Chariot Skates: Skiing, Cycling And Skating Combine For One Funky Pair Of Skates
If the objective here was to create a cooler version of roller skating/blading for the 2010's, I'd consider this a flaming failure. If, on the other hand, the objective was to design a big, gawky pair of skates that make people ask "What are those? And what went wrong in your life to convince you that wearing them in public is okay?", then mission accomplished.
Whether they intrigue or horrify you, they're on their way. Chariot Skates Ltd. is busy testing and fine-tuning the product getting it prepared for market. The skates appeared on ABC's New Inventors, where they took home the People's Choice Award. They were invented by Australian Michael Jenkins, who's spent time in China working on the technology.
Designed to cross skating with cycling and skiing, each skate features one large wheel and one tiny one--like a Penny Farthing for your feet. Adelaide wanted to make a more comfortable, natural form of cycling than can be delivered with a large frame, handlebars and seat--so he designed a sort of bicycle boot.
Your feet strap in below the axle and the skates provide a more fluid experience than traditional skates. The larger wheels provide the user with greater maneuverability and the ability to conquer rougher terrain such as grass and dirt. The skates also gain and retain momentum with ease. Optional hand brakes will be a part of the package.
I suspect that you'd have to try them to really understand what they're all about. For some scattered info on how they work, check out the website About.
While they may look utterly awkward and cumbersome, the company making them claims that they're the most dynamic skates available. In fact, they're so dynamic that Chariot Skates is just the brand name; the product is called Wheel-skates and apparently will be a whole new category of athletic equipment. Of course, that distinction isn't necessary since the company claims it has "secured an exclusive license to manufacture and distribute the patented Wheel-skates product". Where I come from, they don't call that a license; they call it "No one else wants to build this fugly product, so consider the market cornered."
Availability and pricing yet to come.