Hoverboard Alternatives – Scooters, Skateboards, Unicycles, and more
Personal transport devices are getting more popular by the day. They’re modern pieces of tech that are fun to have and most of the time essential. One popular machine that’s getting a lot of attention is hoverboards.
These boards don’t exactly fly over the road like the one in Back to the Future, but the sensations are right up there. Riding one will seem like you’re gliding on air, and that’s enough to convince most buyers. Another reason why they are becoming popular is the state of urban transport. Streets are gridlocked, and routes are not refreshed regularly to match the flow of people.
Devices such as the hoverboard can readily address all these urban problems. They are lightweight, compact, and handy so that you can easily stow them at the back of your car and use them to get to your office. You can also carry them onto public transport like buses and trains, and ride from the station to your office or school building.
We’ve been talking about these personal transport devices, and we’ve zoomed in particular at the hoverboard. The reality is that there is a lot of gear similar to the hoverboard that is just as cool and as equally fun to use.
There are the usual suspects like electric bicycles, skateboards, and scooters. They are excellent alternatives, but they don’t exactly give you a feeling similar to when you’re riding a hoverboard. They have handles and controllers that you hold with your hand as you travel and that’s not exactly in the spirit of what riding a hoverboard feels like.
It shouldn’t be that difficult to find other alternatives that you can use to show off around your neighborhood and commute to work or school at the same time. After all, if you’re currently relying on a similar device for your short trips, then you want an alternative that can give you the same results.
Searching on the internet, you’ll discover that there are a lot of hoverboard alternatives to choose from. All of them can give you that wind in your hair feeling while cruising at around 10 miles per hour on the street. We have done the research and compiled those that we think are very similar to hoverboards, but not really in that category.
Self-Balancing Electric Unicycles
One really cool device that you might not have considered yet is self-balancing electric unicycles. These are incredibly quirky machines, but manual unicycles have been a transport staple for decades. These new variations are only utilizing the technology that has been made available to everyone.
If you think hoverboards are a little difficult to master, unicycles certainly demand more focus and effort to ride. With enough practice, you will be able to master riding one and enjoy the many benefits they have over hoverboards like increased speed and range.
Controlling these electric unicycles is much like a hoverboard where you mainly control the device by shifting your weight around. Leaning forward or backward tells the unicycle whether to move onward or in reverse. Twisting the foot pedal allows you to steer the cycle to the left or to the right. These cycles also use a similar array of gyroscopes and sensors to keep it upright and balanced.
Retail Price: $393
The Swagtron Swagroller is a self-balancing electric unicycle where you can show off your swag wherever you go. It’s a compact, reliable, and definitely, safe transportation option that you can take anywhere.
One of the primary differences in this particular cycle with other similar machines is that the Swagroller comes with two 14-inch air-filled tires that are positioned in the center of the device. This makes it that much more stable compared to other unicycles. Having two tires also helps with the learning process, providing you more comfort, stability, and confidence as you try to master it. This design gives the Swagroller all-terrain capabilities since it can now handle bumps and uneven surfaces a lot better.
The Swagroller is powered by a 450W motor that enables it to accelerate up to a top speed of up to 9 miles per hour. The cycle can carry a rider up to 264 pounds and travel up to 12.4 miles on a single charge.
The portability of this device makes it the perfect commuting companion. It comes with a retractable carrying handle that you can pull out and convert the whole unicycle into a trolley that you can bring on trains, buses, even airplanes. The entire setup weighs only 30 pounds, and the retractable handle makes it even easier to carry this with you anywhere you go.
The Swagroller improves the fun factor with built-in Bluetooth speakers that you can connect to your smartphone and play music with. Swagtron also created a standalone app where you monitor speed, battery level, and travel history. You can also customize it to suit your riding style by modifying lean sensitivities. You can also set a speed limit via the app, and this is particularly useful when you’re still learning how to ride and not yet confident that you can handle the maximum speed.
Similar to other Swagtron products, the Swagroller is certified safe with a UL 2272 accreditation. It also has Swagtron’s SentryShield technology where the batteries are encased in an aluminum shell that protects you and the rest of the device from fire and explosion.
The Swagtron Swagroller electric unicycle is definitely an exceptional piece of equipment that you can use for fun or your urban travels. It’s has a much smaller blueprint compared to other similar devices and is easier to bring with you anywhere you go. It is undoubtedly a unique take on personal transport.
Retail Price: $1,999
The InMotion V10F is a premium electric unicycle that is incredibly powerful, and coupled with its agile maneuverability and control is a delight to ride on. It’s remarkably comfortable to ride and one of the best long ride performances in unicycles. If there is such a thing as luxury sedans in the unicycle space, the V10F is definitely it. You can see and feel the attention to detail that the makers have put into it.
The wheel makes all the difference for this cycle. It’s tremendously stable and firm. The comfort is on a different level on this machine, and you’ll absolutely notice that when you ride this for more prolonged periods.
To further enhance rider comfort, the V10F is equipped with wide footrests that are large enough to put your feet on as you ride. It provides a steady and secure grip, so you don’t have to worry about your balance. They are also mounted high in the cycle so you can easily maneuver them around in tight spaces without worrying about scraping the body.
A feature that puts it above the rest is its battery life. It has a range of up to 62 miles on a single charge, that’s a lot of mileage. The V10F shines on long commutes, especially ones that are 10 miles or even more.
The off-road capabilities of this cycle are most of the time overlooked. It is pretty stable riding on grass, gravel, and other types of terrain. The clearance is high enough that holes and bumps won’t ruin your commute.
We showed you the range of this cycle, now let’s talk about power. The V10F has a 2000W motor that can push you to speeds of up to 25 miles per hour. The cycle also effortlessly climbs steep hills of up to 30 degrees. You may assume that even at high velocities, riding the cycle will feel shaky and unstable. However, it still feels notably comfortable.
The unicycle comes with a retractable handle, which is very convenient when you want to use it for your daily commute. You can effortlessly bring it with you to places where you just can’t ride it like bus and train stations. The handle allows you to guide the cycle and let it roll instead of lifting and carrying it around.
The V10F comes with its own mobile app that allows you to set up the many features this cycle has. You can configure the sensitivity of the pedals and suit it to your riding style, make sure that you set it up according to your liking. The app also allows you to customize your lights, so you are readily visible when you’re riding in the night. The cycle comes with a premium Bluetooth speaker so you can play your favorite music, audiobook, or podcast while on your commute.
The InMotion V10F electric unicycle is in a different class of its own, with comfort and performance being the primary focus. It is an excellent machine, especially on long commutes and the speed it is capable of doing can shave significant time from your trip. It surely performs as well as it looks.
Electric Roller Skates
Electric rollerskates, popularly known as hovershoes, are a different class of personal transport devices. Think of it as a hoverboard that’s broken in half. There are two independent platforms with their own motor and wheels.
The glaring difference between hovershoes and hoverboards is that with the shoes, the two wheels are totally separated. The wheels of the hovershoes are also much smaller, about 3.5 inches compared to 6.5. The wheels are relatively wider though to give you more stability when riding. Apart from that, the rest of their characteristics are very similar to their self-balancing technology and how you control them.
Controlling these devices is similar to hoverboards, so you use your weight to maneuver them. You can control the speed by leaning forward or backward, and the direction by twisting the pads in opposite directions to pivot you to where you want to go.
Retail Price: $424
The Segway Ninebot Drift W1 is a unique take on hoverboards. Segway is known for its self-balancing technology, being the first brand to manufacture a personal transporter. Their take on the hovershoes has taken it to another level. Think of it as rollerblades or ice skates, only self-powered. The significant difference between those and the Drift W1 is you can’t really lift your legs to push off instead you simply shift your body weight to move in the direction you want to go.
With the introduction of these hovershoes, it seems like Segway has considerably fine-tuned their self-balancing technology. A top speed of about 12 miles per hour is certainly not very fast, but for something that looks like the Drift W1, it is certainly enough.
The small package means that the battery capacity is reduced and can only provide up to 45 minutes of ride time at maximum speed. Cruising at lower speeds may extend battery life for a few more minutes.
Hovershoes like the Drift W1 take a bit of time to get used to and riding them may feel like a workout, especially if it’s your first time to hop on. Once you get the hang of it though, you’ll be able to ride with ease.
The smaller hovershoes means that they’re also lightweight weighing only at 7.7 pounds each. They also come with a handle so you can carry them around when you don’t want to use them anymore. One problem with this is that they are small enough that there is a chance that they might not be able to go over bumps and gaps on the road like drain covers.
The Segway Ninebot Drift W1 is a fun transporter that you can definitely play around with. As for a transport device for commuting, it doesn’t have the speed and range to get you far. It may not be your daily driver, but you can certainly use it to mix up your commute.
Retail Price: $249
The KooWheel self-balancing electric hovershoes is a personal transporter that’s built with the enthusiast in mind. There are two footrests, and that means that balancing is a bit trickier compared to other transport devices like electric hoverboards or skateboards. The allure that attracts this to the enthusiast crowd apart from its novelty is that you can do a lot more tricks on this device.
Gyroscopic technology has come so far and refined to the point that brands are creating products like the hovershoes. Controlling the KooWheel is simple, and it’s not at all twitchy in any way. Gentle and balanced movement is the way to go with this pair of hovershoes. It’s very straightforward to use and easy to control. If you have ridden on a hoverboard before, then getting accustomed to riding this is a breeze.
A 250W motor is installed on each unit which powers the wheels. These motors can effortlessly accelerate you up to 7.5 miles per hour. Batteries have been optimized and can provide you with a range of up to 16 miles. That’s better than a lot of hoverboards out there.
An advantage of the hovershoes compared to the hoverboard is its portability. Some hoverboards can get bulky, while the KooWheel only weighs about 7 pounds each. This is a very comfortable carry on any occasion.
The KooWheel hovershoes are a great alternative to hoverboards. The technology it uses is similar, and if you’re a hoverboard user, you’ll have no problem adapting to using the hovershoes. You’ll be able to perform more tricks that will impress everyone.
Retail Price: $579
The InMotion X1 hovershoes give you a totally new experience. They took the concept of the hoverboard and transformed it into a new one where they split it into two platforms. They have definitely created an innovative twist on the idea of hoverboards. There is more freedom of movement, and it’s a lot cooler than regular roller skates.
Don’t let the small size of the X1 fool you, they are built solidly and able to carry a rider with a maximum weight of 176 pounds. They have a range of about 7 miles with a charge time of 2 to 3 hours. They can reach a top speed of up to 7 miles per hour. The X1 hovershoes are also dust and water resistant so you can use them in just about any condition, including light rain.
They are a great accompaniment to your daily commute since they’re only 7 pounds so you can easily carry them anywhere, including inside trains and buses. They’re small enough that you don’t need to worry about where to store them. These hovershoes also come with portable belts so you can lift them up with ease.
The self-balancing system on the X1 is remarkable. It’s incredibly stable and safe even when you think you’re going to have trouble getting mounted. This added stability allows you to maneuver the hovershoes easily and do a few more tricks than on a hoverboard.
Safety has been a concern with hoverboards, InMotion knows better than that and makes sure that they use the safest battery technology with extra protection. The full metal body ensures that in the event an accident happens, it is contained within the device and won’t affect the rider.
The InMotion X1 hovershoes are innovative pieces of technology. It’s lightweight and remarkably maneuverable and will totally change the way you look at hoverboard alternatives.
Electric Surfing Scooters
Electric surfing scooters or one-wheeled skateboards look different than most personal transporters. It’s an electric skateboard with a large, broad wheel in the middle. It seems highly unstable, but somehow, they are capable of running at 8 miles per hour or even more.
Looking at it, you feel like it’s ungainly and an accident waiting to happen. However, if you’re comparing it to the hoverboard introduced in Back to the Future, these one-wheeled ones are the most similar to looks and how you ride it. One foot behind the wheel and the other in front of it, just like Marty McFly.
Much like the hoverboards of today, the platform is kept level by an array of gyroscopes and sensors that detect every movement the rider makes to keep everything balanced. By these standards, it’s a proven technology and is safe for anyone to use.
To get it going is similar to hoverboards, you lean in the direction where you want to go, and the whole thing moves. Controlling your center of weight will take some getting used since your body is oriented sideways unlike the upright stance of the hoverboard.
Retail Price: $328
The LTXtreme Viro is considered a one-wheeled skateboard hoverboard alternative. Technically it does have two wheels but looking at the overall design, you can still see it as a single. Both are placed side by side in the middle of the board. The wheels are independent of each other, but this is more of a design choice that considerably improves handling and rideability. It allows you to be more maneuverable so you can carve in and out of traffic freely.
The Viro is more of an entry-level one-wheeled skateboard, and its performance is not too remarkable with a top speed of 7 miles per hour with a 6.5-mile range on a single charge. You will be able to enjoy it better on skate parks or on well-paved streets for a more comfortable ride.
One thing that the makers made sure of when it comes to the Viro is its safety. Just like other devices, it’s UL 2272 certified, so you remain safe at all times. It is also equipped with LED lights that show the direction you’re going, so pedestrians and other commuters know precisely where you’re going minimizing the risks.
The Viro comes with Bluetooth speakers that you can connect to your smartphone so you can listen to your favorite music without compromising your ability to hear other sounds from your surroundings.
The LTXtreme Viro is an attractive entry-level one wheeled skateboard that’s maneuverable and easy to control. The short battery life is a knock on its features and limits your use for it. It’s great for weekend fun at the park and for commutes that are not far and demanding.
Retail Price: $429
The SurfWheel SU one-wheeled skateboard is marketed as a surfboard on land. Riding it will feel like you’re surfing on land. Its lightweight design allows you to carry it wherever you go and helps it become more agile so you can weave through traffic or other pedestrians with ease.
The SU has a maximum speed of up to 12 miles per hour with a 10-mile range and makes it an excellent hoverboard alternative as a commuter in the city. The board also mimics the movement of the waves using their own algorithm, so you feel like you’re surfing on city streets.
As with all similar devices, safety is always a concern, and the SU has been built with safety in mind. If you’re concerned about toppling over as you’re riding, the board comes with safety wheels at the front and rear so you can be confident that you’ll always remain on top of the board no matter what happens. It is also UL 2272 certified so you can bring it as a carry-on in airplanes.
The SU comes with its own smartphone app that allows you to control riding mode. You can initially ride as a learner to get the hang of riding this board and unleash its full potential by selecting the speed mode. You can also use the app to update the device’s firmware, check your battery status, track speed, and distance in real time.
The SurfWheel SU is an excellent hoverboard alternative and gives you a different dimension for personal transporters. If you want to mimic surfing on land, then this is the device to get.
Which Hoverboard Alternative is for You?
There are a lot of hoverboard alternatives to choose from. Each of them has their own unique take on personal transportation. With self-balancing technology advancing very quickly, makers and brands have found different ways of interpreting that idea to a device that’s fun and useful at the same time.
Each of these alternatives has its own pros and cons. For example, the unicycle is an exceptional transporter for commuting as it can provide you with superior speed and range. With speeds exceeding 15 miles per hour, you can surely save a lot of travel time.
Other hoverboard alternatives such as hovershoes and one-wheeled skateboards make popular skate parks and playground fare. They’re definitely novel devices that are both fun and useful. Although not especially recommended as commuting staples, they can both be used for quick rides around the neighborhood for some quick errands.
Whether you’re looking for a hoverboard alternative that will replace it entirely or another type of device to change things up, there is definitely one that will suit your riding style.