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The hoverboard

Wale Joseph
820 views; Posted on January 1, 1970;

Ever since Marty McFly zipped around on one in Back to the Future Part II, people have looked forward to the day they could own a hoverboard.

Here we are at the end of 2015 (the year in which that 1989 film was set), and though technically not a hoverboard, self-balancing boards are all the rage this holiday season and give the rider some sense of "hovering" above the ground.

Early 'Black Friday' shoppers view a sales person on a hover board self-balancing scooter at the Lenox Square Mall in Atlanta.

If only, it actually worked like this:

The product, available from several manufacturers, is powered by a lithium battery and operated by leaning in and balancing. But with reports of injuries and a price tag that isn’t friendly for all budgets, the major question this holiday season is — to buy or not to buy?

Pros 
Ease on down, ease on down the road: With a little practice and a lot of balance, these hoverboards are fairly easy to use. With a little effort (seriously, lean forward, go forward) you are on your way. As you get more comfortable on your board, it becomes easier to maneuver — it just takes a little practice. (Not to mention this has to be a great core workout!)

You can get one: Though the hoverboard is the hot gift to get, it is also the expensive gift to buy, with most costing $300 to $500, from various manufactuers. So while demand may be high, the price has kept these pretty easy to obtain — either via online retailers or through mall kiosks.

Not smaller than a breadbox, but smaller than a Segway: Self-balancing boards are much more compact than their handle-barred counterpart, the Segway, and they weigh much less. The average weight for these boards is 20 to 25 pounds, and they are small enough to stow away in a locker or a duffle bag for easy transportation.

No bus fare, no problem: Short on bus change? Not going far enough for an Uber? Feeling too lazy to walk? No problem. Grab your hoverboard and go. The self-balancing board can range in speed of up to 10 mph and travel 10 to 15 miles on a charge.

Cons 
It's all about the money, money, money: Today's hoverboards do not come cheap. You are looking at spending upwards from $300 and some can cost as much as $2000.

Ride over a crack ... : If you are not careful, serious injury can occur while riding on your hoverboard. 

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