A few years ago, America became infatuated with hoverboards. Hoverboards, perhaps better described as self-balancing scooters, instantly became a fun mode of transportation. Users balanced themselves on two pads and controlled their movements and speed by putting pressure on the pads. Now, a more compact one-wheel hoverboard is gaining popularity, providing an exciting challenge.
History of the Hoverboard
Hoverboards were first invented in 2013 by Shane Chen, who launched a Kickstarter fundraising campaign for the device in the spring of that year. The product’s rapid growth proved how powerful social media could be. Multiple celebrities endorsed the product, including:
- Justin Bieber
- Chris Brown
- Soulja Boy
- Jamie Foxx
- Kendall Jenner
Users could reach speeds of up to 15 miles per hour when using the boards. They could be used on numerous terrains as well. On average, the hoverboard could travel a distance of up to 12 miles on a single charge.
The one-wheel hoverboard received its patent before the two-wheeled version. Ironically, the one-wheel hoverboard was also released by Shane Chen, in February 2011. However, the one-wheel version did not catch on as quickly, likely because it did not have the celebrity endorsements that the two-wheel hoverboard did. One-wheel hoverboards have been growing in popularity over the past year or two.
One-Wheel Hoverboard Models
A quick internet search can help you find a one-wheel hoverboard for sale, but we recommend beginning with the two most popular one-wheel hoverboards, which are listed below. If these models are not available, you can also search for a one-wheel hoverboard on eBay.
Segway One-Wheel Hoverboard
The Segway one-wheel hoverboard is one of the best options available for those in search of a fun, new riding experience. Segway describes their Ninebot One S1 model as a perfect fit for riders who are not afraid to be bold and are in search of a new challenge. They admit that it can be difficult to master using their product, but that it is also worth it once you do so.
The One S1 weighs approximately 25 pounds and measures 16.6” x 7.2” x. 17.6”. It has a maximum speed of 12.5 miles per hour and a range of up to 15 miles. The device runs on dual 150 Wh lithium-ion batteries. Segway recommends that the device is used by those between the ages of 16 and 50, with a height range between 4’0” and 6’6”. Additionally, the device has a maximum payload of 220 pounds.
One of the coolest features about the One S1 is its Bluetooth connectivity option. You can connect your device to your cell phone by downloading an app. There, you can download statistics about your rides and manage settings.
For example, when you first begin riding the One S1, the device will be in beginner mode. After .6 miles of riding, the device will deactivate beginner mode automatically. But, you can reactivate beginner mode at any time within the mobile app. Users can also use the app to take a New Rider tutorial, as well as customize the lighting on their device, set speed limits and diagnose issues.
The device also features a Carry Mode, which allows you to transport your equipment quickly. When in Carry Mode, the wheels will not spin, making it easy to use the handle to lift the machine over curbs, stairs, and other obstructions.
Overall, user reviews appear to be very satisfied with the product. One user indicated that riding the One S1 made it feel like they were flying, while another said that they love everything about the product. Other users complained about the difficulty of learning to ride the product, although some admitted that the challenge of learning to ride it made them want it even more.
The Segway One S1 is available for purchase on their website for about $499 and comes in either black or white. Riders can also purchase an additional charger or battery, as well as a replacement parking stand leg. The Segway one-wheel hoverboard is also available on Amazon, where prices may vary.
The Solowheel is the one-wheel hoverboard model created by Shane Chen. The company offers three different models
The Glide 2 features a 14” tire. The company describes it as ideal for riders with a smaller stature or someone in search of a device that’s ultra-portable. The device has a top speed of 15 miles per hour, and a travel range of 25 miles. The company recommends that users weighing more than 260 pounds do not use the device.
The company describes the Glide 2 Lite as an alternative for lightweight riders. The battery on the Glide 2 Lite is smaller than in the original Glide 2. As a result, the device’s travel range caps at no more than 12 miles. It does not top speeds above 12.5 miles per hour. The company recommends that the Glide 2 Lite not be used by those weighing more than 20 pounds.
While the Glide 2 Lite is perfect for those just trying out hoverboards, the Glide 3 is a much more powerful model intended for expert riders. It features a 16” wheel and a built-in extending handle, making it extremely portable. The device has a top speed of 19 miles per hour, with a maximum range of 31 miles. The device has a weight limit of 260 pounds.
All Glide devices are compatible with the Solowheel App. Riders can download the app onto both iOS and Android devices. They can connect to the app for real-time stats, in addition to assistance running calibration and diagnostics tests on their Solowheel.
The Solowheel Glide 2 is available for purchase for about $699 with a one-year warranty or about $899 with a two-year warranty. Riders can purchase the Glide 2 Lite for $399. The Solowheel Glide 3 is available for around $999 with a one-year warranty, or about $1,199 with a two-year warranty. You can also purchase additional equipment on the company’s website, including:
- Charging Stations
- Handle Attachments
- Knee Pads
- Elbow Pads
- LED Bracelets
The company is currently offering a deal that allows you to purchase the Glide 2 Lite for around $150 when you also buy the Glide 3. Enter code G2L150 when checking out to receive this offer.
Practicing Safety on a Hoverboard
Hoverboards can be great fun for the entire family, but every rider should keep a few fundamental safety factors in mind before riding one. Riders can avoid accidents if they take precautions before getting on their hoverboard. This goes for all riders of all levels and capabilities as well.
Beginners will need time and practice to learn how to control the device. Experienced riders may be able to keep better control of the hoverboard, but they can’t control for unaccounted for circumstances. For example, a mere pebble that’s out of place could throw off their balance and result in an accident. Because riders can’t prepare for these circumstances, they too are advised to practice these safety tips.
Consumer Reports reported that there were at least 39 visits to the emergency room between August and December 2015 thanks to hoverboards. They made a few recommendations for safety procedures that could help keep you safe while riding a one-wheel hoverboard.
More important than anything is the fact that you should use a helmet when riding a hoverboard. Experts recommended utilizing a dual-use or skateboarding helmet instead of a bicycle helmet because they are better suited for sport-driven impacts. However, if you only have a bicycle helmet at home, it’s better to use that then to use nothing at all.
The design of the hoverboard puts you in a forward-facing position when accelerating. Your body must lean forward to cause the hoverboard to move. This could leave many users vulnerable to head or face injuries if they do not take proper precautions before getting on their board. Hoverboards can be a ton of fun, but riders must also be smart about using them.
If you’re first learning how to use a hoverboard, you should find a spotter. You’ll quickly see that keeping your balance is an essential part of riding the hoverboard. The moment that you apply pressure, the board will begin to slide. The pads on the board are very sensitive, so even the slightest weight-shift could send the board flying. A spotter can catch you if you lose your balance.
It’s also crucial for you to learn how to dismount the hoverboard. Ideally, if you lose your balance, you will jump off the board and regain your balance on your feet. Learning how to get off your hoverboard could protect you from a dangerous fall.
Researchers also recommend wearing padding to protect against falls. You can wear padding anywhere you’d like, although, at the very least, you should consider elbow, knee, and wrist guards. Wrist guards are often unthought of but could help you brace yourself in case of a fall.
Finally, you should be cautious about where you ride your one-wheel hoverboard. Riding them in heavily-populated areas can be dangerous. New York City has banned hoverboards from their sidewalks. So, try to stay away from traffic or crowds of people when riding your hoverboard.