Escend is a U.K.-based startup that must have figured that scooters were too big, instead deciding to shrink micromobility even further (what are we calling this — picomobility?), adding a battery pack and motors to rollerblades. The company started selling its ‘blades today.
The blades use regenerative braking, and have been designed to last; between a sturdy-looking chassis and a modular design that lets users easily repair or replace any broken parts, they should be ready to zip you from place to place for years to come.
The skates feature 4-inch (105mm) diameter shock-absorbing tires that look as if they’ll deal with most surfaces with great aplomb. Good thing, too, because with a range of about 10 miles, a top speed of 16 mph and two 400-watt motors, you’re going to be shredding some pavement, and, if you are feeling brave, some light off-roading too. The front and rear wheels use the same tires.
The company is working with Powerslide for the boot and skate designs. The skate platforms themselves cost $830, and the skates can be configured with boots or so-called “doop boots,” where you can keep wearing your trainers and strap the skates on top.
To control the action, you have a remote control that includes a thumb throttle for acceleration and braking. The skates have three selectable modes for speed, and you can switch it to “reverse mode.” In my case, switching to reverse is a strong indication I’ve completely given up on my 40-year “staying alive” streak, but if you’re feeling stunt-y, perhaps you can think of a good use for flying backwards at 16 mph. The remote has a vibration motor to give you a heads-up when you’re running low on battery in the skates. Clever.
For a mere $886 (why not just charge $888?!) they can be yours. Good luck, and try to stay upright.
Escend is bringing neck-breaking micromobility to your feet by Haje Jan Kamps originally published on TechCrunch