For many people, the first time on a hoverboard, or a hands-free scooter, can be very interesting. It’s a brand new skill, it’s something they’ve never done before, and it’s really like nothing else. It’s a mixture of fun and functionality. People play around and learn this new skill, adapting to the board, and they generally have a good time. If there is one thing that everyone seems to say after using a hoverboard for the first time, it’s that they had a lot of fun.
With prolonged use, though, you’re going to learn a lot about the board and how it actually fits your lifestyle. To test this process out, one writer used his hoverboard to get around the office, riding it nonstop for a week. Obviously, he had to put it aside when he was going down the stairs, but he was able to use it constantly in the office setting.
This was an inventive use of the board. Many people use them outside or to get around town, but he was proving that he could use it inside as well, in a populated setting. Below are a few of the things that he learned during the week.
As many people say after the first day on a board, balance is the hardest thing to get used to. He noted that he felt like he was using rollerblades or skiing, saying it was really sort of a cross of the two. That sums it up pretty well; balancing on a hoverboard is simply different than using almost anything else. If you have some experience on snowboards, skateboards, ice skates and other such things, it’s going to help, but don’t expect it to be exactly the same. At the very beginning, the biggest challenge will be getting and keeping your balance.
That being said, it’s not like it will take the whole week. He said the first half an hour was spent getting comfortable. That didn’t mean he was a pro, but he didn’t feel like he was going to fall or crash. He could really relax and enjoy it. By the end of one day in the office — roughly eight hours — he said he could stop on a dime, make hard turns, and keep his balance while going both backwards and forwards. As you can see, a bit of practice is needed, but you can get to a good level of proficiency rather quickly. Many other devices take far longer than a day to master, so any concern you have about this part of the process can be set aside.
Balance with Your Legs and Feet
Naturally, your instinct is going to be to balance yourself by moving your hips and, through them, your upper body. This does not work, though, and it could lead to a nearly uncontrollable wobble. It’s best to balance with your feet and legs, focusing on your calf muscles. Little movements are all that are needed. You just need to apply a small amount of pressure to your hoverboard, and it’s easiest to do that — and to make small changes in pressure — with your feet. This keeps the rest of your body straight and upright.
He also stressed the importance of keeping your feet in the center of the board and using the foot pads. He said it was fine to have the very backs of your feet just a bit over the back edge, but nothing more. Don’t try to ride all on your toes, on the front of your feet, or all on your heels. The board is designed for a flat-footed approach that utilizes your entire foot.
Expect to pay roughly $500. He got his for $480. With tax, that’s right around $500. It’s true that you can get inferior models for less or premium models for much more, but $500 will get you a good entry-level board. It will be good enough that you can trust it, and it won’t break the bank.
Stepping On and Off
Nothing about using a hoverboard is harder than getting on or off of the board. Once you have that down, everything else feels easy. He said that it was best done slowly and carefully, stepping on with first one foot and then the other. Trying to jump on or off of the board caused accidents. Getting off with the same precise, careful movements was key. People were sometimes tempted to hop off because it felt more natural, but that was far less effective.
Speed depends on the board. In the office setting, he didn’t want to go too fast, so he bought a board that went about 10 MPH. That’s faster than needed in many parts of an office; on an open road, it would feel very slow. There are many faster boards, and racing is becoming popular, but that’s a very different type of activity than he was interested in. Still, if you care about speed, make sure you buy the right board, or you could be let down.
The Social Aspect
Hoverboards are becoming more popular and even mainstream. Most people have seen them, or at least seen videos of them. However, it’s still true that most people haven’t used them.
As such, he said that the social interactions could be a bit odd; most people didn’t just take it in stride, at least not at first. Many people were worried that he was going to hurt himself or someone else, even though he never crashed. It’s just the perception that people have. Others rolled their eyes. Some laughed as he went by. Most of all, though, people just wanted to try it out. They were intrigued and wanted to give it a shot. Over the course of the week, he lost count of the number of people who asked to go for a ride.