We say “most” because in Queensland it is completely acceptable to take these things out in public, one of the few states to keep it that way.
As far as legalities, we’d check with your local transport department to find out what the hoverboard classifies as, or just keep it to inside a home where the ground is solid and firm, because that also lends itself to safety.
Some of the companies selling them have even started including material aimed at informing buyers of this, which is at least responsible.
That’s good, too, because one of the catches with these boards is that because you have to apply pressure either forwards or backwards to move it, making hills and uneven surfaces produce problems when using the board, pushing you forward or backwards and then possibly toppling you over.
Worse, though, is that if the board is illegal and a member of the constabulary catches you using it, you’ll have to fork out between $300 and $700 for a fine. Merry Christmas.
Are they portable?
We’re not trying to dump any negativity on definitely-not-hovering-boards, but one thing they are not is portable.
In theory, you can see why people would think they are: like a mechanical scooter, they look small and compact, and the sort of thing you’d just hoist under your arm and take with you.
Unfortunately, the weight of these things is a little prohibitive, with the various sizes weighing between 8 and 12 kilograms, making it heavier than most backpacks, and sort of like carrying a large computer around.
To put it into perspective, think of it as carrying one long block that weighs as much as a bag or two of groceries.
A hoverboard is not light, and given they have maximum weight limits of between 90 and 120 kilograms, it technically can’t be. There are tyres, a motor, and a battery all adding to the big weight.
As such, hoverboards really need their own luggage, and unless you’re used to carrying heavy items with you, there’s a good chance you’re going to complain about it every step of the way.