Mattel Hoverboard

The Mattel hoverboard being flown by Marty McFly.

Data: "Hey McFly, you bojo! Those boards don't work on water!"
Whitey: "Unless you got power! Hahahah..."
Griff's gang taunts Marty McFly

A hoverboard was a hover converted board-shaped vehicle in 2015, which was similar to a skateboard.


Hoverboards were manufactured in 2015 for all age ranges by different companies. Mattel made pink and orange models with handlebars for young children. Other companies made more aggressive boards, that were used by gangs in some instances, including the No Tech series, the Rising Sun, the Question Mark, and the Pit Bull, a rocket-fired board with three attachments for other riders on similar boards.

Hoverboards worked similarly in principle to skateboards in that they needed momentum by the rider and most would become useless in terrain not suited for them, i.e. water, ice and other low traction surfaces, save for the more powerful Pit Bull model.

There was a sign by the pond in Courthouse Square which clearly read NO HOVERBOARDING. Griff Tannen and his gang were presumably also charged with violating this local ordinance, as well as causing serious damage to the front of the Hill Valley Courthouse, which they crashed straight into during their hoverboard pursuit of Marty.

According to the Newsline column on the front page of the October 22, 2015 issue of USA Today[1], a Border Collie music video star called Maddy, who could ride a hoverboard, had her own one hour television special on Canine Sports Network that evening. It was also announced in the column that in 2016, hoverboards would be "lighter and thinner", but they still wouldn't work on water.


Behind the scenes[]

"Now we've said it before, but I'm gonna say it again: kids, hoverboards are not real."
—Bob Gale in Part II commentary
  • Unlike the hovering board from the movie, the public perceives a hoverboard to be an electrically powered vehicle, which looks a lot like a skateboard, but rolls on two wheels[2][3].
  • Robert Zemeckis joked in an interview[4] that hoverboards were real, causing a frenzy amongst fans looking for the real thing in local toy stores. He eventually had to retract his joke and explain that hoverboards did not exist.
  • In the 1990 behind-the-scenes television show The Secrets of the Back to the Future Trilogy, the first fan question to be asked, and answered by host Kirk Cameron, was about the aforementioned interview with Robert Zemeckis about hoverboards being real. Cameron confirmed that Zemeckis was only joking, before adding "Hoverboards have yet to be invented. But maybe some day..." Cameron then attempted unsuccessfully to hide the Mattel hoverboard visible between the driver's seat and the open gull-wing door of the DeLorean time machine in which he arrived at the start of the show.
  • The hoverboard effect was achieved by supporting the actors on wires (which were digitally erased in post-production) and strapping the hoverboard prop to their feet. The actors had to pretend to be standing on the board, when in fact it was they who were holding the board up. Also, some scenes had the hoverboard mounted on a pole attached to a truck while the actor was in a harness.


  • On October 21, 2014, a company called Hendo announced it had been working on a prototype hoverboard which could actually hover approximately one inch off the ground. The Hendo Hover uses hover technology developed by Hendo’s parent company, Arx Pax, which relies on magnetic fields and specially-lined copper floors, similar to the techniques used by high-speed trains to keep them from touching their tracks. On the same day as the announcement, the company launched a Kickstarter campaign to "help put the finishing touches on the Hendo Hoverboard, to help us produce them, and to create places to ride them." [5] The first ten backers of the campaign pledging at least $10,000 were each expected to receive one of the first production hoverboards one year later, on October 21, 2015; the same date of the hoverboard chase in Back to the Future Part II. By the end of the Kickstarter campaign on December 15, 2014, the project was successfully funded with over twice of the project's original $250,000 goal being pledged.
  • On June 24, 2015, another prototype hoverboard powered by liquid nitrogen cooled superconductors and magnets was unveiled by Lexus, the Japanese car manufacturer. The Lexus Hoverboard uses magnetic levitation powered by a combination of liquid nitrogen cooled superconductors and permanent magnets. As part of their Amazing in Motion promotional campaign, the "Slide" microsite featured in a teaser video showing the hoverboard levitating above what appears to be a skatepark.
  • It is unknown how Marty got his hoverboard back six years after Doc came back from the Old West.



The hoverboard stops over water.


The Animated Series.


  1. Special "front page wrap" for real life October 22, 2015 issue of USA Today (see 'External links' below)
  2. Hoverboards UK - Official UK Swegways & Hovercarts Wholesale (see 'External links' below)
  3. Hoverpicks - Hoverboard Guides & Information (see 'External links' below)
  4. The Making of Back to the Future Part II, bonus feature on Back to the Future Part II Region 1 DVD, at 4:45.
  5. Hendo Hoverboards - World's first REAL hoverboard (see 'External links' below)
  6. When asking Doc why his 1931 counterpart couldn't have invented a hoverboard, Doc responds that they wouldn't be invented for another 84 years.

External links[]