Published on December 12th, 2005 | by Greg0
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.