WASHINGTON - Hoverboards were all the rage this holiday season and the hashtag #hoverboardfails has become pretty popular on social media with people making fun of other people's falls.
Here are some safety tips when it comes to taking a spin on one.
1. Calibrate your hoverboard
Lift the wheel up and just press your hand on the footpad. If the wheel is spinning and it's not shaking on you, that means it’s calibrated.
2. Safety gear is a must
Like riding a bike or skateboard, a helmet, elbow pads and knee pads are recommended.
Also, make sure to have someone around if you are new to riding one.
“All they needed to do was use a little bit of common sense,” said Tony Le, CEO and founder of Glitek, a company that makes hoverboards. “What I’m seeing, a lot of them are not using spotters. They are getting on for the first time without even learning how to get off of it.”
3. Step on properly and stand correctly
“Step right in the middle with the widest stance possible,” said Le. “Not too much toe, not too much heel. And you don’t want to bend your knee. What you want to do is have straight posture.”
4. When you ride, look straight ahead
“A lot of people when they step on, they look down and it just throws everything off,” Le told us.
5. Step back to get off
“Most people – their intuition is to step forward and that is where most of the danger happens, that is where most of the falls you see,” Le said. “When you step forward, you have no control, it slips out on you and you fall. So the right way to step off is to step back with your dominant foot and then step right off with the other foot.”
It is really all about focusing on your core and your center of gravity to balance yourself.
We also asked Le about hoverboard fires. He told us it is important to make sure you are using high-quality lithium-ion batteries in your hoverboard. Make sure the batteries and the adapter are UL-certified. If you use a generic brand, you are putting yourself at risk.