“Look ma, no hands!” might be just one of the many heart-stopping sentiments your child can gleefully shout at you, but it definitely makes the top three. Though the phrase is often associated with bicycle tricks (big kids think they’re so cool riding their bikes sans that tight grasp on the handlebars you taught them about), new generations are going hands-free via self-balancing scooters, also called hoverboards. These futuristic modes of transportation have been hot-ticket items over the last few years, but finding the best self balancing scooters out there requires careful consideration and research.
Back to the Future’s Marty McFly unknowingly popularized this awesome set of wheels ahead of their time, but unfortunately for real-life riders, not all self-balancing scooters are safe. If you’re considering making the splurge for your own child, it’s important to know which models are worth the money and actually safe on the road. We’ve identified the best self-balancing scooters on the market to eliminate some of the grunt work for you.
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1. TOMOLOO Music-Rhythmed Hoverboard
TOMOLOO is one of the most popular self-balancing boards on the market. It meets and exceeds the highest international safety standards — it’s UL2272 certified, meaning it’s been tested for electrical and fire safety, as well as MSDS/UN38.3 and UL2271 certified. In other words, the hoverboard is made of materials (the same as the iPhone shell, for reference) that are fire retardant and can handle high temperatures.
Safety precautions aside, the TOMOLOO also gets an A+ for originality because not only can you ride on this thing, you can also rock out en route to your destination. Featuring stereo speakers, Bluetooth 4.0 technology and RGB LED lights, this sweet ride produces stereo-quality surround sound tunes alongside colorful lights that change with the rhythm of your favorite beats.
2. HYPER GOGO Wormhole Hoverboard
While some kids ride their bikes to school, others prefer to go hands-free on their commute via hoverboard. If your teen has been begging you for one of their own, you can rest easy if they’re traveling on a HYPER GOGO self-balancing scooter. This model in particular is especially safe as it’s equipped with a No Fall Technology that features gyro sensors to keep your rider balanced and stable no matter the terrain.
It’s also been tested and certified for durability, water resistance, self-balancing and smart battery. Plus, with 3D wormhole wheel and frame lights glowing from the motor, your loved one can see where they’re going in low-light conditions like fog and during the winter months.
3. UNI-SUN Bluetooth Hoverboard
Giving your child the OK to travel via self-balancing scooter can be just as intimidating as watching them drive off with a license, but UNI-SUN’s model was created specifically for kids. It’s been tested for electrical, charger systems and fire safety, and meets or exceeds all necessary rider safety certifications. Since this hoverboard was made with beginners in mind, it’s equipped with a smart self-balancing system, so even the clumsiest of riders will stay upright and stable.
But kids won’t adore this self-balancing scooter for its safety features; it’s the fun details that stand out to them, like the built-in wireless Bluetooth speaker they can connect to their devices to blast music or listen to audiobooks while they travel. It also comes in more than 15 designs (all including color-flashing wheels) to choose from based on your rider’s style and personality.