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Back to Hoverboard Comparison Last update:

What Is a Hoverboard Hoax?

While you can and should ride a hoverboard at some point in your life, it's important to know what exactly that means. There is such a device that currently exists in this country and around the world. That device looks a little bit like a skateboard, only instead of having the wheels placed so that you are riding it the long way, the wheels are placed so that when you stand on it, you are standing on it in a kind of “landscape” viewpoint.

hoverboard hoaxThe device takes a lot of balancing and some serious skill in order to ride them. Most of these devices are also motorized. That makes them seem even more magical because you aren't having to put your leg power behind them. You can just hop on the thing and if you are able to keep your balance, you can head on down the road looking quite awesome.

What these devices will not do, at least the ones that are currently on the market is float above the ground. The point of the name is that your body is being lifted off the ground and you are being powered on down the road. In order for these things to move, they need to be able to touch the ground. They have wheels that roll just like scooters or bikes or automobiles. This is a leap in imagination when it comes to personal travel devices, but it's not a massive leap in the kind of technology that's available as far as being able to hover over the ground, device and all.

That's important to keep in mind because you might have heard that there is such as thing as a “hoverboard hoax“. While there have been talking about a couple of hoaxes out there, the device that people are using to get from one place to another is very real. Having said that, we're going to break down what was considered the hoaxes that surrounded this particular machine over the last few years since they first started hitting the market.

The Back to the Future board is real!

When Back to the Future 2 was released, it was quite the cinematic experience. Instead of going back to when his parents were young teenagers in love, Marty McFly went into the future, when his own children were teenagers.

In this movie, there was a device was quite a bit like a skateboard, only it really could hoverboard in the air using small jets of air. Because that was a thing kid saw in the movie and because the real thing that people are riding around today was eventually produced, there was some confusion. When the device was first getting big, there were people who believed they should be able to float in the air.

The matter was further muddied when Mattel released a toy version of the device that millions of children saw used in the movie. It also didn't help that on the box for this toy were the words “movie accurate“. Most people thought this means that the little piece of pink plastic should be able to float in the air if a kid got on it. What they didn't realize is that all “movie accurate” meant is that it looked exactly like what they saw in Back to the Future 2. Needless to say, there were more than a few children who were quite angry they weren't able to use these toys to float around in the air just like they saw Marty do.

It should be pointed out that Mattel did not intend for there to be a hoax, but there were people on the Internet that were using the confusion to start rumors. It seems they were starting those rumors just for the fun of confusing the issue.

The Lexus problem

Beat Hoverboard HoaxA few years back, Lexus put out a video that showed something called the SLIDE hoverboard. Because Lexus is a company that is better known for making cars, and because this appeared to be an advertisement, people assumed the board was not actually hovering but was just using special effects.

It turns out that the SLIDE did indeed manage to hover. What it did not do is hover in the way people expected. This wasn't something that shot little jets of air onto the ground. Rather Lexus used magnets, both in the bottom of the device and on the ground, in order to get the thing to float. What's important to note here is that if cities and towns in the distant future did decide to load up their streets with these little magnets, the SLIDE could indeed be a practical device to be used by commuters who don't want to ride a bike or drive a car.

There were all kinds of breakdowns into how this thing worked, especially one by Wired that was helpful enough to pick apart every part of the video. The important thing to note here is that the SLIDE was, in fact, a real thing. Lexus appears to at least be looking at putting the thing out there for mass production at some point in time.

The bad news, for those who got excited when they found out this wasn't a hoax, was that it isn't going to be something you are going to be able to run out there and get. These aren't in stores. Even if they were, you wouldn't really be able to ride them, since our streets are treated with the magnets. If you did manage to get your hands on one of these, it's likely because you have some really impressive connections at Lexus and quite a bit of money. For now, this device being mass produced is a dream of a science fiction future. The idea that if you got your hands on that thing, that was shown in the video and recreated what they did in the said video, is very far from a hoax though.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are 'affiliate links.' This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.
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