Hoverboards. No, not those ones, the other ones. You were thinking about sci-fi masterpiece flown by Marty McFly in Back to the Future, right? When it comes to hoverboards vs electric skateboards, which comes out on top?
We’re talking about the two-wheelers with what looks like the two R2D2 heads as wheels, shine bright blue and red LED’s and occasionally burst into flames whenever someone with a video camera is trying it out for the first time.
They seem fun, look comical when someone tries them for the first time, took Amazon by STORM when they first came out, but how do they stack up when it comes to their sexy competition: the electric skateboard?
What is an Electric Skateboard?
If you’re looking on Wikipedia, an electric skateboard is:
An electric skateboard is typically a modified skateboard propelled by an electric motor, the power of which is usually controlled with an RF remote. As with a regular skateboard, it is steered by the rider shifting his or her weight. It was originally designed for local transport, but now offer a more serious “Off Road” model as a new thrill sport. The Off Road style boards are able to traverse grass, gravel, dirt and hard sand with ease and are often seen at low tide on the beach.
While governments seem to play ping-pong with the matters of legality facing hoverboards, on thing seems to be clear: they’re not going away any time soon. With that in mind, we thought we’d write a comparison for all the folks trying to decide which method of powered transportation will be ripping them down the pavement in their near future.
Many people tend to shy away from the electric skateboard option simply because they lack a background in skateboarding. With that in mind, however, who has a background in two-wheel hoverboarding? Since you will be on a powered skateboard, one of the hardest parts of riding is taken away: the kick push. Just think how easy it is when someone is pushing you while you stand up on a skateboard or longboard, without the kicking, it’s a whole different ballgame.
Propelling yourself forward while kicking, balancing and then having to sort yourself out by bringing the foot that kicks back onto the deck is no easy accomplishment, but on an electric skateboard, you won’t have to deal with this awkward movement that usually acts as a roadblock for anyone trying to learn how to skateboard.
Spontaneous fires aside, how do electric longboards stack up against their awkward, pyromaniac cousin, the longboard?
Hoverboards versus Electric Skateboards
Most hoverboards “hover” at around 7.5 mph (12kmh) while electric skateboards usually clock in around 18 mph (29 kmh) on the spedometer, and faster with some models such as the epic Munkyboards 900W with a top speed of 24 mph (39 km/h).
It’s certainly no surprise that electric skateboards are the clear winners here since it’s easier to maneuver and navigate at a higher speed when you can bend your knees and balance with a good stance rather than having your feet placed in essentially two rollerblades that are taped together as is the case on a hoverboard.
Winner: Electric skateboard
This result might be a bit surprising, but hoverboards are generally heavier than their longer older cousin, the electric skateboard. Most hoverboards weigh in at around 23 lbs (about 10.5 kilos) which will definitely make a dent, and maybe even a rip in your backpack. Electric skateboards usually weigh in at nearly 10 lbs lighter than the two wheeler hoverboard. Their average weight is around 13 lbs (almost 6 kg).
The obvious exception to this rule is the Maverix BorderX 800W which weighs in at a hefty 83 lbs (38kg)!
Winner: Electric skateboards
Charging Times and Range
Charge times for electric skateboards really vary from deck to deck from 60 minutes to 4+ hours depending on your make and model. Munkyboards 900W monster will take 5 hours of charging to let you ride up to 9.5 miles (15 km) while others, like the Boosted Dual+ will skate you up to 7 miles (11 km) with just 60 minutes of charging.
Most hoverboards clock in at charges times between one and two hours and will take you around 15 miles (25km) per charge.
While it’s obvious that Sony will not be making a Playstation about people doing hoverboard tricks, it may surprise many to realize that hoverboards are much heavier than their larger counterparts.
When it comes to speed, the long decks of the electric skateboards will zip you along the pavement much faster. Hoverboards do have an edge when it comes to charge times and ranges, but at what cost?
We’ll stick to electric skateboards and if you are thinking of purchasing a hoverboard, be sure to check the local rules and regulations in your state, or country, before you get started!