In 1989, people looked to the future with awe and whimsy. What will the future be like, we wondered. Will there be flying cars? Peace on Earth? The end of communism? Will that crazy Internet thing I keep hearing about be something important? Will those Hoverboards in “Back To The Future Part II” be a reality?
In 2015, the answers to those questions (for now) are no, no, no, yes and — surprisingly — yes! Yes, a Hoverboard does indeed exist, just in time for that scene from the franchise’s second film — that clearly showed that on Oct. 21, 2015 we would indeed have flying skateboards — to be a reality and not science fiction.
And for some reason, Lexus did it. Through science, gumption and a love for 1980s movies, the car company has made the Hoverboard (which they call Slide) a reality — kind of. True, it exists, but not in the way we saw it in the film. For one, you need a specialized park to use the damn thing. According to CNET: “To pull off this seemingly impossible feat, the thing contains a series of magnets and superconductors cooled by liquid nitrogen. The board is real, and it exists exclusively for the purpose of elevating the Lexus brand image.” The words “magnets” and “superconductors” and “liquid nitrogen” combined make it sound more like a weapon a Bond villain would use rather than a fun flying skateboard.
Its use is limited to a specialized park. That park uses a lot of magnets built into the ground and “the company has built a custom skate park in Barcelona, Spain, upon which its prototype hoverboard can be used….In fact, this board works only at that custom-crafted park, built at an undisclosed but surely huge expense,” CNET reported.
When Lexus first teased the world with this mix of technology and Michael J. Fox nostalgia in June, and many thought it was a hoax. Lexus, for their part in defying the world that called them “yellow” if they didn’t offer proof, did so with a video that kind of explains the science behind the machine.
And so while it is not exactly how we saw it on film, the fact remains that Lexus has built a Hoverboard. It is expensive, non-practical and can be used in only one spot in the world, but it does exist.