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Motorized Roller Skates: Skataz Take The Legwork Out

How do you revive a forgotten, unstylish sport that hasn't been relevant in decades? By creating a lazy, bulky, self-powered version of it.

Actually, that's not how you revive anything. And I think these Skataz skates are doomed for decided failure.  But they're certainly an interesting option for anyone looking for a new way to roll to work. 

The motorized roller skates are powered by a 13.2-Volt li-ion battery pack (contained in that huge grey box, if you hadn't guessed) and have a remote control. The 350-Watt motor allows for up to 13.5 mph worth of speed. The skates have enough battery power for up to 30 minutes of ride time, and the pack is swappable. For now, they remain in prototype form only.

But it doesn't really matter. Because they're awful. I literally don't even know where to begin, but I'll start with the most obvious: they're gigantic. Back when the now equally-irrelevant rollerblades were popular, they were like a cooler, more streamlined answer to the oh-so-uncool roller skate. And now, the only type of rolled footwear I've seen recently is the wheeled sneaker, which is even more streamlined. 

Skataz goes in the entirely opposite direction, making a skate that's enormous, bulky and awkward-looking. Giant wheels, giant frame, giant battery pack--it's all oversized. Not only do they look uncomfortable to maneuver, they look dorky as hell. Good luck convincing anyone that those are cool. Can you just picture anyone squatting, hitting the green button and propelling himself down the sidewalk: he'd look painfully geeky. 

Then there's the fact that roller skates are completely obsolete, probably because people realized there are better ways to get around and exercise. People run, ride bikes, skateboard, scooter, etc., but who really rollerskates--or even rollerblades--anymore. And bikes, skateboards, scooters and other equipment are all available in motorized versions. The comparative shortcomings of Skataz are emphasized by the 30-minute range. You'd be lucky to make it to the local Quick Mart and back, what's the point? You're not getting much exercise, you look stupid and you can hardly go anwhere. 

I don't necessarily expect that Skataz will ever make it out of prototype stage. The fact that they're looking for investors, partners and buyers to build the skates and electric skate parks to use them in furthers that theory. Good luck with that. But if you're interested, there's more information and video available. 

Via Trend Hunter