A few days ago, Lexus sent the internet into a tizzy with its teaser video that displayed what could possibly be the world’s first working hoverboard. The Japanese luxury carmaker was tight-lipped about how they went about creating this throwback to the 80’s, and whether it can actually carry a full-sized human. All they were willing to reveal was that the Slide -that’s what they’re calling it – uses liquid nitrogen-cooled superconductors and permanent magnets to work.
We were still dubious, despite Lexus stating that the technology has been in development by two teams in Germany and London for over 18 months, and is currently undergoing testing at the hands of a professional skateboarder in Barcelona.
Well, now, we have news from Barcelona, courtesy of Spanish website El Patin. And it is both good and bad news.
The good part is that Lexus has actually created a real, working hoverboard that can carry an adult. The bad part is that, as we’d feared (and seen in a crude form before) it requires a specially designed skatepark in order to work.
Lexus has built just that at a top secret location in Cubelles, Barcelona. Guarded 24 hours by security personnel, the park is still unfinished despite having commenced construction more than a month back.
Underneath the normal-looking skatepark surface lays the secret to making the Slide work; a metal track that runs all the way through what appears to be a small pool as well as a pair of ramps. So, yeah, it does work with an athlete on board but don’t expect any Tony Hawk-style theatrics from the pilot. The physics of a hoverboard will not allow for that, at least for now.
We still don’t know if Lexus plans to use the park only to shoot their Amazing in Motion ad series, or if they would allow non-skateboarders to get a taste of it soon. Hope for the latter.
Source: El Patin