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I’ll be the first to admit that I was pretty disappointed the first time I saw a hoverboard. I had been hearing about them for a while and expected that they would turn me into the next silver surfer. Seeing something with wheels was a bit of a letdown.
However, once I got the hang of riding one (it’s really not as easy as it looks) I got over my disappointment pretty quickly. Or at least most of it. The only thing that bummed me out was the speed. I was using a hoverboard that belonged to my little cousin and it obviously wasn’t meant for heavy adults, let alone a big guy like myself.
In the end, I knew two things: I had to have a hoverboard and it had to be a hoverboard for heavy adults. Or at least a heavy-duty hoverboard that could support my weight.
What is the Weight Capacity of a Hoverboard?
A hoverboard’s weight capacity is dictated by several factors including motor watts, tire size, and frame strength. An average hoverboard meant for kids has a 400-watt motor, 4.5″ wheels, and a weight capacity of around 110 pounds. Hoverboards for adults typically have 6.5″ wheels, a 700-watt motor, and a reinforced metal frame. This gives them a weight limit of around 220lbs.
Heavier duty options are, of course, available. If they weren’t I would never have written this article! Instead, I’d probably be crying in a corner somewhere.
In the end, I found several hoverboards for heavy adults. Here are my three top choices:
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What If You Exceed The Weight Capacity Of A Hoverboard?
If you exceed the weight capacity of a hoverboard, nothing will happen. Literally. You won’t move at all.
The most likely scenario of exceeding a hoverboard’s capacity is that it will still function but not very well. You’ll probably experience the following:
- Decreased battery life. Waiting for your hoverboard to charge is one of the worst parts of owning it. If you don’t get a heavy-duty hoverboard the battery is likely to die extremely quickly. If you are significantly over the weight limit your range and time of enjoyment will be much lower.
- Decreased top speed. While this may be positive for a new hoverboarder, you’ll soon want more speed out of your toy. If you are over the weight limit you won’t be getting anywhere near the advertised top speed.
- Increased motor strain. This one goes hand in hand with a decreased top speed. You’ll probably hear the motor whine and you may overheat it as it is working a lot harder to move your bulk.
- Faster wear. Toys like hoverboards don’t last forever. If you’re over the weight limit your experience will be a much shorter one. Heavy users have reported that their hoverboards lasted only a few months before giving up the ghost and forcing them to buy a more heavy-duty option.
- Increased breakages. While unlikely, you face the possibility of breaking an axle or a wheel which can not only leave you stranded but be dangerous.
What if you need a 300lb capacity hoverboard?
If you don’t need that level of weight capacity and want to save some money, there are some other great options. Let’s start with the one I bought:
The 3 Best Hoverboards For Adults & Heavy Kids
1. Swagtron T6 Outlaw – 400lb Capacity Hoverboard
If you need a hoverboard with a 300lb capacity or more there is literally only one option on the market. Swagtron makes an aluminum-framed hoverboard that they have dubbed the T6 Outlaw.
It runs at 12mph (for up to 12 miles) and can handle a whopping 420 pounds! It goes without saying that it’s the highest capacity hoverboard on the market. The other hoverboards we’ve found (including the one that I bought) have a maximum capacity of 265 pounds so, if you need to up the ante, the T6 Outlaw is your best (and only) option!
Some of its top features include:
- 10″ Tubeless Tires. Large tires make for a very smooth ride and the solid tires ensure that you won’t get a flat on your off or on-road exploits.
- Dual 300 Watt Motors. A strong motor gives you not only the potential for speed but makes slower rides more predictable. It also gives the board the ability to climb hills up to 30 degrees (although you’ll probably not climb a hill like that if you’re a big guy)
- Built-in Lights and Speaker. While I don’t use them unless I’m alone somewhere practicing, this board has built-in speakers that you can use to blast tunes. It also has built-in LED lights which are super useful for trips in low light as hitting a rock on a hoverboard can be much less than fun.
- Quick Charge. The SentryShield lithium-ion battery charges to full capacity in only 2-3 hours meaning you’ll have much less downtime than with other models.
The important aspect is probably the one that brought you here. Is this hoverboard suitable for big and heavy adults? Yes! As long as you’re within its 420-pound capacity. Within that range, it is capable of 12mph and has a range of 12 miles (both of which are the top specs in our roundup).
All in all, this is the best option for adult hoverboards. It’s affordable, durable, and versatile.
2. Hover-1 Titan – Best Heavy Duty Hoverboard for Street Use
If you are an absolute newcomer to hoverboards and feel like you’ll need a gradual learning curve, the Titan might be the best option for you. It has three learning modes that you can adjust through the app (as well as monitor your speed and battery capacity).
The native app also allows you to turn on the LED lights, play music, get real-time GPS reading, and track routes.
This hoverboard is a little more street-centric than our first option, people who use it absolutely love it. While I don’t own this own it would be my top choice if I wanted to use my hoverboard to get to campus, cruise around parks, or walk the dog.
3. TOMOLOO UL2272 – Heavy Duty Hoverboard for Large Adults
If you’re in need of a high-capacity hoverboard but don’t want to break the bank, this is a solid option. It has the same 265-pound capacity as the above options but comes in a package with slightly smaller wheels and frame.
What Makes A Hoverboard Usable For Large Adults? (4 Things)
Hoverboards have become very popular around the world and part of the reason for the growth in popularity is that adults are getting in on the fun. In fact, statistics show that over 35 percent of all hoverboards are sold to people over 18 years of age!
As I mentioned above, the term “hoverboard” is actually a misnomer as the boards don’t actually hover above the ground. A hoverboard is in reality a two-wheel self-balancing type of scooter that is controlled by the rider shifting their weight. Hoverboards are available in sizes to fit all ages of children as well as adults.
In my opinion, everyone should buy the most heavy-duty hoverboard they can afford. Even if you are a regular-sized adult, getting a board that is built to support big and heavy people will mean that it be a much higher quality product that will last much longer.
Now, choosing a hoverboard for a heavy adult requires taking several factors into consideration, 4 things to be specific.
1. Tire Size On Heavy Duty Hoverboards
Hoverboard size is typically expressed by the size of its wheels, in inches, and boards must be chosen to accommodate the size of the rider based on their weight. Additionally, the size of the wheels also affects the type of surfaces you can ride on as, just like a car, larger wheels provide more ground clearance and stability. Hoverboards have a weight-capacity rating from 30 to over 400 lbs. As a guideline, a hoverboard should be rated to at least 90 pounds for smaller adults.
While most boards’ weight ratings are tied to the size of the wheels, there are some variances in weight ratings among each manufacturer. While there can be a little leeway, the risk of accidents is increased if riders move very far outside the manufacturer’s guidelines. Hoverboards are available in the following wheel sizes:
• 4 1/2-inch wheels
• 6 1/2-inch wheels
• 8-inch wheels
• 8 1/2 inch wheels
• 10-inch wheels
The 4 1/2-inch Class
Hoverboards with 4 1/2 inch wheels were intended for children between five and 10 years of age, however, this model will technically accommodate a lightweight adult as it has a weight rating of 30 to 135 lbs. These boards operate at half the speed of the next size board, the 6 1/2-inch models. However, the 4 1/2-inch models proved to have issues with stability causing many manufacturers to stop making this size hoverboard.
The 6 1/2-inch Class
The 6 1/2-inch hoverboard is the original and most popular size hoverboard. This model is a good choice for first-time riders as the small size and low center of gravity allow for easy maneuverability. This model is good for flat and smooth surfaces, such as indoors or well-maintained pavements, but is not suitable for off-road travel. This model is a good choice for teenagers and smaller adults weighing between 60 and 220 lbs.
The 8-inch Class
With larger wheels, the 8-inch hoverboards are more stable than 6 1/2-inch models. These hoverboards have higher ground clearance and provide a wider foot base. The 8-inch models are great for all paved surfaces and can accommodate riders weighing up to 220 lbs. Some 8-inch models may offer a small speed increase compared to 6 1/2-inch models. On the downside, these will typically be heavier than comparable 6 1/2-inch models.
The 8 1/2-inch Class
The 8 1/2- inch models, sometimes referred to as “Hummer” models, have a beefier frame with wider, and slightly taller, wheels than the standard 8-inch models and are capable of being used off of paved surfaces, such as sand, grassy yards, dirt trails, and well-packed gravel roads. Most hummer boards, depending on the manufacturer, can accommodate people weighing up to 270 lbs.
The 10-inch Class
These are the king of the adult hoverboard category with the current highest weight rating and the largest wheel profile and foot base. The 10-inch hoverboards are capable of traveling up steep hills and make for a smooth ride over rough surfaces such as brick and rough or damaged concrete. This model is also best for serious off-payment use over more challenging surfaces.
Most 10-inch hoverboards have inflatable tires that provide for a smoother ride and less strain on your back and knees when hitting bumps. Depending on the manufacturer, the 10-inch models are strong and powerful enough to carry two average-size adults or a single rider weighing over 400 lbs!
2. Motor Size (measured in watts)
When it comes to electric motors, bigger is typically better, and a more powerful engine will deliver a smoother and faster ride. The power of an electric motor is designated in watts and hoverboard motors fall in the 200- to 350-watt range. Hoverboard motors are geared to the size of the board, with the bigger boards with the large wheels and weight rating having the most powerful motors. Note also that the more powerful motors will produce the smoothest ride and fastest acceleration.
As a rule of thumb, an 8 1/2-inch hoverboard will have a more powerful motor than a 6 1/2-inch board and a 10-inch model will have a more powerful motor than an 8 1/2-inch board. However, bear in mind that this is a general guideline, and power specifications can vary between manufacturers. Smaller adults who plan to use their board on smooth surfaces can get by with a 250-300 watt motor. Larger adults, as well as smaller adults who plan to ride off-pavement, should pick a board with at least a 350-watt motor.
3. Battery Type & Capacity
The type of battery is not a concern when selecting an adult hoverboard as all boards use an industry-standard lithium-ion battery pack. These are the same type of batteries used in portable electronic devices, like cell phones. These batteries offer a good life span and charge quickly. Hoverboard battery packs are rated at 36 volts with a total charging capacity of 4,400 mAh or 4.4 amps.
4. Seller or Manufacturer Warranty
Hoverboard warranties can vary greatly between manufacturers. Be sure to read the fine print so you will know exactly what is covered and what the claim procedure is.
Tips for Riding a Hoverboard (From A Fat Guy)
Safety is always of paramount concern and those who have never ridden a hoverboard should exercise due caution when first starting out. Just like riding a bike, skateboard, or roller skates, a helmet, or gloves, along with knee and elbow pads are always a smart choice. If you think you’ll look stupid in pads, trust me, you’re going to look stupid while you’re learning anyway and you’ll look way stupider if you’re bleeding and crying as well.
First off, charge and calibrate the hoverboard according to the manufactures instructions. While it may have a partial charge out of the box, plug the battery in until it is fully charged. Be sure to place the board on a flat surface for calibration. If the board is not 100 percent level, the calibration process will not be accurate.
Locate a practice spot away from other people and traffic. This can be a room indoors, an empty garage, a driveway, or a vacant area in a parking lot. Going with the axiom “A little knowledge is a dangerous thing,” be sure you are fully ready and acclimated to the board and all of its functions before venturing out into traffic.
When choosing a hoverboard for an adult, carefully consider and match all of the board’s features and specs to the person who will be riding it and the board’s intended use. Don’t skimp out on price or you will end up with a board that isn’t much fun to ride and won’t last. Any of the above boards should provide maximum enjoyment for your investment! Enjoy!