Kenya kids embrace futuristic hoverboards

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Part of the team at OS-WEAR Skate at a Nairobi mall. Photo: OS-WEAR SkateKenyan children now have a chance to ride the futuristic hoverboards at various malls across Kenya. This is thanks to Phelix Oswea and his team who are training children the self-balancing scooters.

A hoverboard is originally a levitating board used as a means of transportation in movies such as Back to the Future trilogy which also celebrated its 30th anniversary last year pushing the board to its popularity. The hoverboard of today or electric scooter does not levitate like the one in the movie but the self-balancing similarity led many to draw comparisons hence the name. The board has no handles and is operated by balancing one’s weight.

Phelix who started offering the hoverboard services late last year mostly does it for entertainment purposes.

“We train children on how to ride the hoverboards because it is a fun thing to do. We mostly do this in malls and schools,” he said.

The hoverboard works on a self-balance mechanism that allows one to move by balancing their weight.

“The board has sensors so you control it by leaning forwards or backwards,” said Phelix.

In recent times, the hoverboards has come under scrutiny for being unsafe and even been banned in certain areas such as New York. Their tendency to catch fire has also come under question. According to Phelix however, it all depends on how you use them.

“The blowing out [catch fire] occurs when you overcharge them so one should be keen on that,” he said. hoverboards2

One should also be aware of when the charge is almost over because it can lead someone to fall.

“When the charge is over, the hoverboard has an emergency brake so someone should watch out for that,” said Phelix.

For first time users, Phelix usually has two pieces of advice; “ stand on it and relax”.

“Control your weight by using your toes and heels so as to move,” he added.

Someone using the boards for the first time is likely to fall so that is why Phelix and his team also provide helmets to the children.

Currently with a stock of 17, Phelix has two types of hoverboards. There is one with a 100kg limit and another with a 125kg limit.

Phelix and his hoverboards can be found in various malls over the weekend such as Galleria, The Hub, Buffalo Mall and Lavington Mall. They also plan to soon start offering these services at Westgate Mall and Junction. The price to ride the electric scooter is Sh400 for 20minutes per child.

The boards are also available for hire at birthday parties wherey the charge is Sh1200 per hour.

For more information on the hoverboards call Phelix on 0708 723 486 or check out their Facebook page, OS-Wear Skate.

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