If you don’t know what Kickstarter is, you’ve probably been living under a rock. But we’ll explain it to you anyway.
It’s a crowd sourcing website, so when somebody has an idea or invention, they can put it on to Kickstarter and ask people to pledge donations to help with the building, marketing, and promotion of their project.
Kind of like Dragons’ Den, but the general public replace the five wealthy naysayers.
Of course, skateboarding is a multi-billion dollar industry these days, so there are plenty of people using Kickstarter to try and get on the gravy train. We’ve trawled the site for the best and worst skateboard ideas…
1) Swing Blade
Ah yes, a text-book twist on the skateboard design. The Swing Blade differs from a regular board by having two wheels at the front that pivot slightly. The benefit of this is that, with a lot of Elvis-like hip gyrating, riders can “defy gravity” and ride up hill.
While we wish the folks at Swing Blade every success, there appears to be three major drawbacks to the product:
1. To “defy gravity” you have to look like a bit of a tool, doing some odd wiggling thing, a bit like Britain’s Got Talent’s singer Susan Boyle does in this slalom skateboard world record attempt…
2. The Swing Blades video doesn’t so much show gravity being defied, as somebody wriggling up a mild incline.
3. Most importantly, if a skater on a regular board wanted to get up that hill, they’d simply get off and walk up. And probably do so quicker than the Swing Blade World Champion (should such a person exist).
Electric skateboards aren’t new. When one person invents any form of transport, another will soon come along and want to stick a motor on it.
And what’s the next phase of this transportational evolution? An American arrives and whacks a significantly bigger engine on it.
That’s exactly what we have here. This inventor made three different designs of super-powered skateboards: a cruiser model called The Commuter, and off-road one with big-tread tyres called The Trail Rider, and a high speed model called (the slightly camp) Road Warrior.
We have to say, these actually look pretty cool. Based on the videos we’ve seen, they appear to work well. It looks like the public agree, as they’ve been successfully Kickstarted.
However, as good as they look, we can’t get away from the feeling that it’s just not skateboarding. Skateboarding is organic, expressive, and ultimately human powered. These are more of a Jeremy Clarkson wank fantasy.
Simple ideas are the best, right? The Shaggo Grom tests this notion.
It’s a small cruiser skateboard with a layer of thick, shag carpet where the griptape normally lies.
This is the kind of think we imagine Snoop Dogg (or whatever he’s calling himself today) cruising around his big old house on. It’s a curious mix of looking kind of cool, and yet really, really rubbish.
Maybe this has been lost in translation somewhere over the Atlantic, but in the currently climate, you have to question the wisdom of calling a product aimed mostly at children a Shaggo.
4) Skate Crate
These Skate Crates are modern versions of the really early skateboards kids used to hoon around US cities on in the early 20th century.
The originals were made of broken up bits of old shipping cartons with rollerskate wheels screwed to the bottom.
This 2014 variety are a far cry from the originals, being significantly plusher and well crafted. The definitely look pretty rad, but maybe more as an ornament in an ultra-hip loft apartment than an actual skateboard to get around on.
In fact, the only people we can imagine riding them are the winkle-pickered hipsters of London’s Shoreditch, Manchester’s Didsbury, and Birmingham’s Digbeth. If you’re not sure, that’s definitely an insult.
Who doesn’t have an inner Marty McFly that longs for a Back To The Future style hoverboard? This Kickstarter thinks they have the perfect solution.
HoverSkater is a stange combination of a skateboards, a hovercraft, and a provincial French disco. It’s essentially a longboard with a small hovercraft skirt attached to the bottom (and, inexplicably, a load of neon strip lights).
Our favourite part of the online pitch is the idea that the Hoverskate can be adapted to use in any way you want. In other words, you can take the skirt off it, and use it as a regular long board. Why? Just, why? This is less Marty McFly, more McBusted.