Hover skating is the ability to coast along as if skating, but without actually touching the ground. This can be an ability that a character can use, an item that they can equip, or a built-in function of a Robot, Cyborg, or Humongous Mecha. Usually, hover skates will act like foot-mounted hovercraft: they'll propel the user forward as well as lifting them up (so no need to spend muscle power to move, like normal skates) and they'll be able to float over things that wouldn't normally support the user's weight (like water). On the flip side, this means they'll generally be unable to lift more than a few inches off the ground.
Hover skates combine the best parts of both rollerblades and Hover Boards; like rollerblades, they let you move your feet independently (allowing for a greater array of fancy footwork) but have all-terrain capability provided by hovering. Since hover skates are usually securely fastened to your feet, you don't run the risk of falling off like you can with a Hover Board, either. From a narrative perspective, they're useful to writers since they allow many of the useful properties of Flight (high speed regardless of terrain, moving across water or other fluid surfaces), but the strict altitude limit means that the heroes can't just bypass all their problems by flying over them.
Compare Rollerblade Good and Hover Board. Contrast Rocket Boots (which allow for full-on Flight). When a Humongous Mecha has hover skates, it may be a type of Hover Mecha. Often a form of Power Floats. See also Ghostly Glide, for a similar type of movement used to make something seem supernatural or otherworldly.
- Appears repeatedly in the Gundam franchise:
- The original Mobile Suit Gundam has the Dom, which has this as its defining feature. It actually has thermonuclear jet engines built into its legs to accomplish the feat.
- The titular mobile suit of Mobile Suit Victory Gundam can do this due to having a miniaturized version of the Minovsky Craft Unit.
- Mobile Suit Gundam: The 08th MS Team also features the Dom, and the monstrous Apsalus III is capable of moving in this fashion (though it can also fold up its legs and move into straight-up flight).
- In Mobile Suit Gundam 0083: Stardust Memory, the Dom appears alongside the Xamel, a mobile suit so heavily armed and armored that it can barely walk, so it uses hover skating as its primary form of locomotion.
- Mobile Suit Gundam Wing has the Tragos, a bulkier version of the standard Leo that is normally docked with a hovercraft system (bearing some resemblance to 0083's Xamel, but without the giant cannon), and the Olifant, which is basically a large gun platform (not even having arms) with massive hover-skating legs.
- In Mobile Suit Gundam SEED Destiny, the DOM Trooper, being based off of the original Doms, has a special hover system that allows them to race across the ground at high speeds.
- In one episode of Excel♡Saga, after discovering Hyatt's Trail Of Dead Birds, Excel's pants flare out and she begins hover-skating to follow the trail, as a direct Shout-Out to Gundam's Dom.
- The Zoids franchise uses this:
- Powerful zoids (such as the Geno Saurer and Geno Breaker from Zoids: Chaotic Century and the Berserk Fury from Zoids: New Century) can move like this using built-in thrusters.
- A human-sized version appears briefly in Zoids: New Century; while on vacation, Jamie uses a pair of floating boots to slide down a mountainside, a la skiing without the snow.
- The Transforming Mecha of the Macross series can move like this, especially in gerwalk mode, where they're essentially fighter planes with legs.
- In One Piece, various people on Skypeia use special footwear called "Shooters" that are powered by Breath Dials (seashells that store and release wind and gas) and use them to skate around.
- Caine Wise, and later Jupiter Jones, sports a pair of these in Jupiter Ascending, after the former lost his wings due to a disciplinary action.
- In Please Don't Tell My Parents I'm a Supervillain, Claire accomplishes this with ground-repelling shoe inserts.
- In Super Powereds, Alice uses her gravity power to move this way during the warehouse-clearing exercise, giving her better kinesthesia than if she just flew, while still silencing her footsteps.
- The psionic power "Skate" in Dungeons & Dragons 3.5 doesn't actually make the target hover, but it does let them "slide along solid ground as if on smooth ice", which has much the same effect.
- The Elocater Prestige Class gains an ability called "Scorn Earth" which lets them float just above the ground.
- Robecca Steam of Monster High has these with a steampunk flare.
- The Hover Boots in The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time are a rare example that don't move forward by themselves; Link still has to walk when he's wearing them. They also have a short time limit, so they're mostly used to solve puzzles rather than as a means of travel. But they still let Link walk over obstacles like water, quicksand, or even empty air while they're active.
- Shadow from the Sonic The Hedgehog franchise uses hover skates to keep up with Sonic.
- Mega Man Volnutt uses jet-skates in Mega Man Legends.
- Also, original Mega Man uses this in Cannon Spike (as a Secret Character) and in the short-lived comic book adaptation by Dreamwave.
- In El Sword, Add can use his Nasod Dynamos to do a hovering dash by placing them around his feet. He can also use them to dash in midair.
- Main method of transportation in Hover: Revolt of Gamers.
- The Time Traveler in The Cave has these, although they just appear to be for visual effects, seeing as she's from the future. Apparently everyone in the future wears them after running out of fossil fuels for cars.
- Ratchet & Clank use the Hoverboots in Ratchet & Clank Future: A Crack in Time, Ratchet & Clank: Full Frontal Assault, and Ratchet & Clank: Into the Nexus. They let you speed around and jump off ramps.
- A core gameplay mechanic in Starsiege: Tribes and it's sequels, although given the hilly terrain, Hover Skis might be more accurate. "Skiing" down slopes to build up speed, and using jump jets to boost uphill are how players are expected to build up the extreme speeds the game centers around.
- Wisdom Form from Kingdom Hearts II allows Sora to move around as though he were ice skating on air.
- One Richie Rich Riches short from 1982 starts with Richie, Gloria and Dollar on hover skates.
- Kira Supernova uses a homemade pair at one point in Escape from Planet Earth (although she calls them "rocket boots").