I was shocked to discover the subheading Goodbye, ABT at the bottom of an InlinePlanet article about Rollerblade’s 2009 skate line. I have been recommending the company’s cuff-activated system since its award-winning launch in 1994. Many of my students would not have been able to join this great sport without the original Active Brake Technology (ABT) or its less bulky cousin the ABT Lite. I offered tips on how to use it in my Orbit article As Easy as ABT as well as in the second and third editions of Get Rolling, the Beginner’s Guide to Inline Skating.
This means the Rollerblade company will be neglecting a large category of potential future customers. There are many people out there who would love to try the sport but are still waiting for adequate assurance they will have a reliable way to manage unwanted speed and come to a safe stop. Everyone associated with inline skating agrees that "the stopping thing" is a major issue for participation.
According to Kalinda Bogue, Rollerblade's marketing director, "It just seemed to become too small a minority to justify keeping (ABT) in the line. More importantly, we found in our testing and talking with consumers that the adjustable brake [a 2007 innovation--Liz] was simpler, lighter and still effective." While I know and respect Kalinda, I added my expression of dismay along seven other readers in comments listed below the InlinePlanet article.
Vote Hello for the 4XS
The industry-wide loss of an award-winning, easy-to-learn inline braking system makes me all the more eager to see the innovative 4XS cuff-activated disk braking system on the market. My tests proved it is the next step in silent, smooth and even secret (because it’s hidden inside the frame) stopping power.
If you agree with my thinking that the 4XS system would convince a wider population of previously hesitant beginners to join us in the inline lifestyle, please share your opinion on the 4XS inventor's Contact page.
Follow my Sk8Teacher mini-blog on Twitter to keep up with my tweets about #inline skating and 4XS developments.