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A Hoverboard (or hover board) is a fictional hovering board used for personal transportation in the films Back to the Future Part II and Back to the Future Part III. Hoverboards resemble a skateboard without wheels or trucks. 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. These rumors have been conclusively debunked [1]. 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.

Contents

Back to the Future

In the Back to the Future series, the Hoverboard model was a hover device marketed by Mattel, invented between the years 1985 and 2015. These devices were capable of floating above almost any surface, but riders are still required to push off the ground with their feet to gain forward momentum, and therefore can be left helpless if left hovering above ice, water or other low traction surfaces. However, as shown in the film, the "Pitbull"-model Hoverboard, fitted with two rear-facing jets for propulsion, was capable of crossing water and similar surfaces.

The Hoverboard was first introduced in Back to the Future Part II when Marty McFly (under disguise as his son, Marty, Jr.) used it to get away from Griff Tannen and his gang. It helped Marty retrieve the almanac from 1955 Biff Tannen later in the movie. Later still, the Hoverboard played a role in the climactic scene of Back to the Future Part III and reappeared multiple times in the animated series.

The original prop Hoverboard was on display at the Planet Hollywood in Beverly Hills until August 2000, when it was auctioned to Ashley Burke Template:Fact. Director Robert Zemeckis started the false rumors that working hoverboards existed when he said during an interview that hoverboards were real and not a special effect. He further said that that the technology really existed but parent groups would not allow toy manufacturers to produce and market them[1]. This idea was supported by bogus "test footage" of a hoverboard in action (which simply used the same special effects used in the movies) that aired in a "Making Of Back To The Future 2" television special. Zemeckis has said that he was tired of answering questions about the hoverboard special effects and so began simply stating that it was real.

Popular culture

Video games

Hoverboards have made appearances in several video games, such as Streak: Hoverboard Racing, Hoverboard ASDF, Conker's Bad Fur Day, Kid Chameleon, Phantasy Star Universe, Jazz Jackrabbit, Jazz Jackrabbit 2, EyeToy: Antigrav, There, TrickStyle, Jak II, Jak 3, Unreal Tournament 3, Rocket Power: Beach Bandits, Ratchet and Clank, the Mega Man series, and The Urbz: Sims in the City (DS and GBA versions). The Playstation 2 game Airblade was based completely around a hoverboard using next-generation anti-gravity technology. In the video game Final Fantasy VIII, the character Zell Dincht is briefly seen riding a hoverboard-like device. The Xbox Live Arcade game Street Trace NYC is a futuristic hoverboard combat racing game. In the PC/Xbox 360/PS3 game Unreal Tournament III, a hoverboard is readily available to the player in certain maps and situations for expedited travel. In October 2007, the MMORPG Anarchy Online introduced hoverboards into the game as part of a system where subscribers can pay cash money to purchase in-game items. The Sega video games Sonic Riders and Sonic Riders: Zero Gravity are based around hoverboards and other hovering vehicles. In the game Tony Hawk's Pro Skater 3, when Star Wars character Darth Maul is unlocked, he rides a hoverboard. In the Source mod Garry's Mod, a hoverboard contraption can easily be created by spawning a wood plank and attaching two hoverballs to it. The PlayStation game Psybadek also features hoverboards, which are called hoverdeks.

Television

On the television show MythBusters, Jamie Hyneman and his team built a makeshift hovercraft, dubbed the Hyneman Hoverboard, from a surfboard and leaf-blowers. On an episode of Da Ali G Show, Ali G meets with institutional investors and suggests that they begin to market a hoverboard (which was just a skateboard with the wheels removed). In the made-for-TV movie Futuresport, the contestants use hoverboards. In the season 3 episode of Kyle XY entitled "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".

Cartoons

In some episodes of Zoids: Chaotic Century, 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. In an episode of Ben 10, 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." In the French animated series Code Lyoko, Odd's vehicle is a hoverboard called the Overboard. In the anime 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. In the Hanna-Barbera series The Real Adventures of Jonny Quest, Jonny has a hoverboard that he uses frequently. In the animated series Get Ed, Ed's primary mode of transportation is a transforming hoverboard. The 1996 Flash Gordon cartoon series featured many characters using hoverboards. Most of the associated action figures featured hoverboards as accessories. In The Transformers: The Movie, Daniel rides a hoverboard before hitting a rock and being caught by Hot Rod. Near the end of the first part of the second season finale of the 2003–2005 Cartoon Network series Duck Dodgers, Dodgers uses a hoverboard to quickly traverse a junk yard to get to his ship. In the animated series ThunderCats, WilyKit and WilyKat frequently traveled by hoverboard like devices called "space boards". In an episode of Jimmy Neutron, when the space aliens come to Retroville, Nick Dean is given a hoverboard as a present from the aliens. In the animated children's series 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. In the animated series Static Shock, Static receives a circular hovering device invented by Richie. It is powered by Static's electric powers. In Sonic Underground, Manic uses a red and yellow hoverboard as his primary mode of transportation. On the series Futurama, Amy Wong rides a hoverboard-like device called a partyboard in the episode Kif Gets Knocked Up a Notch.

Books

In the 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. In 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).

Movies

In Spider-Man 3, Harry Osborn has a flying board similar to a hoverboard, named a Sky Stick, a new version of the glider formerly used by his father, the Green Goblin. In Treasure Planet, the main character Jim Hawkins uses a flying board similar to a hoverboard, which uses a solar-powered rocket for propulsion, and has a wind-sail attachment. At the end of the movie he utilizes a more crude, impromptu version which has no sail attachment.

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.

References

External links

Template:Bttf

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Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

English

Etymology

hover +‎ board

Noun

Singular
hoverboard

Plural
hoverboards

hoverboard (plural hoverboards)

  1. (science fiction) A levitating board that can be ridden in the manner of a surfboard or skateboard.

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