— -- Hoverboards were one of this year’s hottest Christmas gifts and soon the devices were also a hot topic on social media, with wipeout after wipeout recorded for all to see.
Professional baseball player Dan Uggla was caught on camera falling backwards off a hoverboard, while Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R-FL) tweeted that he ended up in the hospital emergency room after trying his nephew’s hoverboard.
In addition to the wipeouts, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) is also investigating reports of 21 fire incidents across the country involving hoverboards. Major airlines have also banned the devices from flights, they say for fear of the batteries catching fire.
When it comes to wipeouts, the CPSC says it is has received dozens of reports of injuries related to hoverboard use and is expecting that number to grow.
Tony Le, CEO of Glitek, a hoverboard company, appeared on “Good Morning America” today to share his tips for how to glide safely on a hoverboard, in addition to following the safety tips that come with the product.
Wear a Helmet: “You should always have a helmet when you’re gliding and if you’re just starting out you should wear elbow pads, knee pads and also wrist guards," he said.
Calibrate Your Hoverboard: "Your glide needs to be calibrated in order to work properly. How you test that is, you want to lift the wheel up and just press your hand with the foot pad and if the wheel is spinning and it’s not shaking on you, that means its calibrated," he explained.
Stand Correctly: "You want to step right in the middle, not too much toe, not too much heel. You just step right on and you want the widest stance possible," Le said.
Step Back to Disembark: "It’s not intuitive for you to step back [to get off]. Most people, what they do is they step forward and that’s when they fall," he noted.
Look Ahead: “Riding it, you want to just have a straight posture and you want to look straight ahead. You don’t want to look down," Le advised.