Hoverboards: The Newest Addition to Douchebag Culture, Or a Trend for the General Public?
To understand this weird fad, let’s go back to the beginning. The original name of this product was the Smart S1, and it was debuted by a Chinese company in August of 2014. Since then, about a million different companies have copied the exact same thing, which is why the name is so confusing. While most call the product a ‘hoverboard,’ they can also be known as Glidrs, Swegways, Cyboards, Airboards, etc.
Once American companies took hold, the scooters quickly made their way into the hands of social media stars, who are always willing to promote something for an extra dollar. The ‘fresh’boys of Vine especially took a liking to them, which is partly why they have such a negative stereotype. Every time a guy is seen riding down the street on one of these (and trust me, I’ve seen this way too many times), there are always twice as many eyerolls behind his back.
The prices range from $270 to $2,000, depending on the company. While it might be crazy to consider someone would pay $2,000 for a glorified skateboard, it is estimated that one was sold every twelve seconds during the holiday season. Amazon lists about 40 different models, with the only ‘significant’ difference being the brand name. Sales spiked when the hoverboards started being used by more mainstream celebrities. Justin Bieber began posting videos of himself riding one on Instagram, and people like Chris Brown, Nick Jonas, Zedd, Soulja Boy, Kendall Jenner, Nicki Minaj, Wiz Khalifa have been spotted using one type or another.
However, controversy over the devices emerged when they started catching fire?! Multiple incidents have been reported of the scooters bursting into flames and causing severe property damage. However, it’s not exactly the fault of the hoverboards, but the cheap batteries that some companies are using. Since the product began topping holiday wish-lists, the safety standards were thrown out in favor of a higher product yield. The only recommendation to solve this issue is to buy the ‘better,’ more expensive versions.
Or you could maybe just walk? Hopefully people will realize how dumb they look riding around on these ‘hoverboards’ before everyone buys them and our population turns into the fat people from WALL-E.
If you need any more reasons to not buy one, here is a lovely compilation of people wiping out. Happy Friday!