These E-Skates Could Be Just What We've Been Asking for, or Rather the Most Fun Deathtrap

As tech moves forward and is applied to countless aspects of our lives, we're bound to see a few weird toys come up. That seems to be the case with RollWalk and what they're bringing to the mobility game. Better grab a helmet for this one, as it might be tricky.
eRW3 10 photos
Photo: RollWalk
Before I ever captained a boat, drove a car or ATV, and rode a motorcycle, moped, or bicycle, I rollerbladed and still do so today, and it's surprising just how few a number of modern designs are floating around out there. After all, just about every other mobility device has adopted electrification, some even born of it, but the rollerskate, not so much.

I'm not saying that there aren't any manufacturers out there that have strapped batteries and motors to this timeless mobility alternative, but mass production seems to be out of the question for most. However, RollWalk is looking to change all that.

Now, RollWalk was born back in 2017, but today, they now offer two variations of e-Shoes/e-Skates because they're not really a shoe and not really skates. Suppose you remember those old-school skates, the ones that strapped to your existing shoe. In that case, you have a solid idea of what RollWalk is aiming for, albeit electrified.

The design behind these babies is rather simple: step onto the platform, secure the straps around your existing shoe, and off you go. And here's where things get wild. Personally, I was able to find several uses for these babies in an urban setting, and we'll get to those soon, but there's also a downside or two, as well.

Photo: RollWalk
Since two versions of electric skates are available, I'll choose the stronger of the two to walk you through a day in the life with this contraption on your feet: the eRW3, RollWalk's latest version, their most powerful, and by the looks of things - because of Black Friday - also their most affordable, currently starting off priced at $380 (€360 at current exchange rates).

To kick us off, let me point out that each home is a self-contained unit with everything it needs to help you fly around at speeds upwards of 20 mph (32 kph), way more than I would have anticipated. This includes batteries, the motor, and all the chips necessary for a smooth experience. This makes up for each skate weighing 4 lbs (1.8 kg), so it's not too difficult to carry around in hand or strapped to your backpack.

To better understand what we're up against here, let's pretend we dropped the near-$400 on a pair of these. Once you get them, follow the charging instructions, wait for up to two hours for that to happen, and strap these babies to your feet. Grab the remote, and let's go!

At the press of a button found on the hand-held remote, you'll activate two 300 W motors that peak at 400 W, able to pull along 220 lbs (100 kg) of cargo; that means you, your lunch, and a backpack. And here's where the eRW3 surprises but also scares me.

Photo: RollWalk
According to the manufacturer's website, these puppies have the potential to help you fly around town at speeds upwards of 20 mph. That's more than some e-bikes, and while it's got to be a whole lot of fun, in my opinion, it's also quite dangerous.

For example, when's the last time you biffed it on a pair of skates or skateboard, going, let's say, ten mph? Do you remember the bruises and scrapes you got? Now double that, maybe even triple, as skip doesn't hold up well against asphalt. In short, you'd better wear the appropriate safety gear and never skip out on a helmet.

Then there's the question of ankle support because, by the looks of things, there isn't much to keep you from rolling off to one side in case of a misstep. Then again, I haven't tested these yet, so I'm not sure how much R&D has gone into this system.

As for the benefit, it really does mean a quick and easy getaway through towns, neighborhoods, or campuses. Just take a seat on a curb or step, secure the straps, throw on a helmet, and off you go. This is also true for folks looking to use something like this to get to work and back home.

Photo: RollWalk
The downside seems to be range. Since this mobility device is rather small, in an optimum setting, only up to 15.5 miles (25 km) can be squeezed out of those batteries. So yes, these are definitely a last-mile solution, and anything more than that is a stretch.

Finally, an important aspect to consider before going for these babies is the way they're set up. Four wheels are the base for this e-skate, but they're not in-line, so if you're not used to this riding style, definitely room around the house a bit before hitting up the driveway and, finally, the streets.

Honestly, because there aren't so many crews out there adding electric power to the rollerskate, I'm very curious to see how these things fare up on my feet. Keep your fingers crossed for a test ride article in the near future.

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About the author: Cristian Curmei
Cristian Curmei profile photo

A bit of a nomad at heart (being born in Europe and raised in several places in the USA), Cristian is enamored with travel trailers, campers and bikes. He also tests and writes about urban means of transportation like scooters, mopeds and e-bikes (when he's not busy hosting our video stories and guides).
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