Hands-Free Scooters Are Hands Down Fun
It is kind of like a Segway, but it doesn’t have handlebars. It’s kind of like a skateboard, but it’s sideways. So… I guess it’s a scooter. And you control it by leaning in the direction you want to go. Without falling off, I might add. The hybrid personal transporter is not just a cool way to get around, it’s a cultural phenomenon.
The scooters have virtually no learning curve – you just hop on and go. Although, let’s be honest, you’re going to want to practice before you use this in front of anyone. They can be used indoors and out, and separate motor controls on each wheel make it self-balancing. With the gentle lean of your feet, it goes forwards and backwards, and as you lean right or left it turns on a zero-degree radius.
Available from numerous companies, the self-balancing scooters weigh an average of 25 pounds. That’s not exactly light weight and you’re not going to toss it in your backpack or purse, but it’s more convenient than a bike or full-sized scooter, for sure. The body is made of durable alloy steel, and you don’t have to worry about flat tires because the wheels are solid rubber. The two motors are reviewed to be high quality and the battery recharges to a full charge in about 2 hours, and at the top speed of 6 mph, the battery can last for at least 12 miles.
Chances are, you’ve seen the scooters on social media or television this year. Celebs including Nick Jonas, Justin Beiber, Nicki Minaj, Kendall Jenner and many more have Instagrammed tweeted and YouTubed images of themselves riding these trendy new rides. In May, Jamie Foxx rode on one stage of The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, and they even made an appearance at the NBA Finals.
In Good Company
There are numerous companies with the scooters on the market, but IO Hawk and PhunkeeDuck appear to be the biggest contenders in the scooter game. The two both claim to have developed the idea while other reports show the technology — like most technology — originated in China. Regardless, what’s on the market in the U.S. is a multitude of seemingly identical scooters that are branded differently from different companies. While they vary in personality, some having fancy hubcaps or prints, they’re all really the same thing. Depending on what brand you choose, you can expect to pay anywhere from $350 to $1,800 for one of these scooters. Just how popular are these scooters? The two companies being touted on social media by celebrities are not able to keep up demand and charging high-end prices. The IO Hawk, made by a company in LA, sells for $1,799.99 and struggles to fill all their orders. PhunkeeDuck, sold by a New York-based Company, sells for $1,499.99 and there’s a waiting list to get one.