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The Stair Rover – a skateboard that deals effortlessly with steps

It may not be quite as imposing as the Board of Awesomeness, nor is it as clever as the Board of Imagination, but product designer Po-Chih Lai’s Stair Rover skateboard is still a pretty cool, and certainly stunning, piece of work.

As its name suggests, it deals with something that skateboards have traditionally had something of a problem with – stairs. Most boarders, when confronted with steps, will either attempt a death-defying leap from top to bottom, possibly involving a quick prayer mid-flight, or simply come to a halt, pick up the board and walk gingerly down them.

In designing and building the Stair Rover, Royal College of Art graduate Lai has managed to come up with a third way. Thanks to his special eight-wheel design, his unique board rather cleverly rolls down stairs.

Living in London, Lai knows all too well the restrictions an urban environment can place on a skateboarder, a reality that helped inspire him to create the Stair Rover. On his blog, he says that with the Stair Rover he hopes to “expand the capability and possibility of extreme sports as we understand them.”

Lai created seven other models on the way to his final design, which incorporates eight wheels – two on each side – that effectively hug the stairs as the skateboard descends.

The board itself is constructed from maple and bamboo, while the mechanism for the wheels and the wheels themselves are made from aluminum and rubber.

Though not yet commercialized, Lai is keen for it to happen at some stage and says several sports companies have already shown an interest in his design.

All in all, designer Lai has come up with a very stylish bit of riding kit, showcased in an equally stylish video (check it out below). All we need now is a board that takes us back up the stairs.

[Source: Gizmag / Dezeen] [Top & third image: Screen captures from film by Juriaan Booij]

STAIR ROVER from Po-Chih Lai on Vimeo.

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