While we’ve recently seen a number of electric four-wheeled roller skates, two-wheeled inline skates have largely avoided electrification. An exception has just launched on Kickstarter, however, in the form of Escend Blades.
Developed by a team of British engineers, designers and “avid mobility users,” the Blades are basically motorized wheeled platforms which third-party skate boots can be mounted onto. Optional adapters allow for the use of boots with either UFS or Trinity mounting systems.
Each of the aerospace-aluminum-bodied, 3.75-kg (8.3-lb) platforms features two 105-mm aluminum-rim/silicone-tire wheels, a quick-swappable lithium battery, and a 400W rear hub motor.
Both of the platforms are simultaneously controlled by a single handheld wireless remote, which riders use to accelerate, stop, and choose between Eco, Commute and Turbo riding modes – there’s also a reverse gear. A backlit display on the remote relays information such as distance travelled and battery level.
Speaking of which, one four-hour charge should reportedly be good for a range of approximately 15 km (9 miles). A regenerative braking system contributes to that range. The Blades have a top speed of 25 km/h (16 mph), and are capable of climbing inclines with a gradient of up to 20 degrees.
Although buyers are free to supply their own boots, they can also choose a package that includes Powerslide’s step-in Doop Boots, which snugly fasten around the user’s existing everyday footwear. Another package includes a pair of hard shell Powerslide Metro Boots.
Should you be interested in getting a set of Escend Blades for yourself, pledges start at £640 (about US$756), which is 25 percent off the planned retail price. Assuming everything goes according to plan, they should ship in October. In the meantime, they can be seen in use in the video below.