AHWATUKEE, AZ (KPHO) — Do you remember the hoverboard from the 1980’s blockbuster film Back to the Future 2, the one Marty McFly used to escape a group of bullies? Many you of probably wished you owned one. Back then, the hoverboard was simply movie magic. Today, it’s closer to reality – thanks to an Ahwatukee inventor.
“If I watched it 100 times, if I watch it 200 times – it’s a blast,” said Jim Pitts, whose real-life, remote-controlled HoverSkater is inspired by the Back to the Future franchise.
“I was just thinking the technology has to be out there,” he explained.
Pitts said he tried building one about 20 years ago, without success. But he is able to get his current 50-pound prototype off the ground.
“There’s a three-inch exhaust turbine, and the air comes out at 140 miles an hour,” Pitts explained. “It pulls the wheels off the ground approximately an inch to an inch and a half.”
KPHO-TV reports that not only does this board have lift; it has lights, which makes it quite a sight at night. The only thing needed now is funding to get it to production.
“We just need enough money to put the deposit down to the manufacturers that’ll make it,” Pitts said.
So far, he has raised nearly $3,000 of the $22,000 needed on the website kickstarter.com.
“We’ll go to market right away,” said Pitts. “I want to get these boards into the people’s hands as soon as possible.”
The HoverSkater that actually hits the market will be made with carbon-fiber and weigh 16 pounds.
The thrill of owning one will cost you about $1,500, less than the more than $5,000 Pitts and his brother have spent developing the supped-up skateboard.
“It’s a joy a minute,” said Pitts. “It’s a lot of fun.”
By Rebecca Thomas