Hoverboards: Here to stay or go away?

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Kyle Leonard

Despite safety concerns, students have adopted the gadgets. How will they be received on campus?

One of the hottest gadgets on the market, the hoverboard, has taken the world by storm. These automated, hands-free devices are the newest way of transportation. Built to go up to 10 miles per hour, the hoverboards have especially intrigued kids and young adults.

Sam Ford, a freshman, has a Swagway model. “I love my hoverboard,” he said. “I ride it around all day.”

“I think hoverboards are very innovative, and mine hasn’t exploded yet, so I’m going to keep using it.”

-Sam Ford ’19

Now the real question begs to be asked; are hoverboards allowed around Malvern?

Dean of Students Mr. Tim Dougherty said no.

“It’s just too much of a liability, a safety hazard,” Dougherty said. “We don’t have anyone supervising, and kids would ride without a helmet, so there are too many bad things that could happen.”

Dougherty noted that hoverboards would fall under the same rule as a scooter or a skateboard, with a warning for a first offense, then confiscation, and possibly a detention.

It’s not only Dougherty who is concerned about safety with hoverboards. On February 19, the US Consumer Product Safety Commission said in a letter to manufacturers that hoverboards that do not meet voluntary safety standards are dangerous and should not be used.

The letter stated that hoverboards that do not meet the standard “pose an unreasonable risk of fire.” They can potentially catch fire and explode.

The US Consumer Product Safety Commission has received 52 reports of hoverboard fires over the past three months.

Currently, zero hoverboards on the market meet the standards, so they all pose that “unreasonable risk of fire.”

Toys R Us has removed hoverboards from their website and Swagway asked users to “refrain from using their boards in the interim.”

After hearing about this surprising piece of news, freshmen Sam Ford and Kevin Hagan aren’t going to stop riding their hoverboards, which they both own, any time soon.

“I’m going to keep using it. If it catches fire, it catches fire,” Hagan said. “I can’t do anything about it.”

Ford is on board with Hagan about continuing to use his hoverboard.

“I think hoverboards are very innovative, and mine hasn’t exploded yet, so I’m going to keep using it,” Ford said.

Despite the allegations, Ford thinks hoverboards should be allowed.

“Hoverboards are a great way of transportation around campus,” he said.

In contrast, Hagan doesn’t like the idea.

“There would be too many kids riding on other people’s hoverboards and getting hurt,” Hagan said. “It’s not a good idea.”

Time will tell if these state of the art transportation devices will ever be allowed, but as of right now, it looks like students at Malvern will have to take their Swagways off campus.