Chop a gladiator’s chariot in half and attach one side to each foot. On a much smaller scale that’s what Chariot Skates’ version of an inline skate looks like.
The carbon fiber “wheel skates” are scheduled to be available in June for an undetermined amount of cash. The company says each skate has about 5.5 pounds of carbon fiber. A road bike frame, for comparison, has about half or less that amount of carbon and can cost thousands of dollars.
The company claims the skates, which are still in the testing phase, roll smoother and provide more maneuverability than traditional inline skates. You can take them over uneven terrain like grass or dirt more easily than their counterparts. Bonus: They’re said to make you “feel like you’re skiing.”
Each Chariot skate has a knee-high main wheel in which your foot is strapped in and suspended just below its axel. For added stability, there’s a smaller wheel near your heel. From there, the skate boots are more or less like what’s found on inline skates.
They don’t have brakes. The company has been developing a cabled brake that you hold while cruising. But for now riders are on their own. To stop you need to squeeze the wheels — so wear gloves! — or drag one foot behind you.
The Chariot Skates should be available from the Hong Kong company in June for an undetermined price. www.chariotskates.com