* Is the hoverboard making a comeback?
* Most mobile, efficient form of transportation for young professionals
* New models upgraded with features
You’ve probably seen the hoverboard for a couple of years now, and if you haven’t tried riding one, you’ve at least had to step out of the way as someone comes whizzing by on theirs. But what if we told you the hoverboard is making a comeback — and starting to target a new, older generation?
Enter GOTRAX, a new Denver-based brand, that’s on a mission to boost the possibilities for personal transportation, with its line of hoverboard self-balancing scooters and electric rideables.
The self-balancing scooters allow users to accelerate, stop and steer with a simple shift in body weight using advanced gyroscopic technology. And the company’s HOVERFLY and HOVERFLY PLUS are among the most powerful hoverboards in the market, producing top-ranking torque thanks to dual 350-watt electric motors (compared to typical competitor’s 250-300 watts) capable of propelling up to 7.4 miles-per-hour for 12 miles on a single charge.
We took the GOTRAX HOVERFLY for a spin around the office — and on the streets of LA — to see just how we could incorporate the hoverboard into our daily commute. The verdict: it was surprisingly easy — and versatile.
The model we tested (In Neptune Blue) included a built-in Bluetooth HQ audio speaker, and allowed us to track our stats on an iOS/Android mobile app. Battery indicator lights let us know when the device was charging, and the hoverboard was fully charged after about an hour or so plugged in. The HOVERFLY also has a 220-pound weight capacity, though our model weighed about 150, for reference.
Lightweight enough to carry into the office (or on the bus and subway) but sturdy enough to keep a solid grip on the ground, we found the HOVERFLY to be a solid alternative for our morning commute, and for zipping around doing errands during lunch and on the weekends.
We spoke to GOTRAX’s Chief Marketing Officer Jason Wakefield, to find out more about the possibilities for hoverboards and why it’s not just a child’s toy anymore.
SPY: Why has the hoverboard trend been so popular the past couple of years? Is there longevity for this product?
Wakefield: The short answer to why it’s so popular is that it’s fun. And it’s unique. The product itself is simple in premise, but the technology that makes it possible simply didn’t exist until recently, or it least it wasn’t something we were using for “fun.” It gives people a new way to move, and it’s a gliding, floating experience that is, personally, a bit addictive.
I do think there’s longevity, but we’re going to see it continue to evolve and improve, and that’s something we want to be at the forefront of. Just like skateboards, bikes and other other products that were once considered simple “toys,” we’re going to see hoverboards—and the electric rideables category as a whole—continue to evolve and mature as this technology makes its way into more transportation.
We’ve all seen teenagers cruising around on these boards, but how can adults utilize this?
The HOVERFLY—which is our first signature board to market—certainly targets a younger demographic, but there’s nothing to stop big kids from having fun on it too. The GOTRAX brand itself will expand with a variety of electric rideables for all ages from fun stuff for the enthusiast, to things designed to make your commute quicker and assist in that last-mile transportation.
The larger HOVERFLY XL with bigger wheels, all-terrain style tires, sturdier chassis and wider footbeds does lend itself to an older, more diverse audience and can be used on a variety of terrain. I guess generally speaking, hoverboards are commonly thought of as “kids toys,” but I think that they are more than that—or maybe I’m just a big kid at heart. Maybe both.
What makes the HOVERFLY different from other brands out there? Is there room for another board in the crowded marketplace?
With the HOVERFLY, we really wanted to introduce the GOTRAX brand as one you can trust with a quality product at an affordable price that we stand behind. It is becoming a crowded space, but when you strip out the knockoffs, questionable products and the overpriced, it narrows the field pretty quickly. I think there absolutely is room for another board, especially if it’s done well. And our customer service, marketing and operations are also all U.S. based, which offers our customers a better experience than most can provide.
What inspired you to develop a hoverboard product?
I have previous experience in the space; I know the product, know the market and know the possibilities in the E category. Hoverboards are just the beginning. And I’m a big believer in combining passion and profession; you’re more likely to be successful when you enjoy what you’re doing.
Tell us about GOTRAX and what the company mission and uniqueness is.
We want to be leaders and innovators in the e-rideables space, so you’re going to see some really cool stuff that sets us apart that I can’t quite mention just yet. But we also want to be more than cool tech toys and fun gadgets. Science and technology allow these products to come to life, and part of our brand mission, as I mentioned, is to inspire the next generation of inventors and adventurers.
We’re sharing timely news relating to space and science via our blog and social media channels, and we’re going to be sponsoring some really cool contests and events in the same vein. We’re already partnering with some local schools in the Denver area to support fundraising and give back to science departments.
And like I said earlier, we are building our team right here in Denver, from marketing to customer service, which makes us much more accessible. Excellent customer service truly is our top priority. Quality products and the customer experience are everything to us.
Think it’s time for a hoverboard comeback? Let your opinion be heard by taking our poll below. Then, click through to check out the GOTRAX hoverboards for yourself to find the right one for you.