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Just in time for 2015 - The Hoverboard
June 13, 2014 4:13 PM   Subscribe

The Hoverboard is a real product sold by Zapata Racing. It is a surfboard with a powerful hydropropulsive jet attached at the back, capable of sustained tethered flight and mid-air surfing maneuvers.

The downside is that it requires an external power source and water supply, provided by a hose connected to a jetski which follows along behind the hoverboarder. Nevertheless, despite that limitation, it is possible for a hoverboarder to do things like this.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow (39 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
Previously
posted by bruceo at 4:19 PM on June 13


No not a double. The "Flyboard" in that 2011 post is an older product. The so-called Hoverboard's ability to simulate surfing is new.

Hey, I thought new shiny thing was cool but your mileage may vary.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 4:21 PM on June 13 [1 favorite]


Wow, they really make it look super fun and not at all difficult or terrifying!
posted by aubilenon at 4:27 PM on June 13 [6 favorites]


It works only on water? This is the opposite of what we were promised.
posted by justkevin at 4:30 PM on June 13 [28 favorites]


this looks like it might be the most fun thing possible!
posted by scose at 4:37 PM on June 13 [1 favorite]


Hey McFly you bojo! Those boards don't work on water!

Unless you got POWAH.
posted by duffell at 4:40 PM on June 13 [10 favorites]


So, one of the things I've been wondering about and can't tell from short clips or either the Flyboard or the Hoverboard -- is hose kinking a thing? Like, they spin around in all kinds of circles, but what's keeping that hose from turning into a telephone cord?
posted by jacquilynne at 4:46 PM on June 13 [1 favorite]


Hoverboarding the shark?

Also - maybe it's just me, but I'm thinking less "hoverboard" more F.L.U.D.D.
posted by symbioid at 4:51 PM on June 13 [1 favorite]


jacquilynne: I think the main thing that prevents kinking is that it's a fat hose with a lot of pressure in it. It doesn't look like there's a swivel on the hoverboard end, though I guess they could have one on the other end, so it doesn't get too coiled up. Or maybe you just have to unwind after you do too many circles in one direction.
posted by aubilenon at 5:01 PM on June 13


Professional wakeboarders make it look easy, but I want to see an average person try one I these out. Three minutes of some poor schlub slamming their face into the drink over and over probably wouldn't be as exciting...



or would it?
posted by P.o.B. at 5:13 PM on June 13 [8 favorites]


I bet Kenny Powers would sell Stevie's left nut for one of those.
posted by TedW at 5:21 PM on June 13


Can't we call it Water Boarding and save the term Hover Board for the real full-in-the-air deal we all have in mind? That would at least light the way for Guantanamo as a possible exit strategy into the resort industry.

It's really a squirt board. Another loud toy for loud people. I look forward to trying to guess whether it's one of these or it's elder jet ski waking me up on the beach. Get a canoe people.
posted by astrobiophysican at 5:23 PM on June 13 [5 favorites]


You do too much of that spinning and you're going to kink the hose, and then fall.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 5:30 PM on June 13 [1 favorite]


Looks fake to me. I don't see how there is anywhere near enough lift for something like this image to be real. Thrust. Vectors. I don't see it.
posted by BeerFilter at 5:46 PM on June 13


$8000 if you've got the desire to own one.
posted by blue_beetle at 6:01 PM on June 13


...is hose kinking a thing? Like, they spin around in all kinds of circles, but what's keeping that hose from turning into a telephone cord?

There's something called a "hose swivel" in the list of parts on the Zapata site.

$8000 if you've got the desire to own one.

But that's just for the board strapped to your feet. The "PWC" power unit is going to be much more. Here are prices for a similar, older setup.
posted by Western Infidels at 6:26 PM on June 13


Yeah I'm really curious how much skill is required to operate the thing. I mean obviously there's some triple-lutzes performed in the video that I couldn't do, but the thing where the guy is straddling the board and just sort of levitates five feet over the water for ten yards or so-- is that difficult? I really have no metric.
posted by shakespeherian at 6:59 PM on June 13


How many fish per minute can they kill?
posted by planetesimal at 7:03 PM on June 13 [3 favorites]


We stayed at a resort a few years back that had a thing from the same company. It was a "jetpack" sort of thing that was water propelled. It looked kinda cool when the company reps were out there playing with it, but they charged like $200 for a 5 minute ride or something ridiculous, and I never saw any tourists on it.
posted by dejah420 at 7:22 PM on June 13


The "PWC" power unit is going to be much more.

Huh. My understanding is that PWC here is "personal water craft", as in a Seadoo -- the hose connects directly to the PWC. The Zapata racing site doesn't give specific makes/models, just says between 180hp and 300hp and that they have adapters for all of the popular makes.
posted by BlueTongueLizard at 7:27 PM on June 13 [1 favorite]


So, you take the lousy fuel efficiency and environmental cost of a jet-ski, and then you attach a hose that slams out water at a gazillion liters a second.

This is to surfing as off-roading is to hiking.
posted by gurple at 7:57 PM on June 13 [5 favorites]


Where was this filmed?
posted by cashman at 8:20 PM on June 13


Ah, nevermind - shot in Cancun, I believe.
posted by cashman at 8:21 PM on June 13


There's a guy that goes around boat shows and other events near water that does demonstrations of a 'jetpack' with a similar power set-up. It's much the same as the one available from JetLev, which also uses a PWC for power and their 'Aquaboard' is priced similarly to this one. The market for these is obviously people that already own a PWC and are looking for new thrills when they get tired of terrorising people fishing and swimming and generally annoying the crap out of everyone that doesn't own a PWC. One advantage I can see (although I'm not 100% certain it's actually an advantage on balance) is that it may reduce the number of idiots aimlessly screaming around the place at up to 80 mph and regularly killing and maiming themselves, each other and innocent bystanders.

There's a swivel on the power unit end of the hose and, because it's quite stiff, it's not going to tangle or kink.
posted by dg at 9:14 PM on June 13


It's a douche nozzle for douche nozzles.
posted by w0mbat at 10:53 PM on June 13 [8 favorites]


Looks like fun, but way too much trouble.
posted by flippant at 11:06 PM on June 13


Yeah, they also used to have powered but non-flying surfboards back in the 80s, but real surfers hated them for a number of obvious reasons like noise, pollution and a lack of effort and skill.

Less obvious is trying to create a motorized surfboard that has more power than a twenty foot hurricane swell hitting a point break in a nice offshore breeze for days on end from the other side of the world, which can be surfed to personal exhaustion for the price of a cheap lunch or even free.

Body surfing is basically free, and it's not hard to find serviceable boards for cheap or free in surfing areas. There is no more affordable yet enjoyable thrill.

And any decent wave or break has way more horsepower than you could cram into an F1 engine and it is naturally as close to flying as any average mortal can get with or without leaving the surface of the planet. Leaving the surface is also a voluntary and involuntary option.

Granted, a PWC can be used inland or in flat water, but it's not surfing or boarding in any of the same sense and with none of the zen communion with nature and water.

Though, if you really want a flying surfboard, try kiteboarding.
posted by loquacious at 3:38 AM on June 14 [2 favorites]


Call me when the PWC is modified to follow the board like a driverless car, making the whole thing a one-person operation.
posted by fullerine at 4:13 AM on June 14


Looks like fun, but way too much trouble.

That pretty much describes all watercraft.
posted by ryanrs at 4:23 AM on June 14


Obligatory best video of water jetpack ever (though, yes, a point and laugh).
posted by oneironaut at 5:23 AM on June 14 [1 favorite]


Internal combustion engines and fossil fuels: smoke 'em if you got em.
posted by jonbro at 5:44 AM on June 14 [1 favorite]


There's a guy that goes around boat shows and other events near water that does demonstrations of a 'jetpack' with a similar power set-up.
Metafilter you are freaking me out with coincidence! I just got home from the boat races and he was there. His name is Merlin.
posted by jacanj at 6:21 AM on June 14


That's not a hoverboard. That's a Water Wiggle.
posted by Sys Rq at 6:42 AM on June 14 [1 favorite]


Another loud toy for loud people. I look forward to trying to guess whether it's one of these or it's elder jet ski waking me up on the beach. Get a canoe people.

And, of course, you kids get off of my pond
posted by Fists O'Fury at 7:31 AM on June 14 [1 favorite]


Marty McFloat
posted by ian1977 at 8:38 AM on June 14


Call me when you need someone with a laser accurate bazooka to blow it off the face of the earth (Jet Skis, Leaf Blowers and those that use them, come as part of the package).
posted by a non e mouse at 6:22 PM on June 14


Call me when the PWC is modified to follow the board like a driverless car, making the whole thing a one-person operation.

Ah, you want the jet pack version.

But as "stuff hovering above McCovey Cove" goes I prefer the DeLorean.
posted by Lazlo Nibble at 6:58 PM on June 14


Damn that looks like fun.
posted by homunculus at 8:21 PM on June 14


Can I get these edited into the next directors cut of Waterworld?
posted by bigbigdog at 10:53 AM on June 15


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