Hoverboards have been an obsession in popular culture since Marty McFly first lifted off in “Back to the Future II.” The dream of coasting effortlessly across a rough sidewalk or even a lawn has never fully come to fruition, but these days we're not far off. In this article we'll look at one of the top hoverboard products on the market—the Segway hoverboard.
For this review we have compared the Segway hoverboard to three other leading hoverboard products on the market today. We broke down the features of each one in addition to some common factors like speed, prices, ease of use, riding range, and warranty. We have also provided some pros and cons for each hoverboard to give you a quick reference.
There are a lot of hoverboards on the market today and while some of them are good quality, others can be downright dangerous. With so many out there it can be hard to decide which hoverboard is worth the money. The Segway hoverboard and the other products on this list are all good, solid choices, but you'll want to look closely at their features to decide which on is right for you.
What Is The Segway Hoverboard?
Today's definition of a hoverboard is probably not what the children of the 1980s would have expected. The Segway hoverboard, and others like it, do not actually hover above the ground, but rather roll on two forward-facing wheels. The hovering sensation comes from the fact that you travel body-forward on the board without any form of handlebar.
The board is self-balancing with a gyroscope in each wheel hub and is powered with an internal motor. This motor runs on a rechargeable battery and different hoverboards will provide different amounts of battery life. The wheels on a Segway hoverboard are controlled by leaning forward or backward. As the gyroscopes rock forward they engage either the motor for each wheel individually or both together.
To ride a Segway hoverboard, the unit must first be fully charged and powered on. The rider then steps onto the board while safely holding onto a steady surface with two hands. Once both feet are securely onto the Segway hoverbooard, the rider can gently rock their ankles forward to engage with motor moving forward at a slow speed. To stop, simply rock the ankles back to a position that is parallel with the riding surface.
Turning a hoverboard is as simple as engaging the gyroscope on one side of the board while keeping the other parallel with the ground. When the right ankle is gently rolled forward, the unit will turn to the right and vice versa. Speed is increased by rocking the gyroscope further forward and decreased by leveling the board to a more parallel position.
Segway makes several models of hoverboards and in this article we are looking specifically at the 2018 Segway miniPRO. This is one of the most technologically advanced hoverboards on the market and moves well beyond the capabilities of most competing hoverboards. The most obvious different between the Segway hoverboard and the competition is the intelligent steering post. This is a beam that comes up between the rider's legs with pads that make contact around the knee.
Unlike many hoverboards on the market, this steering mechanism allows the rider to lean gently in the direction of their turn without needing to manipulate the gyroscopes forward and backward. This makes turning the miniPRO super easy and also provides increased stability while riding as the legs have an additional contact point with the device.
The Segway miniPRO works with a dedicated smartphone app that syncs via Bluetooth. This app controls many of the major functions on the unit and also gives status information like usage time and battery life. One of the most powerful functions of the app is a training program that can help get new riders up to speed within minutes. This training program can limit riding speed down to around 4 mph for new riders or allow an experienced rider to access the unit's full 10 mph top speed.
The Segway miniPRO was designed for users starting at 16 years of age and has a maximum weight capacity of 220lbs. The battery is rated for use between around 20 degrees and 100 degree Fahrenheit and will provide enough juice to go about 12.5 miles at top speed on a full charge. These powerful features coupled with Segway's proprietary Road Adaptive suspension make this an easy and powerful unit that could serve as a legitimate commuting tool for adults.
Prices for hoverboards vary widely depending on price, make, quality and features. Hoverboard prices can even spike slightly during warm weather months when riders are itching to get out and about. The price on this Segway hoverboard ranges around $550 for the newest model.
How It Compares
We picked a few similar products available on the market to see how they compare.
- Features 10.5" pneumatic air-filled tires, durable aircraft-grade magnesium alloy frame, mobile app controls, and customizable LED lights.
- For your safety, the miniPRO will limit the max speed to 4.3 mph (7 km/h) until you complete the New Rider Tutorial. The battery should never be removed from the unit and should never be stored or exposed to temperatures below 15°F or above 120°F.
- Designed for ages 16 and up. Max load of 220 lbs.
- Charge time of 4 hours. 10 mph top speed and 12.5 mile range. Max climbing angle of 15°.
The Swagway X1 can be found on Amazon for about $300.
Ease of Use
Segway's smartphone app and Road Adaptive suspension make this a super easy unit to ride.
This unit runs at an impressive 10mph.
The Segway miniPRO will travel for over 12 miles at the top speed of 10mph.
Segway covers the miniPRO with a one-year warranty against manufacturing defects.
EPIKGO Self Balancing Scooter Hover Self-Balance Board
- GO SAFER - UL 2272 Certified balance board with UL2271 Certified Smart Battery. Underwent and passed 159 tests regarding safety regulations, meaning no potential fire hazards. Recommend at the Age 13+
- MORE POWER - EPIKGO has 400W Dual Motors that help it climb slopes as steep as 18 degree and last over 1 hour and over 10mile range on a single charge, making it the most powerful balance board on the market.
- GO ANYWHERE - Solid rubber tires for all- terrain purposes. Rated IP56 for solidness and water resistance. Easily maneuver through grass, mud and sand on the board built to do more.
- BIGER & BETTER - EPIKGO is nearly 2x more powerful and 30% larger than the leading competitor meaning more foot space, a more stable ride and more control.
- Maximum weight limit- 240 pounds. Minimum weight limit- 44 pounds
EPIKGO's self-balancing hoverboard has elite level power and speed. What separates this board from others on the market are its 400 watt dual motors and off-road tires. This increased power gives the EPIKGO the ability to climb hills at up to 18 degrees and also cruise at an impressive 12 mph. It also has a UL2271 certified battery that guarantees an hour of riding time at top speeds. This is a great hoverboard for experienced riders who want to cruise fast and hit non-paved surfaces.
This hoverboard currently sells on Amazon for around $600.
Ease of Use
The EPIKGO has increased power, but lacks a mobile app.
This board can cruise at up to 12 miles per hour.
With a full charge this battery will allow an hour of cruising at full speed.
EPIKGO covers this board with a 90-day limited warranty.
Razor Hovertrax 2.0 Hoverboard Self-Balancing Smart Scooter
Razor's Hovertrax is a great hoverboard for riders looking for something fun and easy. This board has smaller wheels than the Segway or EPIKGO at just 6.5″. This lower ride, coupled with Razor's Everglade stabilizing system, makes this an easy unit to get up on even as a beginner. It has less power than some on the market that could make it a good choice for kids. Razor is also a huge brand, so replacement parts and customer service are readily available for those who may be tough on the unit.
This unit currently retails for around $250 on Amazon.com.
Ease of Use
The Hovertrax won't overwhelm a new rider with too much power.
This unit will only run at about 6 mph.
Ride time on the Hovertrax is around 45 minutes at top speed.
This unit has a 90-day warranty.
Swagtron Swagboard Pro T1 UL 2272
- Cruise with swag on your hoverboard boasting an 8 mph top speed and 11 mile range - weight up to 220 lbs
- UL 2272 certified - the SWAGTRON 2-wheel self-balancing scooter excelled in all electrical safety tests
- This swag motorized scooter's new features include: LED headlights, battery indicators, rubber bumpers, and two riding modes
- Patented SWAGTRON SentryShield smart battery management system provides multi layered hover skate-board protection
- This balance scooter features an upgraded 250 Watt motor and gear stabilization for tighter control and downhill traction
The Swagtron T1 is the newest version of industry leading Swagtron hoverboard. The Swagtron was one of the original hoverboards on the market and now the Swagtron T1 builds on that foundation with updated features. First and foremost, this board has been updated to meet the new UL2272 fireproofing standards for both the battery and plastic housings.
The Swagtron has also been updated with a new gyroscope system for better stability. Like the Razor unit, the Swagtron T1 provides easy mounting and dismounting and will stand upright even after you have stepped off. This is not a hugely powerful ride with a max speed at around 9 miles per hour. It does, however, provide a good riding range of around 11 miles on a full charge.
This would be a good unit for a beginner or an experienced rider seeking a solid hoverboard at a good value.
This unit currently retails for around $300 on Amazon.
Ease of Use
This unit is easy to use but lacks some stability as compared with the Segway hoverboard.
This unit tops out at around 8mph.
With 11 miles of cruising distance, this will keep you moving all day.
Swagtron covers this unit with a one-year limited warranty against manufacturing defects.
Many movie buffs and technology fans are still desperately waiting for the day that we can hop on a hoverboard and float freely above the earth. Until that day comes, however, we can enjoy the freedom of cruising hands-free with two wheels firmly on the ground. Though the current hoverboards available on the market don't actually hover, they have become a viable option for both fun and commuting.
The Segway miniPRO hoverboard underscores how this technology has transcended the realm of toys or novelties. This unit is easy to ride, easy to maintain, and practical enough to serve as a commuting tool for short distances. With its intelligent steering column, smarthphone app, and high-quality construction, this is a legitimate vehicle that could be used on a daily basis.
What sets the Segway miniPRO apart from the rest is its ease of use and safety. Absolute beginners can hop on this unit and slowly build confidence with the help of the training program on the included app. Setting a maximum speed limit will prevent you from revving the motors and end up splattered on your back in a viral YouTube video. The Road Adaptive suspension on the 2018 Segway hoverboard will also make it far easier and more comfortable to cruise over uneven surfaces.
The Bottom Line
We're huge fans of this Segway hoverboard and give it a perfect five-star rating. It's not cheap, but if you compare the $550 price tag with a motorized bike or scooter, it's a great deal. What's great about his hoverboard is that it's built more like a tool than a toy. With that said, it would be hard to ride this thing to work and not feel like a kid again.
If you're in the market for a hoverboard, we think it's worth the money to consider the Segway miniPRO. It's an ultra-high quality unit that will provide a fun, safe, and reliable ride for years to come.