296: Tony Hawk

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Tony Hawk
Bad idea #271: Dropping into the half-pipe on a Segway.
Title text: Bad idea #271: Dropping into the half-pipe on a Segway.


Cueball is seen using a PSP, a hand-held game system, while on a skateboard. He is playing one of the many Tony Hawk titles in which you control a skater and perform tricks to gain points and achievements. While playing the game on his PSP, he wants to simultaneously perform the trick in real life, both because it is exceptionally difficult to do both and because the game will give him praise when he does a trick successfully.

In the title text, Randall describes his Bad Idea #271: Dropping into the half-pipe on a Segway. One imagines this would result in the Segway becoming unstable and going completely crazy, hence one would classify it as a "bad idea." Which is surprisingly not the case; it even looks quite fun. The Segway engineers obviously foresaw this situation and implemented the Segway controller with its tilt sensors accordingly.


My Hobby:
Doing skateboard tricks in Tony Hawk while also doing them in real life.
[Cueball moves towards a quarter pipe on his skateboard while manipulating his PSP.]
[Cueball is in mid air having performed a Frontside 360°, both literally and on the PSP.]
♪ Frontside 360°! ♫
Frontside 360°!

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Although it probably is, in my opinion it is nowhere implied that this would be bad idea #270 18:32, 3 April 2015 (UTC)

Fact: In at least one Tony Hawk game, you can actually ride a supercharged segway. Dropping into a halfpipe ends much less messily because on the segway there is literally no way to crash. 09:44, 17 January 2016 (UTC)

Mentioning this in the comments to let someone knowledgeable make an edit and confirm my understanding of segways, but I believe the explanation of the title text is incorrect. I see three logical possibilities, none being the one mentioned in the explanation. The first two possibilities are related: either directly after dropping in, or at a point presumably closer to the bottom of the ramp, the segway isn't able to accelerate fast enough to keep up with its acceleration due to gravity, causing it to fall forward and crash. The third possibility, assuming neither of the more likely scenarios occurred, is that while traveling up the other side of the half pipe, the segway leans back too far and slows the wheels, slamming the rider into the wall in front of him/her. While I am by no means a segway expert, these explanations on why dropping a segway into a half-pipe are more in line with how a segway is expected to function than the current explanation. Added the incomplete tag to the page to promote discussion. 13:47, 14 April 2016 (UTC)

Hello! This is my first edit on explain xkcd. I don't believe the title text explanation requires changing so I'm removing the incomplete tag (feel free to add it back if you don't agree) halfyou 19:40, 9 July 2016 (UTC)