Now This Is a Genuine Hoverboard

You’ve probably seen Franky Zapata’s water-powered Flyboards available to ride at fancy resorts. But his newest creation takes riders far above the surface of the water. Forget those two-wheeled death traps and the utterly disappointing Hendo, this is the closest thing we now have to a working hoverboard.

There are few details currently available for Zapata’s new hoverboard, but based on the video it appears to be powered by a turbine engine fed by a backpack full of fuel. It’s claimed to have a flight time of about 10 minutes, a top speed of around 93 miles per hour, and a maximum altitude of 10,000 feet.

However, it’s clear that Zapata isn’t 100 percent confident in this first prototype, given he restricts his test flight to minimal altitudes and only flies it over a lake so he has a soft place to land should it suddenly stop working. So as hoverboards go it’s probably still dangerous, trading sudden fires for broken limbs.

[Zapata Racing via Gizmag]

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DISCUSSION

That is NOT a “Hoverboard”. True hoverboards as per the Back to the Future film series are devices while achieve the defiance of gravity specifically by way of magnetic repulsion alone.

This device by contrast utilizes propulsion with directed thrust. That is NOT the same thing. If we call this a “hoverboard”, well, then we’d need to apply the moniker to any and all devices that achieve any manner of flight. Be it propulsion, aerodynamic lift, etc. Which is why we do NOT refer to them as “Hover-airplanes”, “Hover-kites”, or “Hover-grocerybags that keep getting stuck in chainlink fences and bushes.”

And before we get into it with a debate about the Pit Bull hoverboards which did utilize thrusters, please remember that was simply to facilitate directional guidance as well as horizontal movement in relation to the ground as a mechanical solution in leu of the rider utilizing their legs and feet to achieve the same goal. Plus it would also enable the rider to reach faster speeds beyond their physical limitation.