I have a confession to make. I still don’t know what to call these boards. All the kids call them ‘Swegways’, but I’ve also seen them referred to as glide boards and hoverboards (though you don’t seem to do much hovering to me).
Whatever you choose to call them, all you need to know is they are great fun and they’re set to be the next big thing in personal transport. Parents – be prepared to part with £399 this Christmas if you have a teenager in the house. However, you might also think about getting one yourself, especially if your commute to work is fairly flat.
We had this Swegway for two weeks on loan and absolutely loved it – we almost cried when we had to give it back. My 12 year old was so obsessed that he used to glide round the kitchen for several hours a day, ‘dancing’ on the board to dance tunes on Kiss FM and generally terrifying the dog. He even ate his breakfast while balancing on one. Still, with the rubbish weather in August at least it kept him entertained.
I too liked to glide/Swegway round the kitchen and although it (predictably) took me longer to get the hang of it than Archie, I enjoyed it too. As with riding a bike it’s starting and stopping that are the problem but once you get the hang of that it’s a doddle.
Indeed once you’ve got your balance on the board, all you need to do is lean forward to make it go forward and lean back if you want it to stop. Turning is simply a case of leaning the way you want to go – much like skiiing.
While top speed is billed as 10 kilometres an hour, the reality is there are quite a few factors that will slow you down. When you’re gliding indoors hitting maximum speed is no problem at all. But outside you have to contend with hills, wind and an uneven surface that can throw you off balance if you’re not too careful.
We tested the Smart Glider for hours on the promenade at the Suffolk seaside resort of Lowestoft and had great fun – although everyone stared at us, especially little kids on their microscooters who were very jealous of our electric wheels. The only problem was even the uneven surface of the pavement meant you had to slow down a little bit because of excessive judder (the Smart Glider only has small wheels).
Apart from that though we didn’t have any problems at all. The Smart Glider is perhaps a little heavier than would think making it difficult to carry around for more than a short while if the surface is too difficult to glide on. Also at £399 it’s quite an investment, though hopefully prices will come down with more boards being produced.
The Smart Glider is available from Future Wheels (www.futurewheels.com) for £399.99
Great entertainment for kids and adults alike (handy for tube strike days!)
Goes quite fast over a smooth surface and great for indoors if you have space
Charges up quite quickly
A little on the pricey side
You can see Archie’s first ever YouTube video review of the Smart Glider below
Smart Glider Specifications:
Minimum driver weight: 20Kg
Maximum driver weight: 100Kg
Top Speed: 10KM/h
Charging time: 2 to 3 hours (Lithium battery)