If you took the internet as a reflection of everyday life, then you wouldn’t be too far off the mark to assume that self-balancing boards were everywhere – there are so many viral videos, articles, images, and even memes (“That’s Not a Hoverboard: This Is a Hoverboard” – of course with Marty McFly and the Doc). And, we agree, they aren’t hoverboards, which is why we call them “Self-balancing Boards”
But hey, when was the last time you saw someone on a Swegway? I live in a big city, and I’ve never seen one – although, to be fair, I probably spend too much time online meme hunting. Given the relative rarity of the Swegway, it’s unsurprising that so many of you have questions.
If you’re thinking of buying them, then you really need to read on, because, below, we answer those frequently asked questions.
1. How do Swegways Work?
They work using a gyroscope. This complex framework serves to maintain orientation. As you move along, the gyroscope makes adjustments to maintain its balance. Interestingly, some birds have this ability too. If you google “Chicken Head Tracking”, you’ll find videos showing exactly how they work.
For you, the user, what’s important to understand is that they self-balance. It’s can be difficult to adjust to them at first, because you need to put trust in the board’s balancing ability, and forgo your own, which can feel counter-intuitive.
You move around by leaning forwards to go forward, to either side to go in that direction, and by pulling back to stop.
2. How Much Weight Can They Take?
This depends on the individual scooters. The small, 4.5 inch scooters are for children, and can’t take anything above 180lb (roughly 12 ½ stone). The 6.5 inch scooters are for adults, and can take up to 220lb (15 ½ stone). The larger scooters, 8 inch to 10 inch, can take around 270lb (around 19 stone).
These weights do change between manufactures, so do ensure that you read the specs before buying the unit.
3. What’s the Top Speed?
The majority of scooters can get up to 10mph, which is around the same speed an average cyclist will reach.
4. How Is the Quality?
Again, this varies between different manufacturers. Around 3 years ago, people were buying many of their boards from overseas (especially China), and this was creating health and safety issues. Some boards even caught on fire.
When choosing a board, make sure that you do your research. Check out the various online review sites, to see how other people rate the board. Make sure that you buy a board that comes with free warranty. Choose a board with a reputable battery.
5. What Colours Should You Get?
Of course, this is up to you, but they come in a huge range of colours, so don’t just settle with any old board. Our personal favourites are the urban-style graffiti boards, but they can be a bit garish for some people. There are plenty of colours to choose from, so it really is a simple matter of personal preference.
We hope that we have answered your questions, but if not, then please get in touch.