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There's nothing better than celebrating the holidays through the eyes of my six nieces. Since I don't have children of my own, I relish every opportunity to provide my little girl gang with Christmas magic and excitement — mostly in the form of sugary confections and presents.
As an editor, I often receive new beauty, lifestyle and fashion products to review. However, this year, I sought out the expert advice of my eldest niece, Abby, to help me test one of Best Buy Canada's most popular gifts for the holidays, the Segwey Ninebot eKickScooter ZING E8.
Together, we put the electric scooter through its paces to see if it deserves a place under your tree this holiday season.
What is it?
The Segwey Ninebot eKick Scooter ZING E8 is a colourful and compact electric scooter that can have your child cruising in style at speeds up to 13.8 km/h. Segwey's E8 is designed for riders over the age of six, between 44-110 pounds and includes 40 mm front shock absorption and high elastic solid rubber tires to help provide a smooth ride.
The scooter itself weighs a total of 17.6 lbs and is made from durable aerospace-grade aluminum alloy and features three riding modes: sports, cruise and safety. Segwey's eKick Scooter ZING E8 includes safety features like a hand brake, regenerative braking system and rear fender brake as well as a thumb throttle to help the rider feel in control of their speed.
First impressions and set up
Have you ever wanted to steal a toy from a 9-year-old? Because I have. As soon as we unboxed the pink Segwey scooter I was checking the box for a weight requirement to see if I could take it for a spin.
Setting up the scooter was fairly easy. The model itself folds for easy storage, and all that we needed to do was attach the handle and some other loose pieces using the Allen keys included in the box. The only thing that put a damper on our plans to take the scooter for a spin around the neighbourhood right away was the battery. The Segwey Ninebot eKick Scooter ZING E8 requires approximately four hours to fully charge the battery, meaning we had to enjoy a visit before hitting the road (parents might want to charge the battery before gifting for the holidays!).
When the time finally arrived for Abby to take her maiden voyage, we still weren't sure how to to activate the scooters three riding modes. A quick Google search made it easy to learn that power modes were activated by pressing the power button after turning on your scooter. The "mode" button with flash to designate different settings. The thumb throttle is great to use when starting out on the electric scooter since it allows the rider to manually control a slow but steady speed.
I admit, I was the nervous one when it came time for Abby to put on her helmet and hit the pavement. Luckily, the E8 didn't reach "Fast and the Furious" speeds, although Segwey does offer models like the the E10 and E12 that allow you to go faster, but they're recommended for older and more experienced riders.
Abby was a natural at learning how to navigate the electric scooter without help, and easily utilized the fender brake like a pro. Her one piece of advice for riders? "Don't take sharp turns. Take wide turns!"
Another thing we learned before calling it a day was that the battery life allows for approximately 10 km or 6.2 miles of range on a single charge. While it seemed impressive to me, I seem to have forgotten how much energy children have and how they could play for hours and hours on end without tiring.
At $350, Segwey's eKick Scooter ZING E8 would make this item one the more expensive gifts parents would buy during the holidays. Depending on your financial circumstances, I think this would be a gift that several family members could chip-in to make a reality for a birthday or Christmas, if they knew it was going to get plenty of use.
There's no other way to put it than to simply say that the Segwey Ninebot eKick Scooter ZING E8 is a very cool gift idea. It's the kind of gift that would warrant a big reaction for the holidays, especially for a child who spends a lot of time outside playing with their friends, like my nieces often do.
While I admit that I was initially hesitant with the scooter's price point, it's definitely on par with tablets, laptops or gaming consoles that many kids receive during the holidays. However, if you have a child who really enjoys scooters and want to take their riding experience to the next level, it would be worth it to have family members pitch in on a group gift that will result in being dubbed "the best aunt ever."