The technology in science fiction films has always fascinated people. Take the hoverboard, for example, that cool floating skateboard Marty McFly uses in Back to the Future. It makes you wonder – would it be possible for this type of technology to exist in our lifetime? And if so, how would we go about building our own?


Building your own hoverboard

One of those people inspired by the hoverboard is Ryan Craven from Austin, Texas. With only about $250, he created his very own hoverboard using four leaf blowers, 4×4 plywood, a skateboard deck, coffee can lids, shower liners and gaffer tape. He assembled it using simple tools – basic materials that you probably have lying about. He used staple guns and hole saws to put everything together and he says that anyone can replicate the way he created his hoverboard. You can check out his website to see his step-by-step guide.

Not quite like what we see in the movies

With the leaf blowers pushing air towards the ground, pockets of air are created, and this is what allows you to hover over the pavement. It’s fun to watch and probably even more fun to experience, but you also shouldn’t expect too much – you can’t really steer it, for one, so if you’re building one, best to try it out in a safe place. Check out his YouTube teaser video.

It started with a hoax

Craven says that what ultimately urged him to create his own hoverboard was the famous Huvr hoverboard hoax. He then decided to create his own hoverboard. He has no background in engineering or anything like that, but he pushed through with the project.

Interestingly, this isn’t the only hoverboard out there. If you don’t want to mess about with leaf blowers and you have plenty of cash (and patience), you can opt to wait for the guys at Hendo to finish refining their hoverboard.

19 Comments
  1. Be right back, going to Home Depot for no reason…

  2. I’m sure that if I were to even get close to the thing I would be the first hoverboard related casualty. Skateboards and me have a long love-hate relationship and many of our encounters have ended in the ER.

  3. So… it’s basically useless for now?
    I’m still happy to know people are trying to make it happen, though!

  4. That’s NOT what we dreamed about when we watched Marty McFly “doing his thing”!

    Hey, at least Nike said they’d release “Back to the Future 2 shoes” sometime this year! The REAL hoverboard can’t be that far after that, can it? πŸ˜€

  5. I kind of hoped that technology would have evolved a bit more to create my perfect toy. At the moment it sounds like the best anyone can come up with a Home Depot offering. This is the perfect year for someone to make a name for themselves with an improvement on the one in the article. That’s everyone’s challenge.

  6. OK, it looks like a fun idea. But what does it actually do? Are you meant to stand on it? If so, I think it will need an awful lot more power that four leaf blowers. Full marks for inventiveness though!

  7. This is absolutely hilarious… to think that someone would actually take leaf blowers to build this! Anyone who has watched the move ‘Back to the Future’ and says they haven’t ever thought about riding a Hoverboard, or even making one, is lying.
    Personally, I would never actually make one of those. The noise is so aggravating… imagine an elephant just constantly trumpeting into your ear. *shiver*

  8. Lol, not bad for a leaf blower, but this isn’t going to move any human around. I did fall for Tony Hawks hoverboard prank though, that one was more like the one we dream of. I’m surprised no one have made an efficient hoverboard yet, I mean I see jetpacks being developed, but no hoverboards? c’mon people!

    • Look at the size of the Jet packs though and look at how much thrust they need to be able to produce in order to lift a human being. You need almost as much thrust to keep the board up if there is a person standing on it.

      • And with that much thrust, I’m not sure I’d want to be travelling in/on it without some sort of enclosure. The degree of control you’d need to prevent yourself from getting seriously injured would be very precise.

        • Isn’t THAT one of the reasons some people think “skateboarding is fun”? πŸ˜€

          No, really, if you take the danger out of some things, you also take the adrenaline rush with it. So, why bother? The “hoverboard” was always about “doing something that looked cool”, not for traveling safely abroad with your family πŸ˜€

  9. That’s a nice little contraption. It’s no hoverboard though. I’ve been waiting for this since I was a kid and this is a disappointment.

    Hendo’s looks a bit promising, I’ll be looking out for them.

  10. Funny that this all started out as a useless hoax. This just goes to show that anything deemed impossible can always become possible with enough time and effort. One step closer to actual flying hover boards is good enough for me!

  11. That was terribly underwhelming but I’m glad that Craven is pushing forward with this. These “pointless” technological developments are a hallmark of human intelligence and curiosity. It’s great to know that for every government funded research program we have a dozen home inventors like Craven who are willing to explore the projects that other more mainstream groups might not.

    Who knows if there is some potential commercial application – Craven might just end up getting sponsored.

  12. OMG yes! I’ve loved these things since seeing them in the movie, so this is awesome. I’m so gonna try and make one (will probably fail but eh)

  13. The only thing I could think about while watching is the petrol cost for powering 4 industrial leaf blowers. It certainly looks like fun though. I wonder when we can really experience true levitating technology. With the way things are going in that branch of science, it seems magnets and superconductors are the main tools. As of now they’re arguably more expensive than 4 leaf blowers.

  14. And with this simple little invention, it finally feels like 2015. Hopefully we can get some actual hoverboards in the coming years, I’ve been promised them since I was a child.

  15. Hoverboards are a great deal lately, but they’re pretty dangerous actually. This one is a very noisy one, but I have to admit that the guy had one of the first hoverboards ever created if not the first. There is a lot to improve and a lot of science to be done before such a “monstruosity” will come to live.

Leave a Reply