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HoverSkater blends hovercraft and skateboard, but isn't quite a hoverboard

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June 4, 2014

HoverSkater might finally deliver what we have all been waiting for since 'Back to the Fut...

HoverSkater might finally deliver what we have all been waiting for since 'Back to the Future' screened

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While the recent HUVr Tech hoverboard hoax involving Tony Hawk and Christopher Lloyd had the internet buzzing with anticipation, we can now report that a Kickstarter project might finally deliver what we have all been waiting for. Well, sort of ... meet the HoverSkater.

In a design that adds elements of a hovercraft to a longboard skateboard, HoverSkater might be as close as we are going to get (for now anyway) to the legendary hoverboard from Back to the Future. While it may not defy gravity, the addition of the aircushion gives it the ability to slide over terrain that would stop a normal skateboard in its tracks.

Creator Jim Pitts rented Back to the Future in the 90's and went looking for the technology to recreate the hoverboard idea. A series of prototypes followed, with the first weighing 47 pounds (21 kg). "It was too tall to put under a school desk or chair, and it lifted only 175 pounds (79 kg),” says Pitts.

But Pitts believes technology has finally caught up (we'll let you be the judge of whether it has caught up enough), and the HoverSkater is now ready to break cover.

While early incarnations did away with the conventional skateboard trucks and wheels, these were later reintroduced to provide stability. The air cushion is inflated via a remote-controlled air-turbine, while an electric wheel underneath the board provides forward motion and can also be reversed to act as a brake.

The batteries on the current prototype are said to be good for 50 bursts of full-throttle hovering, though this varies with the weight of the rider. There's no specifics as to the weight or carrying capacity of the planned production model at this stage ... but it does glow in the dark.

And the ride? According to the HoverSkater Kickstarter page, "experienced skateboarders, surfers and other sports enthusiasts have said that riding the HoverSkater is unlike anything else they've tried before ... you feel like you are surfing on a bubble of air."

The Kickstarter project for HoverSkater went live on June 1 in an attempt to raise US$22,000. If all goes well it will be available by Christmas 2014 for around $1,500 plus shipping.

You can check out the HoverSkater in action on the following videos.

Source: HoverSkater

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5 Comments

I love the hoverboard idea, and I'd love to see, own, and ride a working hoverboard. Also, I believe it would be possible using adequate technology, at least for a limited period of time, given it's potentially extensive energy needs.

That said, this one appears to get unstable and even uncontrollable as soon as it inflates the mini hovercraft cushion underneath and lifts its trucks off the ground. There is no way to create thrust other than perpendicular to the ground, and a hoverboard without thrust vectoring is not going to work, as vectoring is the very core of balance and board control. Every boarder or surfer knows that.

I'm afraid I cannot back this one on kickstarter.

martinkopplow
5th June, 2014 @ 02:02 am PDT

Does it come with free ear defenders? Imagine how quiet and serene a skate park would be if all the skateboarders had one of these.

Mel Tisdale
5th June, 2014 @ 05:05 am PDT

looks like freebord to me!?

Erik Kaiser
5th June, 2014 @ 06:38 am PDT

So basically it uses "wheels" which give great control and traction, until you want to loose all control and traction, at which point it uses "fans".

The only use I can see would be to increase speed in a straight line, if the rider could stay on it at speed.

Chris Winter
5th June, 2014 @ 06:51 pm PDT

I can imagine someday a skate-park arena fitted with closely spaced electro-mag di-pole hot spots under a hard vinyl surface. Each of those could be individually and instantly shifted (+ or-) locally by embedded fore-and-aft sensor/emitters in your mag-surfaced board. This way you'd always have anti-mag 'lift' underneath you, no matter which direction you turned and moved.

And who knows? That might create an entirely new 'True Hoverboard' sport - plus a whole new set of heroes (with their own clothing lines).

And the board itself would only need a couple of AA batteries, to power up the computer chip and sensor/emitters.

OuldBill
14th June, 2014 @ 10:00 pm PDT
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