Hoverboards and skateboards are, well, boards. Both are motorized vehicles and aren’t exactly cheap. Also, both are balance boards where you stand on the device’s foot platform and ride the thing to your heart’s content.
While a hoverboard shares a few similarities with an electric skateboard, there’s a bunch of hoverboard vs electric skateboard differences. This post strives to highlight these differences to make it easier for you to decide which contraption is the better buy.
Both Are Motorized Vehicles
A hoverboard typically comes with two motors, one in each wheel. However, some hoverboard models come with only one motor. Similarly, an electric skateboard is a motorized skateboard, and while many rely on one motor for propulsion, some have dual motors.
When buying either personal transportation device, make sure to learn how much wattage each product offers. Because motor capacity determines where you can go, how fast you can get there, and how easily you climb hills.
Not surprisingly, a hoverboard or e-skateboard with a more powerful motor costs more than a small-motor option.
On hoverboards, the engines/motors are found inside the wheels. When replacing these motors, you have to change the wheels as well. In fact, when you order a replacement hoverboard motor, you get a new wheel plus a motor.
By contrast, the motor on an electric skateboard lives outside of the wheels. The motor is typically strapped onto the underside of the deck. This means you can change the motor on an e-sk8 without needing to change out the wheels.
Electric skateboards have a more compact design compared to hoverboards. Since hoverboards have the so-called self-balancing feature, they’re a more complex build. Also, hoverboards tend to be heavier than e-skateboards. Some hoverboards are built for really heavy riders. The best hoverboards for big riders have a maximum load capacity of over 400 lbs.
Hoverboard Vs Electric Skateboard, Which is Safer?
Since both devices are motorized vehicles, there’s always a certain degree of risk involved during rides. It’s not uncommon for riders to fall off these motor-powered devices and get seriously injured.
That said, a hoverboard is relatively safer than an electric skateboard thanks to its gyroscope-supported self-balancing technology. When you turn on a hoverboard, this technology kicks in and compels the board to stay balanced. With an e-skateboard, you need to have really good balance to ride it safely.
Also, since e-skateboards tend to have a much higher top speed compared to self-leveling scooters (hoverboards), they’re less safer.
You want to wear a helmet while riding a hoverboard or an e-sk8 to protect your melon as you enjoy the board. A bad spill on either board can lead to a cracked cranium, broken wrists, and elbows.
Bottom line: Compared to electric skateboards, hoverboards are the safer bet for beginners and kids. Wearing decent protective gear is highly encouraged while riding each board type.
Hoverboard Vs Electric Skateboard: Which is Faster?
Electric skateboards are much faster (and less safe for this very reason) than hoverboards. The average speed of a hoverboard is 6mph-7mph versus 18mp-28mph for electric skateboards. The fastest hoverboards can achieve a top speed of 12mph while the fastest (and unsafest) e-skateboard zip around at 40mph!
If you’re wondering which the fastest hoverboard in the world is, it’s the F1 Gyroor hoverboard. This device demonstrates a maximum speed of 12mph. And 12mph feels insanely fast on a hoverboard.
Many people tend to stay in the 15mph-20mph range while on an e-skateboard and 7-9mph while on a hoverboard. Remember to put on a properly certified helmet while riding either device especially at high speeds. Falls off these devices can be catastrophic; so, take care.
Which is Better for Commuting, Hoverboard or Electric Skateboard?
Assuming your state allows people to use these devices on the road (many don’t), an electric skateboard would be the better personal transportation device. Its range tends to be bigger versus that of a hoverboard, plus an e-sk8 tends to take on uneven surfaces much better than does a hoverboard.
Both Vehicles Use Rechargeable Batteries
These vehicles rely on a rechargeable battery pack for power. They normally use lithium-ion batteries, pretty much the same battery technology Elon Musk’s electric cars use. Make sure to learn how well the battery holds a charge and how long a full charge lasts.
The battery on a hoverboard stays enclosed in the casing and accessing it necessitates unscrewing the casing. Opening the board up is quite easy, but there’s a whole bunch of cables inside and that can be a little intimidating.
On an electric skateboard, the battery stays attached onto the underside of the deck. Accessing this battery requires you to peel off the grip tape and put it back on, which feels like a lot of work.
Number and Nature of Wheels
One key difference between a hoverboard and an electric skateboard is that a hoverboard features two wheels while an e-skateboard has four wheels.
The wheels of a hoverboard are bigger and wider for the most part than those of an e-skateboard. Hoverboard wheels look like a car’s wheels (not as wide) while regular e-sk8’s wheels look like, well, skateboard wheels.
A hoverboard does well on smooth surfaces but struggles quite a bit when the terrain gets bumpy or uneven. An e-skateboard takes on smooth surfaces like a pro, and the best off-road e-skateboards conquer tough terrain like champions.
Hoverboard wheels have inner tubes which isn’t always the case with e-skateboard wheels. The wheels on an e-sk8 are typically tubeless unless they’re pneumatic (inflatable) tires such as those found on the baddest off-road e-skateboards.
Mileage/Range: Which Travels Farther on a Single Charge?
The average hoverboard travels about 7 miles on a full charge compared to 12-20 miles on average for e-skateboards. Long-range hoverboards can ride up to 15 miles on a single charge while the longest-range e-skateboard I’ve seen travels up to 50 miles without needing charging. You can expect to enjoy more ride-time on an electric skateboard versus a hoverboard.
Device Cost: Which is More Expensive?
Electric skateboards are generally more expensive than hoverboards. Some hoverboards can be had for as little as $60 (please don’t buy these ones as they tend to be really bad quality) while $200 electric skateboards are considered cheap.
Decent hoverboards costs around $200 while decent e-skateboards tend to cost $300+. Make sure to read or watch hoverboard and e-skateboard reviews before shoveling your money over to any seller.
Hoverboard vs Electric Skateboard FAQs
Is a Hoverboard Safer Than a Skateboard?
Yes, a hoverboard is generally safer than an electric skateboard (during rides) because it uses a self-balancing technology to keep the rider upright at all times (when it’s working). With an electric skateboard, the rider needs to use more of their core strength to balance on the board and stay balanced throughout the ride. A helmet is an essential piece of protective gear while riding either device.
However, hoverboards have been known to catch fire during rides or explode when charging overnight. In this respect, electric skateboards are safer than hoverboards. Be sure to always choose a UL2272-certified hoverboard.
Is a Hoverboard Like a Skateboard?
A hoverboard is like an electric skateboard in that both devices use a motor/motors and the rider stands on a platform during travel. Both are boards on wheels, but while a hoverboard has 2 wheels, an electric skateboard comes with 4 wheels.
Is Riding a Hoverboard Difficult?
Not really. Pretty much anyone can learn how to balance on a hoverboard and control it in under 30 minutes. But this isn’t the case with an e-skateboard. Mastering a motorized skateboard requires great balancing skills and greater coordination compared to riding a hoverboard.
Be careful when stepping on any motorized skateboard if you’re not already familiar with riding a traditional skateboard. But it doesn’t mean you must be able to ride a conventional skateboard before you can ride a motorized one. Some people take to an electric skateboard pretty fast even when they have zero experience riding a regular skateboard. Still, knowing how to skateboard does make it easier to learn electric skateboarding.
Is Hoverboard Worth Buying?
If you’re looking for a reliable means of personal transportation to and from work, buying a hoverboard isn’t always a good idea. So many states in the U.S. and many countries worldwide have laws that limit riding a hoverboard on private property and parks. If you’re looking for something to mess around the backyard or local park with, then a hoverboard can be a worthy investment.
Which is More Fun: Hoverboard vs Electric Skateboard?
You will end up annoying lots of cyclists when riding either device, especially if you’re wearing headphones and have little respect for pedestrians and other users. But yes, a hoverboard feels like more fun probably because it’s different than an electric skateboard. It’s lots of fun rolling around on some expensive modern trend on wheels, right?
Final Thoughts on Hoverboard vs. Electric Skateboard
A good e-skateboard generally costs more than a hoverboard, but it’s harder to ride and can be unsafe at very high speeds. A hoverboard is lots of wheely fun because it’s different and tech-packed, and it’s a more family-friendly choice. But reports of hoverboards catching fire aren’t rare.
For kids and beginners or spending your free time rolling around in your backyard or socializing with others at the park, choose a hoverboard. For traveling longer distances such as commuting to your job or office, an electric skateboard would be the better choice.