Self-balancing hoverboards have overcome their past ill reputation of spontaneously catching fire to become one of the most popular methods of portable and compact personal transportation. For kids, these hoverboards provide hours of entertainment whether alone or with friends. For adults, hoverboards are a great way to spruce up their standard commutes. They are also an easy and environmentally friendly way of getting around neighborhoods.
Jetson is one of the premier brands in hoverboard manufacturing. Their line of scooters, hoverboards, and skateboards are among the most widely used globally. In this article, we review the Jetson V8 in detail – their entry into the all-terrain market. Does the V8 stay true to Jetson’s signature quality and reliability?
Design and build quality
Compared to more casual-user hoverboards, the Jetson V8 is built like a tank. With heavy-duty construction, the Jetson V8 is larger and heavier than hoverboards made for indoor use. The durable construction is punctuated with an IPX4 water and dust resistance rating, which means that the Jetson V8 can withstand being used over damp surfaces or in light rain. We wouldn’t take the Jetson V8 out on a heavy downpour, though, as it simply isn’t made to be submerged.
The Jetson V8 weighs in at a massive 35 pounds. If you need to get a hoverboard that you need to carry around when you’re not using it, then you’re probably better off with a lighter alternative. Its wider-than-usual build also makes it unwieldy – not the type of thing you would want to carry around inside a packed train or bus.
Since the V8 is meant for off-road travel, it is equipped with large, sturdy 8.5-inch wheels. The rubber wheels have a knobby surface that provides excellent grip even on soft surfaces such as mud or sand. The same quality of grip can be found on the non-slip surface of the foot pads, ensuring that you don’t slide off the hoverboard inadvertently. A LED battery indicator sits conveniently right between the foot pads, providing a quick way for you to check the hoverboard’s battery level.
Sitting right below the foot pads are LED lights in both the rear and front sides. The front LED lights have customizable colors and brightness levels and serve to illuminate the way right in front of you and to keep you visible even at night. The rear LED lights are bit low profile, intended only to act as turn signals. Eschewing the plastic and rubber fenders of other hoverboard models, the Hover V8 comes with metal fenders. Although the metal material is quick to show evidence of damage, it is also much more durable.
Recommended for 13 years and up, but younger children can enjoy it with adult supervision
The off-road capabilities of the Jetson V8 are made possible by its dual independent 400W hub motors. With this power, the Jetson V8 can move at a maximum speed of 12 mph. This is a huge upgrade to the 10-mph speed limit of most hoverboards, including the predecessor of the V8, the Jetson V6. It also has an extra high weight capacity of 300 lbs., making it powerful enough to carry adults of practically all sizes. Somewhat surprising considering the size of the hoverboard’s motors is the fact that it runs with hardly any noise.
It’s easy to underestimate just how fast 12 mph is. To put this into context, 12 mph is more than twice the running speed of most people. This limit is so fast that Jetson had to implement three different speed modes with varying speed limits. If you’re a beginner, then it is recommended that you start in Learning Mode, which severely limits the hoverboard’s speed and sensitivity. Once you have gotten more comfortable, you can graduate to the faster Standard and Professional modes.
A key selling point of the Jetson V8 is its off-road capabilities. We are happy to report that it does not disappoint in this department. With its extra-large high-grip rubber tires, the Jetson V8 can traverse over snow, mud, grass, or sand without problems. Although it shines in off-road conditions, the V8 also performs exceptionally well over smooth surfaces.
Jetson hoverboards have a reputation for being exceptionally smooth and stable, and the V8 is no exception. Two independent gyro sensors located on each side of the hoverboard allow for highly responsive controls. It takes some practice, but you’ll be controlling the Jetson V8 with the slightest balance shift in no time. Although the Jetson V8 is recommended for riders of at least 13 years of age, we’re certain that younger kids can easily pick up how to ride the V8 (with adult supervision, of course).
The Jetson V8 is powered by a 36V 4400mAh Li-ion battery. The battery, along with the rest of the Jetson V8, is UL 2272-certified, so you don’t need to worry about it inexplicably catching fire. It’s programmed with a smart battery management system that keeps you constantly informed of the battery’s status and cuts off the power supply at a safe voltage threshold. This prevents the battery from going into deep discharge and getting permanently damaged.
The battery of the Jetson V8 has enough power for it to run up to 10 miles on a single charge. This should be more than enough for most commutes or a leisurely ride around the neighborhood. Charging the battery of the V8 from 0% to full takes around 3 hours.
To get the best results out your hoverboard’s battery, make sure to only use UL-certified chargers.
The Jetson V8 can interface with the Jetson Ride and Ready mobile app thru Bluetooth. This app is available in both Android and iOS systems and provides a wealth of finer controls and customization options. The mobile app can be used to monitor relevant data such as your current speed, distance traveled, and the remaining battery life. It can also be used to change up the brightness and color of the hoverboard’s LED lights and to easily switch between different speed modes.
Speed and light controls are pretty standard for hoverboard-associated mobile apps, but the Jetson Ride Ready takes it up a notch by including social elements. With the Jetson V8, you can store and compare riding stats with your friends. The app also uses GPS tracking to monitor the location of the hoverboard and can even help you find paved trails to travel on. Should the hoverboard go missing, the app can be used to track down its location.
The Jetson V8 is also equipped with Bluetooth speakers, allowing you to play your favorite music or any audio while you cruise in your fancy hoverboard. This feature is very popular among young riders, so it is practically a given for the level of quality of the V8.
Since we’re talking about young riders, it is also worth mentioning that a feature of the app allows parents to set a password-restricted speed limit on the Jetson V8. This feature will likely prove popular for parents who might not be so comfortable allowing their kids to ride the V8 at full speed.
In a somewhat disturbing twist, the app keeps a record of where you have been, how long you have traveled, as well as the music you have played. You have the option of deactivating these features, though, if being constantly monitored doesn’t sound like your cup of tea.
The Jetson V8 has been in the market for two years, so its price has dropped by a huge margin ever since its release. Nowadays, you can get a V8 for around $300. Considering the all-terrain capabilities of the V8, it’s practically a steal if you can get it at this price.
Is it worth it?
The Jetson V8 feels like a worthy upgrade to the V6. It improves on practically all aspects – its better looking, more powerful, and has a wider selection of smart features. The Jetson V8 looks like a tank and performs like a monster. In fact, its one of the best rated and best reviewed hoverboards, with most owners citing its excellent reliability, safety, and durability.
At $300, the Jetson V8 is only slightly more expensive than standard hoverboards. If you can buy a V8 straight from the manufacturer, they will even offer a 30-day money back guarantee should you be not completely satisfied with your purchase. Much like any other electronic product, the Jetson V8 comes with a 1-year standard warranty against manufacturing defects.
The only shortcoming of the V8 is that it does not come with any accessories by default. If you want to use a carrying case with your Jetson V8 (and you probably will), you will have to buy one from a third-party retailer. A carrying case should not cost you much more than $100. Even with the added cost of a carrying case, the Jetson V8 is still cheaper than most of the other all-terrain hoverboard models.
The Jetson V8 is an average priced off-road hoverboard that comes with an impressive set of features. If you’re looking for a beginner-friendly hoverboard that won’t break the bank, then you can’t go wrong with the Jetson V8.