Arts 22

Published on December 12th, 2005 | by Greg


Roll Around the World

Skates are nothing new- ice skates date back to 3000 BC, and land skates or “skeelers” were invented by a Dutchman in the 1700’s. In-line skating was invented by Scott Olson in 1979, and he founded Rollerblade in 1983 (according to this article in About.com). Since then, there have been refinements- lighter, stronger plastics, better brakes- but no real improvements.

Enter LandRoller, with their angled wheel design. It looks a little strange, kind of like when you see a Segway for the first time and wonder how it balances. But according to the company, these skates outperform in-line and regular skates, and are easier to learn on. The “advantages include improved maneuverability, smooth ride, increased glide time and the ability to skate over rougher surfaces.” We were skeptical, despite the very cool video on their homepage, so we subjected them to the most dangerous things readily available: our feet.

The LandRoller have a three-part strap system, with laces, a velcro strap, and a plastic latch- they aren’t particularly easy to put on or take off. They are also fairly heavy (about the same as first-generation in-lines), and are limited in colors (for the moment). That’s the bad.

We’re happy to report that pretty much everything else is good. They make you about a foot taller, and the large wheels roll extremely smoothly, giving novices an immediate sense of balance. They do in fact work over uneven surfaces, and the wheels seem sturdy enough to handle it (replacements are available online). Comfortable, safe, and well-ventilated- the skates also attract a lot of attention!

At first, they may seem intimidating, and the braking system takes some getting used to, but you can go much faster, much easier with the angled design. They aren’t cheap- $250- but we definitely recommend trying out LandRoller, the best skate we’ve tried.

About the Author

Greg dreamed up the idea for the Truly Network while living in Hawaii, which began with a single site called TrulyObscure. In 2010, when advertisers and readers were requesting coverage beyond the scope of that site, TrulyNet was launched, reaching a broader audience over a variety of niche sites. Formerly the head technology correspondent for the Des Moines Register at age 16, he has since lived and worked in five states and two countries, helping a list of organizations and companies that includes the United States Census Bureau, TripAdvisor, Events Photo Group, Berlitz, and Computer Geeks. He also served as the Content Strategy Manager for HearPlanet, a multi-platform app that has reached over a million users and has been featured in the New York Times, Hemispheres Magazine, National Geographic Adventure, Fox Business News, PC Magazine, and even Apple’s own iPhone ads. Greg has written as a restaurant critic and feature journalist for a number of national and international publications, including City Weekend Magazine, Red Egg Magazine, the Newton Daily News, Capital Change Magazine, and an arm of China Daily, Beijing Weekend. In addition, he has served as a consulting editor for the Foreign Language Press of Beijing, as well as a writer and editor for the George Washington University Hatchet, the school newspaper of his alma mater. Originally from Iowa, Greg is currently living in the West Village of Manhattan.

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