GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WZZM) -- One of the hottest Christmas items is the Swagway hoverboard. It's a self-propelled, self-balancing board that you ride around on. So we put the board to the test in our Try It Before You Buy It segment.
Tom Liravongsa is a hedge fund manager by day and his mode of transportation is the Swagway. He is often seen riding it to work and turning a lot of heads. "It's really an efficient vehicle," explains Liravongsa. "It's something you can actually use."
The board retails for $350 and up. It looks like a mini-Segway minus the handle bars. It can travel for seven miles, and at speeds up to 10 miles per hour. It's also nimble enough to ride an elevator and it can work its way through a crowded office.
"Once you get the hang of it," explains Liravongsa. "It is not difficult at all."
You step on the board and it balances you without effort. You move your toes forward and it goes forward. Move one foot and the board turns. You can be proficient at it in less than 20 minutes. We recommend using a wheeled chair and or a friend at the beginning.
The device is certainly fun to ride, but apart from getting less exercise using it, the board is already getting an unwanted reputation as some models have made the news for bursting on fire.
Liravongsa says that can be due in part to the fact that people overcharge the models. He says stick with reputable brands and read reviews. You can find the boards on amazon.com or a site like techietitan.com.
The board is a lot of fun to ride and lives up the Christmas hype.