You know what really grinds my gears? Calling something a hoverboard when it doesn’t actually hover. The world has been anxiously awaiting the chance to ride a skateboard sized craft with the ability to fly, possibly while wearing self-lacing space age Nikes. Call it a fetish. Call it an infatuation. We want boards that can fly so dammit stop calling something a hoverboard if it doesn’t actually fly.
We lost our collective minds for a second when Lexus gave us a bunch of dudes shredding a hoverboard in Venice Beach. Then they told us “the board only works on special metallic surfaces,” effectively calling shenanigans on their own little magic trick and killing our excitement. Sure, it hovered. But it just didn’t quite hit the spot. It was still a bit of a let down. Seriously, all I want is a tiny board that defies everything we know about gravity at an affordable price. And I want it now. Is that too much to ask for?
ArcaBoard doesn’t think so. Kind of. They just went out and did the most logical thing ever in pursuing everybody’s wish of delivering a real life hover board: they used a bunch of propellers and stuff. Because duh. Their description is a little more technical, saying the $14,900 board employs “36 high power electric ducted fans with a maximum thrust of 200 kgf (430 lbs)” and a built in stabilization unit. But really they just mean “we installed a sh*t load of propellers.” Here we have people using magnets, or just being flat out lazy and thinking a few neon lights will distract us from the frickin wheel sticking out of their board, when all along somebody just needed to step in and do the obvious.
The ArcaBoard is pretty massive, looking like a giant iPhone 4 stuffed into a neon Otterbox case, but it gets the job done. It delivers exactly what it’s name implies, hovering as high as a foot off the ground while moving as fast as 20 km/h. It can be controlled by bluetooth or your smartphone, or you can turn the stabilization off altogether and just cruise the thing under your own control (just like our ancestors used to ride hoverboards in the old days). It’s six inches thick, weighs 180 lbs, puts out 272 HP (that’s not a typo), and the battery only lasts for six minutes. So yes, the ArcaBoard still has a bit of ground to cover before transforming into the kind of hoverboard we were promised by this date in certain pop culture references…but by golly it’s the closest thing we’ve seen yet.
The dude abides. Somebody finally gave us a real hoverboard.