Lexus Unveils Rideable Hoverboard—But It Only Works in a Magnetic Skatepark

Back to the Future fans, your dreams have been realised—sort of. Luxury car manufacturer Lexus have unveiled a hoverboard which levitates several inches off the ground super-cooled magnets to counter force of gravity. The catch—it can only be used at a purpose-built, supermagnetic skate park near Barcelona.

Lexus posted a video of the hoverboard, named Slide, on YouTube yesterday, having previously released teaser footage of the new board in June. The video shows pro skateboarder Ross McGouran trying to stay upright. The hoverboard contains a number of magnets and superconductors, which are cooled to -197C by liquid nitrogen, according Lexus. However, the board is limited to the confines of the custom-built skatepark, only remaining suspended due to the board's repulsion from some 200 metres of magnetic track.

In one scene, McGouran glides across a long strip of water without causing too much of a splash. The board is not fool-proof, however, and there is quite a lot of friction as it struggles to hold the rider's weight. CNET also reported that the board's 50 ounce liquid nitrogen canisters need refilling roughly every 10 minutes.

Despite the slick video, journalists invited to try the board reported severe limitations and found it near-impossible to ride, with Sam Sheffer of the Verge declaring: "While it was fun, it certainly wasn't the hoverboarding experience depicted in Back to the Future."

Previous attempts at creating a hoverboard have had varying degrees of success. In October, a Californian tech company launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund their attempt at hoverboard technology, called the Hendo. The campaign has so far raised $510,590, but the board only worked on a special copper surface and battery life lasted just a few minutes, according to the New York Times. Last March, a company called HUVr released a video claiming to have developed working hoverboard technology, which was endorsed by top skateboarder Tony Hawk. However, the video was later revealed to be a hoax by website Funny or Die.

Sadly for enthusiasts, the Lexus board is only a prototype and will not be going on sale.