The self-balancing motorised scooters that are popularly called hoverboards are this year’s must-have Christmas gift. But even if you’re dying to go out and get your hands on one, Gizmodo is here to let you know whether you really should.
First things first, it’s worth noting that hoverboards are actually illegal — at least in public. Roads Minister Duncan Gay recently issued a statement promising fines of $637 for riding these contraptions on public roads, and a fine of $319 for riding on public footpaths, SMH reports. He cited safety concerns as one of the foremost reasons for this decision, saying that the hoverboards would not be able to adequately signal if ridden on the roads. They also don’t provide enough protection in case of a collision. It is, however, perfectly legal to ride a hoverboard in the confines of your own home.
Hoverboards aren’t really designed for outside use, and are best ridden inside on soft carpeted surfaces — using it on rough or hard ground may wear away the grip on the tyres. A fall from one of these can be potentially dangerous, so it’s worthwhile to take adequate safety precautions before buying one, especially if you’re getting one for the kids. Safety gear like a helmet, knee, wrist and elbow pads come highly recommended, especially when you consider that the Revo Glider can reach speeds up to 12km/h, and other hoverboards are capable of reaching even faster speeds.
So how does it work? The Revo Glider is made up of two self-balancing pads, and can be difficult to get onto for the first time. Take it slow and get on one foot at a time — jumping on it would be an incredibly bad idea. The learning curve is only around five to ten minutes for most people, however, as the controls are fairly intuitive. All you have to do to turn is push one foot forward. The battery life will last you about an hour, and a full recharge will take somewhere between six and eight hours.