You’ve seen them all over YouTube: but what are they really like to ride? Are they ridable off-road? How long does it take to learn? Get answers to these questions and more while getting some gorgeous up-close views of the one, the only, the original: Swagway.
This is a Swagway. Not a Segway, a Swagway. Also known to many as a hoverboard. Technically, though, the box says it’s a smart balancing electric skateboard. Okay. It costs $399, goes 10 MPH and has a range of 20 miles per charge. So… how’s it work?
Turn it on, get on and lean forward or backward to move. You can apply a bit of pressure on the right or left to turn. But holy cow: this thing is hyper-responsive. While you can understand how it works and get some basic movement down within a few minutes, it takes several hours of riding to get to the point where you can go in a straight line smoothly for extended distances.
The easiest thing to do on this board is spin in circles and that’s super, super fun. The hardest thing to do, though, surprisingly, is go straight; well… go straight while going fast.
That’s because when you’re learning how to ride it it’s pretty easy to accidentally turn a bit, overcorrect with the other foot and head into a fishtail that sends you out of control. So start slow and after some practice you’ll really start to get the hang of it. It’s like they say: easy to learn but tricky to master. For me, after a couple of days, I can comfortably ride in a straight line about twice as fast as I would walk without getting out of control.
And you can definitely lose control when you’re first learning how to ride. One helpful tip is not to over-break: when I was hauling fast I slammed on the breaks and leaned too far back which sent the board flying out in front of me.
One thing I’ve found is that it’s much easier for me to go faster uphill for some reason. Another interesting note, at least with my test board, was that it turns much faster to the right than to the left when you’re trying to turn as fast as possible.
Riding the Swagway definitely works best on smooth surfaces. Sidewalks and asphalt are no problem at ...