The Louisville Cardinal

Hover boards: fun, fire hazard or just lame?

By Nick Amon–

Remember that crazy hoverboard Marty McFly sported around in ‘Back to the Future Part II?’  You know, the one that levitated off the ground like a skateboard without wheels? If your memory eludes you, maybe you’re more familiar with the two wheeled wannabe hoverboards you’ve seen people rolling on nowadays instead. Unfortunately for those who spent hundreds of dollars on these two-wheeled destruction devices, riding these bad boys around certain areas of U of L has recently become a thing of the past.

Many universities across the state including U of L are taking strides to make sure student safety trumps the convenience of rolling around on two wheels. Although students are still allowed to travel around campus on these God-forsaken devices, some student housing residencies are banning their usage altogether. Affiliated housing options Cardinal Towne and The Province each banned these eyesores from being used in either complex.

Several weeks ago, U of L Fire Marshall Dwain Archer spoke to The Cardinal: “When you charge a hoverboard and leave it unattended for a while, that creates a huge risk for the chance of it catching on fire.” Archer sees hoverboards as an unnecessary safety risk.

Personally, I couldn’t care less if these knockoff Segways were banned from the university altogether. I’m all for the bike lanes plastered around campus – even if the majority of people don’t even use them, but what I’m not for is another moving object diverting in and out of foot traffic on an already overcrowded sidewalk.  What’s next, a hoverboard lane?  For some students including myself, it’s just too much.

Communication major Josh Ferreri expressed his dismay towards the usage of hoverboards: “If you’re too lazy to walk on campus like a normal person, then just stay at home and take online classes.”

Are people doing it because they’re lazy, though? I’m not disagreeing that it seems more convenient to get from one end of campus to the other in half the time, all the while on two wheels.  If only there was something that could provide us with such amazing feats of transportation?  Oh yeah, it’s called a bike.

“To be honest with you, hoverboards remind me a revamped version of ‘Heelys,'” criminal justice major Maurice Lee said.

Who knows?  Maybe the problem is bigger than hoverboards themselves. I think it’s a bit deeper than students being too lazy. I think as a generation some of us have become so accustomed to following the latest trend and buying the newest piece of technology, we forget how foolish we look when we end up spending hundreds of dollars on miniature Segways that can potentially catch on fire and burn our house down.

Let’s be honest, you’re not doing it because it saves you time to and from class. You’re buying one because they’re somewhat cool at the moment, and regardless of whether or not people end up thinking you’re cool in return from having one, it gives you attention and you love it. So when the weather starts to warm up and you decide to bust out your two-wheeled death device, remember this: we’re not watching you zoom in and out of the sidewalks around campus because we’re in awe of how cool you look, we’re watching you because you look like an idiot.