Electric skis offer same thrill without the snow, says French inventor

If you miss skiing there are now motorised skis on wheels you can strap on in the city

Speed is limited to 25km/h the same as electric bikes and scooters, but they can reach 80km/h on private land
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A French inventor has called electric ‘skis’ a solution for winter sports fans looking for a thrill or a novel commute.

The idea came to Antoine Massebeuf, 27, when he realised he could not afford the annual skiing holidays his parents had always taken the family on.

“It was something I really missed. As someone who likes building things and who is interested in robotics and engineering, I realised I should be able to make something with modern technology to reproduce the sensations,” he told The Connexion.

The result – seven years in the making – is a pair of motorised ‘skis’ on wheels.

Gliding sensation similar to skiing

“When you use them, the ‘skis’ do not lose contact with the ground, and to turn you have to shift your body weight, as you do while skiing,” Mr Massebeuf said.

“There is a real sensation of glide, like you get with skis.”

Users hold a remote control with a trigger for acceleration and braking. There is a second, mechanical emergency brake as a back-up.

The controller also locks the ‘skis’ together and serves as a handle for easy carrying, making them ideal for commuting.

“I use mine to get to work in Paris every day, and not only is it great fun, there is also less fuss about where to put them in the office, unlike with bikes and electric scooters,” he said.

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Need basic level of fitness and sense of balance

Speed is limited to 25km/h to keep the ‘skis’ in the same legal category as electric bikes and scooters, but when this is removed for use on private land, they can reach 80km/h.

Lights are required to use the ‘skis’ on roads, as well as a hooter to alert others.

Batteries are good for 30km and charge from a household plug in two hours.

Read more: Man caught speeding at 60km/h on electric scooter in Bordeaux

Mr Massebeuf says people who can already ski will learn the basics in 20 minutes.

“It is a sporting activity, so you need a basic level of fitness and sense of balance, but most people have no problems at all.”

Mr Massebeuf has created a firm called Skwheel to make and market his product.

He plans to sell 3,000-4,000 sets at €2,000 each in the first year, before ramping up production.

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