I’ve been putting out heavy rider hoverboard reviews for a series of posts that focus on taking a closer look at each of these hovering e-rideables. Well, these hoverboards haven’t learned to hover, yet. And in this EPIKGO 8.5″ off-road hoverboard review, I reveal everything else this self-balancing scooter can’t do. Of course, I also uncover every little benefit that can be had by owing this personal transportation device.
But here’s the deal. I’ll expend every ounce of effort and energy needed to put together a super helpful review. And, you’ll (hopefully) make the right decision, a decision you won’t regret making. I want you to pick up a board that’ll appreciably better your outdoor life.
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Last update on 2021-01-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Product Overview: EPIKGO Sports Plus Hoverboard
The EPIKGO Sports Plus is an 8.5″ beast that prides itself on having enough motor power to support heavier-than-average riders up to 240 lbs. Each of the two motors the e-vehicle possesses pumps out 400 watts of raw might, which means the device amounts to 800 watts of awesome riding power.
When it comes to rolling over flat and well-paved riding surfaces, the EPIKGO Sports Plus really shines. And when asked to take heavy riders up steep inclines and bumps on the road, this guy doesn’t disappoint.
What’s more, this UL 2272 rated self-balancing scooter offers effective smartphone app control and uses a certified LG battery that holds a charge satisfactorily.
EPIKGO claims that each of these boards gets at least 159 safety tests thrown at it during production. And, only those scooters found to have the balls to carry riders around safely and reliably are considered worthy of being sold to the end user.
Here’s one more thing. This hoverboard is fast, and its speed maxes out at 12 mph. It also boasts great water resistance ratings. But the product’s price will probably have you wondering whether you really should shell out over $750 (as of this writing) just to own it.
Let’s now push this EPIKGO 8.5″ all-terrain hoverboard review to the next logical step. It’s time to know what specs and features this expensive product offers.
EPIKGO 8.5″ Sports Plus Specs and Features
- UL 2272 hoverboard safety certification
- UL 2271 battery safety certification
- IP56 Fire resistance certified
- Weight: 33 lbs
- Hill-climbing agility: Up to 30 degrees*
- Motors: 400W dual motors
- Battery: LG Smart Battery
- Time It Takes to Get a Single Full Charge: Under 2 hours
- Wheels: 8.5″ all-terrain tires made of rubber
- Riding Range:
- Speed: 12 MPH max
- Weight Capacity: Up to 240 lbs
- Bluetooth 4.0 Music Speakers
- Portability: Offers a carrying handle
- Warranty: 12 months
We now have the spec s and features out of the way. Now, let’s see what each of these specs and features can do for you should you decide to splurge on the EPIKGO 8.5″ all-terrain self-balancing scooter.
Design and First Impressions
If you’re a low-key-ish person who doesn’t want to stand out, the EPIKGO Sports Plus is probably not a great fit. That’s because right out of the box, this thing is intimidating.
This self-balancing scooter looks big. It appears bigger than many hoverboards offering more or less similar motor capacity and rolling on high-traction 8.5″ wheels. It’s a venerated beast in the personal transportation niche for its almost matchless motor might and solid construction.
The slip-resistant foot pads felt stable and sure, and the self-balancing mode sprang into action immediately Jason hopped on this scooter. Standing on the sturdy frame reveals one incontrovertible truth — that the EPIKGO Sports Plus is built to look and to behave athletic and sporty. It didn’t seem like the kind of low-quality-components hoverboard that breaks after two weeks of normal or even light use.
Well, the EPIKGO isn’t as rugged the same way the Gyroor F-1 8.5″ hoverboard is, but it seems designed to handle different kinds of demanding and not-so-challenging terrain well. But does it do what the advert said it does? We’ll see how credible that claim turns out to be a little further down the road.
We’ve owned this monster for a couple weeks, and while it’s exceeded our performance expectations so far, it’s obviously too early to start heaping praise on it. So, I’ll stick to my (and Jason’s) experience riding this hoverboard over the past two months. But I’ve also talked to a few other owners of this scooter and spent hours diving into seas of EPIKGO 8.5″ Sports user reviews online so I’d not miss anything you should know before biting the bullet and buying this behemoth.
Is the EPIKGO Sports Plus Heavy?
Yes, the EPIKGo Sports Plus with Bluetooth speakers ships in weighing over 30 lbs. And any self-balancing heavier than 30 lbs is considered heavy. You won’t have fun carrying this thing from a trouble-packed spot on your trip even though the carry handle makes it quite portable.
With that kind of weight, you never want t buy this for a kid. It’s made for relatively heavy adults, large humans weighing a couple of pounds north of the average U.S. adult weight of xx. But it doesn’t mean lighter folks can’t ride this. It just means it’d be overkill for a 100-pound rider.
But it’s not heavy because the engineering brains working for EPIKGOO at the Silicon Valley couldn’t build something lighter. It’s because these technical minds know that you can’t carry heavy riders down and up steep hills on a light, flimsy frame.
Lots of owners and reviewers of this board agree that it’s pretty hard to ride it to the ground in weeks or even months. The product lasts, and that’s mainly because it’s been designed and engineered using solid, high-quality components.
Two 400W Motors That Put Out Tons of Torque
Ah, motor power. If there’s one thing you must get right when shopping for a heavy rider hoverboard, it’s the scooter higher weight limit. And a hoverboard’s maximum load capacity is a function of several factors with motor power being the most critical.
I’ve read many reviews where people said their 500W hoverboard rode up hills with amazing agility. And I knew they either hadn’t stepped on such a machine, or they were deliberately spewing positive reviews for some reward or something.
Listen to me, dear friend: the EPIKGO 8.5″ Sports Plus goes where most of its competitors have only dreamed of, and it scales inclines that leave people in awe.
Before I encountered the EPIKGO Sports Plus, I thought the Swagtron T6 was the undisputed king of flat surfaces, steep hills, and even off-road riding. But not anymore.
This beast may cost twice what the Swagtron T6 does, and there’s only a difference of 100 watts of engine power between the two contenders. Still, stepping on the foot platform of sporty EPIKGO feels like a whole new experience.
Not only does this self-balancing scooter go faster than most, but also the torque the two 400W motors supply packs an enormous hill-climbing punch. Many competitors struggle going up hills especially when some large-framed dude is standing lazily on the frame, but not the EPIKGO Sports Plus. These engines are designed to propel even the heaviest of riders up slopes as steep as 30 degrees. And the motors don’t fall short of this lofty expectation.
Maximum Weight Capacity and Hill-Climbing Power
If there’s one thing that baffles me, it’s the claim that the Swagtron T6 is the mightiest beast when it comes to supporting heavy riders. I probably will never understand how a hoverboard with robust 300W dual motors outperforms a hoverboard with two 400W motors.
I also find it surprising that the T6 can carry persons weighing all the way up to 420 lbs (how many riders are that heavy anyways?). How so when the T6’s motors amount to just 600 watts of power? I’m an award-winning scientist on self-balancing technology for scooters and hoverboards, but I still struggle to believe some of the weight capacity claims I’ve seen.
I’m not a hoverboard engineer of any kind. And, for that reason, I choose not to succumb to the urge to call certain weigh capacity claims I’ve seen blatant misrepresentations designed to deceive.
Here’s what I’ll do instead: tell you what Jason, my significant other thought riding these two hoverboards. My guy weighs a massive 230 pounds. Maybe he should do something about that, you know. But since he’s tall, he still looks like the hot, charming dude I fell for. I digress — back to the issue at hand.
Jason’s thinks the EPIKGO 8.5″ Sports Plus beats the T6 hands down on pretty much every comparison parameter. Well, the T6 has taller wheels, which means it should maneuver tough terrains better than the 8″-wheeled EPIKGO Sports Plus.
The EPIKGO Sports Plus Hoverboard’s Hill-Ascending Power
The EPIKGO board outperformed the T6 when going over flat surfaces, when doing big bumps on the road, and when riding gravel and dirt roads. But where the EPIKGO really exerted its dominance and took its rightful place as a real macho man is when it came to ascending 25-degree slopes.
I keep hearing reviewers say that this or that other hoverboard has a 30-degree slope-climbing capability. But you must know that a 30-degree (or roughly a 58% slope) is seriously steep. Most hikers struggle a bit while going up 30-degree slopes, and motorized vehicles struggle too. It’s pretty hard for the EPIKGO Sports Plus, or Swagtron T6 to conquer 30-degree slopes no matter what those shameless marketers say.
The Swagtron T6 couldn’t take my SO all the way up a nearby 25-degree slope. It did a decent job going up, but somewhere mid-slope, the hill proved to be too steep for this little e-vehicle. To be fair, the EPIKGO Sports Plus struggled quite a bit, but it somehow reached the top of the knoll. In Jason’s opinion, neither the T6 and EPIKGO were met his performance expectations on 25-degree slopes, but clearly, the EPIKGO won the contest.
But when riding up a 20-degree incline, the EPIKGO did the climb with relative ease while the T6 still struggled. Well, the T6 was successful in this hill-climbing ability testing experiment, but one shouldn’t say it’s built for ferrying heavy fellas up anything steeper than 17 or 18-degree slopes. But that’s not too bad.
Speed and Range/Mileage
As stated in several other places on this outdoor recreation website, the average speed of the typical self-balancing scooter hovers between 6 mph and 12 mph. Any option that reaches 12 mph or higher is a pretty fast scooter.
With the EPIKGO 8.5″ Sports Plus hoverboard, you’ll enjoy rides as speedy as 12 mph. But that’s when you’re not a large-framed dude like my SO. The fastest Jason has ever rode on this hoverboard was 9 mph, and that’s on the fastest riding mode.
Maybe a person weighing 30 pounds less (200 lbs) wound have hit the 12 mph mark, huh? As for range, the stated number is 12 miles. But you’ll get way less than that if you’re really big and like devouring hills.
What about ride quality? I’ve reviewed quite a few hoverboards that shake, rattle, and vibrate when the going gets fast. I’m talking about hoverboard stability here. And I’m saying there’s quite a few scooters retailing at obscene price points but don’t offer stable rides.
Board stability is one area the EPIKGO Sports Plus does really well. Even at 9 mph, Jason still felt safe riding it. There’s every indication the hoverboard could be safe even at higher speeds. Overall, the ride was smooth, stable, and most important, safe.
8.5-Inch Streamlined Wheels
The wheels look like good quality, and they stand 8.5 inches tall. The company says they’re all-terrain wheels that should demonstrate enviable performance when the rider throws challenges such as small rocks, crusty asphalt, big bumps, grass, mud, and sand.
But these wheels don’t look that rugged. While these supposedly rugged wheels are great for rolling over smooth pavement, they struggle a bit moving over or through challenging obstacles. Obstacles such as pebbles, sand on the beach, and compact lumps of dirt.
We found that getting around on the beach on this board can be difficult. But when using the hoverboard on our lawn, Jason found that this EPIKGO self-balancing scooter stayed pretty stable. This makes this option a winner as far as riding over grass, especially when compared with a few other choices we’ve tested before.
The wheels are supposed to be racing tires designed the same way racing car tires are. However, you shouldn’t expect exceptional performance on rugged terrains with these wheels.
You can call this hoverboard a badass on-road and off-road self-balancing scooter if you like. But Jason and I think (and for good reason) that this supposedly all-kinds-of-terrain scooter is no more than a moderately good bet for off-road adventures.
EPIKGO Sports Plus Safety Certifications
Let’s now talk hoverboard safety. Because the idea of having a hoverboard blowing up when you’re zipping around at 12 mph makes you cringe.
As mentioned in a Tomoloo 6.5″ Q2C hoverboard review I wrote for this heavy rider hoverboard series, electrical safety is critical when it comes to enjoying these e-rideables.
According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, hoverboards heating and exploding much to the consternation of onlookers isn’t a rare occurrence. There’s been over 250 hoverboard electrical safety-related incidents since 2015.
But it gets even worse.
The CPSC also reports that at least 13 burn injuries have happened over the same period. Additionally, there’s been 3 or so cases of people getting injured from smoke inhalation.
But these stories don’t end there. Folks have seen upwards of $4,000,000 worth of property suffer sudden fire damage.
Now, all this sure sounds scaring. But the good news is that hoverboards are today way safer than they’ve ever been. Ever since strict hoverboard safety regulations were enacted starting 2016, every scooter brand takes hoverboard safety seriously.
The CPSC has authorized quite a few recalls of hoverboards that didn’t quite make the cut safety-wise. I know at least one company that the CPSC slapped with a hefty penalty for cranking out devices it didn’t deem safe for end users. Since no hoverboard company wants stiff penalties to start chipping away at their bottom line, they’ve become extra careful.
UL 2272 Certification for the Hoverboard
The EPIKGO Sports Plus and many other self-balancing scooters today conspicuously wear their safety credentials. Any board described as UL 2272 rated should be safe enough for normal riding, and this scooter boasts the UL 2272 certification.
*Understand that being UL 2272 certified is no iron-clad guarantee that the self-balancing scooter is 100% safe to use and will never catch fire or even explode.
UL2271 safety certification for the Board’s LG Smart Battery
As for the LG battery this mini e-vehicle uses, it’s UL 2271 certified. That means the battery is safe to use even when you’re riding in extreme environmental conditions such as high temperatures or freezing cold temperatures.
Bluetooth 4.0 Music Speakers and App
The speakers are great, some of the best quality built-in Bluetooth speakers I’ve seen on any self-balancing scooter. To listen to all the music your smartphone packs, simply connect your phone’s Bluetooth 4.0 technology to the EPIKGO Sports Plus.
One thing I really liked about the EPIKGO Sports Plus is that it’s noticeably easier to connect to its smartphone app. At least, it’s as much pain as it is with quite a few of this unit’s worthy competitors. What’s more, the app works well.
Sure, I keep reading reviews from folks whose app didn’t perform reliably, but this one works. With this scooter, you get tons of intelligent app controls.
Choosing the self-balancing mode is a breeze. You can also decide how fast you want your hoverboard to fly as well as a riding level you’d be most comfortable at.
Additionally, you can see how many miles you’ve covered at any point on the trip. There’s more — you can glance at the app and see how much battery power remains from the last full charge. That way, you can make intelligent range-related plans to avoid having to haul the device all the way back home.
One thing I don’t like but don’t think should be a deal breaker is how the device announces “looking for Bluetooth device.” But to be fair, this isn’t the only self-balancing scooter that annoyingly announces Bluetooth connectivity. But I wish there was some way to prevent this from happening whenever I start the thing.
Does the EPIKGO Sports Plus Throw the Rider Off the Board?
We all have heard funny and sometimes not-so-funny stories of hoverboards sending their owner flying off the board. And bad falls aren’t rare with self-balancing scooters that decide to misbehave at the worst possible time.
One of the causes of these unfortunate events is the app unexpectedly shutting down the board controls. Other times, it’s the battery dying off suddenly. Or, the scooter hits a large obstacle and trips on it.
Another reason that could lead to these kinds of unpleasant incidents is going way too fast. When you’re zipping around at speeds that threaten to exceed the recommended 12 mph, the EPIKGO automatically starts to decelerate. Luckily, the scooter doesn’t decelerate in a way that causes potentially messy jerks.
Jason hasn’t experienced this sort of thing — yet. And from the look of things, it likely won’t happen. That doesn’t mean ride your EPIKGO board insanely fast just because the e-rideable knows how keep unsafe speeds under control! Nor does it mean you won’t get thrown off if you have the gas pedal all the way down.
So, take care and live….your loved ones need you.
What’s Great About the EPIKGO Sports Plus
- The App functions without issues
- Tons of torque for challenging rides and climbs
- Tall, race-quality performance tires
- Well-designed and constructed (super sturdy)
- Lots of genuine positive reviews
What Could Be Improved
- An almost prohibitively pricey product
- Moderately good performance on rugged terrains
EPIKGO Sports Plus Hoverboard Review: Verdict
The EPIKGO Sports Plus is overall a great hoverboard that provides safe, smooth rides over the smoothest pavements and moderately tough terrains. But it’s not anything like a proven off-road hoverboard for taking you to nooks and crannies you’ve never before accessed on a four-wheeled mini electric vehicle.
It gets even better. The app works great. You’d be hard-pressed to find Bluetooth speakers that put out better quality sound/music. What’s more, the self-balancing scooter rarely throws riders off even when it’s doing its auto-deceleration thing.
The EPIKGO Sports Plus 8.5″ hoverboard is dang expensive, though. It might even feel like you’re not getting any more value than you would from a cheaper option that boasts similar features and specs.
But even though this self-balancing all-terrain scooter is pricey, it delivers on pretty much every performance metric you ask of it.