Fad 2001

FTLComm - Tisdale - April 1, 2001
Fads come an go, the test of their importance seems to be how long they last. The skateboard, which was the rage in 1976 is still rolling along, as people invest their time and energy into mastering some skills to appreciate what they can do on a set of wheels. Roller skates, be they inline or duals, have been around for a very long time and no longer can be considered a fad, as they are a part of life's experience just like bicycles.

The return of the YoYo time after time, suggests that it also is far beyond fad-dom as it is now a conventional toy for children and adults alike.

Late last summer we began to see the return of the thirties fad, the scooter. The first ones had large foot size wheels, but a host of these have hit the market made of high tech alloys and two tiny wheels.

While Christmas shopping in a Winnipeg Wallmart, a man my age came around a corner on one of these things wearing a huge smile and I was dying to try the damn thing out.

Since then, they have continued to be sold at remarkably low prices and we have seen them in commericals as executives swish down crowded sidewalks and kids dash along streets.

As the snow has vanished from the streets and before the Russian Lady has come out to clean them, we have seen some roller bladers, but also an increasing number of kids on these cool two wheeled contraptions. The interesting thing about them is that unlike the ones of over seventy years ago, these ones can accomplish many of the tricks that we associate with skateboards and for that reason, I expect to see a lot more of them.

You will discover these when you are driving around and be aware that someone on a scooter is clipping along quite a bit faster than someone on a skateboard, so govern your driving accordingly. It all comes down to the beauty of rolling friction being much lower allowing a mass on wheels to move fairly effortlessly along a smooth surface. But unlike the skateboard, that tosses its victims off, no matter how skilled they are, the scooter has the handy dandy handle to control the wheels and far fewer skinned knees and elbows will result. But do keep your eyes open for drivers of these things, they move pretty fast and already there are a lot of car/scooter crashes reported around North America.