2016 Hoverboard Buyer’s Guide: How to Find the Best Self Balancing Scooter

What’s the Best Electric Scooter?

Don't want to get a self-balancing scooter because you're afraid you'll fall off? Relax, it's designed to keep steady, but I've written a guide to riding a
self-balancing scooter. It's as easy as disarming a bomb, underwater. Ok, so it's not QUITE that hard. If you need the best Guide to Kids Scooters, I've even got

See More Hoverboard How To Guides Here:

It started off as an innocent question from a good friend of mine. Then it goes pretty in depth as we talked about the best scooters and what was a mini

It's a self-balancing scooter I replied to his email.

The Hoverboard We All Grew Up Hoping For

What's a Hoverboard and Are Hoverboard's Real?

Whether there’s a real life hoverboard or not depends on your definition of a hoverboard.

Is it a board that hovers over the ground without touching the ground, a hoverboard on water?

No, that type of hoverboard isn't real.

If you are speaking instead about a hoverboard with wheels. Then, yes, a hoverboard with wheels is real.

What's the difference between a hoverboard and a mini Segway?

A hoverboard is a mini Segway, a standing scooter. A business can't call their product that because Segway is trademarked. It's like hot tubs. People call
them Jacuzzi's, but Jacuzzi’s are a brand of hot tub.

A mini Segway is also a branded scooter. Segway owns the trademark for the name, and so they can protect their brand if someone uses their name.

Saying mini Segway is a lot more intuitive than hoverboard with wheels.

–It’s like a miniature Segway. Like the vehicle you see mall cops riding. But a hoverboard looks like a mini Segway that's hands-free.

–It's not a hoverboard, sorry. I meant a self-balancing board.

-I need to find the best hoverboard weight limit.

—My Accidentally Overhearing Two People Talking About Balance Scooters

A 2 wheel self-balancing scooter is what people call hoverboards. But “hoverboard” is a trademarked word like Segway, so the industry wants not to use it.
The average person doesn't know about the trademark. And since there’s not a set name for people are looking for hoverboards everywhere.

I've seen news anchors teasing stories about hoverboards. Then realizing 10 seconds later that they meant the self-balancing scooters.

A Simple Diagram showing how a user rides on the hoverboard

What Is A Self-Balancing Scooter?

An electric self-balancing scooter is a small motorized device/vehicle. It has two wheels that connect via an axle. Above the axle is a place for a rider to stand on the device.

Inside the electric scooter, is a gyroscope. That’s the part that makes it self-balancing. The gyroscope has tilt sensors that cause a motor or two to turn
on when it tilts. The gyroscope maintains the balance and the tilt sensors tell it when to go.

A rider stands on the two wheel board. Then, when they shift their center of gravity the tilt sensors send a signal to the engine to drive. A balance scooter
lets you:

  • Zoom forwards by shifting your weight forward.
  • Backwards,
  • Zero-degree turn radius
  • There are some neat tricks that people are learning how to do.

I can't wait to see what happens with hoverboards in a few years. I think they will change the way people travel.

What’s happening in a few months with electric scooters?

I see the self-balancing scooter as being this year’s hot item to own. It’s already on a bunch of top gift idea lists. And there's several best self
balancing scooters for sale lists.

UPDATE: Christmas 2015 saw hoverboards take off like a wildfire. People still wanted them even with the stories of fires and explosions being caused by

Yeah, That Makes Sense. Where Can You Get One of These?

Here’s the tricky part. Many of the self-balancing scooters that are available to buy are all made from the same few companies. The inventor sent the plans
off to a factory in China to have them made.

The neighboring plants like the work the first company produced. They proceed to borrow the plans and make their version with a twist. Sometimes
making a unique version is a lot of work.

In those cases, the company will just steal a competitor’s product plans. Steal the plans. Build the product. Ship it to America. Profit madly.

Things you should be considering when you want to get a scooter

Is it from a reputable company?

Buy it from a major e-commerce store. Buying there will help you in several ways.

You’ll have a return policy, warranty, and a stronger chance of it not being a piece of junk when you get it.

Sometimes there are issues, but that’s why you buy from a place like Amazon.com or Wal-mart, they have outstanding customer protections in place.

All to often I hear horror stories of someone that wanted to get the lowest price.

That's great you got the most affordable electric scooter. Too bad it's got a cheap battery and can't drive around the block.

Or that its top speed is so slow that you're just better off carrying the thing. Cheap has a time and a place, but not for something like this.

BUT, there are real deals to be had. And it can be at the worse possible time, (or maybe that's just my luck.)

Several vendors sell the same devices for $200+ more. Those are the times where you should look for the lowest scooter price.

The IO Hawk Electric Scooter

Swagway X1 Self Balancing Scooter

Comparison shop

The price for a self-balance scooter runs from $168.00 all the way to $1800.00.

The average price is from $400 – $600. Why is there such a huge difference? What's causing the huge gap in prices?

As far as I have been able to tell, there're no significant differences between them. As for the most expensive ones:

The $1800 boards were from a company called IO Hawk. They were one of the first to market with the best scooters.

By doing so, they were able to set their price. People wanted them so badly that they paid. You probably won’t find these on the market at all. In
mid-November, IO Hawk lost a lawsuit that they were infringing on another company’s patent.

IO Hawk lost and is forbidden from selling the electric scooters. Significant fines and financial damages for people caught knowingly selling the IO Hawk balance

Research Different models

Look at all the features that the self-balancing scooter you’re interested in has. I created a useful spreadsheet and mini guide that you can use with your
online shopping to narrow down the best scooter for you. Just click on the big red button below.

Then you can compare all the models and decide what’s most important for you.

How to Use the ScooterEra.com Best Electronic Scooter Worksheet

Step 1 Print the Sheet Out

Having a paper copy of the spreadsheet is much easier when trying to shop.

Step 2 Let your fingers do the walking.

Use my site, Google, the classifieds. Any resources that you can, but remember to be smart. Use the tools online and phone calls to narrow down you list of

Step 3 Fill out guide.

I tried to design it to be as easy as possible. The first two rows are just placeholders to let you know the different ranges the specs run.

Step 4 Buy It

Again check this site first, before you buy to make sure that you are getting the best price. I know right now I have a coupon for cash off of Segways. The
store will link the to the cheapest place when I can.

Look at the different physical specifications of each scooter. While price might be the most important number about electrical scooters reviewed by you,
don’t let it blind you.

A cheap scooter that’s $170 is not going to work like an expensive scooter that is $700. While the outsides may look the same, the batteries, motors, tires,
quality could all be of much lower quantity.

After you’ve written down the stats for the hoverboards that you like, start reviewing the table in the document.

You’re going to have to find the blend of features that’s right for YOU and YOUR needs. I could recommend every single model. But, not knowing your particular criteria, none of my recommendations would be valid.

Some typical trade-offs that I see.

  • Longer Max Range Means Lower Top Speed
  • Higher Load Capacity Means a Shorter Max Range
  • A Lower Battery Voltage Means Lower Speeds Means Faster Charging

Where’s the best place to purchase the best self-balancing electric scooter?

In all the time that I have spent researching them, and recommending different models at various people, I keep recommending the same spot. If nothing else, this one vendor allows customers to communicate about their purchase. Plus, I’ve heard stories about defective models being shipped and the vendor stepping up and offering fantastic customer service.

Ebay is known for selling everything; they even have self-balancing scooters

Amazon, probably the beast place to buy a hoverboard

Sears sells smart boards

Wrapping up.

I hope this has been a helpful article. It started as several emails between my friend. But it became apparent that this was an article for everyone.

There was a bit of history became a bit of history of the mini Segway and the Hoverboard. A brief trip into the exciting world of 2 wheels electric scooters and what to call balance scooters.

Also, it will be interesting to see what Segway does to capitalize on the mini Segway.

Then I covered some things to think about, do, and avoid when it comes time to purchase the best self-balancing scooter.

If you’re just jumping around the article, be sure that you get a FREE copy of my Worksheet and Guide to Buying a Self Balancing Scooter.

If you do download the spreadsheet and it helps you out, please let me know.

Or EVEN better, share it with your friends. You can come here and read about the scooters reviewed and my complete guides to all the best scooters.

If you have more hoverboard questions, visit the FAQ page.