Hoverboards: they’re sleek, exciting, and seemingly futuristic. But as you stand on the brink of purchasing one for your child, you might wonder, “What age is appropriate for hoverboard riding?”
Most hoverboard manufacturers state their riders should be at least eight years old. However, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) allows children over six to use a hoverboard (source). So, it can be confusing to know what’s best.
Your child’s safety is the top priority. I’ll walk you through age requirements, safety precautions, how hoverboards work, and the best hoverboards for different age ranges.
What Age Is Appropriate for a Hoverboard?
Hoverboards aren’t advised for children under 5. The American Academy of Pediatrics claims children over the age of six can ride one, but many manufacturers recommend their products for ages 8+. This is because hoverboards require good coordination, balance skills, and common sense in order to minimize the risk of injury.
What Age Is Appropriate for a Hoverboard?
The AAP suggests hoverboards and skateboards aren’t safe for 5-year-olds and under. They state that children over the age of six can ride a hoverboard as long as they have close supervision from an adult. However, many hoverboard manufacturers recommend their products for 8-year-olds and up.
Hoverboards require good coordination, balance skills, and core strength. Children under eight are still working on these skills, putting them at risk of falling off and becoming injured.
The other reason manufacturers recommend an age limit for hoverboards is because riding a hoverboard requires some common sense. You must follow local regulations — such as not riding on busy streets — and ensure you wear safety gear.
While most eight-year-olds can understand and adhere to these risks, younger kids might not fully comprehend the associated dangers.
How a Hoverboard Works
A hoverboard is a two-wheeled electric scooter that requires the rider to self-balance and tilt in the direction they want to move. Hoverboards have two platforms — one for each foot — and a wheel on either side of the user’s feet.
They are similar to Segways but without the handles. The big difference between a hoverboard and a skateboard is that a hoverboard is electric and needs to be charged and switched on to move. And, unlike skateboards, where riders stand sideways, hoverboard users face forward.
To use a hoverboard, you tilt forward and back to maneuver the device. To turn the hoverboard left or right, slightly tilt the opposite foot from the direction you want to move. For instance, tilt your left foot slightly to turn right and your right foot slightly to turn left.
Are Hoverboards Safe for Kids?
Hoverboards can be dangerous for all users, including children and adults. When you purchase a quality hoverboard and ensure your child wears safety gear (helmets, knee and elbow pads, and wrist guards), hoverboards pose similar risks as bike riding or skateboarding.
However, you should still know the injury statistics for hoverboard accidents. Between 2017 and 2021, there were 77,200 injuries related to micromobility vehicles, including hoverboards (1). The most likely injuries in children are fractures, sprains, strains, and bruises.
The other significant risk is a hoverboard’s fire hazards. Since 2017, hoverboards have been much safer and don’t pose as much fire risk, thanks to UL-certified testing. But in 2022, there were still 11 deaths caused by overheating hoverboard-induced fires (2).
While hoverboards aren’t 100 percent safe, you can drastically reduce safety concerns. The best methods include wearing protective gear, supervising young kids and teenagers, and never leaving the hoverboard unattended while charging.
How To Choose an Age-Appropriate Hoverboard
When choosing a hoverboard for your child, several important details must be considered.
Hoverboards typically have a maximum speed of six to 10 miles per hour. Avoid selecting one that exceeds 10 mph to minimize the risk of falls. If you want your child to stick to slower speeds, choose a hoverboard around the 6 mph range.
Portability and Size
Choose a hoverboard that is easy for your child to transport. They will need to carry it to their riding location (whether that’s your home hallway or your neighborhood streets) so you don’t want it to be too heavy.
Most hoverboards weigh between 20 and 30 pounds, but some are as light as five pounds.
You should also ensure your child has the space for the hoverboard, whether they’re storing it in their room, in a closet, or elsewhere.
If you store your hoverboard in a closet, avoid charging it there. Charge it in a well-ventilated area to prevent battery overheating.
Hoverboards boast various wheel sizes, from about 4.5 inches to 10 inches. For kids, I recommend about 6.5 inches. The smaller wheels are better for younger and shorter children as this makes it easier to mount and dismount.
But taller kids and teenagers might benefit from 8.5 or 10-inch wheels. You can always start with smaller wheels and upgrade your child to bigger wheels when they are older.
Always check the weight capacity of your chosen hoverboard. While many brands don’t state the minimum weight capacity, it’s worth looking for anyway.
However, a manufacturer should always state the maximum capacity, usually between 170 and 265 pounds. Always ensure your child is within the weight range for the chosen hoverboard.
Finally, take note of safety features. It’s crucial to check if a hoverboard has a UL2272 certification to ensure safety from electrical and fire hazards.
I also appreciate non-slip foot pads, which keep your child steady as they ride.
Parents also like hoverboards with LED lights as these provide a bit more illumination, especially if your child is riding in darker conditions.
You may also want to look for LiFePo batteries or something other than lithium-ion. LiFePo batteries are safer than lithium-ion as they are less likely to combust, overheat, or catch fire.
Last but not least, some hoverboards have a training or beginner mode, allowing your child to learn safe hoverboard riding before they start zooming around.
Best Hoverboards for Different Age Groups
Whether you’re looking for a hoverboard for 6-year-olds or 10-year-olds, teenagers, or seniors, I’ll let you know what to look for and suggest a few age-appropriate hoverboards.
For Young Children
If you’re thinking of buying a hoverboard for a 4-year-old, keep in mind that the recommended age for hoverboards from the AAP is at least six years old. Most hoverboard manufacturers state their products are for ages eight and up, while some even state 12.
According to the AAP, hoverboards are suitable for 6-year-olds and up. But most manufacturers specify their hoverboard designs are only suitable for 8-year-olds and up.
However, if you’re looking for a hoverboard for your child, I have three suggestions to consider:
- Wilibl Hoverboard for Kids: This hoverboard is designed for kids aged six to 12. It’s UL2272 certified, making it a smart choice for parents. Complete with a self-balancing system, this is a fantastic choice for beginners as it makes learning easy. Kids will also enjoy the built-in speaker, the flashing wheels, and the bright color options.
- Felimoda Hoverboard With Bluetooth Speaker: Say hello to many color options! From camo green to bright pink, this hoverboard is UL2272-certified and runs at a maximum of six miles per hour. It features two non-slip foot pads and is fairly easy to master, making it an excellent choice for kids. The age range isn’t specified, but most customers reported their children were at least eight.
- Hover-1 Drive Electric Hoverboard: Suitable for kids eight and up, this is a great choice for a 9-year-old or 10-year-old’s birthday. It travels at seven miles per hour maximum (which means less worrying for parents) and up to three miles per charge – so your kids can’t roam too far. It has a maximum weight capacity of 160 pounds, so some parents may be able to try it too!
When buying a hoverboard for your teenager, it’s still important to be safe, but you can choose ones that go a bit faster. However, I still recommend ones that have safety features and are UL2272-certified.
Here are a few hoverboard choices for your teen:
- Razor Hovertrax Prizma: Running at maximum speeds of nine miles per hour, this will be tons of fun for teens, and parents don’t need to worry about extreme speeds. It also features a training mode and antislip foot pads, making it an excellent choice for beginners. Suitable for ages eight and up, this colorful and LED-lit hoverboard is a mesmerizing choice.
- Gotrax Glide Pro: This is a great choice for teenagers who have never ridden a hoverboard before or aren’t confident about using one. It reaches a maximum speed of 6.5 miles per hour and is close to the ground, making it easy to mount and dismount. Teens will enjoy the flashing colors and the glossy exterior, complete with a built-in music speaker to blast their favorite tunes.
Kid-friendly hoverboards might just not cut it for thrill-seeking adults. If you’re over the age of 18, you’re free to hover wherever your heart desires (as long as it’s legal) without supervision. To make your ride worthwhile, check out these exciting hoverboards:
- EPIKGO Hover Self-Balance Board: With a 265-pound weight capacity and top speeds of 10 miles per hour, this is an epic choice for adults. Being UL-certified, this is also a safe choice. But beyond that, it’s incredible for traveling on all kinds of terrain. Thanks to the puncture-proof 8.5-inch wheels, this device can zoom you across different grounds and even up 18-degree slopes.
- Gyroor All Terrain Hoverboard: Say hello to this powerful off-road hoverboard. With 8.5-inch tires, this is designed to coast you across grass, mud, and even up gravel mountain roads! It’s extra safe thanks to the non-slip footpads and UL certification, but extra fun thanks to the built-in speaker. There’s also an app that allows you to switch between adult and child modes and adjust the top speeds accordingly in case you want to share this with your child.
Seniors can enjoy hoverboards, provided they’re within the weight capacity and confident in their balance and core strength.
Technically, they can use any of the hoverboards I’ve recommended so far as long as they don’t exceed the weight limit. However, I have added some additional options that are safe, have speed limitations, and feature a beginner’s mode.
- Swagtron Swagboard Twist: With a maximum capacity of 185 pounds and top speeds of six miles per hour, this is a great choice for seniors. With six-inch wheels, this hoverboard is lower to the ground, making it easy to mount and dismount. It also features non-slip foot pads and an incombustible LiFePo battery.
- Hover-1 Dream Electric Hoverboard: If you want to go from beginner to expert, then this hoverboard is a fantastic choice. It has different riding modes, taking you from a newbie to an experienced rider. Enjoy top speeds of seven miles per hour, a maximum weight of 220 pounds and a UL-certification. This hoverboard can even tackle a 10-degree incline, giving you more options for where to ride it.
Hoverboard Laws and Restrictions
US states have varying hoverboard laws and regulations. In general, it’s legal to own a hoverboard and use it on private property, as long as you have the owner’s permission.
Below is a chart with basic laws for each USA state regarding hoverboard use (3).
|State||Laws and Regulations|
|Alabama||Allows on public highways, sidewalks, and cycle paths; users must give way to pedestrians and manual vehicles (i.e. bikes) and audibly signal before passing pedestrians.|
|Alaska||Maximum speeds of 15 mph; check local laws before riding in specific areas.|
|Arizona||Varies by municipality; some areas have banned hoverboards from public areas.|
|Arkansas||No specific laws.|
|California||Hoverboards are banned from highways, cycle paths, sidewalks, and trails; users must wear safety equipment; 20 mph limit; local authorities may have their own rules.|
|Colorado||Hoverboards are only allowed on sidewalks.|
|Connecticut||It’s not set in stone, but riders should be at least 16 years old, and the hoverboard must have front, back, and side reflectors and lighting.|
|Delaware||Maximum speeds of 15 mph; allowed on sidewalks and cycle lanes with a maximum speed of 8 mph and other restrictions; user must wear a helmet and be at least 16 years old; hoverboard must have front, back, and side reflectors and lighting.|
|Florida||Allowed on streets with a 25 mph speed limit; allowed on cycle lanes, at intersections, and on sidewalks; riders under 16 must wear a helmet.|
|Georgia||No state-specific laws; check local city guidelines before riding away from private property.|
|Hawaii||Allowed on sidewalks and cycle lanes up to 8 mph; you can only use hoverboards that have a maximum setting of 8 mph; riders must be at least 16 years old; hoverboard must have reflectors, and riders must wear a headlamp from dusk to dawn.|
|Idaho||Allowed on sidewalks, but this varies depending on the political subdivision in charge of sidewalks.|
|Illinois||Hoverboards are banned from many campus buildings and trains operated by Metra. No other specific laws, but highly frowned upon when used on roadways and sidewalks in business districts.|
|Indiana||Legal if the motor is under 750w and speeds under 20 mph; banned in many schools and universities.|
|Iowa||User must be at least 16 to ride on sidewalks and bike paths; rider must give right of way to pedestrians and manual vehicles (i.e. bikes); riders must give audible signal when overtaking a pedestrian; banned at night unless the rider or hoverboard has a headlight at the front and a red reflector on the back.|
|Kansas||Hoverboards can follow the same road rules as motor vehicles.|
|Kentucky||No specific laws; check local regulations; users must be 16 or older and wear a helmet.|
|Louisiana||Allowed on sidewalks, cycle paths, and roads with 25 mph max speed limit; may vary by local authority; don’t go faster than 20 mph.|
|Maine||Allowed on sidewalks and public roads with 35 mph speed limits, unless banned by local ordinance or law; rider must wear reflective clothing and have reflective devices between dusk and dawn; maximum 5 mph on sidewalks and 15 mph on public roads and cycle paths.|
|Maryland||Banned from roadways with a 30 mph speed limit or over; same rights as pedestrians in places other than intersections; maximum speed limit of 15 mph.|
|Massachusetts||Allowed on all public ways, including cycle paths, sidewalks, and roadways under 35 mph; banned from limited access and express state highways; subject to 5 mph on sidewalks within business districts; riders must not use on sidewalks at a speed that may cause danger; they must give way to pedestrians and service animals; riders must utilize lights at night time.|
|Michigan||Hoverboards must ride to the right side of a roadway; cannot ride more than two abreast on a roadway, except on designated paths; no passing between traffic lanes; must give way to pedestrians; banned from sidewalks designated for pedestrians; maximum speeds of 25 mph.|
|Minnesota||Same rights as a pedestrian; suitable for cycle paths; cannot be used at an unreasonable speed on roads, sidewalks, and cycle lanes; banned from roads with speeds limits over 35 mph; hoverboards must have reflectors on front, back, and wheels that are visible from 600 feet away.|
|Mississippi||Allowed on marked cycle paths, roads where bicycles are allowed, and sidewalks as long as the rider gives way to pedestrians.|
|Missouri||Allowed on streets, highways, sidewalks, and cycle paths under 45 mph speed limits; riders have the same rights as a pedestrian; you must be 16 or older to use a hoverboard; may change from city to city.|
|Montana||Allowed on sidewalks, cycle lanes, and roads with 35 mph speed limits or less; not allowed on sidewalks subject to traffic control devices that limit Electric Personal Assistive Mobility Devices (EPAMDs).|
|Nebraska||Allowed on streets, sidewalks, and cycle lanes up to 20 mph; may vary depending on the municipality; rider must use headlights and reflectors at night.|
|Nevada||Each city has different regulations.|
|New Hampshire||Riders have the same rights as pedestrians; the rider must stay on the right side of the road as much as possible.|
|New Jersey||Allowed on public highways, sidewalks, and cycle lanes; riders have the same rights as cyclists; may vary depending on the municipalities; riders must wear helmets and be at least 16 years old.|
|New Mexico||Hoverboard must have front, back, and side reflectors, a braking system, and a white light for night times; the rider has the same rights as a pedestrian and must give way to pedestrians.|
|New York||Allowed on sidewalks outside of New York City; in New York City, it is illegal to ride hoverboards on the streets or sidewalks.|
|North Carolina||Allowed on sidewalks, cycle paths and roads with a 25 mph maximum speed limit; there is no helmet requirement or age limit; riders must give way to pedestrians; this may change depending on the municipalities.|
|North Dakota||Banned from cycle lanes and sidewalks; must be used with taillights and headlights; riders under 18 must wear helmets.|
|Ohio||Allowed on public streets, highways, cycle lanes, and sidewalks under 55 mph speed limits; riders must be at least 18 and wear helmets; if between ages 16 and 18, they must be supervised by an adult; must give way to pedestrians; proper lighting and reflectors required at night time; children under 14 are banned from riding hoverboards at all.|
|Oklahoma||Banned from highways and turnpikes; allowed on walking trails, bike paths, municipal streets, and sidewalks; this may vary depending on the city. Riders must obey speed limits and yield to pedestrians.|
|Oregon||Riders have the same rights and responsibilities as cyclists when riding in a cycle lane, path, or highway; when riding on a sidewalk, riders have the same rights as pedestrians.|
|Pennsylvania||Allowed on sidewalks and roads; this may vary by local regulations; banned from freeways.|
|Rhode Island||Riders are subject to all traffic laws applicable to any vehicle; hoverboards are allowed on highway shoulders, except highways that prohibit cyclists; riders have the same rights as pedestrians; this may vary from city to city.|
|South Carolina||Allowed on roads, cycle routes, paths, trails, and sidewalks; user must audibly signal before overtaking a pedestrian; 15 mph maximum speeds; local authorities can make their own rules; if a sidewalk is available, the rider must use that instead of a road or highway; banned from freeway main facilities with exceptions; hoverboard must be equipped with a stopping mechanism and a bell or other audible tool (excluding sirens and whistles).|
|South Dakota||Maximum 15 mph ability; banned from sidewalks.|
|Tennessee||Allowed on public highways, bike trails and paths, and sidewalks unless stated by local laws; must follow speed limits; must yield to pedestrians.|
|Texas||Allowed on residential streets, roads, and highways with a speed limit of 30 mph or less.|
|Utah||Subject to the same rules as bikes, mopeds, and motor-driven bikes; riders must be 15 or older unless supervised by a parent or guardian; banned with highways with more than four lanes or speed limits higher than 35 mph’ riders must have a front lamp visible up to 300 feet and front, back and side reflectors for riding at night.|
|Vermont||Must have front, back, and side reflectors and a controlled stopping system; hoverboard must have a white front light from dusk to dawn; riders have the same rights as pedestrians; this may vary from city to city.|
|Virginia||Maximum speeds of 20 mph; children under 14 must have adult supervision; suitable for roads with a speed limit of 25 mph or less; allowed on crosswalks; banned from any Interstate Highways System component.|
|Washington||Banned from fully controlled limited access highways; allowed on sidewalks or crosswalks; riders have similar access and parking rights as bikes; banned from nonmotorized trails with natural surfaces; riders must yield to pedestrians; different cities have the rights to their own laws.|
|West Virginia||Hoverboards must have front, back and side reflectors, a braking system and a white light for nights; riders have the same rights as pedestrians.|
|Wisconsin||Riders must use them close to the right edge or curb of a road; on one-way highways with two or more lanes, they must be near the left curb; banned from some roads (with signs); riders must yield to pedestrians; allowed on sidewalks unless prohibited by specific rules.|
|Wyoming||Banned from public roads; 20 mph speed limit overall; allowed on sidewalks and pedestrian paths.|
Safety Tips for Hoverboards
Hoverboards pose significant risks, but there are steps you can take to increase safety for yourself or your child. Here are five essential safety tips when operating a hoverboard:
- Choose a UL-certified gadget: Always check that the hoverboard is UL-certified, meaning it’s passed the UL 2272 safety checks and performance standards.
- Avoid busy places and nighttime: It’s best to avoid busy areas and riding at night, even if you have a well-lit hoverboard and are a confident rider, to reduce the risk of injury to yourself and others.
- Wear protective equipment: Always wear a skateboard helmet, wrist guards, closed-toe shoes, and knee and elbow pads. If you fall off the hoverboard, this gear can prevent injury.
- Avoid textured roads: Although some hoverboards have all-terrain wheels, smooth roads are safest. If you ride over a bump, crack, or uneven ground, you can easily fall off your board.
- Charge wisely: When charging your hoverboard, keep it in a well-ventilated spot and avoid leaving it unattended. Charge it up while you’re working near the outlet or watching a movie so you can react quickly if the battery starts to overheat, spark, or even catch fire. Keep a fire extinguisher nearby in case of emergencies. It’s wise to have a fire extinguisher in your home anyway.