I have to admit – when I first saw the Swagway, I thought I'd never get on it. The very idea of finding balance on an electric skateboard seemed too difficult and I was certain I'd feel like a goofball.
The thing is, I was wrong and everyone who sees the Swagway in person wants to give it a shot. And while they're on it, they can't help but smile when they do.
When I received mine, I was excited to find it pre charged and ready to go. The Swagway self-balances by using a silent, internal gyroscope. The acceleration is controlled by sensors that are triggered by position changes of your center of gravity.
When you lean forward, it'll sense your actions and accelerate. The more you lean, the faster you go (up to 10 MPH).
Turning is a little bit different. When you want to turn right, you just shift your weight a bit onto your left foot.
For me, the first few minutes were all about just standing still on the Swagway. I was pretty wobbly at first but soon I was able to slowly ride around our office.
After two days, I could casually ride around the office and slalom through coworkers. Even though I was way better at it, I still needed to think about every move I made.
But then at some point it happened. I became one with the Swagway and learned to just think where I wanted to go and my body naturally made the micro-adjustments to get me there.
This thing is built like a tank and even though it's taken a beating, it runs as smoothly and quietly as the day I got it.
When it's time to charge, the process is simple. I just plug it in and wait for the red light to turn green. One of the few things I can say against the Swagway is that it's possible to overcharge. If you charge for more than 2 hours you can damage the battery so you have to be on top of it. When the battery is in tip-top condition, one charge can run the Swagway for up to 20 miles.
When you consider this is actually a mode of transportation, the $399.00 price tag really isn't bad. Here's my coworker and friend Johnny Rodriguez successfully pulling off a strange maneuver on our office Swagway. You can see that he's jumping on it with his full weight and it's just fine.
If you pick one up, you're going to have to be a bit more careful when you take it outdoors. I've seen people zip around the sidewalks of LA while texting and to tell you the truth, it frightens me. Some caution needs to be taken when riding over bumps or slopes of more than 30 degrees of incline – but for me, I think using it in and around my office is enough.
While the Swagway may not be Marty McFly's hoverboard just yet, it's an amazing step in the right direction.
If you get the chance to jump on one you definitely should.
Just don't jump on it like Johnny would.