I’m working on a class project and I’m having to design a new “personal transportation” device.

I need you all to use your imagination a little bit here.

Imagine you were 7 or 8 years old and wanted to learn to skateboard. What features would you look for in your skateboard?

If you’re a parent. Imaging you have an 8-year old who wants to learn to skateboard. What features do you look for in a skateboard?

Thanks everybody.

For both: I wish it came with a fully user encapsulating padding system.

You know how many times I fell off skateboards growing up? :frowning:

as the boy: I would want something that looks cool, maybe with a picture of a cartoon i know or a really cool design

as the parent: i would want something safe and affordable.

Is this for a product development class?

I think an off-road skateboard would be cool, complete with roll cage. And GPS. With a warranty.

basically, yes. the official course title is “Introduction to Mechanical Design” or something like that.

basically taking a product from “need” to “ready for production”

Sounds like a course i took. Is this one focusing more on the customer requirements, evaluation metrics and that sort of thing or is it more of the design work?

it’s broken into three sections. the first is identifying customer requirements, doing a House Of Quality, listing Engineering Specifications, etc. Then comes design, then prototyping, finding suppliers, etc.

the person that teaches my class is also a systems engineer at delphi in Kokomo. his desk is two away from Mark Koors, and he’s heard of Andy.

small world. but it is cool to have somebody who’s main job is to tell other engineers that their ideas won’t work or won’t sell.

ok…back to skateboard discussion

as for the off-road…we’re looking for as close to a regular skateboard as possible. it’s targetted at kids who have a PS2, or whatever, buy Tony Hawk, watch the X-Games, then decide they want to learn to skateboard. We’re hoping the parents will like it because they don’t have to buy a new skateboard after a year because their kid outgrows it. they simply make it longer, and little Timmy is ready to ride again. (patent pending :slight_smile: )

Quoted for truthery.

When I was 10 years old, I wanted to learn how to skateboard. After two tries I fell on my butt twice and was sore for about a week.

Needless to say I didn’t want to skateboard anymore after that. :stuck_out_tongue:

a turbo charged 5.7liter hemi motor on a diamond plated board. For wheels…38 inch super swampers

what about a device that can control the speed of the skate board, so when the kid is first learning it goes at a slow speed so that he/she can learn to balance and turn and stop, and once they get better you can adjust the speed

A regular skateboard with a really well done instructional video. :slight_smile:

Or, a skateboard with a small gas-powered engine. :slight_smile:

that’s actually a really good idea…thanks!

what about a device that can control the speed of the skate board, so when the kid is first learning it goes at a slow speed so that he/she can learn to balance and turn and stop, and once they get better you can adjust the speed

That’s a really good idea! to pull it off, you just need some little rubber pads like from a bike’s brake system, and attach then to either end of a screw-type assmbly placed parallel to the trucks, with one pad touching the inside edge of each wheel. when you tighten the screw, it pulls the two pads togther. loosen the screw, it pushes them apart. thus, you can control the speed of the board by adjusting the amount of pressure the little pads exert on the wheels.
or something like that.

this would also be good for training staionary moves (kickflip, etc) in a small place, where you don’t want the board rolling off and you have to chase it.

for longboarding, i would suggest a type of handbrake system, so the kid could slow down the board on a hill without bailing.

How about… drumroll please… less steep hills! The natural way to control speed.

actually no. the way i slowed down my speed was get gummier grease in the bearings. or just get mud or crap in them… stupid target $10 skateboard… kicks at it. oh well.
how about some releasable straps for the front foot? like soft ski ones. it falls off when it needs to. but itll help keep the kid on the board. oh but it has to swivel naturally a bit too… so hmm. velcro shoebottom and skateboard top?noo… too grippy… try magnet? with electromagnetic switch in shoe so it can come off for kickflips and such?. be nice for massive gaps and such.

according to my brother who’s in the target group he says that a regualr skateboard is easy to ride, even though he gets Bo-Bo’s.

Some ideas he suggested:

  • cool colors! (emphesis on cool)
  • where to put your feet (markings help)
  • Spinners

My Suggestions after watching him try to skateboard

  • wider board, so its easier to stand on (wide wheel base)
  • larger wheels with a low ground clearance would help a lot, think of an off-road board
  • easy way to maintain speed once it gets going
  • a speed limiter (make it adjustable for learning)
  • something to keep it on the ground, 2nd graders don’t need to be doing ollies and grinding on the curb