A Hoverboard (or hover board) is a hovering board used for personal transportation in the films Back to the Future Part II and Back to the Future Part IIIand a product of J.D. Hover. Hoverboards resemble a skateboard without wheels. Through special effects the filmmakers depicted the boards hovering above the ground. During the 1990s there were rumors that hoverboards were not fictional and were in fact real. This was not true until 2007. Some companies hoping to leverage the commercial success of the movies have marketed hovercraft vehicles as hoverboards, but these products have not been shown to replicate the experience depicted in the movies. Subsequent to the movies the hoverboard concept has been reused by many authors in various forms of media in fictional universes not directly related to Back to the Future.

TV

* Da Ali G Show: On an episode, Ali G meets with institutional investors and suggests that they begin to market a hoverboard (which was just a skateboard with the wheels removed).
* Doom Runners (1997): This made-for-TV Nickelodeon movie has hoverboards with sails.
* Futuresport: In this made-for-TV movie, the contestants use hoverboards.
* Kyle XY: In the season 3 episode “Welcome to Latnok”, Kyle builds a hoverboard to win $50,000 in a science contest to pay for Nicole Trager’s hospital bill as a result of what happened in the previous episode, entitled “Life Support”.
* MythBusters: Jamie Hyneman and his team built a makeshift hovercraft, dubbed the Hyneman Hoverboard, from a surfboard and leaf-blowers. However, Jamie’s hoverboard was not very effective.

Video games

* Airblade was based completely around a hoverboard using next-generation anti-gravity technology.
* Anarchy Online: In October 2007, this MMORPG introduced hoverboards into the game as part of a system where subscribers can pay cash money to purchase in-game items.
* Final Fantasy VIII: The character Zell Dincht is briefly seen riding a hoverboard-like device.
* Garry’s Mod: In this Source mod, a hoverboard contraption can easily be created by spawning a wood plank and attaching two hoverballs to it; also, it is possible to download an add-on from garrysmod.org which gives a hoverboard (originally based on the version from Unreal Tournament 3, mentioned below).
* Psybadek features hoverboards called hoverdeks.
* Sonic Riders and Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity: These Sega games are based around hoverboards and other hovering vehicles.
* Street Trace NYC is a futuristic hoverboard combat racing game.
* Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 3: When Star Wars character Darth Maul is unlocked, he rides a hoverboard.
* Unreal Tournament III: A hoverboard is readily available to the player in certain maps and situations for expedited travel.
* Tony Hawk’s Underground: The player can unlock Iron Man as a character for “free skate”. He rides on a hoverboard.

Hoverboards have made appearances in other video games, including Conker’s Bad Fur Day, EyeToy: Antigrav, Hoverboard ASDF, Jak II, Jak 3, Jazz Jackrabbit, Jazz Jackrabbit 2, Kid Chameleon, the Mega Man series, Phantasy Star Universe, Ratchet and Clank, Rocket Power: Beach Bandits, Smallworlds, Streak: Hoverboard Racing, The Urbz: Sims in the City (DS and GBA versions), There, TrickStyle, WarioWare, Inc.: Mega Microgames! and Space Wombat.
[edit] Animation

* Ben 10: In a Season 1 episode, “Hunted”, Ben receives a hoverboard as a sort of gift from an alien belonging to Diamondhead’s race named Tetrax. Tetrax is also known as “Hoverboard.”
* Code Lyoko: In this French series, Odd Della Robbia’s vehicle is a hoverboard called the Overboard.
* Duck Dodgers: Near the end of the first part of the second season finale of this 2003-2005 Cartoon Network series, Dodgers uses a hoverboard to quickly traverse a junk yard to get to his ship.
* Eureka Seven: Renton (and most of the other characters) ride a bodyboard-sized hovering surfboard that uses an atmospheric energy phenomenon called “trapar” as a means of lift and propulsion.
* Flash Gordon (1996) cartoon series featured many characters using hoverboards. Most of the associated action figures featured hoverboards as accessories.
* Freefonix: This CBBC children’s program has two bands rivalling each other in future music (called ‘Freewave’) who ride hoverboards and hovering ‘scooters’ as well as hoverbikes, like a hot rod style motorbike with no wheels.
* Futurama: Amy Wong rides a hoverboard-like device called a partyboard in the episode “Kif Gets Knocked Up a Notch”.
* Get Ed: Ed’s primary mode of transportation is a transforming hoverboard.
* Jimmy Neutron: In an episode when the space aliens come to Retroville, Nick Dean is given a hoverboard as a present from the aliens.
* ReBoot: Many of the show’s characters fly around using devices called zip boards, which are somewhat similar to hoverboards, consisting of two circular disks (one for each foot) and a folding rod connecting the two discs.
* Sonic Underground: Manic uses a red and yellow hoverboard as his primary mode of transportation.
* Sonic X: In episode 57, Sonic uses a hoverboard to defeat the Metarex army.
* Static Shock: Static receives a circular hovering device invented by Richie and powered by Static’s electric powers.
* The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest: In this Hanna-Barbera series, Jonny has a hoverboard that he uses frequently.
* The Transformers: The Movie (1986): Daniel rides a hoverboard before hitting a rock and being caught by Hot Rod. (note that the movie was released in 1986, predating BTTF 2 by 3 years.)
* ThunderCats: WilyKit and WilyKat frequently traveled by hoverboard like devices called “space boards”.
* Zoids: Chaotic Century: In some episodes, Van Flyheight has a hoverboard. In the first episode, it aids him in his escape from an attacking Guysak. It is used in a few others, but after episode one (where he receives a Shield Liger to use, ridding him of the necessity of a hoverboard for transportation), it is rarely ever seen.

Books

* Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Last Straw: Greg Heffley mentions he has no money for snacks since he ordered several products from his comic books, one of which is a hoverboard (really just instructions to build one, with Greg getting stuck on the first step, acquiring an industrial-strength twin-turbine engine).
* The Uglies Series by Scott Westerfeld: Hoverboards are featured prominently as a form of transportation. In the books, hoverboards mainly relied on magnetism but additionally are powered by stored solar energy to work; they can travel over the magnetic grid that runs throughout the cities and over bodies of water that contain magnetic mineral deposits. Accessories used in conjunction with the hoverboards include belly sensors, navel-ring like devices that tell the board the rider’s center of gravity; and crash bracelets, which stop the rider in mid-air to prevent serious injury in case of a fall. However, crash bracelets can also potentially harm the rider; if the rider falls from a great height, the sudden stop can cause arm and shoulder injuries. The third book in the series, Specials, introduces a different type of hoverboard that uses rotorcraft technology in addition to magnetic levitation, allowing the board to travel over areas with no magnetic field.

Real world

Several companies have drawn on hovercraft technology to attempt to create hoverboard-like products but none have demonstrated similar experiences to those depicted in the movies.

Rumors circulated in 2001 that inventor Dean Kamen’s new invention, codenamed Ginger, was a transportation device resembling the Hoverboard. In reality Ginger was the Segway Human Transporter, a self-balancing two-wheeled electric transportation device.

An artist has created a hoverboard that can float itself but cannot carry a load.[1][2]

References

1. ^ Hoverboard Project Takes Flight–and Actually Hovers : PC World, May 27, 2010
2. ^ Hoverboard by Nils Guadagnin, May 9, 2010