What Is The Original Hoverboard?

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Updated October 16, 2022

Hoverboards have become an essential toy for modern kids and a great leisure activity for adults. Riders may wonder, however, where hoverboards came from and how they got to be such a huge part of life in the 21st century. Read on to learn more about this popular form of personal transportation and where it came from.

What is the Original Hoverboard?

Most experts largely credit the film Back to the Future 2 for planting the initial idea of a hoverboard into the collective consciousness. Modern hoverboards, however, can be traced back to one person.

Who Made the First Self-Balancing Scooter?

A Chinese American by the name of Shane Chen is credited as the inventor of what we now call a hoverboard or a self-balancing scooter. Here are some facts about the larger-than-life figure.


Shane Chen invented the first working self-balancing scooter in 2013 while working for a company called Hovertrax. The prototype was called “the purple board,” and it went through several iterations before the design was finalized. Interestingly, Hovertrax was purchased by RazorUSA and still manufactures boards to this day.

Chen was Born in China

Shane Chen was born in Beijing, where he grew up. The inventor of the modern hoverboard emigrated to the United States in the 1980s, where he put his degree in agricultural meteorology to a number of good uses at a variety of companies.

There Were Plenty of Inventions Before the Hoverboard

Hoverboard inventor Shane Chen kept busy creating new types of personal transportation in the years before inventing the first working board. He created a watercraft called the AquaSkipper, a three-wheeled scooter, and a self-balancing electric unicycle. It was this latter invention and its reliance on gyroscopic control, one of the key components of how hoverboards work, that led to the hoverboard design we know and love today. If his invention of the AquaSkipper piqued your interest, you may want to check out how water hoverboards work as well.

The Original Hoverboard Was Intended for Indoor Use

Shane Chen originally intended for his hoverboard to primarily be used indoors. It wasn’t long, however, before he realized that his invention wasn’t exactly suited to be used indoors, thanks to the issue of confined space. This realization made him include larger wheels to allow for riding across different terrain types. Things to keep in mind if you’re interested in learning how to make your own hoverboard. The rest, as they say, is history.

He Made No Money From Hoverboards

Hoverboard inventor Shane Chen has insisted that he has made little to no money from his invention. Though he patented his original design, thousands of companies slightly tweaked his design to create their own hoverboard models, with none of their proceeds going to Chen. “I visited some of the knockoff factories. They actually thanked me for having the imagination to invent it. They understand they’ve infringed my patent, but they know there’s nothing I can do,” he said. These cheap knockoffs produced inferior products and are the reason we have UL-certified hoverboard brands now. And even though you have a UL-certified battery, you should also know how to test your hoverboard battery to try and prevent issues from arising.


Shane Chen invented the first working hoverboard prototype in 2013.







What Is The Original Hoverboard FAQ

What is the original hoverboard?

Though accounts vary, the first hoverboard was seen in the science fiction film Back to the Future 2. Modern hoverboards, however, were invented by a man named Shane Chen.

Who invented the modern hoverboard?

A Chinese-American by the name of Shane Chen created the first working prototype of the modern hoverboard back in 2013.

Do I need any safety gear to ride a hoverboard?

Absolutely. Take great care to practice best safety procedures, including wearing a helmet, kneepads, and shoulder pads, among other items of protective gear. This will minimize the risks of injury. Make sure you know what to look for when determining, “Is my hoverboard safe?”
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