Electric Hoverboards / Self Balance Scooter Reviews
I’d like to personally welcome you to the Electric Rider – a site I’ve dedicated to all the different ways you can use battery power to haul your body around town. On this site there’s no gas, no diesel, no internal combustion, and no smoke and fumes. I like it clean and electrical. No substitutes.
If you’re here it probably means that you’ve decided to join the revolution in personal mobility. Sick of traffic and sick of dealing with car-related problems, you’re looking for the next big thing. Luckily on my site you’ll find several big things that are not “next”, but very much “now”.
I’ve loved Sci-Fi my whole life and I’ve always dreamed we’d have cool transportation like in The Jetsons or Back to the Future. Now, although we don’t have hoverboards that actually hover, there are so many cool ways to get around that I’m beyond excited. That’s why I created this site – to get people informed about the great world of electric personal transports. I want the sidewalks of the world to be buzzing with electric vehicles. Hey, we can save the planet AND have fun.
I’ve broken the different types of vehicle you can choose from into different categories which I’ll explain below. Be sure to check them all out. There are reviews, informational articles and a buyer’s guide for each type of personal electric transport. So come and join me in kicking gas to the curb and embracing the age of the electron.
I’m passionate about electric vehicles in general and their long history so I hope this site can bring more potential fans of this modern transport technology to the party.
Electric bicycles are a great choice for those living in the great cities of the world where cycling has become a part of everyday life.
These quirky little self-balancing scooters took the world by storm after celebrities with big followings took notice of them.
The skateboard is a true classic when it comes to alternate transport options. Now they’ve added POWER to that mix. Check out my reviews.
Electric unicycles have plenty of things to like about them. They have the versatile, all-terrain inclinations of a Segway or e-bike.
This is hands down the most hyped and mainstream category of vehicle in the world right now. These quirky little self-balancing scooters took the world by storm after celebrities with big followings took notice of them. So if you’ve found my site because of a certain someone you follow on Instagram, then you are in luck. I’ll give you the skinny, the 411, and the lo-down, my friend.
If you’ve ever wondered how hoverboards work, I’ve put together a little explainer and if you’re worried about all the exploding batteries maybe you should read “What’s the Deal with Lithium Batteries” first. My top picks highlight what I think the best scooters out there are at the moment. I’ve looked at several criteria and tried to pick not only the ones I like, but also those I think would fit with the needs of most riders.
HOVERBOARD Best Picks
There are a lot of hoverboards out there and most of them are not good, I’m sorry to say. Many, however, are really brilliant and they don’t have to be the most expensive ones either.
When I evaluate a hoverboard I try to find a balance between specs, safety, quality, and price. I believe that my number-one top pick strikes the perfect balance on all four counts.
I was very impressed with the Swagway X1. This mid-priced everyman looks the part and does just about everything you need a hoverboard to do. That’s why it’s my best overall choice. Swagway has a strong U.S. presence, good after-sales support, and all the safety certification you could want.
If you have the (substantial) extra cash and don’t mind parting with it, my second choice is the Phunkee Duck. This is the one those famous rich people are riding, but this is not just about image, but also about quality. The Phunkee Duck is at the top of the food chain. It can (unofficially) handle up to 400 pounds of rider weight and is made with high-end components. It’s eye-wateringly expensive, but if you want to be the hip kid and roll with the celebs, then this really is your only choice. Well, technically, you could get a Swagway (or three) and just put some Phunkee Duck stickers on there. I doubt anyone would know the difference, maybe not even you.
For quality alternative hoverboards my two best picks are the Airwheel S6 and the Ninebot Mini. These may not be traditional hoverboards, but they’ll give you the same thrill with better-quality construction and functionality all around. Yes, I know the S6 has a seat, but if the scooter is hands-free then I think it should be classed with other hoverboards. This one just gives you the option of sitting or standing. Sitting is better for long trips, take my advice on that one.
Ninebot IS now Segway, but products with the Ninebot brand are not quite as pricey. You really can’t go wrong with a Ninebot – they are top tier in my book.
Segway Style Balancing Scooters
The Segway is probably the most famous and possibly first self-balancing two-wheeled scooter. Many people think of Segway first when considering alternate transport options.
If you don’t know the story of the Segway, check out my piece “The Segway Story” to learn about the pioneer of personal electric vehicles as we know them today.
What’s the difference between a hoverboard and a Segway? Bigger wheels, more power, and the use of a handle are the main distinguishing features. Segway-type scooters are more versatile, but not nearly as compact as hoverboards. Original Segways are, however, priced so high they make hoverboard prices look like chump-change. Luckily there’s a thriving market of good-quality clones to choose from.
If you’ve come looking for something like a Segway that isn’t priced like a brand-name Segway scooter then you’d best check out my collection of Segway clone reviews. I also have a buyer’s guide for the more adventurous.
I know hoverboards have the cool factor down pat at the moment, but these Segway-type scooters are very practical, and some can even carry a bit of luggage. Some people think they’re a bit dorky, but nothing is as dorky as carrying your hoverboard everywhere since it will only go on perfectly smooth surfaces.
Electric unicycles have plenty of things to like about them. They have the versatile, all-terrain inclinations of a Segway or e-bike, but are nearly as compact as a hoverboard. They have good range, are easy to maintain, and are not the most expensive vehicles you’ll find on my page.
I’ve also listed some of the best electric unicycles you can buy today, so that’s a good place to start your shopping.
These unicycles really are amazing; to see exactly how amazing they are, check out my “Sick Electric Unicycle Stunts” page for some gnarly one-wheeled action. You won’t believe where people ride these things. Come rain, sleet, mud, or snow, some crazy (usually Scandinavian) dude is ready to try riding a unicycle over it.
Ah, the good old Razor-style kick scooter. Now with more batteries and a much lower price tag than other electric vehicles. Check out my buyer’s guide for the skinny on these low-cost hooligan machines. My best picks are on the scooter review page and include a few more types besides the Razors. So what are you waiting for – a bus?
There are a bunch of moped-type scooters that I’ve also lumped in with the Razor kick scooters, as well as the beefy adult-oriented riffs on the kick scooter design. You can get all the details in the buyer’s guide.
E-bikes are some of the most expensive, but also the most practical, electric vehicles you can buy today. It’s important to check out my buyer’s guide for these guys, as there are quite a few pitfalls to look out for when buying an e-bike. Since these bikes can be so expensive, it’s doubly important you decide carefully before committing any money.
There’s a lot of legal confusion about e-bikes as well, so I’ve also written a short piece on e-bike law that should be helpful on that score.
My personal reviews and top picks are available here; once you know what you are looking for these should prove useful in making a decision.
Electric bicycles are a great choice for those living in the great cities of the world where cycling has already become a part of life. You already have infrastructure, like bike paths and public lock-ups, you can use straight away. As long as you are on the right side of the law there’s a lot to love about the e-bike lifestyle. Especially the lack of sweatiness.
The skateboard is a true classic when it comes to alternate transport options. Now they’ve added POWER to that mix. I have two things you need in order to start shredding: a buyer’s guide and a set of reviews.
If you have no idea how to ride one of these, check out my guide which caters to both newbies and existing non-electric skateboarders.
Longboards are becoming very fashionable these days, so you certainly won’t look out of place riding a beautiful wood and metal board on the streets of your urban domain. Of all the electric vehicles you can buy, this is probably the closest to an inherently cool form of transport. No one has ever said “Hey look at how lame that skateboarder looks”, and if they have, I don’t care.
Helmets and Pads
Last, but most definitely not least – helmets and pads. Keep your pieces where they belong or face the possibility of eating through a straw until the end of your days. My buyer’s guide will tell what to look for in a helmet and pads, while my review page will get you started when looking for an appropriate head protector.
Helmets are not an optional extra, so make sure you include them in your budgeting. Get the right size and quality helmet for the intended use you have in mind. Remember – if you have a $10 head, wear a $10 helmet.
The Times are A’ Changin
Now is the perfect time to ditch that car and get plugged in and rolling over the landscape. Nothing beats the torque and acceleration of an electric motor. There’s very little maintenance, electricity is way cheaper than gas, and you don’t have to get stuck in traffic. These gadgets are perfect to get to and from public transport, and many of them can be used inside buildings if some boring person hasn’t made a rule against it.
They also represent a way for people with mobility problems to get some of their freedom back. It’s always awesome when something meant for the rest of us can also benefit people with physical disabilities as well.
The technology is getting better all the time, too. There’s new battery technology on the horizon, materials are getting lighter and stronger, and computer chips are getting so good that your scooter might even outthink you one day or transport you where you want to go without your having to drive.
Our future may not exactly look like an episode of The Jetsons, but it’s still way cooler than I could imagine when I was a kid. We’ve all become so stuck on our smartphones and video games that it’s great to see new tech that gets us outside and smelling the flowers again.
So read my site, do your homework, and get that credit card out. It’s time to join the club and become an Electric Rider.