Hoverboards are sometimes referred to as Segways, because in truth, they are very similar modes of electronic transportation that rely on a rider’s balance and movements for control. However, when it comes to Segways vs Hoverboards, there is a subtle difference.
Segway, is actually a brand name and it refers to a very specific electronic transport device that is made by a company that owns the patent, whereas there are lots of different manufacturers that make hoverboards.
The Segway was invented in 2001 and in June 2020, the company announced that they would no longer make the two-wheeled self-balancing product, which incidentally, is ridden by policemen in the streets of Stockholm.
The original Segway i167 had three speed settings and two motors and in 2006, the first all terrain Segway was manufactured.
The main difference when it comes to Segways vs hoverboards, is their size as the former is usually a lot bigger and can weigh more than 50kg, which can be a disadvantage if you are looking for a personal mode of transportation that you can carry with ease.
Also, a hoverboard, is really a board with two wheels with highly responsive balance sensors, whereas a Segway has a handlebar – when it is pushed to the left, the Segway makes a left turn, move it to the right and the Segway moves to the right. With a hoverboard, right and left turns are made using the feet and bodyweight.
With both a Segway and hoverboard, back and forwards movements are controlled by leaning backward or forewards – it’s one of the easiest modes to learn on both and before long, it feels entirely natural.
In terms of speed, the Segway is a little faster than most hoverboards, with a top speed of 20.1km/h and they are capable of travelling for 24 miles on a single charge – that’s further than a hoverboard and about the same as a high spec e-Scooter.
Price point is also a big differentiating factor as while you can pick up a hoverboard for around £200, with a really high spec model costing £500, but you can expect to pay as much as £5,000 for a bone fide Segway. It’s going to make a dent in your bank balance and it is one of the reasons that Segway experience days are so popular, as this gives you the thrill of riding one of these machines, without it costing the earth.
Because hoverboards and Segways cannot be legally ridden on roads or pavements, Segway experience days are always on private land and thanks to the larger wheels, they will happily glide along forest paths and over bumpier terrain.
Segways have hit the headlines over the years, due to the celebrities who have had accidents while riding them, these include – Usain Bolt, and George W. Bush. Segway’s owner Jimi Heselden, fell off a cliff to his death while riding one of the devices. He was 62 and had purchased Segway Inc in 2009 – at the time of his death, he was worth more than £340 million.