This has been an ongoing discussion between fans on either side of the fence, with several people stating that hoverboards are much safer than electric skateboards.
Electric skateboard fans (choosing not to be left behind) also state that they prefer electric skateboards since they are much safer and more applicable.
Regardless, you can find several products to choose from in the market with a wide variety of specifications.
However, whichever of the two options is better remains an unanswered question.
If you’ve ever ridden a hoverboard or an electric skateboard, then you know which one you prefer. If you haven’t or are unsure which one you like, this article is meant for you.
- What is a Hoverboard?
- What is an Electric Skateboard?
- What's the Difference Between a Hoverboard and Skateboard?
- Electric Skateboard vs Hoverboard – Which is More Affordable?
- Which is Faster – a Hoverboard or Skateboard?
- Which Has a Better Range?
- Electric Skateboard vs Hoverboard – Safety
- Hoverboard vs E-Skateboard – Portability
- Which One is Better for Kids – E-Board or Hoverboard?
- Which One is Better for Doing Tricks?
- Electric Skateboard vs Hoverboard – Off-Roading
What is a Hoverboard?
Hoverboards are the latest sensation regarding personal transportation. They are self-balancing scooters designed for use both indoors and outdoors. They consist of two motorized wheels connected to two articulated pads where riders place their feet. Riders control the hoverboard’s speed and direction by leaning and twisting the pads.
When they first came on the market in 2013, hoverboards were far from perfect. They caught fire constantly due to faulty batteries. However, hoverboard technology advanced significantly as time went by, allowing for a longer range, better batteries, and increased safety. Presently, they aren’t perfect, but they are way better than back then.
What is an Electric Skateboard?
Electric skateboards are skateboard variants propelled by electric motors powered by powerful batteries that store more energy. They are controlled by an RF remote that regulates their speed and braking. Riders steer them by shifting their body weight towards where they intend to go.
Electric skateboards have rechargeable batteries in varying sizes, features, and designs. They have good safety features, can traverse long distances, and are popular among people who love skateboarding but don’t like the hustle that comes with riding regular skateboards. However, like hoverboards, they too have their drawbacks.
What’s the Difference Between a Hoverboard and Skateboard?
The major difference between electric skateboards and hoverboards:
- hoverboards move with motors directly integrated into the wheels
- electric skateboards move with motors connected to the wheel
However, this is a somewhat trivial comparison since both products do the same thing, moving people from one location to the other.
Similar to differences in all motor vehicles, electric skateboards and hoverboards (essentially) have structural differences in design.
They both use:
- motors for propulsion
- rechargeable battery as the power source
- and body movement for navigation.
Notable differences are:
- physical design
- number of wheels
- the mode of acceleration
Related: Different Types of Hoverboards
For instance, hoverboards have mechanisms that detect the rider’s weight and programmed technology that calculates how fast the wheels should move to allow the individual to move towards the desired direction while staying balanced.
Electric skateboards lack this technology since they are more stable (courtesy of their four wheels).
Electric skateboarders have to rely on their bodies to maintain their balance, which isn’t difficult considering electric skateboards have four wheels. This is why most people prefer electric skateboards to hoverboards. It provides them with a sense of safety.
Electric Skateboard vs Hoverboard – Which is More Affordable?
Is a hoverboard more expensive than a skateboard?
There are several electric skateboard and hoverboard models from various brands available on the market currently. This makes it extremely difficult to know which of the two is more affordable. Often, the price depends on the materials used and features provided by the brand.
Related: How Much is an Electric Skateboard?
Hoverboards are often more expensive than skateboards since they have more features, are more powerful, and have a huge wheelbase. Hoverboards are used for leisure, while electric skateboards are often bought by skateboard enthusiasts passionate about skating.
From this analysis, you’ll notice that hoverboards have more demand than electric skateboards, making them more expensive. Thus, skateboards are more affordable. However, it still depends on the brand.
More established brands sell more expensive skateboards (with better specs and features) than less established brands.
Related: Best-Selling Hoverboards on Amazon
Which is Faster – a Hoverboard or Skateboard?
Generally, skateboards are faster than hoverboards.
While most hoverboards have an average speed of 7.5 mph (or 12 km/h), most electric skateboards average at 18 mph (or 29 km/h). There is no doubt that hoverboards could have higher speeds if the designers intended them to. However, the slower speeds experienced when using a hoverboard are some form of safety precaution.
Hoverboards are notoriously unstable and hard to maneuver compared to skateboards because they have two wheels compared to an electric skateboard’s four wheels.
You can look at the vast collection of hoverboard accidents on youtube if you don’t believe me.
The number of accidents challenged designers to make hoverboards slow on purpose.
That said, different models could be faster or slower depending on the type of motor used in the product in both electric skateboards and hoverboards. In conclusion, skateboards move quicker than hoverboards because they are more stable and easy to maneuver.
Which Has a Better Range?
Electric skateboards have a better range than hoverboards because of their sleek design and the chance to keep skating once the charge is up.
Often, hoverboards are the complete opposite. They are heavier, have bigger wheels, and are more cumbersome in comparison. It’s almost as if they weren’t designed to move very far. The extra weight, poor aerodynamics, and bad wheel design negatively impact the battery performance of hoverboards.
However, designers of e-boards are able to install bigger and more powerful batteries. You can even get a 50-mile range with a high-quality electric skateboard. Although the average mileage of e-boards is 10 to 20 miles.
Electric Skateboard vs Hoverboard – Safety
Electric skateboards are considered safer than hoverboards and with good reason. E-boards have four wheels that greatly enhance the rider’s stability. Hoverboards have two, making it extremely challenging for new riders to learn and adopt.
Thus, hovercrafts cause more accidents compared to electric skateboards.
However, we also have to note that most people ride electric skateboards outdoors and in traffic. As such, the chances are they tend to be more catastrophic when accidents happen. Therefore, riders need to exercise caution when riding their hoverboards or e-skateboards.
Hoverboard vs E-Skateboard – Portability
In this section, hoverboards and electric skateboards are pretty much equal. On average, they weigh almost the same.
Hoverboards weigh about 23 pounds on average (10.5 kgs), making it hard for riders to carry them in their backpacks. As mentioned before, they are incredibly cumbersome, especially for individuals that need to go to places with a ban on riding hoverboards.
Alternatively, some electric skateboards are less heavy than hoverboards but there are also models that can weigh 2 times more. For example, some off-road electric skateboards can weigh even over 50 pounds.
Which One is Better for Kids – E-Board or Hoverboard?
Some kids like hoverboards, while others prefer electric skateboards. There are pros and cons for both.
Hoverboards are one of the most popular these days. And kids love these kinds of technological things. With a hoverboard, kids want to spend much more time outside. Also, hoverboards have lots of fun features like colorful lights, Bluetooth speakers, and more.
Related: Best Hoverboards for Kids
If you are searching for a device that your kids can enjoy riding while exercising simultaneously, then you should select an electric skateboard. Electronic skateboards are more durable compared to hoverboards, and your kid could be forced to propel themselves manually whenever the battery runs out.
Some say that hoverboards are better left for mature riders that can make critical decisions quickly. For instance, they can quickly formulate a plan to evade an obstacle that could cause them serious injury.
Plus, hoverboard batteries aren’t exactly the safest. While you may be tempted to say that those incidents happened a while back, are you ready to risk your child’s health?
Which One is Better for Doing Tricks?
Electric skateboards are better for doing tricks compared to hoverboards. The reason is quite simple. Electric skateboards are lighter and sleeker, making them easier for riders to control.
They also have a broader wheelbase meaning that they can carry and distribute weight more evenly than hoverboards. Plus, they have four wheels for better balance.
On the other hand, hoverboards are bulkier and less maneuverable, making them a poor choice for riders that want to do tricks. They are also quite delicate and easy to break. They are more challenging to balance (even though they have the auto-balance feature), especially when doing tricks.
Electric Skateboard vs Hoverboard – Off-Roading
Electric skateboards have an all-terrain variety that’s designed to tackle any obstacles you put in its way. You can ride the e-board on rocky terrain, dirt, gravel, in the woods, etc. You can also decide to adventure with an off-road hoverboard and still enjoy most of the benefits.
Related: Best Off-Road Electric Skateboards
While for most it seems that e-boards are clearly better for off-roading, there are also all-terrain hoverboards. Those hoverboards have more powerful motors, bigger wheels, and tires meant for harder terrain. Also, off-road hoverboards mostly have a higher water-resistant rating and stronger build quality.
Related: Best Off-Road Hoverboards
Before you decide to go with either, you have to note that they both have powerful motors, excellent battery life, enough clearance, and heavy-duty wheels. Thus, it all comes down to one thing, balance.
All-terrain electric skateboards are usually better because they are more stable because of the four-wheel design making them the best off-road companion.
As mentioned before, the final decision rests with the consumer and how they plan to use their device.
For instance, if you plan to use your device for leisure, you could choose the hoverboard. However, if you have long commutes and want something more reliable, then the electric skateboard is your best bet. There are other factors to consider, but I’ll leave them up to you.