Hoverboards really broke out in 2015 and 5 years on the category is really starting to find it’s feet. What was in a sense a race to the bottom to make a cheap toy that could land under the Christmas tree, has now turned into a mature category of personal transportation devices.
Much like Electric Bikes and Scooters, the Hoverboard now has serious capabilities to take you places and have fun doing it.
As someone who did rollerblades growing up, then ice skating, I somehow managed to miss trying Hoverboards when they first arrived on the scene. After seeing many people hurt themselves when trying to use Hoverboards, I was a little apprehensive, particularly given wrists seemed to be a common injury and wrists are pretty critical to typing.
After unboxing the HX Phantom Overboard 2.0, it was clear from the size and weight that this was a device that wasn’t playing around.
The wheels are massive at 8.5″ in diameter and designed to ride on any terrain. While there are no shock absorbers to soak up bumps in the footpath, the tyres are made from solid rubber which soaks up that shock and allows it to travel on almost any hard surface.
After powering on the Hoverboard and attempting to stand on the hoverboard, it moved much more than I had imagined. Fortunately, I had a hallway with two walls within reach, so I was able to have some comfort that I had some safety if things went badly.
Eventually, I was able to stand on top of the Hoverboard and at first, I was very unstable. With a few minutes, I was able to get my bearings and rid it successfully.
Something amazing happened around 10 minutes into slowly rolling around my house. It felt like my brain created a new pathway between what I wanted to do and what my body needed to do, to make that action happen.
Turning corners suddenly began to happen naturally, going forward, slowing down, turning on the spot, all began to rapidly fall into place. This was a radical learning curve I was not expecting. Initially I imagined days or even weeks of grinding and a few falls to get to this point.
Within 10-15 minutes I went from never having ridden a hoverboard, to now being able to adequately ride one and it feeling natural.
A few days on and many rides later, I’m now zooming around like I’ve been doing this for years. Thanks to the complimentary app on my mobile phone, I’m able to see how fast I’m travelling and set limits if I wanted to ensure I didn’t get ahead of myself. I was acutely aware that it is at this stage that real damage can happen. When you have confidence (and a bit of speed), but not the hours under your belt in experience to match.
As the days turned into a couple of weeks, riding the hoverboard became fun and natural and is something I really look forward to using. I’m not scared that I’m going to fall, in fact I never fell. Sure there was the odd time I jumped off, but I never once fell to the ground.
If you’re heading around the corner to a friends place and a neighbour has their sprinklers on, you can power right through it, knowing the device is IP54 water-resistant.
I don’t expect many people to be using this at night, but if you did, there’s a bright LED headlight upfront and customisable LED lights on the back, to allow anyone, like cyclists to see you well in advance.
The HX Phantom Hoverboard 2.0 has a max speed of 16km/hr which considering walking is typically around 5km/hr, it’s a much faster mode of transport. In my experience, most of the time you’ll do closer to 10km/hr, but it’s great knowing the capabilities of a device are greater than what you need and not the other way around.
To be honest, the range is as much as 30km on a single charge, so it’s conceivable that you could use this to get from home to the office and back.
Price and Availability
Regularly priced at $900, the HX Phantom Hoverboard 2.0 is currently available for just A$548.00. While you can certainly find hoverboards cheaper than that, I think you’d be hard pressed to find one this strong, durable and capable.
The Hoverboard is available in both black (currently sold out) and blue (reviewed) directly from hoverx.com.au
As a bonus, I put together a video on my whole experience of learning to ride my first Hoverboard and now that I have it down, it’s an incredibly fun experience.