Australian designer Michael Jenkins is shaking up the world of outdoor activity with his new Chariot skates. Half Rollerblade and half chariot, these fun looking skates are bound to catch on. They strap onto your feet very much like traditional skates. There is a large diameter front wheel constructed of carbon fiber and a smaller wheel in the rear of the skate for stability. To move while wearing the skates one must essentially "ski" down the road which is exactly what Michael Jenkins had in mind. The combination of skiing and bicycling.
The wheels skates have low slung mounts for your feet which give the skates a very stable feeling due the low center of gravity. It also aids in traversing rough or uneven terrain such as grass or uneven concrete which can be found in any city.
It all sounds great and very appealing and I would love to pick up a set. However there are a few drawbacks. The skates themselves have no brakes, which could be quite the heart stopping expereince on a long steep hill. Special gloves are used to stop the wheel with the hand or a T maneuver can be used to slow down, very much like skiing.
The completely carbon fiber chariot skates are still in pre-production form, with production costs exceeding that of a very nice road bicycle. The wheel skates go on sale in June. Final retail price has yet to be released.