The Lexus hoverboard is real, but it isn't coming to a skate park near you
The automaker has unveiled its "Slide" hoverboard at a custom-crafted skate park in Spain. Enjoy the video demonstration, but don't get any ideas about buying one.
Tim StevensFormer editor at large for CNET Cars
Tim Stevens got his start writing professionally while still in school in the mid '90s, and since then has covered topics ranging from business process management to video game development to automotive technology.
Watch this: The Lexus Slide hoverboard is both exciting and kind of a bummer, Ep. 214
If it seems like months now that you've been seeing this hoverboard concept from Lexus, that's because it has been.
Called "Slide," it is a skateboard-like device that floats a few inches above the ground, promising the ultimate in futuristic, personal travel. 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 company first teased Slide back on June 23, and it was immediately dismissed as a fake and a marketing stunt. Lexus promised proof, and that proof is here.
The levitation effect of supercooled superconductors has been known for ages now, but deploying it on such a scale requires some serious effort. Namely: lots and lots and lots of magnets built into the ground. 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. Still, it seems to have some limitations, with pro skateboarder Ross McGouran struggling to keep the thing from dragging on the ground at times. That's despite liquid nitrogen refills every 10 minutes or so.
Still, the effect is quite amazing to watch -- particularly when it floats across water. No, you can't buy one, but you can enjoy the video above, then check out some feet-on impressions of the thing over at Jalopnik.