2007 Skorpion Quadline
New Zealand skate maker Skorpion hopes to generate a buzz this weekend when it introduces its Skorpion Quadline at the giant IPSO trade fair in Munich.
The skate maker heralds the Skorpion Quadline as the reinvention of the clip-on skate.
The adjustable-size skate straps onto regular shoes, similar to the metal clip-on roller skates that were popular in the mid-1950s. But that's where the resemblance ends.
Unlike the tiny metal wheels of the old clip-on skates, the Quadline sports 100mm big wheels, which rise above the footbed, complete with struts, giving the skate the look of a mini-dune buggy.
The wheels' out-rigged position makes for a low center of gravity. The bottom of the skate is only 2.5 inches above the ground. The bottom of a typical 100mm inline skate is about 4 inches above the ground.
As a result, "the stability is extraordinary," says Lee Cole of Skates.com. Cole developed the skate along with Skorpion founder Gary Reid.
Cole said that using the Skorpion requires less ankle strength and balance than needed with inline skates. "These skates allow people with limited athletic ability to enjoy skating without pronating," he said, referring to the tendency of new skaters to turn their ankle to the side.
The skates are also great for commuters, Cole said. The bigger wheels make them faster than traditional quads and they are easily taken off, so you don't have to worry about carrying a pair of shoes to change in to.
"Then there's the coolness factor," said Cole, who has been in the skate business since he opened Skates on Haight in San Francisco 30 years ago. "People who see them want to know where they can get a pair. I haven't seen anything like this since the first inline skates came out in the 1980s."
Copyright © 2007 by Robert Burnson
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