Its An Electric Self Balancing Scooter Two Wheel Standing Skateboard Hoverboard! DUH!
There isn’t actually word for these things yet, maybe because electric self balancing scooter or two wheel standing skateboard or “hoverboard” (its not, don’t get excited) is the worst description ever, but if you’ve been on the Internet or out on the boardwalk in the past month you know these self balancing “hoverboard” hyped skateboards are the new thing. If you can ride we try it, so we got some of the good ones and put them to the test. The basic description is its two wheels and you balance on top, and it helps you by self balancing like a Segway. It accelerates in the direction the deck is leaning. There are some subtle differences between these battery powered “cyber boards”, what you’ve seen as a hoverboard, and a Segway, notably that each wheel is on an independent platform allowing you to do an in place 360 by tilting one side toeside and one side heelside. Seeing how many celebrities are hopping on these electric kookboards made us decide we needed to do an Official Whatever Skateboard Review!
SCORE: 9.2 / 10 (WORTH IT!!)
What’d We Test?
We decided if we were going to get some of these stand up lighted scooter thingies we wanted to do a proper test. That meant doing it right and getting a few of the quality versions of these that use the Samsung batteries typically found in electric bicycles. Remember: the main cost on any electric scooter or electric skateboard is the batteries. We have some large guys on the staff and they need the extra horsepower (Editor: hey! I’m right here!). Just kidding. The the cheap electric scooters we tried were low cost and broke easily, they weren’t built to handle actual use. You can ride a nice electric self balancing scooter outside, though they will get very scratched up. We ended up sticking with multiple generations of the higher quality ones and didn’t bother with the smaller versions.
Turns out all of the “brands” of these are the same thing with a different sticker. Some of them are charging 2x-3x the cost of the usual top end unit so don’t outrageous prices for a better “brand” of these, its all about the battery.
These are electric motorized platforms… OBVIOUSLY THEY ARE INCREDIBLY FUN. As soon as you’re rolling around without moving your legs realize just how dope these things actually are. With each wheel moving independently you can pivot 360 degrees in place easily, the precision cornering gives you excellent maneuvering of the board in tight spots. It really shined on open sidewalks and we rolled around a local street festival kooking out and having a great time on the blocked off road. They’re super responsive indoors as well. If you’ve been on an electric skateboard these are a totally different experience and are a great new skill to learn.
Did we mention they have Bluetooth speakers built in? Blast tunes and roll, so awesome.
Battery Life And Speed
The battery life on these is HOURS you can roll on one charge all day. The nice ones have an indicator to let you know when you’re getting low, once it shows a low battery light you have plenty of roll time to get back. These Samsung batteries must be made out of magic because they charged up crazy fast. When you get moving the electric bicycle batteries give these balancing scooters quite the kick, you can hoss around between 6 to 8 miles per hour comfortably without speed wobbles and the manual says up to 10mph though it does max out.
The Glamorous Life of A Celebrity
Part of the appeal of these is the headlines they’ve been making with celebrities using them and most of them have sold in California. Wiz Khalifa was tackled in an airport riding them, Justin Bieber was filmed kickflipping one in LA, and tons of other celebs have been rolling around them. That’s not really selling point until you yourself get on of these io boards and you’ll see why: you too are an instant celeb. Every time you cruise these things every skater stops to take a ride. Everyone has loved them so far, we’ve seen a few electric tricks get popped, a few curbs get dropped, and we’ve met a lot of people. Definitely worth it for the wow factor, plus its a great ride. Everyone will ask you where you got it.
Good For Non-Skaters
Skateboards scare people who don’t skate. Science is working on a cure for them but until then this is something they might be more into and will ride around. Could be a nice gateway drug in to real skating. The more advanced models of the electric self balancing scooter have a beginner mode and a remote to help ease the learning curve.
The Technical Manual
As an added bonus the technical manual is a hilarious mess of translation errors that’s worth the read. In a nutshell: be careful, wear protection, and don’t drive it on unsafe terrain.
These Are Not Hoverboards
Don’t believe the hype, they don’t hover. They roll.
You’re not gonna go pro on these on your first try. Take your time getting on them. Place your first foot on one platform and imagine you’re positioning yourself over your front trucks to push your skate. You want to be over your centerline on the platform with your foot perfectly flat. If you don’t then one of the two wheels is going to start moving forward and backward quickly and accelerate. Do not jump on with both feet right away! Take your time, within about 5 – 10 minutes you’ll learn how to roll around comfortably. It is a different skill than skateboarding or electric skateboarding. Its also a different skill than scootering or electric scootering and its different than a Segway. Its definitely fun to learn though and will keep your abs and hip flexors working out. Your non-skater friends will need you to hold them their first time on these “self balancing platforms”.
There Is No Word For These
You will meet more people cruising on these electric self balancing skateboard standing two wheel scooters than you have ever met in your life and they will all ask you the same thing: what is it called and where do I get it? You can’t buy it in stores (we’re working on selling them here) and there is no official word for these things.Skegboard? Skegway? Kookboard? Electric Skitch Machine? People movers? Futureboard? We have no idea and no one wants to stay electric self balancing skateboard standing two wheel scooter. They go by a lot of names but they are not a electric unicycles, electric hoverboards, electric skateboards, or electric scooters so we don’t know what to call them yet :-( I’m sure they’ll be at a skatepark near you soon.
Hard to Find
They’re insanely hard to find right now. They are pretty much sold out everywhere and they aren’t available in stores. We know a guy who knows a guy who knows a guy, etc. that hooked us up with some of the only available ones south of Orange County. We want to get more for the office so we’ve started focusing our laser beams on locating the prime source of the best ones available…
Cracks and bumps are no joke on these things, as are slopes and hills. These are perfect for skaters though as we already know all the best lines through town. Unfortunately your non-skater friends may need a guide and slow you down from your electric kookboard shred sesh.
- Quality, quality, quality. Get the good ones with Bluetooth speakers.
- Take your time on your first run, we had a few bruises and roughed up ankle on our first try. You’ll get the hang of it in about 5 – 10 minutes.
- Approachable for non-skaters.
- Caution: you’ll make a lot of friends and everyone will want to ride your new board but they may need help at first.
- Getting off is the hardest part. Come to a stop and again imagine you’re positioning over your front trucks on a skateboard to push. This will help you focus on keeping keep your foot level. In an emergency you can quickly remove both feet at the same time so it does not move.
- It will get scratched up but they are durable.
- They will roll if you bail bad, be prepared.
- We’ll let you know if there’s a better word than electric self balancing scooter in the future.