Urban Transport

Stair-descending skateboard hits Kickstarter

Stair-descending skateboard hi...
The Stair-Rover in action
The Stair-Rover in action
View 11 Images
The Stair-Rover reportedly offers a smooth ride on flat surfaces, but as with the 14 prototypes that preceded it, it’s also able to “scuttle” down steps or other uneven terrain
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The Stair-Rover reportedly offers a smooth ride on flat surfaces, but as with the 14 prototypes that preceded it, it’s also able to “scuttle” down steps or other uneven terrain
The four sets of two wheels pivot independently of one another
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The four sets of two wheels pivot independently of one another
Unlike the previous version of the Stair-Rover (or at least, the last version we saw), the commercial model has all of its stair-surfing bits and pieces located on the underside of the deck
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Unlike the previous version of the Stair-Rover (or at least, the last version we saw), the commercial model has all of its stair-surfing bits and pieces located on the underside of the deck
A close-up view of the wheels
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A close-up view of the wheels
A rendering of the Stair-Rover
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A rendering of the Stair-Rover
A minimum pledge of £235 (or US$360) will get backers a maple-decked basic model (top), while £270 ($415) will put them in line for the snazzy black fiberglass-decked Stair-Rover Pro
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A minimum pledge of £235 (or US$360) will get backers a maple-decked basic model (top), while £270 ($415) will put them in line for the snazzy black fiberglass-decked Stair-Rover Pro
The Stair-Rover descending a set of steps
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The Stair-Rover descending a set of steps
The Stair-Rover in action
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The Stair-Rover in action
Designer PoChih Lai with the Stair-Rover
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Designer PoChih Lai with the Stair-Rover
The basic Stair-Rover (left) and the Stair-Rover Pro
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The basic Stair-Rover (left) and the Stair-Rover Pro
A close-up view of the stair-descending mechanism in use
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A close-up view of the stair-descending mechanism in use

Last year around this time, London-based product designer PoChih Lai unveiled his 8-wheeled Stair-Rover skateboard. Using four independently-pivoting sets of two wheels, the prototype longboard was actually able to descend stairs – hence its name. Consumers may soon be able to buy one of their own, as Lai and his team have just started a Kickstarter campaign to finance commercial production of the skateboard.

Unlike the previous version of the Stair-Rover (or at least, the last version we saw), the commercial model has all of its stair-surfing bits and pieces located on the underside of the deck. This leaves the top completely free for foot placement, just like a regular skateboard.

It reportedly offers a smooth ride on flat surfaces, but as with the 14 prototypes that preceded it, it’s also able to “scuttle” down steps or other uneven terrain. Not only should this allow riders to stay on their boards in places that they previously had to dismount and carry them, but it could also make a variety of new tricks possible.

Kickstarter backers can choose between two versions of the Stair-Rover. A minimum pledge of £235 (or US$360) will get them a maple-decked basic model, while £270 ($415) will put them in line for the snazzy black fiberglass-decked Stair-Rover Pro ... assuming the funding goal is met.

The skateboard can be seen in use in the pitch video below.

Sources: Stair-Rover, Kickstarter

11 comments
Milton
Very cool. They should partner up w/ these guys: http://www.phloater.knarleymax.com/ Then you'd have a full-suspension, stair-descending skateboard! Also, I'd like to know what significance the center beam has? It seems to be acting as a point of contact on the stairs? If not, then why is it so low? I'd like to see this thing: 1. Set up w/ Drop-through trucks. (to get it a little lower to the ground) 2. W/ a raised center-beam. (for better ground-clearance)
Jonathan Hess
Being a skateboarder for over 25 years, when I see something like this I feel nauseous and offended. This is a joke. It's not good at anything but descending stairs and I bet that isn't all that great either, new tricks? Really? Willing to bet an ollie isn't even possible on that thing. Get a real board, learn to skate, then get some speed and bust a big melancholy grab down that set of stairs instead. The beauty of the skateboard is its simplicity, I'm all for innovation but this compromises everything and leaves nothing in my personal opinion, sorry but that's just my $.02. Peace.
gerardnewy
I was really interested in this invention until I watched the video which is such a sentimental, pseudo-intellectual piece of wank I'd be surprised if anyone donates.
owlbeyou
It's twice as heavy and expensive as a longboard. The stair-roving feature isn't worth the trouble or cost, and probably makes a noisy racket doing it. Finally, it will probably have serious durability issues with the beating it will get over the course of its use.
Lewis M. Dickens III
This should be very fast on the flat. Because this follows Bill Allison's notion that 8 wheels provides the best of everything provided that they are bogied both front and back. There is one step above and beyond this. Too many unthinking people believe that 3 wheels provide less rolling resistance but it simply is not true. If it were true then Rail Cars would run on 3 wheels, but they run on independently bogged pairs of 8 wheels. Build a model of 4 wheels, 6 wheels, and 8 wheels bogied and see which one will move the fastest, and travel the farthest.... Use a board to establish an inclined plane. 8 wheels always wins. Bill, who lamented that he had spent a lifetime designing suspensions, including the Hudson seen in the movei "Cars" and the Packard Torsion Ride lamented that he finally figured it out in his retirement. And yes he is the guy who hit the Betz Limit with his wind engine but you will not show it because he did it over 30 years ago yet it remains totally ingenious. Bill
Marcus Carr
All that "fusion with the urban environment" talk is just crap. Show it fusing by going up stairs and I'll go to the Kickstarter page. Until then, it's a gimmick that comes at the expense of what defines a skateboard - the beauty of simplicity.
dchall8
It's been awhile since junior high but if I'm not mistaken we used to ride our clay wheel boards down the stairs. Sure it was rough, but it was fun!
Nitrozzy Seven
Remember when skaters used to grind the rails to go down the stairs? Pepperidge Farm Remembers...
Julian Siuksta
Being a van courier this skateboard has given me an idea for a trolley based on it. Couriers don't like stairs, for obvious reasons. Welding together something like this could be the answer.
Andrew Coleman
I think this is brilliant! I bet gliding on stairs will be very exciting...