Hoverboards are cool, but they are still a bit of a mystery to most people. You likely wonder, how do they really work?
Hoverboards are self-balancing scooters that allow you to glide over surfaces without using your feet. They look like skateboards or rollerblades, but hoverboards are powered by electricity instead of your movement and the wheels.
The first generation of hoverboards was released in 2015, and since then, the technology behind them is improving quickly. They are now becoming an increasingly popular way of getting around for both children and adults.
To learn more about hoverboards check out our ultimate guide below. We include everything you need to know about hoverboards, including how they work, how to ride them, and how to ensure that they are safe at all times. Take a look!
How Does a Hoverboard Work?
First, let’s discuss the components inside a hoverboard. In a standard model, you will find a battery, a logic board, two gyroscopes, and two motors. There are two gyroscopes and motors because there is one of each in each wheel.
The battery is the powerhouse of the hoverboard. Without a charged battery, the hoverboard wouldn’t go anywhere. Most hoverboards use lithium-ion batteries that are somewhere between 36V and 42V.
The gyroscopes are responsible for the self-balancing nature of hoverboards. The gyroscope next to each wheel receives information about the speed and tilt of the vehicle. They then pass that information on to the main logic board.
The logicboard to the hoverboard is what a motherboard is to a computer. It is like the brain of the vehicle, as everything is controlled from here. It receives information and then gives commands based on that information.
For example, the logicboard will receive information regarding the speed and tilt of the vehicle from the gyroscopes. The logicboard will process that information, and then give commands to ensure that the hoverboard remains balanced and stable.
As discussed above, it is normal for a hoverboard to have a motor in each wheel. This allows each wheel to move independently at different speeds, which in turn, allows you to do maneuvers such as turn corners.
Finally, you control movement using the sensors in the footpads of the hoverboard. Below the footpads, there are two switches. These are used to detect movement and weight on the hoverboard and tell the wheels to accelerate in a particular direction.
Do Hoverboards Fly?
Unfortunately, these hoverboards do not fly. Rather, they make you feel as though you are gliding, thanks to their gyroscopic sensors allowing for balance-based control over speed, thrust, and direction.
However, don’t be too disheartened. Flying hoverboards might be on their way! In 2016, a jet-powered hoverboard was flown by its inventor, Franky Zapata. It broke the Guinness world record for the furthest distance flown on a hoverboard.
How Do You Ride a Hoverboard?
Now that you know how hoverboards work, you can learn how to ride one. Riding a hoverboard can be a little daunting, and it definitely takes a lot of time and practice to get used to it. However, once you do, it is super fun! Take a look at our step-by-step guide.
- Put your hoverboard on an even surface and stand behind it.
- Step onto the hoverboard with your most dominant foot. If you are struggling to do this, double-check that the hoverboard is on a flat and even surface.
- Step up with your other foot.
- Try and position your feet as distanced as possible, as this will help you maintain balance and control.
- Stand up straight, keep your head up, and look directly forward.
- If you struggle with any of these steps, don’t worry! That is normal. We recommend taking your time to master the process of standing on your hoverboard and feeling comfortable before you try moving around.
- Once you feel comfortable, you can begin to move. To do this, lean or gently shift your weight by moving your ankle up and down. Here, you need to be very careful. Hoverboards only need slight movements to move.
- To move forward lean slightly forward using your ankles – do not bend at the waist.
- To turn left, push your right toes down. To turn right, push your left toes down.
- When your fun is over, step off the hoverboard one foot at a time. Do not jump off!
Is it Easy to Ride a Hoverboard?
This depends both on the person riding the hoverboard, and the type of hoverboard. Slower hoverboards are much easier to ride than faster ones, as they are much easier to control. As the speed of the board increases, so does the difficulty.
Some people will hop on a hoverboard and will take to it like a fish to water. Others will require a lot of time and practice. If you fall into the latter category – don’t worry! You simply need to spend some time getting used to the balance and movement.
Why Do Hoverboards Explode?
When hoverboards first burst onto the scene, they didn’t come without their problems and controversies. In fact, you may have heard of exploding hoverboards. To date, more than 300 cases of hoverboards exploding or catching fire have been reported.
So, you’re likely wondering, why on earth do hoverboards explode? Well, it is quite simple. Hoverboard batteries (the lithium-ion batteries described above) are very sensitive to heat and quite unstable. If they get too hot, they can explode or catch fire.
How Do I Keep My Hoverboard From Exploding?
We don’t want the information above to scare you. Much work has been done in recent years to make hoverboards safer – and there are a few things you can do yourself to ensure that your hoverboard doesn’t explode.
Check out our tips below.
- Always purchase a hoverboard with UL certification.
- Keep your hoverboard away from water.
- Don’t overcharge your hoverboard.
- Keep your hoverboard in a cool area.
- Don’t charge the hoverboard if you don’t plan on using it.
- Be careful on uneven terrain if your hoverboard isn’t made for such environments.
How Does the Lexus Hoverboard Work?
The hoverboards we’ve been talking about so far are really self-balancing boards. However, in 2015, Lexus produced a teaser video of what appeared to be a real hoverboard… one that actually, well, hovers!
The Lexus hoverboard looks like a sleek and modern skateboard without wheels. In the video, it seemed to float effortlessly an inch or so above the ground. So, you might wonder, how on earth does this type of hoverboard work?
Well, it essentially works using magnets. The hoverboard relies on superconductors and magnets. These work together to repel the gravitational force and keep the hoverboard (and its rider) afloat.
Can I Buy the Lexus Hoverboard?
Now that we’ve established how cool the Lexus hoverboard is, you’re probably wondering where you can purchase one. Unfortunately, you can’t. In fact, it is very unlikely that you will ever be able to purchase one.
The hoverboard only works on specifically constructed tracks. These tracks are essentially laced with permanent magnets. These magnets create a magnetic field on which the hoverboard can float.
As such, whilst the Lexus hoverboard is wonderful to look at, rolling it out as a consumer product would be unfeasible, to say the least. So, for now, your Marty McFly Back to the Future fantasies will have to hold on for a little while longer.
Hoverboards are truly awesome pieces of equipment. They are super fun to use and the technology is advancing by the day!
We hope that after reading this article you feel confident in your knowledge of hoverboards and how to use them safely.