Skateboarding is an inherently dangerous activity. However, just because it's risky to hop on a board doesn't mean the risk of injury can't and shouldn't be decreased. One risk skateboarders face is large rocks that can cause the rider to trip forward. A new device called Rockochet aims to fix that, by sitting in front of the wheels and deflecting rocks away – leading to a safer, smoother ride.
Essentially, the device is a piece of plastic that screws into the rider's trucks. From there, it bumps away any rocks that come into the path of the skater, preventing crashes. Because it has to sit so low to the ground, the creators also had to make it flexible enough to deal with uneven riding surfaces, and the team claims to have accomplished the goal of making it strong enough to push rocks away while still being able to flex.
Most people skateboard not only as a way to get around, but also to do tricks. The creators promise (and show evidence in the Kickstarter pitch video, which you will find below) that the device will not interfere in the ability to perform most advanced techniques. Of course, users can also remove it when in the park, as it's less likely that rocks and debris will find their way into a well-maintained skate area.
For long boarders, there's no Rockochet yet, but the creators have promised that they are working on one.
The inspiration for Rockochet came when creator Jorge Arjona's nephew was hit by a car after his board hit a rock and he fell forward into the street. He suffered major injuries and was told he'd never skate (and possible never walk) again.
Arjona is seeking funding on Kickstarter. The project has a US$20,000 goal, and it's about a quarter of the way there with time running out in its funding period. Backers interested in preordering a Rockochet can do so for a minimum pledge of $20. If the goal is met, the team expects to deliver to backers March of 2015.
The Kickstarter pitch video below provides more information on the Rockochet and shows it in use.