Ho Chi Minh City youths take to hoverboards on pedestrian street

May 03, 2016 | 20:38
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Many youngsters now get around Nguyen Hue Pedestrian Street, a new get-together destination in downtown Ho Chi Minh City, on hoverboards to both have fun and showcase their riding skills.

The hoverboard is generally depicted as a motorized, self-balancing, two-wheel scooter.

The stand-up scooter is typically propelled on rechargeable batteries and can be steered with ease by just tilting the body to a particular direction.

Dubbed a smart electric bike, the device can pick up speed and slow down as its user leans forward and backward.

The hoverboard, which was a fictional flying scooter in the Back to the Future movies and now comes in a non-flying form, is considered environment-friendly for not releasing harmful emissions.

One can easily hire a compact, handy hoverboard for VND60,000 (US$2.7) for half an hour on Nguyen Hue Pedestrian Street.

“It takes only two minutes for one to learn how to maneuver the novel tech toy,” Truong Son, who was steering his hoverboard, said.

Thuc Loan, 12, delightedly showcased her flair on her own scooter.

“I got hooked on hoverboarding after practicing the sport for a few times here. I bought my own toy for VND6.1 million [$271] two weeks ago,” the young girl said.

The hoverboard can operate for around one hour after a three-hour battery recharge.

Friends and couples hoverboarding in the breeze together and stumbling down in giggles, skilled players performing technically-demanding maneuvers with stunning finesse, and rich color shades emitted from the gadgets all make a pleasing sight on the pedestrian street at nightfall.

There are safety warnings, though.

“A novice like me sometimes finds it hard to stay balanced on the board. I tend to fall when I lean backward,” Nguyen Hoang Hai Phong, 14, said.

Chi Lang, 31, a seasoned hoverboarding practitioner, admitted to difficulties keeping balance on the scooter.

“Users rely mostly on their legs and body to maintain balance without any other aid. Hoverboarding at maximal speed as an alternative means of transport can easily lead to injury if the riders fall backward, while bruises and scratches are common in the event of a forward fall,” he explained.

Lang noted that the toy is only suitable for use in parks and on walking streets.

“Users should make sure they stay away from cheap, shoddy battery rechargers, the hoverboard’s key part, as they may explode during charging,” he stressed.


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