Hoverboards, also called self-balancing scooters, are widely popular in the Philippines. Not surprisingly, they are also very popular in other parts of the world. However, with as with all things popular, businesses take advantage and competition become tighter. The result are cheaper products but with lesser regard for the safety of users.
There are well-made hoverboards from well known manufacturers, then there are those that are very cheap but have suspect quality. In Greenhills Shopping Center, for instance, several stores are selling hoverboards for as cheap as P10,000. If you are a casual buyer, you would easily be convinced into buying especially after you try riding on one. After all, there is an undeniable thrill in riding on these gadgets.
A typical hoverbard
However, if you are getting a hoverboard from an unknown maker, you should think twice before deciding to buy one. In many parts of the world, hoverboards or self-balancing scooters are banned for safety concerns. The UK government, for one, has made an effort to confiscate poorly made hoverboards after several instances of fire, explosion and hardware malfunction have been reported. The main cause, according to reports, is the battery used in these products. Reports have traced the cause of the most common fire and explosions involving hoverboards to cheap rechargeable lithium-ion batteries. Poor quality batteries are used on some products to keep the cost down, resulting in a dangerous product.
Some reported fire incidents included a house and even a mall. Hoverboards even reportedly burst into flames while people were riding them. Amazon has even pulled out hoverboards from its inventory pending review. The latest industry to take action against this new fad is in the airline business. Hoverboards are banned in flights because there is a risk that they will catch fire and therefore endanger the flight and passengers.
Hoverboards are fun to use, but you must use one that is of high quality and is from a known maker. The hard thing about this, however, is that it is difficult to find these quality brands in the Philippines. And for the budget-conscious buyer, the tendency is to buy the cheaper ones. If you must really get a hoverboard, my advice is for you to first read reviews of the brand you are getting. Or if you can resist the urge to buy one, just don’t. Hoverboards, when not exploding, easily cause accidents. Just like this incident where one user was hit by a bus while riding a hoverboard.
Before you finally decide to buy a howeverboard, you may want to read articles for some information on the safety issues of hoverboards. You can read here, here or here. For some tested brands, you may want to read this article from Wirecutter.