Ever since hoverboards became the tech gadget du jour, one key question has dominated their rise: should these rideable scooters really be called hoverboards?
The internet has a lot of opinions about this:
But let’s get real for a second here. The thing doesn’t hover. It’s held up by wheels. Obviously, then, it is not a hoverboard.
If it's not a hoverboard, though, what is it? Here we offer some helpful suggestions for what to call these two-wheeled vehicles:
Explodaboard: Because sometimes, your rideable scooter explodes.
Memeboard: With everyone from Wiz Khalifa to Bieber riding one, these motorized two-wheeled scooters have basically become a meme — one that’s mass memeufactured in huge Chinese factories.
Fung fo leon or “wind-fire wheels”: Really, any of the Chinese names for these things are better options than “hoverboard.” Huaban (skateboard) or pinghengche (balancing wheels) or diandongpinghengban (power balance board). Take your pick.
Segboards: Really, these are just slightly cooler Segways. Though, that might cede considerable ground in the lawsuit Segway has filed against hoverboard makers for violating its patent on "balancing vehicles."
Farfalleboard: Look at it, just look at it.
Mark Cuban’s Person Carrier™ presented by Mark Cuban: In case the patent lawsuit in which Cuban is involved goes his way.
Heelyboards: Is this man is filming himself traveling through an airport on “hovershoes"?
Nope! He’s using Heelys, the ridiculously named shoes that have retractable wheels in the heel of the sole. Self-balancing heelyboards are recreating the Heely experience, but at a considerably increased price point.
"Another pretext for authorities to arrest people of color"-board: Legal authorities in some areas are still struggling to figure out how to handle the not-a-hover-board. Many laws are vague on whether these gliding boards are actually legal—which makes them a convenient reason to arrest someone.
HOV-board: Honestly, as long as the sidewalks are smooth, the rideable scooter doesn’t seem like an altogether bad way to commute. And as of January 1, in California at least, scooter enthusiasts will be allowed to ride them in bike lanes.
Deathboards: Two-wheeled scooters are the Christmas gift of the season. Which means they are kind of hard to get ahold of right now. Which apparently means that trying to buy one is a pretty good way to get shot, robbed, or mugged. And if you do get one, be careful! Maybe you don’t really want one afterall.
Hover-bored: Because maybe we should just start talking about something else.
Ethan Chiel is a reporter for Fusion, writing mostly about the internet and technology. You can (and should) email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Kristen is a technology reporter for Fusion. She enjoys tea, giraffes and the occasional app.