While many of us are still stupidly using our legs to get around, other people have upgraded to auto balancing skateboard-like “hoverboards" as a means to get around. You’ve probably seen an army of zombie-like children circling you with dead eyes; like a scene straight out of that horrible Antonio Banderas movie. No, not that one. The other one. No the other other bad Antonio Banderas movie, Spy Kids.

Who thought this was a good idea? Children are destructive enough on their feet, why are we giving them wheels and inertia?

Anyway, here is the low-down on these futuristic boards. They are battery-powered boards that use gyroscopes to move the wheels. The more you lean, the faster you go, you can turn by simply twisting you feet, and lean back to brake. This sounds like a fantastic way for me to sprain two ankles and a neck after a bottle of red wine.

Several brands have popped up, some equipped with under-lights, music players, and bluetooth connectors. Here are some brands and their prices, as found in Virgin Megastore in Beirut:

Airboard: $1,100

IO Hawk: $1,200

Smart Balance Wheel: $990

The boards have gained popularity among the rich and famous, including singer Lily Allen and hot-mess Justin Bieber. Rapper Wiz Khalifa even got stopped by US customs at an airport after he refused to dismount his transporter, much like a spoiled rapper bitch would.

But it’s not all fun and games with the boards, they’ve actually been gradually getting banned from public places because they are deemed unsafe. Public use of the boards has been banned in Dubai, after the Commercial Compliance and Consumer Protection (CCCP) decided that they were unsafe and caused possible collisions with people and store-fronts. The boards are also banned from use on the AUB campus. Is the rest of Lebanon going to follow suit? (Note: we tried to contact the Dean's office at AUB to inquire about why the boards were banned but could not get through.)

But Lebanon is not Dubai, obviously. We lack some of the regulatory procedures that they have, which there's a good chance these boards are here to stay. And for a small country like Lebanon, this could very well revolutionize transportation - possibly replacing the cheap cab rides with an investment in a board, safer than a motorcycle, cheaper than a car.

So while they're still allowed, if you haven’t already had the pleasure of an excitable kid smashing right into your crotch, wait for it. It’s coming.

Articles & Media

2 photos


Avatar 1
Post to facebook