Back to the Future Writer Is Super Unimpressed with Your “Hoverboard”

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The man who made us all want hoverboards in the first place sees that you’re just on wheels.

Bob Gale is a man who knows what a hoverboard is. As the writer of all three Back to the Future films he could be considered the inventor of the hoverboard, though at the time they were just props suspended on wires. Bob Gale is the reason we’ve been dreaming of riding a hoverboard of our own. And Bob Gale is firm: That thing they’re banning in London? That is not a hoverboard.

It might all be Wiz Khalifa’s fault. When the rapper was arrested at LAX riding a hands-free scooter, he tweeted in protest that “our generation is gonna be riding hover boards so if you don’t like it eat a dick!” Since then the scooters—which are manufactured by multiple companies and have become increasingly popular—have been referred to by many as hoverboards, even though they a) don’t hover and b) look nothing like the Mattel toy that Marty McFly commandeers in Back to the Future II.

back-to-the-future-hoverboards.jpg

Left, from Rex USA; Right, by C. Flanigan/Getty Images

And Bob Gale has noticed. “They’re not hoverboards,” he says firmly over the phone, en route to one of the many events leading up to October 21 (including a brand-new Blu-ray release)—the date that, in the film, Marty McFly travels forward to in time. “[Wiz Khalifa] says, ‘Dude, I’m on a hoverboard.’ Everybody is saying, ‘Wait, that’s got wheels, that’s not a hoverboard.’ ”

Well, not everybody—the hoverboard term has stuck, even making its way into news stories about the device being banned in London. (And, let’s face it, “hoverboard” is way more fun to say than “hands-free scooter.”) But Gale has also seen the real hoverboard future—before we spoke he had visited the headquarters of Hendo, the company manufacturing a board that actually hovers. “I actually go to ride a real hoverboard in October 2015,” Gale says, sounding as amazed as if he’d actually traveled forward in time. “My life is very satisfactory.”

The Hendo hoverboard has yet to be mass produced, while the imposter “hoverboards” are widely available in multiple styles. But don’t you want to make Bob Gale happy and hold out for the real thing?

VIA – Vanity Fair

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