New Brakes Coming to Inline Skating?
By Chris Gorski
Is there a new inline skate braking system in the works? It would appear that a little embarrassment is leading to an all new braking design for inline skating. Craig Ellis, a retired aerospace engineer, allowed an embarrassing fall while skating to push him to design a new braking system for inline skating.
Being dubbed the “Gravity Master braking kit”, and recently gaining Craig a U.S. patent, the system is designed to make stopping on inline skates easier and safer. The goal of the Gravity Master braking kit is to make skating safer and more accessible to all types of athletes. Ellis spent years creating the Gravity Master after an embarrassing fall during a qualifying run for the World Downhill Inline Skating Championships. The fall which happened in the courses first hairpin corner pushed Ellis with his invention, especially after the fall was getting major air time on German TV.
Currently the Gravity Master system is sold separately to inline skaters for a price of $150 per unit. The price is slated to go down as production increases. With Myles Cotter-Sparrow, assistant general manager of Roces USA, recently meeting with Ellis and testing the brake system it may be a short time before a major inline skate company tries to add the system to one of their skate designs.
The real questions here are if the brakes are going to make it to production in Roces or any other big name inline skate brand? And, will the brake system actually work well and appeal to the masses of inline skaters? We don’t know if the system is going to adapt to everyone’s skating style and also whether or not any big brand is going to start using the system. Some may feel the old system is adequate and will be stuck in the old ways but with no new brake technology in skating for many years an upgrade may be nice!
Right now, we have someone trying to bring some new technology to inline skate braking which could end up helping many skaters and maybe bring new skaters who were previously worried about braking. We welcome this new technology in braking and look forward to seeing the Gravity Master Brake system grow in popularity as more skaters give it a try!