Commuting on a Hover Board

Photo of someone riding a hover board on a sidewalk
Person Riding a HoverBoard on a Public Sidewalk

Is commuting on a hover board the right choice for getting to and from work?

I work in Mountain View, where Google’s self-driving cars are a daily sight on the city streets. Given that, it’s no surprise that hover boards are also a common choice with the tech crowd. They appeal to the imagination with a nod forward to futuristic ideas of travel and a nod toward nostalgia for the days of Back to the Future. But do they make a good way to get to work?

Range: How far do you need to go? Can you make it round trip on a single charge? What is the terrain like? Are you well within the weight limits? Do you normally travel with buddies? Essentially, if you can make it to work and back on a single charge and you don’t have to carry too much with you, a hover board may be a good choice.

Weight: The weight of the board could be an issue if you plan to take it with you on a crowded bus or train. Then again, it is probably easier than a folding bike.

Logistics: Is your route accessible? That’s right. Accessible. ADA has changed a lot of things in the landscape architecture realm in the last twenty some years, and the upshot for hover board riders is that required curb ramps mean they can easily get onto and off of sidewalks when they cross the street. But not all areas are up to code, so take a look at your available routes before you go. Otherwise, you may find yourself portaging your board over non-mountable curbs.

Weather: As long as the weather is dry, a board should be a good option. Heavy rain or snow would make for unsafe conditions and wouldn’t be recommended.

Traffic: How busy is the route you would ride? A sidewalk full of pedestrians or a bike lane full of bikes won’t make for an easy, uninterrupted ride. If there are too many cars, bikes or people, a hover board may end up getting in your way.

Essentially, if you stay well within the board’s capabilities, a hover board, or Segway board, or whatever you want to call it, can be a good option for getting to your destination. If you enjoy the ride, commuting on a hover board may be right for you.