Orbitwheels Offer New Spin on Roller Skates

We can’t decide if this new roller skate/skateboard hybrid looks really dangerous, really fun, or both. In any case, Orbitwheel skates have Mesmerizing-and-Therefore-Lucrative-Infomercial-Opportunity written all over them, because they look fun and easy (although admittedly, not in a still photo; check out the video of Orbitwheeled kids zipping around their neighborhood, unfettered by buckles, straps, or traditionally aligned wheels) but sound like a recipe for scar tissue. Invented by Shane Chen, a former developer of electronic instruments for plant scientists (don’t ask!) turned serial inventor, Orbitwheels are “self-propelled by the rider’s sideway front and back motion which enables them to do a 360-degree turn on a dime” and retail for $119.95 on Chen’s Inventist website. There you can also pick up his other inventions, including Swerver Quad Skates (boasting a total of eight sturdy wheels per pair, they remind us of something someone in a Lartigue photo would wear) and the bestselling Aquaskipper, a human-powered hydrofoil.