Mark Cuban threw his hat into the proverbial hoverboard ring in 2015, smack in the middle of the height of the fad. He signed a letter of intent to buy the patent rights to a hoverboard design from Shane Chen, the (somewhat disputed) creator of the hoverboard. But a few months later he backed away. Razor swooped in and bought the rights instead, and in the meantime, Cuban told BuzzFeed that “we will come out with our own board that we feel respects necessary IP and introduces our own.”
Hoverboards have since become a poster child for the myriad fires and explosions caused by faulty lithium-ion batteries. But Mark Cuban’s apparently not afraid of fire.
Cuban’s hoverboard company is called “Radical Transport”
While responding to a story about a related hoverboard patent dispute, Cuban sent The Verge an email containing a video of his new hoverboard in action. He declined to speak about the particulars of the company or the board, but the few details he gave pointed to the truth: Cuban still plans sell a hoverboard called the Moov, and it’s being made by a Dallas-based company called Radical Transport.
Radical Transport has not been operating in total darkness. The company has a public Facebook page and Instagram account, and both have videos of the hoverboards in action. Company reps appear to have traveled to this year’s SXSW festival to promote the boards, and a recent Business Insider article cites “Radical Moov” as a sponsor of the Dallas St. Patrick’s Day Parade, which Mark Cuban started funding in 2012 after the event lost its main sponsor.
Radical Transport will launch a Kickstarter campaign for the Moov in April, according to a March 7th post on the public Facebook profile for Ej Williams, an engineer at “Mark Cuban Companies.” Radical Transport is not listed on the Mark Cuban Companies website, but Cuban confirmed via email that he is behind the project and that it will be on Kickstarter. When asked why Cuban was going the Kickstarter route, he simply answered: “Why not.”
Why Kickstarter? “Why not.”
The Moov doesn’t look overwhelmingly different from most hoverboards — it’s still a two-wheeled contraption with lights and self-balancing tech hidden inside. But it is a much more streamlined and less plasticky design than what is typically seen in the market. There’s a handle slot in the middle of the board, and the wheels are bigger and flatter than on most other hoverboards.
One key difference, though, is that the hoverboard doesn’t appear to split in the middle. Hoverboards usually force riders to tip and twist their feet along this split to move forward, backward, or turn. But it seems that the Moov board uses pressure sensors embedded into a more solid, unibody design.
Otherwise, there’s not much more detail on the Moov, or if it’s all Radical Transport will be making. Razor is basically the only recognizable company still making and selling hoverboards, with a few smaller companies like Swagtron (née Swagway) representing the only remaining competition.
Update March 23rd, 3:57PM ET: Cuban added in a separate email that the Moov “will be a premium product that will be assembled in the United States with only a few imported parts. It will be a more responsive ride for more advanced action riders.”