Is There a Weight Limit for Hoverboards?

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While the initial models of hoverboards released to the market were limited in their weight-bearing abilities, today there are many more options available. For those who want to enjoy hoverboarding but aren’t sure they can find the right style, you’ll be happy to know that there are models available that can hold up to 420 pounds, although they are rare and much more expensive. Essentially, the weight limit that is imposed will depend on the model. 

And the short answer is yes, there is a weight limit for hoverboards. It just varies from one style or brand to the next. Keep reading to learn everything you need to know about the weight capacity of hoverboards and why it matters, including what you might not know about minimum weight requirements (spoiler alert: they are a thing!). 

Table of Contents

The Basic Weight Groups

  • According to most manufacturer specifications, 4.5-inch wheel models have a weight limit of around 120 pounds (55 kg), which are best for children. 
  • Some models offer 6.5-inch wheels that are better for older kids or small adults, including those up to 220 pounds (100 kg). 
  • For those up to 265 pounds (120 kg), a board with 8.5-inch wheels is recommended. 
  • The heavy-duty self-balancing scooters that feature 10+ inches of wheel diameter will support a lot more weight. Most are rated at around 330 pounds (150 kg), although some go all the way up to the aforementioned 420 pounds. 

Bear in mind that all models require a minimum weight of 44 pounds to control the self-balancing function. These aren’t intended for small children and they aren’t safe for them in most cases, anyway. However, without at least this much weight, even the smallest self-balancing scooters cannot stay balanced properly because there is not adequate counterweight. 

The weight range of hoverboards, again, may be slightly different from one brand or manufacturer to another, but these are general ranges to give you a basic idea of what’s out there on the market. Remember that typically, the more weight it holds, the more heavy-duty its design will be. Therefore, it will likely cost more. 

What Makes the Difference?

If you’re curious as to how the self-balancing scooter is classified by weight, it’s about more than wheel size. Yes, this helps to distribute the weight more evenly and therefore provides better support. However, it’s also about the wheel axles, which are also made bigger and stronger on the models with larger wheels. The entire structure has to be capable of holding the weight, after all. If not, the axles will eventually snap under pressure and that could be dangerous.

Some manufacturers use better quality parts or construction methods, which allow their hoverboards to have a higher weight limit than others of a similar size. They may also be significantly more expensive, as mentioned above, so that’s important to keep in mind. The materials and size of the deck or board itself might also impact the weight limit, as a sturdier material will hold more weight than cheap plastic, for example. 

There’s a lot that goes into determining the weight capacity of a hoverboard, but it’s all designed with user safety and maximum enjoyment in mind. 

How to Choose

If you’re not in a situation where you can physically test out the hoverboard, as is the case with a gift or in light of recent coronavirus restrictions on shopping and sampling in public, it might be difficult to choose a hoverboard based just on the weight alone. A self-balancing scooter is a unique thing that requires a different set of controls. Even if you like the idea of bigger wheels, for example, you might not have the capacity to balance the bigger board and should stick with a smaller model.

Consider the wheel size and weight limit, and always make sure that you check the manufacturer’s specifications for the exact weight limit of the model that you are going to purchase. In addition to the hoverboard weight limits, you’ll also want to consider the actual size of the board. Those with bigger feet, for example, might want a wider board than those with smaller feet. It’s all a matter of personal preference depending on your balance and how comfortable you are on the board. 

Also known as the self-balancing scooter, the hoverboard is one of the hottest new toys on the market today, for adults and kids alike. There are several different hoverboard models available for various age groups, including specialty ones for kids with various pop culture themes and premium models for adults like those designed by the Swagtron brand. Of course, there are several brands and styles out there, so feel free to explore and see what you can find. 

Related: Best Hoverboard

No (or Little) Sharing

The biggest takeaway for most people here is that you really can’t share hoverboards among a family unless you happen to have a family that is all about the same size. Typically, the kids and parents will need their own, and each kid might need one based on their size. The good news is, though, that it will be a lot more fun for everyone to get out and hoverboard together. 

If you’re looking for a model that kids can share, they’re going to need to be close in their weight range. Otherwise, it’s just not safe to disregard the weight limits set in place. At the very least, you’ll want at least two (one small and one larger) for the adults and kids. 

More Options for Adults, Too

Besides improved weight limits, adult hoverboards also offer more features and models that can enhance the ride. Some include the option of adding specialty tires for off-road use or have unique designs for city use when you want a fun way to commute. Just keep in mind that if you are transporting stuff to work or around town on your hoverboard, that counts toward the weight limit. You can’t be 220 pounds on a 220-pound limit scooter and then add a briefcase. It’s just not safe or smart. Remember, the weight limit is the absolute maximum. You should never get too close if you can help it. 

What Happens If You Don’t Follow the Limit?

Aside from the obvious inability to operate and enjoy the hoverboard, several things can go wrong when you don’t follow the posted weight limit. Even though you don’t notice it right away, over time the hoverboard will break down more quickly and start to have issues. 

For starters, the frame is durable but it is only designed to support so much weight for an extended period. Once it starts to break down, the entire unit will be susceptible to damage. Plus, the wheels and axles are also only designed to support so much weight. Over time, they can come loose or completely fall off. In some instances, axles have even snapped under extreme stress. 

When the frame breaks down the electronics on the inside can get damaged. This can further affect the safe operation of the scooter. Over time, this just continues to get worse and breakdowns and potential issues could lead to serious accidents. For the most important and expensive reason to follow the weight limit, look to the motor. 

The motor only functions properly if you obey the weight limits. With too much weight it will require more power to function and end up producing less speed as a result. This can overwork the motor and cause unnecessary failure. Remember, while you can carry a bag now and then, you’re not a pack mule and the hoverboard isn’t designed for hauling. It’s designed for having a good time, and that’s best done within the parameters set forth by the manufacturer. 

Being Safe is More Fun

No one wants to think about the rules. There are so many different things that can go wrong, though, that it just makes sense to be safe. When you follow the weight limits, you won’t have to worry about extra risks and you can spend more time enjoying yourself. If you think safety is lame, imagine how much fun you’ll have riding your hoverboard and knowing that you’re not going to eat concrete because you’re over the weight limit. 

Hoverboards are popular right now. Unfortunately, that means that there are also some less-than-great models on the market. You’ll want to be careful to research your options and choose from reputable brands that know what they are doing. There is nothing worse than spending this much money only to have a breakdown or have the hoverboard not work at all when it arrives. 

As long as you remember to buy a quality brand and check the manufacturer’s weight guidelines, you’ll get the perfect hoverboard no matter who you’re buying for. Although there are more heavy-duty models available today, weight limits can still be limiting at times. Pay attention to make sure that you get what you need.