Unless you’ve been living under a rock these past few months, chances are that you’ve heard about the Lexus hoverboard that supposedly lets you glide around like Marty McFly from Back to the future 2. What you may not know, however, is the fact that it isn’t a real hoverboard. Yes, it hovers in mid air and it is a board, but in order to ride it you need a special kind of track filled with magnets and you need to refill it with liquid nitrogen every 10 minutes. A process which takes roughly 10-15 minutes to begin with.
On top of that it’s incredibly difficult to ride. So difficult, in fact, that it took a professional skater Ross Mcgouran, who has been skating for about two decades, six months to ride the hoverboard well enough to shoot for the commercial. It basically feels like you’re walking a tightrope or “an invisible air rail” as Ross describes it.
It’s just not practical
I hope I didn’t ruin your childhood dreams just now, but as far as we know, there isn’t a real and practical hoverboard out there just yet.
Sure, there are a few startups here and there who are either working with hovering technology powered by magnets or something along the lines of huge drones, but if you want to take a ride on something as rad as the gravity defying pink hoverboard featured in Back to The Future 2 right now, it’s just not going to happen. Sorry.
What about that awkward “mini Segway”?
For quite a while now various companies have been taking advantage of the hoverboard craze and misleading us by labeling a miniature version of the Segway with no handlebars as a “hoverboard” when in fact it doesn’t hover at all and you have to be rather messed up in the head for it to resemble anything remotely board-like.
They are also known for spontaneous combustion, exploding and they’re definitely not as safe in terms of balancing as the classic four wheeled skateboard is. Still, it’s more than possible to learn to ride one and once you do, chances are you’ll become very good. Some have even said it’s like riding a bike.
Glidecraft hoverboard S600
All this aside, you can now buy a hoverboard from Glidecraft, a New Jersey based startup, who seems to be on the right track with their latest model, the S600.
Unlike its predecessors, the S600 features just one wheel in the center of what appears to be a rather futuristic looking skateboard and when I first saw the video where people rode the thing, at certain angles it truly looked as if the skater was hovering in mid air because you couldn’t see the wheel. The cool LED light show that surrounds the board also helps to make the illusion complete, especially at night.
With a top speed at around 10 miles per hour, it can ride up a slope without problems thanks to its powerful electric motor and certified Lithium Ion batteries that last approximately 3 hours before needing to be recharged.
Because of its self balancing features and the fact that you can stand on it as you would stand on a normal skateboard, a position which by the way is a lot safer, the chances of falling on your ass are greatly diminished unlike with the “mini Segway” where you stand horizontally on top of a two wheeler with its center of gravity working against you.