No more road rash: Canadian-made hill glider hitting store shelves this summer - Newfoundland & Labrador
- Category: CANADA NEWS
- Created: Sunday, 14 May 2017 07:30
- Written by CBC News
If you've ever wanted to experience the thrill of surfing or snowboarding without setting foot in the water or on a ski hill, you may be interested in a new product hitting Canadian store shelves this summer.
The hill glider was designed by inventor Bill Sullivan, a Newfoundlander currently living in Ontario who always wanted to make a board that people could ride on grass.
"It's kind of like a long board or a snowboard with a 12-inch wheel in the middle," he told the St. John's Morning Show.
"It allows you to basically carve and turn on a dime going down grassy hills."
Sullivan and others have been busy over the last year testing the board, and have finally been given the green light to put it on the market.
The hill glider is designed to be used on a grassy hill, and the rider stands on it and glides down while leaning forward ot backward to turn instantly. Besides the large wheel in the middle, there are also wheels on each corner of the board.
For extra control, there is also a hand brake connected to the main wheel — which allows the rider to slow down when going around a turn.
Sullivan recommends using a helmet, but stands by the argument that the hill glider is safer than most skateboards.
"I like keeping it below 30 kilometres [per hour] but some of my friends' nephews have ridden it down ski hills in Toronto and gotten up as high as 65 kilometres," he said.
"If you're going under 30 [km/h] on a big open field, there's not as much danger as, say, longboarding or skateboarding where you're out in an urban environment."
The hill glider will launch this summer at a few Canadian Tire stores in Ontario, but is already available on the company's website and can be delivered in a week.
Sullivan said initially there will be just one model available, priced from $229 to $249, but the price should go down once production rises. He said a carbon fibre and child-sized model are also in development.
He said so far people seem to be enthralled with the hill glider, especially those who grew up skateboarding and snowboarding but perhaps don't anymore.
"A lot of 30- to 45-year-olds are also getting into it because they've done everything else and this is something new," he said. "It gives them back that little bit of excitement."