Streetboardz has been manufacturing skateboards and distributing internationally since 2009. As a board riding development company we were acutely aware of negative experiences many people have when learning to ride a skateboard for the first time. The most common fear is having the skateboard will roll out from underneath you, and sadly for many beginners this is enough to turn them off the skateboarding altogether. Our goal has always been to grow participation in this sport we love, so we came to realise that something had to change so first time riders got to experience all the fun of skateboarding — without the fear.
Curiously, skateboards are one of the few wheeled vehicles not fitted with brakes as standard. This is for a good reason. Cars, bikes and scooters have practical braking systems because handlebars, seats and seat belts brace the operator during periods of sudden deceleration. However on a skateboard the rider (standing upright) is vulnerable to the falling forward when the board comes to a sudden stop.
So we began experimenting with braking systems, but our big inspiration was combining the bracing of a leash with a brake — Boarder Kontrol was born.
“It's a surprisingly intuitive concept”.
The leash simultaneously engages the brakes and braces the rider so they don't fall forward as the board slows down. Even though the wheels are relatively small we found the right combination of lever action, rotor surface area and thermal management resulted in a brake that was gradual, smooth and reliable. Best of all, having that 3rd point of contact between the leash and the board provided riders with extra stability — particularly beginners.
For testing we chose one of the steepest hills in our area. Alexander St, Collaroy, NSW, is ridiculously steep, nevertheless with the Boarder Kontrol leash activated brake our longboard could be stopped at any time while descending this hill.
Ten prototypes later we perfected the brake, but it took a number of years to get it manufactured. Now we have product that amazes everyone who rides it – even the hard-core and sceptics.