Self-balancing scooters for kids and adults are tons of fun to fly around on. Plus, they have this cool look that instantly announces to everyone that you’re serious about modern, sophisticated technology. Many people today use this “weird” personal transportation balance board to get around or even do short commutes.
But personal mobility isn’t the only application of this technology. Warehouses and factories have realized they can help workers move from point A to point B easily and without hurting the environment.
If you rode a skateboard as a kid and kind of got bored along the way or even outgrew it, it’s time to consider getting yourself a nice, motorized board on wheels. You just won’t be able to do those thrilling shuvits, ollies, and rail grinds the way you did on your skateboard. You can do tricks on a hoverboard, but you’re limited in some many ways because the blinking board never leaves the ground!
Consider Size and Weight Capacity When Buying a Hoverboard
Whether you’re buying a hoverboard for your child or for yourself so you can ditch the car, save money, and help Mother Earth heal, there’s two things you must consider. You need to choose the right size hoverboard. You should also make sure that the lower and upper weight limits of the self-balancing scooter will work for you.
There are kid-specific hoverboards with pretty low weight limits and medium-sized adult version for cruising around recreationally. Then there are heavy-duty models that scoff at mud, sand, potholes, small rocks, loose gravel, and whatnot.
A few years ago, hoverboard brands used to make really small hoverboards for kids. I’m talking about those 4.5″ balance boards we all saw around 2015 when this device first came on the scene. But there were tons of never-ending safety and performance-related problems with these boards. Perhaps that’s why it’s hard to find 4.5″self-leveling scooters these days.
Every hoverboard comes with two critical numbers: the lower weight limit and the upper weight limit. These two numbers may not seem super important, but it’s advisable to not ignore these limits completely.
If your kiddo is too light for a given board (yours?), don’t buy it for them or let them ride yours. And if you live over 15 pounds on the other side of the stated higher weight limit, consider getting a board with a larger capacity.
What’s the Maximum Weight Limit of a Hoverboard?
For most hoverboards, whether they’re meant for kids or adults, the minimum weight limit is 44 pounds. As for the upper weight limit, it varies from model to model, but it tops out at 420 pounds. It’s a good idea to consider each model’s lower and upper limits before purchasing, and I explain why in the following section.
Why is a Hoverboard’s Weight Limit Important?
Manufacturers have engineers who test hoverboards to learn the weight limits of each limit. We all know engineers are smart folks, and if they state a lower weight limit and an upper one, there sure must be a good reason for it.
I don’t pretend to know how these devices are engineered, but I imagine that an option with a high weight limit has a sturdier build. I believe that high-capacity hoverboards have a super strong foot platform designed to stand up to downward pressure exerted by even the heaviest loads. The wheels also tend to have wider wheels, and this means that such boards don’t dig/sink into the ground during rides.
Can a very heavy rider break a hoverboard? They most likely won’t, but that depends on the structural integrity of the design and the quality of the components. If the platform is made using flimsy, low-quality materials, it’s easy to see how too much weight can snap the board.
What happens in most cases is that the board doesn’t break, but all the stress the extra weight piles on it has far-reaching consequences. If you own a board with a substantially lower capacity versus your weight, you’ll notice it doesn’t ride that predictably. Plus, there’s a very big chance it won’t last long.
What about the minimum weight limit? It’s easy to think the lower limit doesn’t matter, but it does. How well a smart-balancing scooter rides and handles depends to an extent on the body weight of the rider. If there isn’t enough of the rider on the platform, maneuvering and controlling the board becomes sort of a trial and error experiment. And as is the case with overextending the upper limit, safe rides aren’t a cast-iron guarantee.
What Happens When You Ignore a Hoverboard’s Weight Limits?
No one wants to buy a hoverboard and see it breaking down after a few months, but this is a real possibility if you are too heavy or light. This is what happens, especially if your weight is more than 15 pounds over the limit.
The damage does not occur after one time riding over the weight limit, but it can accumulate over time and just suddenly lead to your self-balancing scooter malfunctioning.
The ABS plastic or polycarbonate material used for the frame is durable, but only to a point. Heavy loads can lead to cracks eventually. Once it does break down, the electronics inside also get damaged.
The rest of the components like the wheels, brackets, wheel axles and even the screws will get damaged after continued overloading. The axle can become loose and damage the wheels or worse, you might lose a wheel after awhile.
The motor only works as well if you keep to the weight limits. Anything over it will lead to the self-balancing scooter producing less power (and less speed) or overworking the motor (and leading to a breakdown).
Basically, continuing to ride a hoverboard with too much weight can increase the chances of breaking down even while you are riding it, causing an accident and some unwanted injuries.
You should also remember that your hoverboard is not a tool for transporting heavy stuff. While regular bags should not be a problem, carrying too much that will eventually put you over the limit will lead to the consequences listed above. Weight limits are thus inclusive of anything you are bringing with you.
Different Hoverboard Sizes and Corresponding Weight Limits
The great thing is that there are heavy-duty hoverboards if you are on the heavier side or have to transport some stuff with you. The choice of the right self-balancing scooter is key. Use this guide to help you.
Hoverboards with 4.5-inch wheels are best for kids, with the weight limit set at 120 lbs or 55 kg.
Models with 6.5-inch wheels are appropriate for lighter adults or teenagers, as they can carry up to 220 lbs or 100 kg.
Boards with 8.5-inch wheels are recommended for most adults, as they can easily carry up to 265 lbs or 120 kg.
Heavy-duty self-balancing scooters, on the other hand, have the most prominent wheels (10-inch ones) so they can support much more weight (330 lbs or 150 kg). Some models can carry more, even up to 420 lbs, but they are not as common, and they are, understandably, pricier.
All of these models require at least 44 lbs as the minimum weight requirement. As mentioned above, anything below this is not sufficient to control or steer the self-balancing scooter.
One massive takeaway for parents is that hoverboards cannot be easily shared between adults and children unless the kids are bigger (teenagers, for example).
The weight requirements and the recommended size of the wheels or board are not the same if the main user is a child.
A bigger model (for adults) might be too strong for kids and lead to unexpected accidents while a smaller model used by parents can lead to the self-balancing scooter breaking down prematurely.
Besides, everyone gets to have more fun if they each get their own hoverboard and can ride around together!
Hoverboard Weight Limits: Final Thoughts
Choosing a hoverboard for yourself or your kid can be tricky if you don’t know what exactly to look for. And there’s quite a few factors to watch out for, from size to load capacity to board price, brand, range, speed, and safety.
But weight capacity isn’t something most people think too much about, nor should they. But this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pay any attention to how much weight a board is designed to carry.
If you’re purchasing the balance board for a really young child (4-6 years), consider picking out the smallest options you can find, usually 4.5″ models. And if the board has a beginner mode, safety headlights, tail lights, and an app that makes it possible to set the maximum speed limit, that’d be really nice.
A person who’s too light that they can’t safely control and maneuver a hoverboard definitely shouldn’t ride it. And if you’re too heavy for a particular model, please don’t ride it. At least, don’t ride it too often. Otherwise, you won’t own it for too long because it’ll fall apart sooner than you imagine. a
Also, a lower capacity hoverboard doesn’t always promise to stay (and keep you) upright. Exceeding the upper limit routinely sometimes throws the self-balancing mechanism off-kilter. And safety during rides isn’t a guaranteed promise.
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.