Designing the hoverboards of the future is not easy, of course nothing good in life is, now is it? Think for a second what is needed. For a teen to ditch his skateboard and go for a new high-tech hoverboard, well it be pretty spectacular and have awesome performance. Consider if you will the barriers the engineers and designers must over come;
- Air Resistance
- Hard Ground
- Speed Needed to Excite Rider
With regards to air-resistance we can excite the rider at speeds less than 35 miles per hour, as skateboards currently are not ridden much faster than that anyway, when they are it is either being towed behind a car, going downhill or crashing as it falls back to Earth off a radical skateboard park ramp. Thus item number one can be overcome. Gravity can be beaten by proper use of airflows, aerodynamics, ground cushion, low pressure and perhaps air-ionization thickening strategies.
Once we have good physics in place to overcome these issues, we will rely on the ability of the rider to maneuver the hoverboard. Indeed this will require experience and skill and some additional considerations of the physics of deflection of relative wind, lift and board aerodynamics in various positions during transitional flight.
Now then how much performance is needed? Well we know from high-speed motorcycle racing that no matter how much power you give a human being, they always want more power! We do however have weight limitations, which are not of grave concern for the hover technologies in the ground cushion, but get very serious as one gets away from the ground. Blowing 1-2 Lbs of low pressure under a hovercraft can lift unbelievable amounts of weight.
So, it appears that the hoverboard is a potential technological threat to the skateboard and we may find that within less than a decade it replaces it completely.