The first kick scooters came from the creative minds of young riders about 100 years ago who desired something different. Taking roller skate wheels and attaching them to a small piece of wood, and then adding a handlebar.
The first kick scooters were crudely made, but most importantly they worked. These early models made with 2×4 handlebars and pipe handles sparked a trend that continues to keep kids moving today.
Scooters For Modern Riders
In the decades after its creation, kick scooters were overshadowed by bicycles, rollerskates, and skateboards when it came to young people looking for faster ways to get around. A Swiss banker named Wim Ouboter breathed new life into the kick scooter when he invented a modern version to help him travel to his favorite sausage shop that he says was too far to walk to, but close enough that you didn’t want to drive.
He invented a micro-scooter inspired by the models he and his sister rode as kids. Ouboter’s sister had especially benefited from riding a scooter because having uneven legs meant she couldn’t ride a bicycle or even ski. Ouboter’s scooter model used inline skate wheels and eventually got small enough to be carried in a backpack. The metal parts and lightweight design of Ouboter’s scooters paved the way for an even more streamlined version of an old favorite.
In 2000, Razor began making new kinds of scooters that started a craze in Japan, the United States, and beyond. These scooters are made of aluminum, so they were immune to rust and could withstand more weight. Razor scooters are quieter than any other scooter, making them a popular choice for parents.
The variety they’re available in is impressive as well. Razor scooters come in all shapes, colors, and sizes, so adults can get in on the fun too. Some even have 3 wheels for extra balance and better steering. Some of these scooters are so light and portable, you can fold them in a backpack along with books and other belongings.
The Future Of Scooters
Today kick scooters are taking off in popularity once again. This can be due to a few things. One, people are looking for cheaper, easier ways to travel without needing to rely on fuel. There is also an increased awareness of the rate of obesity among our children, so more parents, schools, and organizations are encouraging kids to get out and get active.
A scooter just happens to be a great way to be active. There are also many more scooter companies out there introducing new designs and improvements. Kick scooters now come in any color you can think of, and are made from practically indestructible materials.
Scooter riders are getting more creative too. Performing tricks is catching and there are a few scooter athletes out there, like Ryan Williams, taking it to the professional level. In coming years, we may see scooter riding at the X Games and even recognized as an official sport.
David Jones works for Pulse Performance Products as a Product Designer. He enjoys designing products to contribute to decreasing environmental impact as well as a means for children to keep their physical fitness. For more information click here.