It has been one year since Amazon ceremoniously took down most of the hoverboard brands that didn’t meet the safety guidelines from its online retail store. This is a huge step for a retailer like Amazon. The decision was followed by several reports of hoverboard catching fire while in use.
It is assumed that the lithium ion in batteries used on the boards is the culprit. Popular hoverboard manufacturers like Phunkeeduck and Skagway disappeared off the face of Amazon overnight. Well, let nobody say that Amazon never takes customer safety seriously.
It was a huge fad in 2015, just like roller skates in the 80s and guitars in the 70s. But accidents (due to bad balance as well as manufacturing defects) reached an alarming number and hence the extreme steps by the likes of Overstock and Amazon. Many airlines and cities too banned them. Customers were even asked to throw away the products and were refunded. But now they are hitting the markets again with improved mechanism and renewed vigor. Such is the popularity of hoverboards.
The name hoverboard is probably inspired from M k Joseph’s fiction as a means to see future. Call it self-balancing scooter or board with two small wheels attached at each end of the board. You control it with your feet and balance it as the batteries in it propels it forward. Pretty cool, huh? So the question is, how safe are hoverboards? Are hoverboards easy to use? While technical safety is the concern of manufacturers, the second question is rather subjective.
It is just like a scooter without handlebars or like skateboards with motor. It moves when you lean forward. You can brake and reverse by leaning back. It’s easier said than done. It will take intense practice to get it right. Even then, it needs full focus as one wrong movement (however small) can cause you to fall off. Once you get the balance, you will automatically figure out how to control the board perfectly with more practice. Speed too can be controlled by your feet. It all depends on your body balance and stamina. Yes, it is amazing for your core muscles as you balance yourself.
Hoverboarding is considered an extreme sport and those who have managed to learn how to have never failed to cause heads to turn wherever they go. It is rather addictive. Why else would hoverboards come back with a bang despite numerous accidental reports’ only a year ago?