It seems like we as a society have been waiting an awfully long time for the future we were promised in the movies. Where are the flying cars? Where is the teleporter? Well now we can strike one want off the long list of technological dreams: the hoverboard. Yes, finally you can be the proud owner of this fine piece of futuristic merchandise. Here's what you need to know before buying one (and why you're dying to add one to your shopping list).
They're Not Technically Hoverboards
How to ride a hoverboard: you use Einstein's theory of general relativity. https://t.co/UDiimvLW3C
— Science Channel (@ScienceChannel) December 17, 2015
The name is a bit misleading; you don't actually float and soar above the pavement like you've always dreamed. Instead, 'hoverboard' has come to mean a self-balancing scooter that you steer by shifting your weight (similar to snowboarding, only, you know, not on snow).
You Can Do Some Pretty Nifty Tricks
So while you can't totally channel Marty McFly from Back to the Future II, you can still do some cool stunts and tricks with a bit of practice. Stop thinking about it like a flying skateboard (and try to swallow your disappointment at this still being a dream); once you let go of that idea, there are some pretty cool tricks you can pull (once you've mastered the basics).
They Can Catch On Fire
— KEEMSTAR (@KEEMSTARx) December 9, 2015
Reports are coming in that there's a dark side to this hoverboard fad. Many of the devices are overheating and bursting into flames--not exactly what you were hoping for. The cause is often a faulty battery; cheaper models are more likely to suffer catastrophic issues. When it comes to hoverboards, you really do get what you pay for. Because of these safety concerns, lawmakers are considering making these fancy "walking aids" illegal, and many retailers are pulling them from shelves. So be aware: this could be an impossible-to-find item before long.
Celebrities Love Them
A video posted by Justin Bieber (@justinbieber) on May 14, 2015 at 3:40pm PDT
Justin Bieber, Skrillex, and Kendall Jenner are all huge fans of the misnamed scooters. And if you want to look at a devoted fan, check out Wiz Khalifa: the singer was arrested for refusing to dismount his beloved hoverboard in an airport.
They're Not Cheap
can we there be a cardboard box craze instead of a hoverboard phase because thoses things are so expensive i can only buy the box — merry xmas mofos (@BLUEYOUTHLESTER) December 17, 2015
Hey, you didn't expect something called a 'hoverboard' to be inexpensive, did you? It might not fly or take you back to the future, but it's going to cost you a pretty penny: they can run upwards of $2,000 (more if you're going for a fancy custom job). Even the more reasonably priced ones cost a few hundred dollars. And remember: they lower the cost, the more likely they are to explode.
They're Still Not Really Hoverboards
For those of you who haven't experienced the full joy of the Back to the Future trilogy, drop everything and watch it immediately (seriously; we'll wait). It was full of futuristic fads and newfangled technology, but none has inspired the sort of devotion that the hoverboard is privy to. Here's the scene that captured the imagination of a generation, and gave birth to a dream that we're still waiting to come true.