When we look at what kinds of gifts we give youngsters (the young on paper and the young at heart), they usually come with tiny wheels. There is no coincidence here. They get to learn on the tiny wheels so they have respect for the big wheels. The current terminology used to refer to these fun toys with tiny wheels is eRideables, and the list includes electric scooters, electric unicycles, electric skateboards, electric roller skates, and hoverboards. So let’s look at five awesome gifts with tiny wheels that you can give, and who might appreciate them.
Although Back to the Future predicted we would have hoverboards by now, they aren’t the kind that float in the air. These have two tiny wheels, one on each side of a platform with grips, to keep your feet in place.
Being fundamentally an unstable thing to stand on, it is an exciting and fun skill to learn and master. Kids can fool around on them in the yard, bigger kids can hover their way along the street or promenade, and really big kids can finally live their dreams of being Marty McFly in the future, cruising in style on an epic eboard.
There are some great brands out there, but make sure you update yourself on the list of places that have banned hoverboards, or you might end up an outlaw in your own home town!
Whether it’s the one- or two-wheeled variety, scooters can be fun and convenient to take you from place to place. The single-wheeled electric scooter might be more of a trick to learn, but they function more or less like a skateboard with one wheel, so you can stand and ride. Some are pretty much a seat on a wheel, but with a steering stick, so you can sit and ride. Some of those bad boys might also have bigger wheels, so watch out!
These days, manufacturers have found that attaching a small electric engine to the tail makes it more popular, so now we have electric scooters, as well as good old-fashioned foot-powered ones.
Not to be confused with the one-wheeled scooter, an electric unicycle is either ridden or stood upon, and the rider uses his or her weight to go forward and back, and sideways. Unicycles use gyroscopes and accelerometers to keep the rider balanced and upright.
This is an amazing way to move around cities and towns, as the electric power source is centralized, offering excellent balance and stability.
Fun fact: a robot was designed, in 2009, which uses the same kind of technology for its mobility.
Obviously, when small electric engines became readily accessible, someone would put one on a skateboard, because you can never get too much board time. The really cool thing about these types of boards is that they come in an on-road and an off-road model, so that you don’t have to stick to the urban jungle, you can get off the beaten track and forge your own path.
Both are designed more for transport from A to B, rather than trick riding. The off-road version has slightly bigger wheels to compensate for the rougher terrain they anticipate it to encounter. The deck also tends to be longer, as it helps to offer a more stable ride, especially at speed.
These little guys slow down on the back wheels only, and it’s definitely worth it to invest in some good head gear and joint protection if you decide to give it a go.
If you belong to the generation who wanted to rollerskate like the cast of Xanadu, then you should probably consider buying this for your descendants, rather than yourself. The electric version of the classic roller skate comes in a range of different options, these days, but all of them are capable of going quite a bit faster than anything from the old days.
From a rollerblade version to a single wheel situated under the foot, and everything in between, these toys on tiny wheels spell excitement and scraped knees, if you’re lucky, so remember to augment the gift with some head and joint protection.
If you’re crazy enough to step into a pair of electric rollerskates, then you should definitely try out some of the moves from Xanadu. Who knows: you might start a trend.
Remember to do it in a place that allows eRideables. With the increasing popularity of these tiny wheels, local authorities have begun adding new by-laws and clamping down on eRiders who present a hazard to the normal everyday non-wheeled bystander. Remember to treat other road-users and pedestrians with respect and consideration, keep to a safe speed (when out in a populated place), and enjoy the ride.