— Urban Transport
Stair-descending skateboard hits Kickstarter
Last year around this time, London-based product designer PoChih Lai unveiled his 8-wheeled Stair-Rover skateboard. Using four independently-pivoting sets of two wheels, the prototype longboard was actually able to descend stairs – hence its name. Consumers may soon be able to buy one of their own, as Lai and his team have just started a Kickstarter campaign to finance commercial production of the skateboard.
Unlike the previous version of the Stair-Rover (or at least, the last version we saw), the commercial model has all of its stair-surfing bits and pieces located on the underside of the deck. This leaves the top completely free for foot placement, just like a regular skateboard.
It reportedly offers a smooth ride on flat surfaces, but as with the 14 prototypes that preceded it, it’s also able to “scuttle” down steps or other uneven terrain. Not only should this allow riders to stay on their boards in places that they previously had to dismount and carry them, but it could also make a variety of new tricks possible.
Kickstarter backers can choose between two versions of the Stair-Rover. A minimum pledge of £235 (or US$360) will get them a maple-decked basic model, while £270 ($415) will put them in line for the snazzy black fiberglass-decked Stair-Rover Pro ... assuming the funding goal is met.
The skateboard can be seen in use in the pitch video below.
Sources: Stair-Rover, Kickstarter
About the Author
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
It would be great if you got articles like this written by people who knew the slightest thing ABOUT skateboarding. Then they would see straight through this ridiculous idea for the joke it actually is.
Longboarders don't want to go anywhere NEAR stairs, and street skaters are more interested in jumping stairs than clattering down them, especially when they will have this 50 kilo monstrosity under their feet when they get to the bottom!
So exactly WHO is the demographic for this product? It offers about 5 minutes of useable interest before it is discarded never to be used again.
They should partner up w/ these guys:
Then you'd have a full-suspension, stair-descending skateboard!
Also, I'd like to know what significance the center beam has? It seems to be acting as a point of contact on the stairs? If not, then why is it so low?
I'd like to see this thing:
Set up w/ Drop-through trucks. (to get it a little lower to the ground)
W/ a raised center-beam. (for better ground-clearance)
Being a skateboarder for over 25 years, when I see something like this I feel nauseous and offended. This is a joke. It's not good at anything but descending stairs and I bet that isn't all that great either, new tricks? Really? Willing to bet an ollie isn't even possible on that thing.
Get a real board, learn to skate, then get some speed and bust a big melancholy grab down that set of stairs instead. The beauty of the skateboard is its simplicity, I'm all for innovation but this compromises everything and leaves nothing in my personal opinion, sorry but that's just my $.02. Peace.
I was really interested in this invention until I watched the video which is such a sentimental, pseudo-intellectual piece of wank I'd be surprised if anyone donates.
It's twice as heavy and expensive as a longboard. The stair-roving feature isn't worth the trouble or cost, and probably makes a noisy racket doing it. Finally, it will probably have serious durability issues with the beating it will get over the course of its use.
This should be very fast on the flat.
Because this follows Bill Allison's notion that 8 wheels provides the best of everything provided that they are bogied both front and back.
There is one step above and beyond this.
Too many unthinking people believe that 3 wheels provide less rolling resistance but it simply is not true.
If it were true then Rail Cars would run on 3 wheels, but they run on independently bogged pairs of 8 wheels.
Build a model of 4 wheels, 6 wheels, and 8 wheels bogied and see which one will move the fastest, and travel the farthest....
Use a board to establish an inclined plane.
8 wheels always wins.
Bill, who lamented that he had spent a lifetime designing suspensions, including the Hudson seen in the movei "Cars" and the Packard Torsion Ride lamented that he finally figured it out in his retirement.
And yes he is the guy who hit the Betz Limit with his wind engine but you will not show it because he did it over 30 years ago yet it remains totally ingenious.
All that "fusion with the urban environment" talk is just crap. Show it fusing by going up stairs and I'll go to the Kickstarter page. Until then, it's a gimmick that comes at the expense of what defines a skateboard - the beauty of simplicity.
It's been awhile since junior high but if I'm not mistaken we used to ride our clay wheel boards down the stairs. Sure it was rough, but it was fun!
Remember when skaters used to grind the rails to go down the stairs?
Pepperidge Farm Remembers...
Being a van courier this skateboard has given me an idea for a trolley based on it. Couriers don't like stairs, for obvious reasons. Welding together something like this could be the answer.
I think this is brilliant! I bet gliding on stairs will be very exciting...
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