“About twenty years ago, in the early days of inline skating, there were tens of thousands of accidents every year,” says Leo. Today he is skating a bit in his hometown.
Leo slows down for a moment because a few cyclists want to pass him. It goes like this: his body brings it forward and he bends both knees. “This is very different from the normal system,” says the Westlander. ‘You have to tilt one foot to lower the brake pad to the ground. You soon lose your balance and that is why it is not safe. ‘
Natural way of braking
That is why he decided to develop a new braking mechanism fifteen years ago. ‘But every time I ended up with that heel brake. I also tried to develop a braking system in the wheels myself, but it soon wore out. ‘
After his seventh prototype, he actually wanted to throw in the towel. ‘But in the end I decided to think in a completely different direction. That is how I got the idea to brake by bending the knees. Just like skaters do. Beyond a certain point, the brake pad drops and hits the ground. It is a very natural way of braking, as you do when pedaling backwards on the bicycle.
According to Hanemaaijer, a patent has been applied for for years on new brake mechanisms for inline skates, but no one has yet come up with this unique system. “That’s because everyone starts from that heel stop.”
With this technique, skaters can even safely descend a slope. ‘Normally you go faster and faster when you go down a slope and you can’t stop while skating. That’s even a bit scary at one point. But with this system you can continuously slow down while driving downhill. ‘
In the shop
Hanemaaijer hopes that his skate invention will eventually end up in the shops. ‘I wrote to various factories. But most don’t dare, they think the market is too small. I do not understand that; so many accidents happen. ‘
‘Ultimately, I hope there is a factory that says:’ We are going to do it. And that people in the store will say: ‘I want to buy skates, but with a better braking system. The traditional system is simply unsafe. ‘
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