When hoverboards were invented in 2013, a lot of people wanted to get their hands on one. Everyone knew what a hoverboard was because it has been in the trends list for several years. Because of the demand, bootleg companies took advantage and released fake hoverboard options.
Since these knock-off hoverboards are cheaper and more affordable than legit brands, consumers were eager to get their hands on them. However, there have been many reports of hoverboards catching fire, particularly with cheap brands.
In this article, you will learn the importance of buying hoverboards from reputable companies and retailers. You will also learn how to spot a real vs. a fake hoverboard and purchase only the safest hoverboards for you and your kids.
Hoverboards Catching Fire
In 2015, hoverboards were on the watchlist for issues concerning combustion and explosions when in use. By July 2016, there have been 99 reports of hoverboards catching fire (1).
The reason: battery, circuitry, and cheap parts. The early versions of the hoverboard battery and wires were not built to withstand shock from hoverboard use.
Unfortunately, even with the many incidents of fire hazards and explosions, there are still cheap hoverboard companies trying to sell their uncertified products online.
Real vs. Fake Hoverboards
If you are buying hoverboards online, make sure you are buying from a reputable company or a legit online seller. There are many ways to know if a hoverboard is real or fake, and here are some useful tips on how to spot a fake hoverboard:
How to Spot a Fake Hoverboard
Check the name
Fake hoverboards will often try to copy the design of an authentic one. However, due to some copyright laws, they cannot use the name. Cheap knock-offs that usually come from China often use a name that is close to the real thing. At first glance, the fake hoverboard will look exactly like the real thing, but if you check the name, you will find that it is different.
For example, the board may look like a Segway hoverboard, but if you look closer, it will say something like “Swegway” or even “Swagway.” Some brands wouldn’t even mind changing the name, which makes it difficult to tell them apart when you simply look at it. To spot a fake hoverboard, you must inspect it thoroughly.
Another dead giveaway that a hoverboard is possibly fake is the price. If the price of a hoverboard is too good to be true, it is probably fake. A pretty decent hoverboard will cost around $300. You are lucky if you find one at a lower price.
You may find one at around $150, but it might not have the same speed and battery power. A hoverboard at this price can still be legit if you think that the specs fit the price. However, if the price is too good for the specs, walk away.
Buying a really cheap hoverboard will most likely not last for more than a week, and it can potentially cause harm by catching fire, or worse, explode.
How does it look?
You can also tell if the hoverboard is fake by how it looks. Does it look legit? If not, you should not buy it. If the hoverboard is too light or the plastic feels easily breakable, it is probably fake.
An authentic hoverboard should sport a premium look. You will know when you touch and feel every inch. Some are not even flashy at all. So, if there is something off about how the hoverboard looks, you should not buy it no matter how affordable it is.
Check the Manual
If you check the hoverboard manual, you can tell if its real or fake. If the hoverboard has bad translations and typos, it is not legit. No legit company would pass and approve an owner’s manual with too many typos and grammatical errors.
Authentic brands will use quality paper with illustrations and coherent text. It would also have a website and contact information. If your hoverboard model did not come with a manual because you bought it pre-owned, you can easily find one online if it is authentic.
Does the board have certification markers?
A safe hoverboard should have UL 2272 certified markers underneath the unit. The UL certification (2) means that the hoverboard went through a series of rigorous testing to make sure that the board is safe to use. Avoid buying a hoverboard without this certification.
If the hoverboard produces a squeaking noise, there might be something wrong with the components or it has loose parts. A well-built quality hoverboard should not produce any squeaking noise. Also, shake the hoverboard to make sure that there are no loose parts inside the hoverboard enclosure.
If you are looking for a hoverboard from Amazon, the best way is to look at the customer reviews. These are real people with real opinions about the product. You can also search for reviews for the specific model to get a more in-depth insight.
Why you Should Avoid Buying a Fake Hoverboard
There are many reasons why you should avoid buying a fake hoverboard, but the main reason is safety. You may think that you have saved money by scoring a really cheap hoverboard, but little did you know that it might cause you harm.
Plus, cheap hoverboards will not last. In the long run, you can save more money if you invest in a mid-range hoverboard that can last for a longer time.
Hoverboards are cool toys for kids and useful for adults as well. They might be a little pricey, but it is better to purchase hoverboards from trusted manufacturers such as Swagtron or Segway rather than buying from unknown brands. The prices may cost more than what you are willing to spend on a hoverboard, but you cannot put a price on safety for you and your kids.