Hoverboards have gained incredible popularity in recent years. With technology constantly evolving, children are always pursuing the latest games and gadgets, so it’s only natural that kids’ hoverboards have become the must-have gifts for our young ones.
New technology, however, doesn’t come without concerns – and we would not be surprised to hear you ask “how does this thing actually work?”
But don’t worry. This extensive article on hoverboards for kids will explain everything you need to know – from the workings of self-balancing scooters, to their top speeds, and whether or not they are safe for children.
So, without further ado, let’s get into it!
What is a hoverboard?
A hoverboard is a two-wheeled, self-balancing scooter or skateboard. The wheels work independently and operate with tilt and speed sensors, allowing users to essentially glide or “hover” through the air.
In order to understand what they are and how they work, it is probably best to know the purpose of each of the hoverboard components:
- Foot pressure pads: This is the area on top of the board where the rider stands.
- LEDs: on the bottom of the board that will activate the infrared sensors.
- Battery packs: usually two lithium-ion batteries on each side of the bottom of the board.
- Charging port: the port that charges the battery pack.
- Infrared sensors: IR sensors inform the maximum speed of the board.
- Gyroscopes: potentially the most important feature of a hoverboard. Each hoverboard comes with two gyroscopes that provide the board with tilt and acceleration information. The gyroscopes process the level of the earth and the tilt level when leaning forward or backwards, determining the speed at which the board moves.
- Frame: all the external parts of the hoverboard, like the chassis of a car.
- Electric motors: two motors near the wheels to provide the board with power.
- Logic board: processes the data it receives from the different sensors and transmits to the board’s motors.
- Two wheels: a right and left wheel that can turn independently in various directions.
If a rider leans forward, the speed sensor will pick up this motion and turn it into speed. The rider can turn the hoverboard by tilting the footpads forward or backwards. Thanks to the two independent wheels and moveable footpads, these self-balancing scooters have high flexibility and movability.
How do hoverboards work for kids?
A child’s hoverboard works with the same self-balancing technology used for adults’ boards, with a slight difference in size.
To ride a hoverboard, your child must be leaning slightly forwards with both of their feet on the footpads in order for their hoverboard to work. The same goes for trying to drive the board backwards, where a slight tilt (or leaning gently) backwards will make the hoverboard glide in the desired direction.
The speed and acceleration of these boards shouldn’t be underestimated, however, and you should, therefore, lean forward extremely slowly for a gentle ride. This is also to ensure the rider doesn’t lose their balance.
A kid’s hoverboard will typically not be able to drive faster than 8 to 10mph, but to an inexperienced rider, that relatively slow speed can feel pretty fast.
There are switches under the footpads that trigger infrared rays, activating a sensor. If the rider places their feet flat on the logic board, it knows that the motors mustn’t run.
As soon as the rider leans forward, the logic board signals that the LED lights are off, which tells the sensor to spin the wheels of the hoverboard.
Each wheel has its own motor, meaning a rider can drive circles in place with only one wheel turning properly, while the other remains motionless.
Are hoverboards safe for kids?
While hoverboards have become the most sought-after gifts for kids, they have recently come under criticism after several accidents. Viral videos of people crashing into furniture have begun to sound alarm bells for parents whose children are begging for this exciting gadget. There have also been other unfortunate incidents including boards spontaneously exploding because of malfunctioning lithium-ion batteries and other incidents of riders losing control of the board when going too fast.
On top of that, they have become controversial when used in public spaces or on pedestrian walkways. This has understandably led to many parents wondering if hoverboards are safe for kids.
First, let’s put your mind at ease when it comes to spontaneously-exploding hoverboards. Rest assured, if you invest in a high-quality hoverboard, the batteries are highly unlikely to explode. The instances mentioned above are mainly due to poor manufacturing and low battery quality, as well as bad positioning and insulation.
Each battery is usually located on the opposite side of the board to avoid overheating. An extra layer of insulation should also be installed in order to protect the board from heat-related issues.
As with anything resembling a skateboard or snowboard, speed is an important factor in terms of safety, so we highly recommend that children wear helmets and other protective gear to prevent or decrease the risk of injuring themselves.
If you’re concerned about the speed and the safety of your child, you could opt to looking e-scooters for kids, since these operate similarly but with the added support of the handlebar.
Now that we have answered the question of “how does a hoverboard work,” we want to provide you with some further insights on hoverboards – and specifically hoverboards used by children.
How does a hoverboard move?
A hoverboard works with a motor that sits on each wheel. The motors process information from speed and tilt sensors when the rider moves.
In order to start riding, step on the hoverboard and place your feet on the footpads, then slowly lean forward.
How do I choose a hoverboard for my kid?
When buying a hoverboard for your child, there are certain features you can look out for to make sure your kid will be safe and have fun while riding it.
- What are the safety features of the hoverboard or hoverboard parts?
- What size is the hoverboard?
- Is there a specific age suitability or restriction?
- What is the speed limit of this board?
- How far can the hoverboard ride on a fully-charged battery? And what is the energy consumption?
- Are there different riding modes?
- Does it have extra (fun) features, such as colourful designs, lights or themes?
- What tires does it use, and are they provided with the board?
How can my child stay safe on a hoverboard?
As already mentioned, we highly recommend that your children (and adults, for that matter) only use hoverboards with a helmet and other protective gear, such as knee and elbow pads.
Another important thing to note is that you should introduce your kid to riding a hoverboard safely by explaining to them the responsibility of riding a motorised vehicle.
Hoverboards should never be classified as a toy. This is something you should explain to your child, just as you would do when they first start riding their bikes, skateboards or snowboards.
At what age do kids start riding hoverboards?
Usually, the recommended age for getting a hoverboard is around seven or eight years old. This depends on their skill level and physical ability, as well as their level of maturity and capacity to ride responsibly.
That said, just because they are riding at home, doesn’t mean they mustn’t wear a helmet to protect them.
Check Out EROC’s Hoverboards And Accessories
At EROC we have a wide variety of hoverboards for kids that come in a range of sizes and colours. All of our hoverboards have been quality-tested and come with standard safety features.Whilst you’re at it, why not check out our range of kids electric scooters or kids electric motor bike?