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Last updated on January 3, 2018

The Best Hoverboard

Safe and stable, no matter where you ride
The 30-Second Review

The best hoverboard combines style, function, and safety at a reasonable price. To find the top performers in a bustling market, we taught ourselves how to ride and tested seven finalists ourselves. After rolling, zipping, and occasionally eating it on hardwood and city streets, we found that two boards in particular stood out from the rest.

Best for Commuting:

Even on wet roads, cracked sidewalks, and rocky asphalt, we felt safe and comfortable on the Segway. With pneumatic tires and 800W of motor power, it’s a powerful board at the midrange price of $499. However, if you’re just looking to board for fun, you may find that the knee-controlled steering bar cramps your style.

Best for Recreation:

With wide fenders, high-quality speakers, and the smoothest movements, Jetson makes for a stable and stylish ride. It's also a bargain compared to other hoverboards, at just $399. While it’s not built for rough outdoor obstacles, it’s a solid choice for riding indoors or on paved ground.

The Best Hoverboard

Do they hover? No. Are they a lot of fun? Yes. Can they get you to work, school, and back? Some of them. Whether you’re hoverboarding to the office or zooming around the block, our top two picks offer the most natural, intuitive, and fluid rides.

Our testers unanimously agreed that the Segway miniPRO provided the safest ride both indoors and outdoors. The tall wheels and powerful motor lumbered solidly over sidewalks, grass, asphalt, and debris, even on hilly terrain. We also liked that the miniPRO’s sensors automatically slowed down the hoverboard and tipped it slightly back when rolling down steeper inclines. With a knee-height steering bar and wide foot platform, this hoverboard is user-friendly and a great starting choice for beginners. The battery life was also the best by a wide margin. The Segway miniPRO retails for $499 and comes with a 1-year warranty.

The Jetson V6 won us over with its intuitive movement and wide, stable frame. Riding the Jetson indoors and on smooth sidewalks felt nearly as natural as walking — it was responsive without feeling slippery or slow, and it was the most maneuverable of the boards we tested. It also had the most user-friendly mobile app, with an attractive interface and high-quality audio for blasting music during your ride. The Jetson V6 retails for $399 and comes with a 1-year warranty.

Our Picks for Best Hoverboard

Best for Commuting

Segway miniPRO A safe, sturdy ride with a powerful motor for indoors or city sidewalks.

If you’re intent on making your commute via hoverboard, the Segway miniPRO is easily your best option. The Segway was far and away the top performer in the face of outdoor obstacles: Even over rocks, cracks, bumpy roads, and grassy inclines, the miniPRO’s large pneumatic tires bumped along cheerfully. The miniPRO had the largest wheels of our finalists, and the air-filled tires absorbed enough shock to keep our feet from feeling sore and tense, like they eventually did on the Razor Hovertrax and SwagTron T3. If you’re riding one of these every day, that extra comfort is going to pay dividends over time. And while we felt a deep sense of our mortality speeding downhill on the other boards, the miniPRO’s sensors slowed the board down and tilted us back when we were going too fast. Even after two-plus hours of riding, the wide foot pads and high fenders made for a stable, comfortable feeling for our feet. The miniPRO was also the only board to have a “guide bar,” which popped out to allow you to drag it like a piece of luggage. Since the boards were all 20-plus pounds, this feature was definitely more convenient than carrying the boards by hand. If you’ll be riding to and from work or school, the miniPRO should get you there safely and comfortably.

The miniPRO was also the best at handling inclines: None of the boards were quick to accelerate uphill, but the miniPRO was able to reach normal traveling speed after a few seconds — other hoverboards barely managed a slow crawl up any noticeable hill. That superior performance is largely a result of the miniPRO’s powerful motor, which was twice as powerful as the ones offered by the Epikgo, Halo, and StreetSaw.

The miniPRO wasn’t all perfect, though. It balanced itself solidly when turned on, but fell down immediately when powered off — a problem that the other boards didn’t share because they didn’t have the same knee-steering hardware. And while all of our testers agreed the miniPRO provided the most high-quality outdoor ride, there were minor concerns about steering using the knee bar. Our taller testers struggled to adjust it to a comfortable position, and suffered sore knees until they found the right height. (We recommend adjusting the lever just above your knee and gripping firmly while riding.) Another tester found that it was difficult to keep her knees straight when going over larger bumps, which sometimes resulted in sudden jerking turns. Two of our testers said the miniPRO required too much effort while turning, and that they preferred the tighter turning radiuses on other boards. Outside of these factors, the ability to steer with your knees was a favorite feature for less-confident riders, who felt safer with the more deliberate turning motions it required.

While the Halo Rover, Epikgo Classic, and StreetSaw RockSaw were branded as off-road boards, we were surprised by their lackluster performance compared to the miniPRO. Though the Halo performed decently on paved sidewalks, it ground to a halt on grass. The miniPRO, on the other hand, was able to make its way through grass with a little bit of encouragement. Worst of all, while riding on a bumpy road, the Halo got caught in a crack, pitching one of our testers off the board and resulting in a bloody elbow and sprained wrist. By contrast, the miniPRO rolled over the cracked roads with minimal jostling. In addition, the other off-road boards — our identical triplets — are all more expensive than the $499 miniPRO (the Halo Rover retails for $597, the Epikgo Classic for $699, and the StreetSaw RockSaw for $799).

Though we loved the Segway miniPRO, it can’t handle all terrains. Despite their marketing, even the most high-tech hoverboards can’t climb steep hills or power through completely unpaved, rocky roads. If you want a ride that will take you through rocky terrain, distances longer than 10 miles, or inclines over 30 degrees, bikes are a better choice.

Best for Recreation

Jetson V6 Intuitive movement, excellent speakers, and user-friendly app at a reasonable price.

The Jetson V6 offers a smooth ride, stable footing, and a fun riding experience. At $399, it’s $100 cheaper than the miniPRO, and struck a good balance between intuitive and controlled movement. Testers consistently described it as “smooth,” “stable,” and “in sync” with riders’ movements. While some testers said the SwagTron T3 seemed overly sensitive, almost impossible to keep still, the Jetson V6 was able to accelerate and decelerate smoothly. Its wide fenders provided stable support that made steering simple and intuitive — the Jetson just seemed to know where we wanted to go. Even though it was one of our cheaper finalists, it had the second-strongest motor (only the Segway was more powerful).

The Jetson’s biggest con wasn’t a dealbreaker for us, but it may be for some: When turning the board on or off, a loud electronic voice announces your activity with the phrases, “POWERED ON,” “POWERED OFF,” and “BLUETOOTH PAIRED.” We couldn’t find a way to turn this off, and just endured the embarrassment. However, we also found that of the boards with Bluetooth music capabilities, the Jetson had the highest audio quality.

Though not designed for off-road riding, the Jetson was just as responsive outdoors as it was indoors. Turning felt as intuitive and fluid on sidewalks as it did on hardwood, and we didn’t have to strain in order to get the board to move in the direction we wanted, as we did with the Razor. It couldn’t handle grass, large cracks, or steep inclines, and didn’t absorb shocks nearly as well as the Segway miniPRO. But it still outperformed the SwagTron, Razor, and Halo in stability and smoothness on flat surfaces and minor inclines. While the Razor felt skittish, the SwagTron too slippery, and the Halo lumbering, the Jetson had a consistent glide.

With its smaller wheels and plastic-metal frame, we definitely wouldn’t recommend riding the Jetson off-road, or over surfaces gnarlier than typical sidewalk cracks. But for fun jaunts on paved ground at home or around the neighborhood, this is a solid choice.

Did You Know?

How to safely ride a hoverboard (what to do, what not to do):

  • As with any other personal transportation device, there is a high risk of injury with hoverboards if not used properly — we learned that the hard way. We recommend wearing safety gear while riding, at least until you feel absolutely comfortable in whatever environment you plan on boarding in. While the exact choice of footwear is up to you, be sure to wear flat shoes with high-grip soles so you can effectively distribute your weight. Never ride a hoverboard in heels or without shoes.
  • Before mounting the hoverboard, make sure it’s properly self-balancing. The two panels should be level, and the wheels should respond to small amounts of pressure on top of each panel. But if the wheels aren't activating, restart the board.
  • To step onto the board, put your dominant foot on first, as close as possible against the fender (wider stances are more stable). Try to keep that foot flat as you quickly step on with your other foot — if your weight shifts to your toes or heels, the board will move as you step up. We recommend bracing yourself against a table, wall, or friend if you feel uncertain.
  • To get off of the board, squat slightly, and step off backward with your non-dominant foot first. Again, the key is keeping your weight balanced — any forward or backward pressure will move the hoverboard.

Who shouldn’t ride a hoverboard? Riding a board safely requires good coordination and judgment. A lot of hoverboard advertisements show children riding these products; however, Segway recommends its product for people aged 16-60, with good balance and motor skills. Based on our experience, we’re inclined to agree with Segway.

  • The boards move by sensing pressure — shift your weight toward your toes to roll the board forward, and press back on your heels to make it drift backward. Some riders might find it easier to lean slightly in the direction they want to go. To turn, press forward with the opposite foot of the direction you want to go (if you want to turn left, put your weight in your right toes). It sounds counterintuitive, but your feet will get the hang of it. To stay still, stand straight and keep your weight in the center of your feet. If you feel unsteady, squat slightly.
  • With practice, riding the board will feel increasingly intuitive. Try looking at your intended destination and think about moving there — the board will follow the slant of your body.

In some places, hoverboarding is against the law

Hoverboards have been banned at college campuses, malls, airports, and certain roads in several states and countries. Be aware of local laws before riding in public.

The Best Hoverboard, Summed Up

The Best
Segway miniPRO
For Commuting
Jetson V6
For Recreation