A growing number of people want to connect with themselves, others, and the great outdoors. And one always needs a board in some form or shape for that, right? There are hoverboards, waveboards, skateboards, electric skateboards, longboards, electric scooters, Segways, and whatnot to make it all happen. But which board is the right choice for you? This post focuses on hoverboards vs waveboards and shines light on each device type to arm you with the information you need before you choose one or the other.
Related: Best 8-year-old Kid Hoverboard
Hoverboard vs. Waveboard: What’s the Difference?
At a glance, a hoverboard looks similar to a waveboard as far as board design. Both boards start out narrow in the middle and widen out as you move toward each end. Each end features a platform where the riders plants and keeps their feet while riding. And both devices stay on the ground the whole time. Also, both are two-wheeled devices; the wheels on a hoverboard face the same direction at all times while those on a waveboard can and do steer independently.
While a hoverboard depends on two motors (mostly two, sometimes one) for propulsion, a waveboard counts on the rider to put in the work to keep it moving.
Another difference between a hoverboard and a waveboard is that a hoverboard self-balances thanks to it having a pair of gyroscopes while a waveboard lacks this feature. With a waveboard, the rider must do all the work needed to keep the board balanced while sustaining forward thrust.
One board isn’t necessarily better than the other, though, because riders derive enjoyment from both. What you end up choosing is purely a matter of personal preference.
Do you prefer watching videos to reading through walls of text? No worries. I found a helpful Waveboard vs Hoverboard video that I believe you’ll enjoy watching. Watch the video below.
What’s a Hoverboard and What Do You Do With It?
A hoverboard is a little board on wheels, one that packs enough of a technology that keeps it and the rider upright throughout the ride. No, it’s nothing like the weird wheel-less board Marty McFly stands on as he floats around in Back to the Future movies.
McFly’s board actually hovers over land and water (doesn’t work on water, though!), but everyday hoverboards don’t do anything like that. What they do is roll on smooth roads and go up gentle hills, and when you try rolling over rough terrain and bumps, their reluctance to obey your instructions becomes apparent.
What’s a Waveboard and Why Do People Like It?
A waveboard, also known as a ripstick/RipStick/rip stick, castorboard, or J-board is a two-wheeled board on two independently steering wheels. Viewed from the top or bottom side, a waveboard looks like the figure eight. It starts really thin in the middle and widens out as you approach either end.
Your feet stand on the widest part of the board, each on either side. While balancing on a good hoverboard feels like child-play for most people, balancing on a waveboard can be quite difficult. And it’s easy to lose your balance and face-plant on a ripstick.
To give forward thrust to a waveboard or ripstick, the rider makes twisty movements with the feet and hips, and this does take some getting used to. It’s similar to the twisty and precise foot and hip movements you make while riding on inline skates.
While riding a hoverboard may not feel super easy for everyone, it’s relatively easy and most people and kids can master this board in no time.
But why do some people like ripsticks? I mean, it’s a weirdly designed board that requires godlike balance and skill to master.
If something looks a little weird and is kind of hard to learn, people tend to like it. A waveboard looks different than most of the boards many people are familiar with. Plus, it makes its riders look really cool because, well it’s hard to ride and they can ride it. It’s kind of like being one of the chosen few.
Waveboard vs Ripstick: What’s the Difference?
A waveboard is similar to a ripstick in many ways. Both boards come with two wave-shaped decks joined by a torsion bar in the middle. Also, both have two wheels that steer independently, and you can use waveboard wheels on a ripstick for the most part.
What’s more, riding both boards requires the exact same technique: twisting the feet in a certain way to give the board forward thrust. This is unlike riding a skateboard in that your feet don’t really need to keep touching the ground to push off.
But there’s a few differences between a waveboard and a ripstick. A quick look reveals that waveboards look more or less like hoverboards while a ripstick looks more or less like an electric skateboard. Also, waveboards are available in lots of cute designs and solid deck colors while ripsticks typically come with single-color decks rather than an enhanced deck design.
Another difference (a small one) is that a ripstick’s wheels are slimmer (typically 76mm) versus’ a waveboard’s wheels (77mm). Another small difference is that the torsion bar in waveboards is shorter than it is in ripsticks, and this makes ripsticks somewhat easier to maneuver and thrust forward.
What’s Easier to Ride Hoverboard vs Waveboard?
Definitely a hoverboard. If you ask two people new to these devices to try riding either board, the person stepping on the ripstick for the first time ever will likely end up on the pavement, face-down! Staying up on a waveboard requires some serious level of balancing skills. Also, riding and controlling a ripstick is even trickier compared to riding a self-balancing scooter.
The ability of a hoverboard to self-balance vs no such capability in a waveboard makes a huge difference when it comes to learning to ride these two devices.
All that said, mastering a waveboard isn’t all that hard if you’re willing to put in the effort and time. It just takes longer and requires greater patience versus learning to ride a hoverboard.
Which is Cheaper Hoverboards or Waveboards?
While some hoverboards are quite affordable and cost under $100, a decent hoverboard will set you back more than a ripstick would, even a motorized ripstick. Razor, the company behind RipSticks, has been mass-producing these boards for a while now. Since regular ripsticks don’t need gyroscopes or motors or sensors, the cost stays comfortably low for the manufacturer as well as consumers. But when it comes to personal enjoyment, satisfaction and fun come first.
Hoverboard vs Waveboard FAQs
Is a Hoverboard a Skateboard?
No, a hoverboard is not a skateboard. That said, a hoverboard is pretty much like an electric skateboard in that both are motorized and the rider’s stance is more or less the same. However, the rider’s body on a skateboard faces sideways for the most part while the rider’s body on a hoverboard faces forward.
Is a Hoverboard Same as a Ripstick?
No, a hoverboard and a ripstick (also called RipStick) are two different things. The former comes with a motor and self-balances while the later lacks this self-leveling technology (I’m talking about motor-less ripsticks here) and depends on the rider’s balancing and riding skill to keep going. However, there are electric ripsticks, which are basically a regular ripstick with a hub motor and a lithium ion battery.
What’s the Difference Between a Ripstick and a Waveboard?
There’s essentially no difference between a ripstick and a waveboard. These are simply two different words used to describe the same thing. Sort of like when we say kids’ rollerblades or kids’ inline skates but are referring to the exact same outdoor gear.
Which is Better Skateboard or Waveboard?
For absolute beginners and kids, a skateboard is the better option because it’s easier to learn. A skateboard has 4 wheels, and this gives the new rider an instant sense of balance and stability while. A waveboard has two wheels that aren’t always facing in the same direction, and this can freak out beginners.
In terms of doing tricks and carving, both skateboards and waveboards amount to lots of fun. That said, a skillful person can achieve some really precise and impressive movements on a waveboard versus what a good skater can do on a skateboard. Go try out each board and see which you like more; that’s the only way to know for sure.
Wat is Better Skateboard or Hoverboard?
If you’re a serious outdoor enthusiast who like getting noticed and are willing to spend tons of time learning complex tricks at skate parks and on the street, go with a skateboard. But if all you’re looking for is a fancy little toy for Timmy to enjoy indoors or out in the backyard or driveway, a hoverboard is what you need.
Conclusion: Waveboards vs Hoverboards
Both of these boards help you get more out of your life. Most people ride hoverboards indoors or in parks or on private property versus a waveboard which you can ride in many places.
A skateboard is definitely easier to learn compared to a waveboard and may feel somewhat more stable upon stepping on it. And you can do all sorts of impressive tricks on either board, but when it comes to carving and overall maneuverability, the waveboard wins.
Whichever board you choose is your personal decision, and you need to make sure your child wears enough head protection before heading out to waveboard or skateboard. If you’re not sure which helmets are safe enough for riding a skateboard or waveboard, check out these dual-certified skateboarding helmets.
I'm Esther Moni, a proud stay-at-home mom and a psychology graduate of the United States International University (USIU) . I hate it when anyone calls me a housewife, because what does housewife even mean? Being a mother of two babies and a pup, Bailey, as well as being Ricky's wife tires me to no end, but I still manage a smile at the end of it all. And when my boys aren't done doing mischief, I juggle writing a post on parenting or baby gear performance for this blog and running my little counselling office based out in Nairobi. <a href="https://www.facebook.com/esther.moni/">Visit my Facebook profile here</a>, and this is my <a href="https://ke.linkedin.com/in/esther-moni-3841b573/">LinkedIn profile</a>, and here's my <a href="https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKcVb3NNDrURDH8C0KiAE1g/">nascent youtube channel.