Drew Goodsell assesses the future for balance boards now that they have been outlawed.
Self-balance boards were briefly one of this year’s most-wanted items. Street-cred celebrities were happy to be seen hovering on them, and urban street kids were keen to follow suit. But surely this will change now that using the board on a public highway is enough to make you a wanted man.
Electronic boards are known by different names, being referred to as a ‘segway’, ‘hover board’ and also a ‘swegway’. But whatever you call them, earlier this month they were outlawed by the Crown Prosecution Service which confirmed that use of the board on a public highway or pavement constitutes a criminal offence.
Those who have bought boards will only be allowed to tread them on private property. And what about those retail chains and especially the small traders who have bought into the new craze in the hope of turning a quick profit?
Prices were ranging from £350 for the cheapest model to over £1000 for an ‘improved’ version, with a standard board on sale at £599 in Maplin stores. But such prices are likely to take a steep dive now that the authorities are seeking to restrict use of the boards to backyards and forecourts.
Balance boards may turn out to be one of the most short-lived, over-priced crazes ever known to urban culture. Or it’s just possible that outlaw status will only add to their allure and push up prices still higher.