Hoverboards are not as swift as they sound

Talia Hendel, Web Managing Editor

Modern technology has resulted in many incredible and life-changing devices. One of the more recent phenomenons – the “hoverboard” (which does not actually hover) – caught the eye of people around the world and created an excited stir around the holiday season. However, the potential that this gift had has been outshined by its difficulty and inherent danger.

From first-hand experience, I can tell you that it is not just middle-aged, uncoordinated people struggling to maintain their balance and swiftly use the hoverboard the way that it was intended.

The purpose of this device is to make personal transportation easier and more fun, but for many people, including myself, it proved to be much more challenging to move to my desired destination than using my own two feet.

Before attempting to use the hoverboard for the first time, I figured it would be easy, simple, and – most importantly – so much fun.

It was not.

First, I attempted to stand on the board. This step in itself proved to be a challenge. After steadying myself with the support of a wall, I finally managed to get my balance. I figured the next part would be simple – the board would be easily guided by a shift in weight forward, backward, left, or right.

I was wrong.

Controlling the board was more like struggling to direct a rogue dog running on a leash than a smooth, gliding form of transportation. Still, I managed to keep my balance.

Others were not so lucky.

At the end of Christmas weekend alone, there were 70 reports of emergency room visits due to hoverboards, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.

These injuries included broken wrists, hurt ankles and other serious injuries.

Not only have hoverboard users been injured by unbalance, but also by fire, as the federal government is investigating at least 22 reports of hoverboards bursting into flames.

Hoverboards can be a fun device, but also clearly have their problems. Whether it’s gravity or fire, there is definitely risk associated with climbing onto a hoverboard.