Hoverboards have been on fire this holiday season -- both figuratively and literally.
The price for a hoverboard can range from $100 to $2,000, depending on the model.
Sales show that hoverboards were easily one of the top purchased tech toys in 2015, but fears of the self-balancing board catching fire and overall bans of the hoverboard in some parts of the country have many questioning if they should buy one or not.
Here are a few pros and cons of buying that futuristic skateboard.
- Ease of use: After much needed practice and balance, hoverboards can be fairly easy to use and maneuver. Tutorials online have videos teaching consumers "how to ride a hoverboard in minutes."
- Size: “Self-balancing scooters” are much smaller and lighter than Segways. The average weight of hoverboards varies between 20-25 pounds, and they are small enough to stow away in a backpack or locker.
- Convenience: If you’re within a short distance between destinations and don’t feel the need to walk or drive, no problem. Your hoverboard can go up to 10 mph and travel between 10-15 miles per charge.
- Design: Self-balancing boards have a modern or futuristic design, making them more appealing than the traditional skateboard.
- Injuries: Hoverboards have put children, and their parents, in the hospital. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, there have been 70 reports of emergency room visits due to hoverboard accidents, mostly linked to falls and collisions.
- Exploding hoverboards: So far the federal government is investigating 22 reports of hoverboards catching on fire. Lithium ion batteries in the hoverboards have caused issues of overheating, and some to even burst into flames, which have destroyed bedrooms and even entire homes.
- Accessibility: Numerous businesses, cities and airports have limited or even banned where hoverboards can be ridden.
- Availability: Hoverboard sales have soared during the holiday season, making it quite difficult to find one in stores or having them delivered without delayed shipping. In fact, Amazon has stopped listing majority of its cheap "knock off" hoverboards due to risks of injury and fire.
You may want to check customer reviews before purchasing a hoverboard online.
According to Consumer Product Safety Commission, hoverboards should not be charged overnight. The two-wheeled scooters should also be given enough time to cool before plugging them into a charger.