeds of 6 MPH (the lowest) to 7.5 MPH. For older kids, going above these speeds should be fine.
Should you get a hoverboard for your kid? In the end, the decision is yours. They can be a super fun and safe form of entertainment and personal transportation. But to give your kid the best hoverboard experience, it’s important to do a little research first and buy the most suitable board.