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Monday March 05, 2018

Hoverboard Age Grading Get Parsed by ASTM Panel

An ASTM F15.58 working group February 27 spent considerable time addressing multiple age grading for a product category. In this case, the panel was looking at self-balancing scooters (hoverboards). One of the concerns was not just to delineate three age categories, but also to exclude too-young users. The lowest of the age groups had been "younger than 8 years of age" and that now is at 3 to 8 years.


However, a simple cutoff age might not suffice for that goal. Thus, the group will urge a note to the in-the-works standard that likely would read, "This product category is not considered suitable for children under 3 years of age, and depending on specific product characteristics, may require an age grade greater than 3 years of age."


The panel also tweaked speeds associated with age groups:

  • 3 years up to 8 years would remain 6 km/h (3.7 miles/h) for the maximum speed as earlier decided.

  • 8 years through 12 years would change to 16 km/h (10 miles/h) for the maximum. It was 25 km/h (15.5 miles/h).

  • Over 12 years would change to able to exceed 16 km/h (10 miles/h). It was exceed 25 km/hr (15.5 miles/h).

The reason for the speed changes was alignment with the F2641 standard on powered scooters and pocket bikes. That document is handled by the F15.58 subcommittee.


The group also quickly dismissed setting a delineation at 6 years rather than 8. Among reasons was real-world experience of people allowing use by younger-than-recommended children. Thus, 6 actually would mean under 6 whereas specifying 8 might be more likely to keep riders above 6.