We Filmed People Hoverboarding for the First Time and Hilarity Ensued

Smart Balance Board manufacturer Alienwheels sent us a black bluetooth hoverboard (a.k.a. smart balance board) to try out and see what we thought. Instead of doing a traditional and boring unboxing video while reading through the manual, we took it straight to the streets and went for a spin. The Alienwheels hoverboard we checked out was the BatWings edition, which retails for $629 on their website. Is it worth that kind of money? Yes and no—more on that later. First, let’s get straight to the video, and yes, as the title of this article clearly states, wipeouts happened. Enjoy, and don’t forget to scroll down after watching to read our review.

Our Review

First of all, as the manual clearly states (and as we learned for ourselves in our video), proper safety precautions should be taken. The manual itself suggests wearing a helmet, kneepads, elbow pads, etc. Decide for yourself what your comfort level is, but you should definitely know that there are significant safety risks involved when using this board (or any hoverboard really). You could get really hurt or even killed. I’m not just saying that. The manual itself says that. If you end up trying one of these, be smart and safe!

A few quick facts:

  • The board will go up to 7.5 miles an hour (and beeps to warn you if you are going too fast)
  • It can go up to 10 to 20 miles on one charge (distance could be less depending on a number of factors such as rider weight, outside temperature, etc)
  • It charges in about two hours
  • It weighs just under 25 pounds
  • It has a rider weight limit of 260 pounds
  • Comes with a 1-year warranty on the board itself, 6-month warranty on the battery, and 1-month warranty on the tires

Learning Curve (7/10)

This hoverboard was pretty easy to learn how to use. While those in our video above learned to ride the board on concrete, learning on a carpeted surface with something to hold onto is probably going to be your best bet.

As demonstrated in our video, several individuals who had never tried one of these before were able to pick it up in a short amount of time. The longest learning curve was just a few minutes, while some people were actually able to stay upright on the first try.

Once you’ve got the balancing part down, the rest is pretty simple and intuitive. As our video shows, no matter how easy turning and going forward may be, uneven surfaces will take the difficulty to a whole new level. I rode the board the most out of anybody in the video and was feeling very comfortable with it and I still wiped out. Driver beware!

Overall Product Quality & Features (5/10)

As you can see in our video, we really gave this thing a run for its money. Impressively enough, it kept going after each tumble without missing a beat. We only tested it over a short period of time, however, and can’t comment on how it does after significant usage. One thing worth pointing out though is that its plastic exterior does scratch quite easily. One minor tumble where you fall off the board but the board keeps going will likely result in serious scuffs on all sides. In my opinion, this is unacceptable for a product that costs over $600. I, for one, was hoping mine would look new for more than a few hours, and I have a good feeling I’m not alone here. If you can live with your new toy getting scratched up, it is worth pointing out that the board did continue to function just fine even after the worst spills. If your OCD side comes out easily, you may want to stick to carpeted areas or smooth floors such as your college campus may have.

The board uses a special type of battery that shouldn’t be charged for more than two hours at a time. Two hours will charge it all the way, but it’s just kind of annoying to remember to unplug it. I don’t know what would have happened for sure if I had left it plugged in, but other hoverboard brands have reportedly caught on fire while charging. I hadn’t heard of this happening with AlienWheels smart balance boards, but even so, the manual said to unplug it after a full charge.

This particular board came with a handy carry case. This was a nice extra, due to the fact that the board itself weighs about 25 pounds and is kind of an awkward shape to carry. The case would have been much better with a shoulder strap, but it still was much better than no case at all.

One extra feature this board included was a speaker that you could connect to via Bluetooth technology. I tested this and enjoyed blasting various songs as I rode along. This was a nice alternative to using headphones while riding, something that would potentially pose a safety hazard to you or others (since hearing and being aware of your surroundings is a pretty good idea when riding one of these).

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Grammar Nazis out there will undoubtedly be annoyed by the very poor English “Waiting for Bluetooth connecting” recording of a woman’s voice that plays every time you attempt to connect a Bluetooth device. “Waiting for Bluetooth connection” would have been better, but a simple ding sound would have probably been ideal here. The instructions manual is also littered with grammatical errors, but it’s still readable and offers some good insight on the product.

Enjoyment Factor (9/10)

This was quite fun to use. Within just a few minutes (especially if you learn on a soft surface), you’ll feel very comfortable going at different speeds, turning, stopping, etc. It really was a fun product to use. Was it for me specifically? Probably not, but if my life had more of a hoverboard shaped hole in it right now, this AlienBoard BatWings edition would fill it no problem!

As one of the people who fell in our video, I’ll note that I didn’t exactly enjoy that part. However, it wasn’t the end of the world either. I’d probably be more careful if I was going to use this as my daily rider.

On a side note, if you have pets, it can be quite fun to chase them around while riding this hoverboard! I chased my cat for some time and it definitely did not get old as fast as you would think it would…

Price (4/10)

There’s not a lot to say here. At $600+, depending on whether or not it’s on sale at the time of your purchase, the BatWings Self-Balancing Scooter is not cheap by any means. As a point of reference, you can buy a nice bicycle for that price. If you can afford to splurge, then go for it. It is tons of fun for sure. However, in my opinion, the price is going to stop most people from being able to get one of these. Most people don’t have $600 just sitting around for purchasing toys.

In Closing

Just like the several different people in our video learned, hoverboards are not for everyone, and this one is no different. If you love the idea of balancing on a two wheeled-device while getting from place to place, then you’ll no doubt love the AlienBoard BatWings hoverboard. If you’d rather walk, skateboard, or use your ninja parkour skills to get from point A to point B, hoverboards may not be for you. It was definitely a fun experience, though. If you’re not sure if it’s for you, I highly suggest you check one out if you get a chance. It’s fun even if you’re just going to try it once. For those hoverboard-for-lifers out there, this one should do you just fine.

DISCLAIMER: We were not paid to review this product, nor were we required to leave a positive review. We were sent the product for free and were not limited in how we could or couldn’t review it. We did not necessarily review all aspects of this product, and you should still contact the manufacturer if you have any questions about this product before or after making a purchase.

Written by Andrew Fischer

Andrew Fischer is the Head Writer and Editor-in-Chief of PopMalt. He is an avid follower of all things pop and Internet culture, and works as Creative Director at NURV, a boutique creative multimedia and digital marketing company. He is also the founder of The Jericho Joe.