Hoverboards are definitely one of the coolest personal electric transport vehicles out there. Whether you’re riding one to work, school, or just around your block, you’ll definitely be turning heads. But the question is, are they even fast enough to be used for transportation?
In this post, I’ve answered all your knotty questions regarding the speed of hoverboards; including how fast a hoverboard goes. So if you’re a speed junkie or just a regular commuter who wants to reach his destination on time, read on.
What is the Top Speed of a Hoverboard?
On average, when riding a regular hoverboard, you’ll reach a max speed of around six to eight miles per hour (9.66 to 12.87 kilometers per hour).
However, if you’re willing to bring out the big bucks, you can get faster hoverboards, with more powerful motors, and bigger tires. These self-balancing boards reach speeds upwards of ten miles per hour (16 kilometers per hour).
You need to keep in mind that 10 miles per hour might seem painfully slow in a car but this is not the case when it comes to riding a hoverboard. Once you take away the protection offered by the body of your car, you’ll find 10 mph (or even 6-8 mph) insanely fast.
So before you go for the high-end, maxed out hoverboards, ask yourself if you will even be riding at such high speeds.
Are Fast Hoverboards Safe?
The answer to this question comes down to your experience and the riding conditions. Hoverboards are generally safe electric transport devices but they — just like most things — require some getting used to.
If you’re a novice rider, you should invest in a hoverboard that comes with a beginner mode. In this mode, your self-balancing scooter will be limited to a certain speed, allowing you to easily get used to your new board. Afterward, you can simply turn this mode off and zoom past everyone.
However, getting injured while riding a hoverboard is very common. This is because most people don’t take the necessary precautions.
A two year analysis of the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS) showed that there were more than 24,000 hoverboard related injuries in the US. Out of these 15,000 plus were pediatric injuries, while more than 9,500 adults were injured.
Therefore, I would strongly recommend wearing protective gear such as a helmet, knee pads, and elbow pads — with the helmet being an absolute must wear.
Additionally, since hoverboards pose a significant risk of musculoskeletal injuries to kids, if you’re planning on getting a hoverboard for your child, you should always monitor how fast they’re riding.
What Factors Contribute to Hoverboard Speed?
How fast a hoverboard goes depends on a range of factors.
Below I’ve listed some extremely important factors that affect the speed of your hoverboard, explained why they have an impact, and what features should you look for in your self-balancing scooter if going fast is all you care about.
This factor shouldn’t come as a surprise to you. It goes without saying that a hoverboard with a powerful motor, capable of producing a higher output, will always be able to hit much higher speeds when compared to a hoverboard with a weaker motor — under the same conditions.
Some hoverboards have a single motor powering them forward, whereas most come with a dual motor system. The total power the dual motors are able to produce is the sum of the wattage of the two motors.
A hoverboard with 400 watt dual motors (total 800 watt output) — mostly designed for off roading — will allow you to ride at faster speeds when compared to a hoverboard with a single 500 watt motor. The former will also perform much better on all sorts of terrain, whereas the latter would fail to do so.
However, hoverboards that have more powerful motors are also expensive and weigh much more. Therefore, you should keep this in mind before going all out.
The type of surface you’re riding on will have a major impact on the max speed of your hoverboard.
If you’ll be riding over sand, loose gravel, or grass, it’s very unlikely that you’d be able to hit the top speed of your self balancing board.
Similarly, when going up an incline on your hoverboard, you’ll find yourself slowing down. On the other hand, if you’re going down a slope, you’ll reach the max speed much quicker and maybe even go beyond it.
However, in such scenarios, you should always be cautious and make sure you’re wearing proper riding gear, including a good helmet. After all, you wouldn’t want to lose your balance when going at such high speeds over a hard pavement.
If you want to push your hoverboard to the limits and test how fast you can go, riding on a straight, dry, and flat pavement with no bumps to slow you down, is your best bet.
All hoverboards have a certain maximum weight that it can support. This is because each hoverboard is designed with a specific user in mind and is tailored accordingly.
On average, lighter hoverboards have a weight limit of around 220 pounds (100 kg), whereas the heavier boards have a max limit of 300 pounds (136 kg) and above. Some self-balancing scooters can even support weights as high as 400 pounds (181 kg).
If you’re closer to (or above) the maximum weight limit of your hoverboard, you’ll find yourself going much slower. On the other hand, if you weigh significantly less than the weight limit of your hoverboard, you will reach higher speeds.
Therefore, in order to go faster and also have a safer rider experience, you should always buy a hoverboard that can support your weight. Spending a few extra bucks here will definitely pay dividends later on.
How to Increase Hoverboard Speed?
Although you’ll find several videos and tutorials teaching you ways to hit much higher speeds by tampering with your hoverboard, I would strongly advise against it. If the manufacturer has set a speed limit on your hoverboard, it is for all the right reasons.
By tampering with your self-balancing scooter, you’ll not only lose the warranty it comes with but also potentially put yourself in harm’s way by unknowingly causing damage to delicate —yet important — parts.
If you want to go faster on your hoverboard, I would suggest simply riding over a flat, smooth pavement. Going a tiny bit faster by removing the limiter of your hoverboard is not worth the high risk it comes with.