But, no… I mean it!
Renowned skateboarding legend Tony Hawk has added his name to a (short) list of backers of the “upcoming” (no date yet) techno-revolutionary (no price yet) transportation-gadget “HUVr Board”.
Such endorsement probably does not come cheap, after all, Tony has a reportedly net worth of $120 million! At any rate, venture capitalist Mark Cuban (net worth $2.3 billion) is the only other “partner” listed in the bare-bones, 3-page HUVr Tech web site.
Well, wadda (blank) is this HUVr board?
Have you seen the movie “Back to the Future II”? Remember Michael J. Fox's character defying gravity and escaping his foes on a floating, wheel-less skateboard-like deck (after stealing it from a defenseless little girl and promptly removing the handlebar)?
That is it!
And I (blank) you not!
In a posting on YouTube earlier yesterday, the company appears to have pulled off one highly produced promo video (aptly titled “Belief”), that includes appearances by Hawk, “Back to the Future” actor Christopher Lloyd (driving a DeLorean, obviously), musician Moby and former NFL receiver Terrell Owens, among other less known “celebrities”.
Oh (blank)! Almost forgot Billy Zane!
On the video, despite the claim that “all demonstrations are real”, it is not that difficult to observe telltale signs of a hoax.
Around 1:00 (when the arm of a green crane is visible in the background), Lloyd makes his entrance and gives Hawk a swanky hard case containing one particular HUVr board – a gray one that, in fact, looks like a genuine, modern skateboard deck (symmetrical, with round edges and concaved).
Later in the video, Hawk is seen holding a very different HUVr board – one straight out of the movie: pink and green, asymmetrical, with a shiny plastic look and a square, bent up tail end.
This particular model – which actually comes is 4 different color schemes – is seen throughout the video, demoed by the guests. And, although straps (on both feet) are clearly visible on most of the film, there is not a single verbal mention of them or their purpose – oh… That’s right! In the 1989 flick, they needed no freaking straps!
As the video rolls on, it’s easy to notice how odd the guest’s shoulders look as they step on the board and begin to ‘float’ (if the cameraman does not abruptly pans it out of view).
That would be a harness under the shirt connecting the rider to an overhead wire or crane that clearly was erased during postproduction.
Yet, pretty much all ‘performances’ look categorically absurd, and to call them “hovering” is to disregard a big bag of plain and simple laws of physics.
But, back to that first gray HUVr board.
At one point, Moby is shown holding that board, with one single foot strap (that looks invariably like duct tape) which its topside looking much like a real skateboard deck: worn out, dirty, with a fading spray-painted logo over the grip tape.
That same board returns again on a second video (titled “How”), where a company rep describes it as “a complicated piece of technology that we invested a lot of money in it”.
I assume the “lots of money” were spent on the substantial effort to make the board look ‘futuristic’ – by adding a chrome bezel-like ring around the deck. Unfortunately, the bezel fails to contour the curved edges of the deck, blatantly showing gaps and out-of-alignment seams.
Lame! I’d have made it a lot better by using an old board from Tony Hawk’s “Shred” video game.
And, despite this second video being only 1:08 long, the presenter spends almost 30% of the time praising the “operating guide” (that’s fancy for ‘owner’s manual’)!
I hate (well, not really!) to bust anyone’s bubble out there but, if you thought the HUVr Board was real…
But don’t get me wrong – I have no idea what this whole wanna-be-viral promotion is for. Speculations abound: from a sequel for “Back to the Future” to a new Nike shoe that laces itself, the web is already full of rumors.
So pick one and “hover” with it.