The Do's and Don't's of buying a Hoverboard / Swegway
You might still be in the dark as to what exactly the Swegways / Self balancing scooters / Hoverboards should be called, but that's not the only thing the consumer has been left in the dark about. At the time of writing, 88% of all hoverboards imported into the UK have not passed the necessary safety standards which is why they are being re-called from shelves all over the web and high-street, many units are still being sold though! We've broken down some useful information into the DO's and DON'T's of buying an electric self balancing scooter to make sure you get the real deal:
-DO learn to ride the board while holding on to sombody or someTHING when you first step on it. You'll be wobbly for a couple of minutes while you adjust.
-DO make sure your plug and charging adaptor is EU CE standard approved. This is very important as many units have been imported with dangerous plugs and/or charging adaptors. Anyone can stick a 'CE' standards sticker on their charging adaptor (and they do). The best advice would be to buy a brand which looks to be reputable form a retailer which looks to be reputable (and from an established goods importer if you can hold of that info).
-DO make sure your swegway comes with a fair warranty, not just for 'electrical faults'. Some companies boards have been snapping clean in half and they have not been upholding warranty claims blaming the damage on 'misuse' by the user. Good retailers will offer their own cover for goods they are selling on top of the manufacturers warranty.
-DO get a Hoverboard with a Class A lithium battery. Again, buying from a legit retailer and manufacturerwill ensure that the battery inside the bord s what it says it is!
-DO expect your board to get scratched and beaten up. They are all shiny and beautiful when new but you may as well get used to the fact that they are going to look weathered once it's rolled off in front of you a few times! Some brands now come with the wheel-arch bumpers which protect the most commonly scratched parts of the swegway casing.
-DON'T try and go FULL SPEED AHEAD until you are well adjusted to the board, especially on uneven surfaces like outdoors. The faster you are going the more easily uneven surfaces will send you flying without warning. At top speed it's very easy to get 'speed-wobble' unless you are a seasoned rider.
-DON'T step off your hoverboard forwards when you are new to riding it. That's how we've seen most slams here in the shop! Always step off backwards.
-DON'T buy from a website whose only product is swegways / hoverboards. The swegway is a short lived fad (sorry, that's the harsh truth!) and the websites selling ONLY hoverboards will be gone quicker than you can say, 'It's stopped working'.
-DON'T take it for granted that just because the hoverboard is being sold by a usually reputable retailer it guarantees it has passed all safety checks and certificates. Many non-compliant brands slipped through the net in the early days of import and are still being sold. Luckily most of the responsible high-street names have re-called and removed any dodgy swegways from their websites.
-DON'T ride in the rain. It's IP54 splash proof, so won't respond well to a soaking and won't be covered under warranty!
-DON'T buy direct from outside the EU. You risk the board being seized by customs if the components are not EU safety compliant. Furthermore, if it does get through you may be charged import tax on the item before it can be released, (usually around £60). It'll also be a pain to fix if the board stops working.