Archive for the ‘Gear’ Category

What Testers are Saying About the Flex Brake

Sunday, August 4th, 2013

FlexBrakeThe Flex Brake is a new approach to inline braking and speed control currently seeking funding through “Kick Starter.” When they reach a certain number of  pre-orders they’ll be able to go into production. Meanwhile, an adventurous few are already testing early prototypes.

I took a look at the Flex Brake video and Kickstarter page and then noncommittally shared links with my skate network. I avoided voicing my concerns about the design because I am not a tester and I did not want to negatively impact the company’s prospects for success.

Mastering Gravity

Tuesday, June 4th, 2013

Here’s a photo gallery of my introduction (finally!) to Craig Ellis’s Gravity Master(TM) Skate Brakes – patent pending. Be sure to click a second time to get the full-size images.

Roller Derby: The Evolution of Roller Skating To Contact Sports

Thursday, May 30th, 2013
Following is a guest article submitted by Daniel Stratton of the U.K., where skating is hugely popular in all its forms.

What it is and Where it Originated

Roller derby is now a popular contact sport with over 1,250 amateur leagues in various countries in the world. Basically, it’s played by two opposing teams that are composed of five members each. Both teams are placed in the same track and they must roller skate in the same direction. The object of the game is to score points by lapping any member of the opposing team and this is usually done by a jammer. The jammer or the scoring player is designated by the team and it’s commonly the strongest player in the group. Every team member must protect and assist their jammer while preventing the opposing jammer from scoring. This sport requires good planning in terms of offense and defense strategies.

Announcing the New DXS Disk Brake Website

Sunday, May 19th, 2013

DXSMainSlider

The motto just above Alex Bellehumeur’s email contact information says:

Will it so & so it Will

Anybody who thinks a few years of delay is going to discourage this accomplished inventor is wrong. The About the Inventor page on his new web site clarifies further, “…he has a passion for solving product-related challenges, currently holding 12 patents, with 3 more pending.”

Brakes for Serious Speed: Gravity Master(tm)

Monday, February 18th, 2013

Now there are two proven technologies to address “the stopping thing” at both ends of the inline skating skill spectrum.

My generation of serious alpine skiers can get pretty serious about  cross-training on inline skates. In fact, that is now a sport unto itself known as “Extreme Downhill.” The Orbit newsletter has featured guest posts from two of my buddies who compete, George Merkert (what it feels like) and Scott Peer (what protective gear to wear).

Meet Craig Ellis, another avid skier and inline brake system inventor. Both George and Scott are raving about his Gravity Master(TM) inline brake, which I hope to test myself soon. Meanwhile, here are some tantalizing links to tickle your interest as they have mine:

Help Shape the Future of Skating!

Sunday, June 10th, 2012

I can’t believe it’s been five years since I tested Alex Bellehumeur’s impressive cuff-activated disc braking technology, currently named the 4XS system. Why isn’t this system available on inline skates yet? Because manufacturers just don’t get it. They underestimate how much and how many people care about staying in control of gravity and momentum when they’re inline skating.

My efforts to support Alex’s attempts to get the 4XS into production have probably helped raise awareness a little, but have not yet resulted in improving the safety of our current technology:

NZ Skater Stumps the Chump

Saturday, October 15th, 2011

A couple months back, I received a note from Susie, who lives and skates in New Zealand. I love answering questions from all over the world but she definitely won my heart when she confided as an aside, “I milk cows and like to skate as a way to vent, and I just plain enjoy it.”

I was able to offer generic advice up front, but once Susie placed her (first) order, she took off rolling on her own exploration to finally get the right skates to meet her own needs and skeletal configuration.

When Outdoors is Out of the Question

Sunday, September 25th, 2011

It’s getting to be that time of year again.

A few years back, I purchased a ProFitter 3D Trainer because it would allow me to work on building strength and balance along with my cardiovascular fitness. This is an ideal sport-specific workout that’s perfect for when the weather is too ugly to train outdoors.

Pro Fitter 3D photoFor skating, the slide board-like action reinforces the  side-directed push that’s key to stroke quality. This directly works the  muscles that deliver  efficient, powerful strides.

Not everyone can skate (after all)

Tuesday, September 13th, 2011

Eighteen years ago as I was writing the early chapters of my book, Get Rolling, the Beginner’s Guide to Inline Skating, I had already forgotten that it took about 20 hours of practice before I was finally able to skate without feeling like a klutz. Once my tentative, awkward, uncoordinated days were behind me, all I could think of as I wrote my book was:

Wow! Anybody who can walk can skate! I need to tell the world about this!

And that is when I became a certified instructor and began offering skating lessons to demystify the sport for adults.

Your brains are showing!

Sunday, September 4th, 2011

During my weekend skating jaunts on the local multi-use trail in Danville, it tickles me to see families enjoying the outdoors together—getting a little exercise on foot, bikes, scooters, or skates; walking the dog; and just generally sharing quality recreational time. What a great way for parents to share the fun and benefits of playing outdoors as a family! I always hope the kids are building memories that will guide their values as adults, and that they, too, will make it a point to participate often in the great outdoors with friends and family.