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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZwSwZ2Y0Ops

This week, Lexus unveiled its hoverboard. While it is delightfully amusing to watch, and likely painful to attempt to ride, many commenters have noted that it actually works using quantum locking. Lexus has been fairly open about the design, even releasing the “making of” which confirms everyone’s suspicions. This board, while levitating, does not allow the rider to do anything other than ride along a pre-ordained track hidden below the false concrete floor.

While this may not meet our incredibly high standards of what makes up an actual hoverboard, we can all agree it was pretty amusing. It is also the latest in a rash of hoverboards to hit the news over the past year, no doubt due to the predictions set forth in Back to the Future Part II where Marty McFly, transplanted from 1985 into 2015, discovers that skateboards have been replaced by hoverboards.

So who has made the best hoverboard? Here are a few contenders.


This is the Hendo hoverboard. Its magnetic deck allows a user to glide frictionlessly over a constructed magnetic surface with ease. While you are confined to the specific surface designed for this board, you have freedom on that surface. Make it as big as you want! Add bumps and curves! You can do whatever you want. However, just like Marty discovered in the movie, steering something that doesn’t touch the ground can be quite difficult.


If you are more interested in the form than the function, Crealev has you covered. They’ve put together a prop that levitates using magnets and looks very much like the one from the movie. You can’t ride it at all and even a firm bump may knock this thing out of its “sweet spot,” but it sure will look good on your shelf!


Up next is the Guinness World Record holder for longest distance traveled on a hoverboard. Designed by Catalin Alexandru Duru, this may not look like your typical hoverboard, but in its function, it may be the closest thing we’ve got. Duru could take this multirotor over any surface and steer as he goes. To prove his point, he set the record for longest distance while traveling over water (it probably also aided in a soft landing). In my opinion, if you want to have the experience of a hoverboard using today’s technology, this one is your best bet.

Not only would it win my vote for best hoverboard, it could easily be the answer to: “This is the future, where’s my jet pack?!”

3 thoughts on “4 Real Hoverboards You Can’t Ride Today

  1. One of the things that really upsets me about the whole Hoverboard thing is that they often advertise the technology behind their board as being in the early stages.

    The Hendo Hoverboard did this, and the problem there is that their “technology” was not in the “early stages.” The Hendo Hoverboard was a simple application of Lenz Law, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lenz's_law, which was discovered in 1833.

    The reason nobody did what they did before is not because it wouldn’t work, It’s because what they did wasn’t scalable. No one else bothered to do it because it’s not viable. It’s not because no one has never had this idea before.

    The statement on the Hendo Hoverboard Kickstarter page, “While one day we expect to have hoverboards that can effortlessly float over any medium (even water!), our current technology requires special types of surfaces…” made me absolutely furious. While true in one sense, it’s entirely misleading. To do what they suggest—make a hoverboard go over any surface—requires entirely different physics, not just R&D on the physics they do have… and it’s entirely different physics that, at least at the moment, doesn’t even have a basis in theory.

    This isn’t as bad as the perpetual motion machines, which also sometimes turn up on Kickstarter, but it’s pretty bad.

    1. Since no one has ever created an actual anti-gravity devise you are totally correct. Using magnetism is ‘old tech’ reworked and has its severe limitations. Now if one were to actually create a magnetic devise that worked with the magnetic field of the planet they’d be on to something.

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Senior Editor for Make: I get ridiculously excited seeing people make things. I just want to revel in the creativity of the masses! My favorite thing in the world is sharing the hard work of a maker.

I'd always love to hear about what you're making, so send me an email any time at caleb@make.co

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