Don’t skip this article just because you’ve been riding hoverboards for a while. And if you are new to this sport, this article is also for you.
Being good at something is all about knowing all there is to know. Knowledge prepares you and gives you a foundation to build on.
When we discuss what a hoverboard looks like below, we’re telling you everything you need to know to get the most out of your riding and to stay safe while doing it.
See? That applies to amateurs and experts alike.
So, what is there to know?
Hoverboard Appearance: The Simple Answer
OK, so true hoverboards have mostly been in the realm of science fiction since they were first conceptualized by author M. K. Joseph in his 1967 novel The Hole in the Zero, and then popularized in Back to the Future II. In the later, a hoverboard basically looked like a levitating skateboard.
But fast forward to the 2010s, and hoverboards mostly refer to a kind of self-balancing scooter that doesn’t technically hover. You can take a peek at some of the top hoverboards today for good visual examples.
As you can see, they look more like a board with two pads and a large wheel on either side. But there’s a lot more to them than that!
You can imagine a hoverboard only contains only the most essential parts to make it work. Any excessive features would make it too heavy for the motor to power it, or it could affect the rider’s balance.
That’s why most hoverboards only contains the following:
Unlike what futuristic movies predicted, we’re not flying around on our hoverboards quite yet (their working on it). So, it’s not so much hovering as gliding. But to glide without jolts, you need proper wheels.
There is one wheel on either side of the hoverboard to optimize balance. Hoverboards are sold with different types of tires, with only some of them appropriate for off the road riding such as on grass or gravel.
Match your hoverboard’s wheels with your driving area for optimum pleasure.
You also have to match the right size wheels. You’ll usually choose between:
What to Look for When You Choose Yours
Always choose a tire you’ll know you’ll be able to use a lot. If you’re simply riding down the road, any tire will do. But taking it on holiday or if you live on a farm with gravel roads, get an off-road tire model so you can enjoy it no matter where you are.
And here’s another handy tip: Some users complain the hoverboard casings touch the wheels. This will cause friction, damage and even for your board to stop. Look at how close the wheels are to the rest of the board before you make a purchase.
Is there a right or a wrong sized wheel? Not really, but remember:
- Small wheels perform better in tricks but can only carry smaller loads
- Large wheels aren’t great for fancy riding, but dynamic for regular transportation
- Small wheels allow comfortable and smooth ride experiences for kids
Between the wheels, you’ll find the body. This is a square unit that’s flat on top for you to stand on. On either side, the body is formed to fit over the wheels. Think of these as mini fenders.
The area in the middle’s importance lies in this:
- It provides space for your feet, so this surface must be designed with a balance between weight and efficacy in mind. It can’t be too big, otherwise, it will be too heavy for the motor to drive forward. It can’t be too small, or your feet won’t get enough space so that you can keep your balance
- It houses the mechanics and technological parts—such as the gyroscopes in some hoverboards—that help keep you upright
On the casing, you’ll usually find the power and other buttons to adjust settings.
Your ‘fenders’ are as important since they protect your feet and the wheels from accidentally touching. You don’t want your hoverboard flinging you to the ground because your shoe caught the side of a moving wheel.
On top of the body, you’ll find the foot pads. These are important, and it surprises me that many brands don’t focus on this part of the design.
Your ideal hoverboard will have non-slip pads so your feet don’t slip easily.
Extra Features for Enhancing Appearance
No longer can you view a hoverboard as a transport option only. It’s not even simply a toy. It has become a fashion statement and entertainment tool thanks to these features you’ll often find:
- Lights all over the exterior to make you visible but also to look fashionable when you ride past your neighbor’s house
- Audio features such as speakers will be visible to provide sound while you drive. This is usually streamed via Bluetooth from mobile devices
- Most brands sell the boards in different colors so that you can pick your favorite. You can also buy a variety of colorful skins to further customize your hoverboard’s appearance.
What to Look for When You Choose Yours
Decide which of these features are most important before you purchase so you know you’re making a long-term investment. Don’t spend money on aesthetics if you’re more concerned about quality.
Here’s an important word: Streamlined. Ensure the body gives little wind resistance to optimize performance.
As a pro rider with an old unit, you may now want to upgrade your board to one with more audio features, or the latest regarding technology inside the body. For more information on choosing the best board for your needs, see my detailed guide to buying a hoverboard.
The size of a hoverboard usually relates to the size of the wheels. Of course, the wheels have to match the size of your body’s ‘fenders,’
With different settings on modern hoverboards, one size can accommodate different individuals, so kids and adults can enjoy the same one.
Unusual hoverboard looks
What I’ve described above is the typical hoverboard nowadays, but there are some less common versions that look totally different. For example:
- One-wheel hoverboards are available but are obviously more challenging to balance on.
- Real hoverboards—that hover and don’t require wheels—do exist, but they’re still ridiculously expensive and barely on the market yet.
- Four-wheel hoverboards are sold as well, but also uncommon.
Hopefully I’ve now answered your question, “What does a hoverboard look like?” in full. Really, all you need to do is look at the picture above to see how a hoverboard looks, but I hope the extra details I’ve provided in this article have made your understanding of hoverboards even clearer!