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About Dangerous Exploding “Fake Hoverboards”

 

exploding hoverboard

Warning: Fake Hoverboards Can Explode or Burst Into Flames

If you are looking for general hoverboard information, or information on any type of specific hoverboard, you need to read this article now.

Don’t be fooled by fake review sites pushing fake hoverboards. Exploding hoverboards are a fire risk and a hazard that you need to know how to avoid.

hype2

red check mark for hoverboard reviews siteThis is not one of those hyped up, overly dramatic, half-truth articles designed to sensationalize a story. Like that ones you see in the news everyday, or like some other fake review sites that don’t really care about giving you accurate information. Many of them are only concerned with getting you to part with your hard earned money while they convince you to get garbage dangerous products.

red check mark for hoverboard reviews siteNo, you won’t get any of that here. Instead you are getting straight up, no fluff, clear explanations, without any distortions about the real facts. The truth is a lot of people have been hurt, killed, or even lost their homes from burning exploding hoverboards. They didn’t have the valuable information you are about to read and had no warning about how to prevent it.

red check mark for hoverboard reviews siteSo how do you prevent it? For one thing you need to know how to avoid dangerous knockoff boards. We are going to explain exactly what makes the fakes dangerous and how to avoid them. But that’s not enough. You also need to know how to treat a hoverboard correctly. Abusing it can also cause it to burst into flames. We are going to tell you how NOT to abuse your hoverboard so you can keep yourself and your family safe.

There Are Good And Bad Hoverboards

Hoverboards can be a great way to get around or have fun. We are not trying to scare good and bad hoverboardsyou away from hoverboards.

Instead we want to scare you away from the DANGEROUS ones.

Also as mentioned previously learning how NOT to misuse and abuse the device is just as important. Misuse can cause them to become damaged and dangerous. Abusing this gadget (just like any electronic device) is one way to cause a hoverboard fire. We can’t stress this enough.

This article will discuss all those things and more, with the most important hoverboard safety reviews first.

Then we are going to show you some of the best boards we have found and give a full comprehensive review on why they are the best and safest.

Here at Hoverboards Electric we are constantly keeping on top of the latest hoverboard news and information. This involves doing a lot of research all over the internet about hoverboards. The amount of research we do has given us a clear perspective on the information currently available on this subject. Unfortunately from our point of view it is severely lacking in both clarity and substance.

The facts are not explained clearly or accurately in a lot of the news articles we read or on other review sites. So it’s easy to get the wrong idea about their safety. It seems like you have to go hunting for bits and pieces on each topic we find that most of the articles written about hoverboards seem to be hyped up or low quality content.

 But don’t worry. We have done all the hard work to give you the clearest pictures on what is really going on in the hoverboard industry. So sit back, relax, and keep reading to get the whole scoop.

Here on this site you will find the most comprehensive, best hoverboard safety and review information on the internet, PERIOD.

The Basics

Ok so first some hoverboard basics.

Hoverboard Review Basics

Before we can go further with this hoverboard review we first need to make sure you understand some basic information about them.

 

 

Hoverboard Names

Let’s be clear on exactly which devices we are talking about

Hoverboards have MANY different names. Knowing the most popular names will help to avoid confusion. Below is a table showing some hoverboard names.

General NamesScooter Names1 Wheel NamesSkateboard Names
Personal Transporter Electric Standing Scooter Electric Unicycle Hoverboard skateboard
Personal Transportation Device Electric Balance Scooter Motorized Unicycle One-Wheeled Gyro Skate
Huver Board Self-Balancing Scooter Unicycle Scooter Two Wheel Skateboard
Hover board Standing Scooter Uni Wheel Skateboard Hoverboard
Hoverboard Electric Scooter One Wheel Scooter One Wheeled Skateboard
Electric Hoverboard Balance Scooters One Wheel Board Hover Skateboard
Electric Personal Transporter 2 Wheel Balancing Scooter One Wheeler Two Wheel Skateboard
Hover Toy 2-wheeled Scooter Motor Unicycle Single Wheel Skateboard
Electric 2 Wheel Transport 2 wheel Electric Scooter One Wheel Electric Hoverboard 2 wheeled Skateboard
Human Transporter Balancing Scooter One Wheel Electric Unicycle 1 Wheeled Skateboard

These are only SOME of the most popular names people call them. Most all the other names are just a variation of the ones above. 

 What the names are describing

As you can see from the above list of names many of them describe the number of wheels on the gadget.

For example “unicycle” denotes one wheel. While names with phrases like “2 wheel” are obvious about what they are describing.

The words “scooter” and “skateboard” describe some variations of a hoverboards design.

Many of them look like skateboards, and some look like scooters without handlebars.

 

Despite design variations all hoverboards have three things in common:

1. They all have electrically propelled wheels (those wheels are pressure sensitive).

2. They are all “self-balancing”.

3. They all could appear from a distance to be hovering off the ground due to the way they glide.

They do not have to be an actual “board” to be in the same class. Mainly what we are talking about are personal transportation devices that role around on motorized wheels and have the same basic internal operation mechanisms.

Do They Actually Hover?

real hoverboard

To break it down a little more – first let me say that NONE of these devices actually hover as in the movie Back to The Future.

This point continues to be hammered over and over again in message boards and comment sections of articles all over the internet. Some people feel like it is their duty in life to make people aware that they don’t actually hover. They keep ordering people to stop calling them hoverboards because they don’t hover. These people are actually very angry about the name.

But if you are going to be angry about this then their are a lot of similar things (that don’t make sense) you might also want to waste your valuable time being angry about.

Here is a list of things you can add to your “Things to Waste my Time Being Angry About List”:

  1. People put a round pizza into a square box.
  2. Calling pants “a pair of pants” when their is only one
  3. Calling a “W” a double-U when it is actually 2 Vs put together. Why don’t we call it a double-v?
  4. People say “heads up” when you should really duck.
  5. People call chicken strips “chicken figures” when chickens don’t have figures.
  6. People say “you’re the apple of my eye” when they don’t really have an apple inside their eye.
  7. People say “straight from the horses mouth” even though horses don’t actually talk much less being a beacon of truth.
  8. People say “needless to say” when that statement cancels itself out and makes no sense. If you didn’t need to say it then you wouldn’t.

 

The point is sometimes we don’t know how something gets its name, or why people started saying a certain thing. What’s important is that we know what we mean when we say it. Humans assign meaning to things with names. The names don’t always come from something literal. Whatever you call it does not have to be an exact translation of what it does or is.

So please stop stressing yourself out trying to convince people to stop calling it a hoverboard. It’s too late for that. If you are going to go that far then you should also make it your mission in life to stop people from using every other word or phrase in life that does not make sense. You could spend a lifetime on this. Their are literally thousands and thousands of names for things which don’t make sense.  Hoverboard is now one of them, whether you like it or not. The genie is out of the box and you are not going to be able to put it back in.

The name “hoverboard” probably comes from how they could appear. Looking at them from a distance they may APPEAR to hover off the ground. A person riding could appear to be gliding off the ground in the same way that a real hover board would glide. But they in fact only roll on the ground. They do this on either 1 or 2 wheels as the above names denote.

If you thought they really did hover sorry to be the one to disappoint you.

There are a couple companies who have made boards that resemble what you see in the movies about REAL hovering boards with no wheels. But those run off of either magnets, or fans with air pushing down from the bottom.

Unfortunately the boards that actually hover are NOT practical or affordable in any way.

The one with magnets can’t be used outside a controlled environment that requires a magnetized floor.

The one that runs on air is as big as a tabletop! It literally looks like a tabletop with no legs and costs as much as a full sized brand new car.tabletop hoverboard

So for the purposes of this article when we say “hoverboard” we are discussing the portable devices that roll on wheels (but could appear to hover!) and that you can use for personal transportation.

How do hoverboards work and how are they controlled?

Special pressure sensitive wheels allow you to control the forward and backward momentum of the boards simply by the direction you lean with your feet and body (and how hard you lean in that direction). A “smart” device called a “gyroscope” makes it turn where you need it to. Riding a hoverboard can be a very fun unique experience because it almost feels like it is an extension of your own body. It is very similar to just thinking about the direction you want to go in and going there.

For example if you lean the board forward (by slightly pressing the tip of your toes down) the board will move forward. If you lean forward harder the board will go faster in that direction.

With one wheeled hoverboards or scooters you can lean sideways and the unit will turn in that direction as well. This eliminates the need for a steering mechanism such as handle bars. Although this takes some practice in the beginning it is not that hard to learn.

For the 2 wheeled boards leaning forward harder with ONE foot and back with the other will cause the board to turn in the direction of the forward pressured foot. It is all about the pressure you apply and which side you apply it to.

“Self-balancing” means you have to use your own core to balance them. They don’t balance themselves. So it is much like learning to ride a bike (although not as hard) in that you have to learn to balance yourself on the board.

For an in depth tutorial on how to ride a hoverboard please go here.

 
 

 

2 wheeled hoverboard leaning forward
Leaning Forward

 

Leaning backwards on a 2 wheled hoverboard
Leaning Backwards

 

Unicyele hoverboard leaning to turn
Unicycle Scooter Leaning To Turn

The different companies that make hoverboards and how this contributes to hoverboard fires and explosions

hoverboard brandsTo confuse matters even more tons of companies are making and selling hoverboards. Each company has its own unique “brand name” hoverboard. Normally this is not a problem. Brand diversity is a good thing.

The problem however comes in when their are dozens of companies that basically produce the EXACT same boards because they are coming from the same factories and suppliers. Many of those boards are the fake or knockoff boards we mentioned at the beginning of the page. All they do is slap a sticker of their company name and sell it as their own. Or even worse they steal the name of another company and pretend the boards are made from that company. Many of them are even going farther than that by putting fake batteries that say they are Samsung batteries for example.

Some factories in China are using cheap sub standard parts in a lot of those same exact boards. So if you take one off the market their might be 10 other dangerous boards that are exactly the same to replace it. We will discuss this in more detail down below.

You might naturally think that all you have to do is search for hoverboard fire brands or a similar keyword, find the ones that caught fire or exploded, and then avoid the names of the ones that melted down. However that is not enough. Because as we just explained those names are just names. Their could be many more of the same exact sub standard boards that have a different company name, but that were manufactured by the same factories and parts as the ones that exploded. So the name is different, but the hoverboard can be exactly the same as another brand name.
 

Brand names Distinctions

Please be aware of the difference between a “brand name” for a hoverboard and a general name that can apply to any board. Most of the popular general names are listed above. A huge variety of brand name companies are selling hoverboards.

We are not going to write an exhaustive list on all the companies that make them. Instead it is better to focus mostly on reviewing what we believe are the safest highest quality boards. In other words the ones that you would actually want to buy.

Some of our reviews might be negative. If a lot of people are having negative experiences with a popular brand we might review those to help you to avoid them.

But most of our articles will be focused on which ones we think are the best hoverboards to buy. This will be based on many factors of safety, quality, customer service, and features pros and cons.

Now that you know exactly what a hoverboard is and how it works, let’s move onto the next section of your hoverboard education! In the following section we will cover exactly why some are exploding and catching fire.

This is the end of the hoverboards basics section

Exploding Hoverboards

Why are some hoverboards exploding and catching fire?

This is obviously one of the major concerns for anyone interested in buying or using a hoverboard. Before you even think about buying any hoverboard you need to know about the major potential safety hazards of poor quality units.

Avoiding unnecessary disastrous situations should be your #1 concern. With all the recent news about boards catching fire or exploding it most definitely a major concern for us here at Hoverboards Electric.

 

The Main Problem

One main problem problem is with the quality of the batteries inside the hoverboard. Most are powered by a type of battery called lithium-ion batteries.

Lithium-ion batteries are the same batteries you see in most smart phones and small electronic devices like laptops. These batteries have certain chemical components that are highly flammable when exposed or combined with other components inside the battery.

Certain parts within the battery are placed there to keep the compounds apart from each other. It’s like keeping gasoline away from a spark. But what happens if that barrier is broken?

Cheap battery parts can malfunction. This can result in the chemical compounds inside a battery to mix together. That in turn causes spontaneous explosion or combustion, sometimes with no prior warning or indication of the impending disaster.

The same is true of the batteries housing. It is supposed to NOT get punctured. If the materials are thin or cheap then the battery may puncture and cause combustion.

The battery inside a hoverboard is not actually just one battery. It is multiple batteries combined together. It needs a lot of energy to carry a 250 pound person up an incline. But that amount of energy can backfire if the device fails. So if one battery malfunctions this can cause a chain reaction setting off the others in the pack.

 

The Second Problem

The other main problem is associated with the batteries charging device. Within the charger is always a “shut off switch”. That switch is supposed to kick in when a battery has reached its maximum charge capacity.

If the charger fails to shut off it can cause the battery to catch fire or explode. The same is true of any device that uses a battery charger. Many cell phones have exploded because of faulty chargers.

The old saying is true that you usually get what you pay for. If you see a hoverboard that is hundreds of dollars cheaper you can guess how they got the price so low. If you guessed cheap parts then you are right. So those parts either have poor quality materials, poor quality manufacturing processes, or both.

 

Don’t Buy Cheap Fake Boards

When it comes to manufacturing hoverboards, legitimate companies create safe high quality products. We are going to show you which ones those are and review them. We will also review some of the ones you SHOULD NOT BUY.

Unfortunately many other low priced manufactures (from China for example) are making cheap knockoffs and selling them at drastically reduced prices. These are the “fake” hoverboards.

For your own well-being please DO NOT shop based on price! While everyone loves a bargain you don’t want to bargain with your life, safety, or well being. The risk is not worth the reward of saving a few bucks.

Exploding Lithium-ion Batteries Are NOT Unique to Hoverboards

 

Malfunctioning batteries is a problem that can happen in ANY electronic device powered by them. Most electronic items use lithium-ion batteries. Why? Because they can hold a lot of energy. Even electric cars use this type of battery.lithium ion battery

Due to the recent stories in the news about hoverboards “exploding” you may have thought this is something new or unique to hoverboards. Well it’s not. News outlets love to grab a hold of stories like this and “spin” it to sensationalize the story. They love to make you think something like his is new and happening for the first time. Otherwise it would be old news. And who wants to read old news?

The fact is laptops, smartphones, and even electric car batteries have been exploding and catching fire for the same exact reasons as hoverboards. This has been going on for many years. Ever since these batteries started being used in electronics the cheap ones have been malfunctioning.

 

lithium ion car battery

As I said lithium-ion batteries have highly combustible components within them. Just as you know the gasoline inside a car can explode, also know also that the compounds inside ANY battery can catch fire.

To put things in perspective even more it is amazing when you consider how many cars catch on fire or explode every year. The National Fire Protection Agency (which is a leading authority on electrical and fire hazards) said this:

“U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated average of 152,300 automobile fires per year in 2006-2010. These fires caused an average of 209 civilian deaths, 764 civilian injuries, and $536 million in direct property damage.” Go here for more statistics on car fires.  Those numbers are staggering. And yet we barely hear about any car fires in the news. The number of hoverboars that caught fire since December 2015 is not even a drop in the bucket in comparison to car fires. Of course more people own cars and that is why we see so many more fires for cars. But the point is any technology we use poses a danger and a risk of malfunctioning. The fact that some malfunction does not mean ALL of them will. Do you wake up every morning thinking your car is going to explode? Probably not.

The fact that some hoverboards malfunctioned is not a good reason to believe that every single one will explode. It is no more reasonable to believe that than it would be to think every cell phone will explode, or every lap top will explode.

Don’t let hyped up stories confuse you about what is safe and what is not. The SOLUTION to preventing explosions and fires is the same as it is FOR EVERY OTHER ELECTRONIC DEVICE. 

You want to make sure the company you buy a  from is not using cheap knock off parts and shabby manufacturing processes. Safety standards and best practices have been developed for the design and manufacturing of electronic devices with batteries.

So although the hoverboard industry is fairly new, the construction of lithium-ion batteries is not. Safety standards have been in place and testing can be done to see if a hoverboard conforms to these safety standards.

In fact the CPSC has recently passed new hoverboard safety standards for UL safety certification. It is now mandatory for all hoverboards sold and distributed in the US. This is good news for the hoverboard industry and consumers alike. We are giving you up the the minute reporting on all these things and more.

For more information on on lithium-ion battery safety go here.

The next section will discuss something that is your fault if it happens. But you can prevent it.

 

Don’t Abuse Your Hoverboard

 This point is common sense. But as you may or may not already know common sense is not so common in the world today. As mentioned the lithium-ion batteries when punctured can combust. This applies to ANY and ALL such batteries.

Hoverboard common sense

Having said that, the hoverboard is NOT something you should be doing crazy tricks on. It is NOT like a skateboard where you can do high impact tricks. For that reason it IS NOT a viable sport.

Hoverboard TricksUnless (and until) the power source technology for the boards receive a MAJOR overhaul you are not going to be seeing hoverboarding in the next X Games anytime soon.

Devices with lithium-ion batteries should not be treated as if you were in a demolition derby.

What I mean by that is any electronic device that is powered by a battery CAN NOT be treated rough. That means you should not drop it, hit it, bump it, or in any way severely “IMPACT” the device. Doing so could potentially cause the battery to get punctured or damaged. IF YOU PUNCTURE OR DAMAGE A LITHIUM-ION BATTERY IT CAN EXPLODE.

And forget those YouTube videos where you see people doing insane tricks on hoverboards. Many of those use trick photography and scam methods to convince you that a hoverboard is like a skateboard. IT IS NOT!

Hoverboard Jumping Ramp

Even if some tricks are possible on a hoverboard you should not do them if they cause hard impacts to the board. If you are foolish enough to insist on doing tricks with it you better watch it like a hawk when charging the battery. And make sure you have a fire extinguisher in hand.

Always watch a hoverboard when it is being charged

If you dropped it or hit it hard DON’T charge the board in an area which could catch fire. Watch it very carefully while it is charging. DO NOT under ANY circumstances leave the board unattended to charge after the board has been heavily impacted in some way!! In fact even if it has not been impacted never leave a hoverboard unattended to charge. You could have impacted it and not noticed that you damaged the board.

And NO MATTER WHAT, NEVER LEAVE IT TO CHARGE OVER NIGHT. Many of the boards that exploded did so while charging overnight.

Even if you buy a high quality board with a safety certified battery and charger, repeatedly hitting the board or banging it can cause the battery inside to malfunction and catch fire. We are seeing in the news that many boards don’t catch fire until months after they were purchased. Much of this can be attributed to the fact that people are treating their hoverboards rough and didn’t know the danger of doing so.

Hoverboard Safety Review Main Points

Just to recap here are the main points:

1. There are good and bad hoverboards just like there are good and bad cell phones, laptops, and any other battery powered gadget.

2. Yes many of them are exploding and catching fire but the reason for that is no different from any other electronic device. Don’t let it scare you away from getting a hoverboard.

3. Make sure you buy a good quality hoverboard with safety certifications, especially for the battery and charger. Avoid cheap knock off fake hoverboards. Anything under $300 you should stay away from.

4. One problem unique to hoverboards is that people think they can use them as anDon't Do Foolish Tricks on a Hoverboard

extreme sporting device. YOU CAN’T SAFELY DO THAT. If you ABUSE your hoverboard then you are putting yourself at risk of fires and explosions.

5. Don’t do tricks on them and don’t let your children do tricks on them. It does not matter how good of a quality it is or what safety certifications it has – if you are going to be banging it around and abusing it you have turned a safe hoverboard into an unsafe one.

6. Always watch your hoverboard when charging it. Never charge it unattended.

7. Never charge it or store it in an area where it can catch fire. There are fireproof bags you can buy for storing and charging it. We highly recommend you get a fire proof bag.

If you do all these things you will be just as safe buying a hoverboard as you would any other electronic device.

 

 

 

The Best Hoverboard Brands of 2015-2016

Now that we got the hoverboard safety review out of the way it is time for us to give some real recommendations on our best hoverboards to buy for 2016.

First let us say that many of the hoverboard brands sold in 2015 have gone bust. That means we either would not recommend them due to safety concerns, or the company has gone out of business due to the cheap dangerous parts they were using. So good riddance to that.

Something else to take into account is that many companies who were previously using cheap parts have since switched to higher quality components due to them being banned from many market places such as Amazon. 

A good review should be based on many points of quality, safety, and features. We will take into consideration first the safety and quality of parts, and then we will discuss the pros, cons, and the features and stats of each one.

Our best picks will the ones with our highest overall rating. Below is a table of some of the highest rated hoverboards.

Please click on the button to the right on the table to go to the full review page.

Best Hoverboard Brands Table

Image of ProductHoverboard NameMax SpeedMax Weight LimitAggregate RatingLink To Review Page
razor scooter product picture
Razor Hovertrax Hoverboard 2 Wheel Electric Standing Scooter
6 mph/10 kmh 220 lb/ 99.79 kg
4/5 stars
Hoverboard Review Pages Link
Powerboard by Hoverboard Review
Powerboard by Hoverboard 2 Wheel Electric Standing Scooter
8 mph/12.87 kmh 220 lb/ 99.79 kg
4/5 stars
Hoverboard Review Pages Link
Ninebot One Review
Ninebot One Wheel Electric Standing Scooter Unicycle
~11-14 mph/~18-22 kmh ~265 lbs/ ~120 kg
5/5 stars
Hoverboard Review Pages Link
Ninebot Mini Pro
Ninebot Mini Pro 2 Wheel Electric Standing Scooter
11 mph (18 km/h) ~28 lbs. (12.8 kg)
5/5 stars
Ninebot Mini ProHoverboard Review Page Link
Swagway Swagtron T1 and T3 Review
Swagtron Hoverboard 2 Wheel Scooter
8 mph (12.8 km h) 220 lb/ 99.79 kg
5/5 stars
Swagway Review Page

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