Highlights from Interbike 2014

Brakeboard gives skateboarders a brake

By

August 28, 2013

The Brakeboard is being made as a complete board, although the rear truck is what makes it...

The Brakeboard is being made as a complete board, although the rear truck is what makes it unique

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Longboard skateboards can travel downhill insanely fast, which makes the practice of downhill boarding look pretty scary to a lot of us. Add in the fact that the boards don’t have brakes, however, and it can seem downright suicidal. That’s why Australian boarder Benjamin Newman has developed the brake-equipped Brakeboard.

First of all, it is of course currently possible to stop a speeding longboard. Riders can press the sole of one shoe on the road, or go into what’s known as a power slide. According to Newman, however, both methods require a good deal of riding skill. With that in mind, the Brakeboard was designed with new or casual riders in mind, although Benjamin claims it could also open up new possibilities to experienced riders.

Newman’s invention will (hopefully) be available in the form of a complete longboard, although the Brakeboard tech itself is based in the rear truck. Therefore, a set consisting of a rear truck, matched front truck, and brake pedal will also be available for purchase on its own, for use in retrofitting existing boards.

The drum is lined with a brake pad, and is attached to wheel

The braking mechanism within the truck consists of two independent cone clutches – one for each wheel. Each of those clutches, in turn, consists of an outer aluminum drum lined with friction material (a ring-shaped brake pad, in other words), and an inner cone made from stainless steel. When the rider steps back onto the rear-deck-mounted brake pedal, two levers push the cones into the drums, which are connected to the wheels. As the cones come into contact with the pads, friction results and the board slows down.

The amount of braking force can be modulated by how hard the pedal is pressed, although Newman claims that a urethane bushing keeps the brakes from engaging so abruptly that the rider is thrown off the deck. Additionally, the pads and cones are heat-shielded, to keep the wheels from melting.

Existing third-party skateboard wheels can be used when retrofitting, and the pads can be replaced as they wear out.

Benjamin is now raising production funds, on Kickstarter. A pledge of US$259 will get you the truck set, while $399 is required for a complete board – assuming the financial goal is met.

The Brakeboard can be seen in action in the pitch video below.

Sources: Brakeboard, Kickstarter

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away.   All articles by Ben Coxworth
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4 Comments

I would rather have a hand brake.

Slowburn
28th August, 2013 @ 04:15 pm PDT

This is an amazing idea and looks like it is very well executed. I am seriously considering throwing down for some of these awesome trucks, after having wiped out too many times as a teenager. Brilliant!

Jordan Lee Calderwood
29th August, 2013 @ 09:28 am PDT

Guys like you, inventive fun loving guys who invent new things are awesome! What a brilliant idea, I will be able to ride my board again.

steveraxx
29th August, 2013 @ 11:27 am PDT

Great idea and well thought out design. I like cruising on my Loaded longboard, but steep hills (maybe not that steep) without a lot of slalom room are scary. I'm 68 (Obit: Geezer dies skateboarding)...maybe AARP would sponsor you. ART

Art Derfall
30th August, 2013 @ 12:12 pm PDT
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