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The Lexus hoverboard in photos

Outside Barcelona, the dream of Back to the Future came alive for a day — sort of

Last month, Lexus invited The Verge out to Spain to see and ride its actual, functional, honest-to-goodness hoverboard. The board — about 20 pounds of wood, plaster, and science — was created for an ad campaign, and works with a combination of liquid nitrogen-cooled superconductors and magnets. It levitates about an inch and a half above the ground until the nitrogen evaporates, a process that takes 15 to 20 minutes depending on the weather.

I had the chance to ride the board, but in the few minutes I had with it, I managed to hover for just few feet at a time. Balance proved to be quite a challenge — because of the way the board works, it acts sort of like a tightrope and wobbles from side to side, which is a problem you don't need to deal with on a traditional skateboard.

Sadly, this isn’t the hoverboard the world expected to get after watching 2015-era Marty McFly in Back to the Future Part II. Sure, it works — but it’s not for sale, and even if it were, it'd be more trouble than it's worth. Still, it just looks cool, and I had a blast trying it out.


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