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Hoverboard

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Mattel Hoverboard

The Mattel hoverboard being flown by Marty McFly.

Data: "Hey McFly you bojo! Those boards don't work on water!"
Whitey: "Unless you got POWAH! Hahahah..."
Griff's gang taunts Marty McFly

A hoverboard is similar in appearance to a skateboard but underwent a hover conversion. They were manufactured in 2015 for all age ranges by different companies. Mattel made a pink-colored model for young girls. Other companies made more aggressive boards, that were used by gangs in some instances, including the No Tech series and the Pit Bull, a rocket-fired board with three attachments for other riders on similar boards. Another model was the Rising Sun.

Hoverboards worked similarly in principal to skateboards in that they needed momentum by the rider and most would become useless in terrain not suited for them, i.e. water, ice and other low traction surfaces, save for the more powerful Pit Bull model.

There was a sign by the pond in Courthouse Square which clearly read NO HOVERBOARDING. Griff Tannen and his gang were presumably also charged with violating this local ordinance, as well as causing serious damage to the front of the Courthouse, which they crashed straight into during their hoverboard pursuit of Marty.

Models

Behind the scenes

Back to the Future Part II - Hoverboard!01:58

Back to the Future Part II - Hoverboard!

"Now we've said it before, but I'm gonna say it again: kids, hoverboards are not real."
—Bob Gale in Part II commentary

Robert Zemeckis joked in an interview[1] that hoverboards were real – causing a frenzy amongst fans looking for the real thing in local toy stores, eventually having to retract his joke and explain that hoverboards did not exist.

The hoverboard effect was achieved by supporting the actors on wires (which were digitally erased in post-production) and strapping the hoverboard prop to their feet. The actors had to pretend to be standing on the board, when in fact it was they who were holding the board up. Also, some scenes had the hoverboard mounted on a pole attached to a truck while the actor was in a harness.

Actuality

On October 21, 2014, a company called Hendo announced it had been working on a prototype hoverboard which could actually hover approximately one inch off the ground. The Hendo Hover uses hover technology developed by Hendo’s parent company, Arx Pax, which relies on magnetic fields and specially-lined copper floors, similar to the techniques used by high-speed trains to keep them from touching their tracks. On the same day as the announcement, the company launched a Kickstarter campaign to “help put the finishing touches on the Hendo Hoverboard, to help us produce them, and to create places to ride them.” [2] The first ten backers of the campaign pledging at least $10,000 were each expected to receive one of the first production hoverboards one year later, on October 21, 2015; the same date of the hoverboard chase in Back to the Future Part II.

Appearances

Hoverboard-water

The hoverboard stops over water.

References

  1. The Making of Back to the Future Part II, bonus feature on Back to the Future Part II Region 1 DVD, at 4:45.
  2. https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/142464853/hendo-hoverboards-worlds-first-real-hoverboard

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