Published on July 9th, 2018 | by Sunit Nandi


Is it safe to buy a hoverboard in 2018?

Hoverboards feel like they have been around for a long time, perhaps due to the fact that their name comes from the 1989 film Back to the Future Part II. So you might be surprised to learn that it was only in 2013 that the devices that we have come to think of as ‘hoverboards’ were first filed for patent. Celebrities caught onto the idea, and were soon showing us just how much fun you could have on these scooters.

Today the device, which is known by multiple names including swegways and self-balancing scooters, is extremely popular with children and adults alike as a fun and unique method of personal transportation. But in the minds of some there is still a question over whether it is truly safe to buy a hoverboard, whether it is as a gift for your children or simply to use for yourself.

The controversy around hoverboards date back to 2014 and 2015 when early versions of the devices had a number of issues with catching fire, in some case leading to properties burning down. But despite the bad press, hoverboards have remained enormously popular. So here we take a look at the problem and try to establish whether it is safe to buy a hoverboard in 2018.

What caused the problem?

There were many news reports around 2014 and 2015 that suggested hoverboards had been catching fire and were a serious hazard. The truth was that a number of hoverboards unit were prone to overheating, especially while charging. This cause a number of them to catch fire and a large number of products had to be recalled.

It has been conclusively shown that the problem that was causing the hoverboards too overheat was that cheap Chinese manufacturers were using counterfeit batteries that did not pass safety regulations. It was only these badly and illegally made replicas of the real thing that were catching fire.

Has it been sorted now?

After the large number of news reports that announced the problem of hoverboards catching fire there was a real clamp down on the product. Many had to be recalled to ensure that they did not pose a danger to their owners. This means that as long as you follow sensible precautions, you should be able to buy a hoverboard without any fear of them catching fire.

However, it is worth pointing out that while it has been shown that counterfeit batteries are the problem, it doesn’t mean that it is impossible to buy faulty or badly made models. There are still many hoverboards on sale that may not be the correct regulations for sale in the UK and some are even still using counterfeit batteries.

How to buy a safe hoverboard

Unfortunately while patents were applied for in 2013, no-one was proven to be the originator of the idea which means that hoverboards can be manufactured by almost anyone. Ultimately, this means that you cannot be pointed in the direction of one specific brand that is known as the originator.

The truth is that if you want to buy a hoverboard that is completely safe in 2018, you need to follow common sense steps in how to recognise a safe hoverboard. Firstly, you should only ever buy from a reputable company. Before you commit to buying your hoverboard online take the time to look at reviews of the store on sites such as Feefo and Trustpilot. These will reveal whether previous customers have had any issues with their purchases. It is not wise to purely rely on the customers’ reviews or testimonials found on the supplier’s own website, as these could just as easily be cherry-picked or indeed be completely fraudulent.

It is also a good idea to check how long the company has been in business and whether they are a committed supplier of hoverboards, or whether they have simply noticed a way to make quick money out of selling low quality products at cheap prices. Companies that have been around for a long time and have a good reputation are likely to be selling safe and high quality hoverboards. Purchasing through a reputable business like this is the right way to get a safe hoverboard in 2018.

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I'm the leader of Techno FAQ. Also an engineering college student with immense interest in science and technology. Other interests include literature, coin collecting, gardening and photography. Always wish to live life like there's no tomorrow.

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