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6 Essential Hoverboard Safety Precautions and Tips

6 Essential Hoverboard Safety Precautions and Tips

We’ve all laughed at the Facebook videos – people, mostly parents, trying out the hoverboards they got their kids for Christmas or birthdays. But the pain can be pretty real, especially on concrete. And we’ve seen the videos and read the warnings about “knock-off” batteries that explode – not a comforting thought.

If kids have the genuine article, however, hoverboards can be great fun and are a very cool way to get around the neighborhood and even display a few tricks. Like everything mobile, however, there are some precautions. Most are just common sense, but a few reminders don’t hurt – here are six of them.

1. Know Where to Ride

There is no simple answer to this. Of course, you can ride them in neighborhoods, probably in parks, and in most places where you can ride bikes and use skateboards. Some cities have banned their use on streets, though, so you will have to check with local laws. While New York City has banned them and publicized a $500 fine, they are all over the sidewalks and bike lanes in that city, and no one seems to mind.

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In the UK, mobile boards have been banned for 180 years, and people were reminded of the law when hoverboards began to be seen. In the UK, they are only allowed on private property and then only with the owner’s permission. Already, however, this ancient law is being violated without much punitive action. Another banishment is coming from some college campuses, related to fire concerns, and, at least at George Washington University in D.C., the banning covers all battery operated transport devices, such as Segway’s.

The best bet, though, is to check with your local police department before riding on public streets.

2. Practice Before Hitting The Roads

Getting right on a new hoverboard and taking off is probably not a good idea. The first skill is a balance, and it is this that causes the initial falls. Getting on and off the board is also pretty critical because you have to go one foot at a time. And when getting off the board, always step backwards, not forward. The dominant foot should get off first. Other parts of your practice should include being certain that you do not bend your knees and that you keep your posture quite straight. And keep your feet relatively apart. This stance, along with keeping your eyes straight ahead, should allow you to have the best balance on the board.

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Even if you ultimately choose not to wear safety gear (though it is recommended), you should be during your practice sessions and until you feel accomplished. Head, elbows, and knees do not get along well with concrete.

3. Stay Safe While Riding at Night

Hoverboards have lights, but they are low and not that bright. Riding at night, then, should mean extra precautions. First of all, as you’ve been told before when running or bike riding at night, wear white. Second, you might want to consider some light up shoes. These have small lithium-ion batteries such as those you have in your phone or computer and are quite safe. They must be charged, just like phones and computers, but the soles not only light up but continue to flash and change colors and attract more attention than just the single-colored solid lights on the hoverboards.

4. Hoverboards Don’t Fly – By Themselves or on Planes

Again, because of safety concerns, most airlines have regulated bringing hoverboards on board, as of January 1, 2016. Here are just a few of those regulations:

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  • Several airlines have banned them altogether – Delta, JetBlue Alaska, and Frontier
  • Board must be checked and battery removed and carried on – United
  • Can’t be checked but can be carried on – American, Virgin America
  • Allowed if battery is less than 160 Watt-hours – Southwest

In general, it will be important to check with any airline before taking a hoverboard to an airport. Regulations will be changing, and you will need to keep up on them.

5. Charging Overnight is A Bad Idea

Even if you know you have a top-of-the-line hoverboard with a genuine battery, don’t take the chance. Charging overnight means no monitoring at all while you sleep. Most hoverboard batteries take about four hours to charge fully. If they continue to be plugged in, a fire is of greater potential.

Many riders plug in their batteries as soon as they finish, even if they do not have four hours for a full charge. We do the same with our phones and computers too, and they have the same types of batteries. The goal is to keep enough charge to be usable for the time you want. It’s another good idea to monitor while it is being charged.

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6. Use Them as They Are Meant to Be Used – No Flying

Hoverboards are not skateboards. We have all seen skilled skateboard riders take long high ramps, fly through the air, and land beautifully. Skateboards are manually maneuvered and speed is generated by a pushing foot. They are thin boards of wood that are lightweight.

Hoverboards are thicker and, news flash, they have a battery, and move more slowly. Trying ramp tricks with hoverboards is foolish and more than a little risky — and skateboard-type tricks will mean that hoverboards will crash. Light bumps may not harm, but crashing can injure the board so that it is not balanced anymore. At the very least, it will have to be re-calibrated. At the worst, you could explode the battery. Hoverboards are meant for smooth pavement and easy riding – use them in that way, and you’ll have years of good use from a relatively expensive piece of transport.

Hoverboards are great fun — there is no argument about that, and kids who have a naturally good balance have taken to them well. In some instances, they have replaced bikes for moving about neighborhoods and parks. As they are improved and made safer in terms of fire hazards, it is possible that, where they are currently banned, they may become quite common modes of personal transport and not just for kids and teens.

Featured photo credit: larkin.family via flickr.com

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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