Your next pair of skates may look like the rear end of a quadracycle. If you prefer your comparisons a little more ancient, then substitute the quad with a gladiator's carriage. Either way, you should come up with the Chariot Skates, a new skating product that gets you rolling on big-ass wheels.
Why change something that isn't broken? According to the company, their new "wheel skates" provide bigger momentum gains, greater stability and easier maneuverability than traditional inline rollers. In more useful terms, that means you can skate over rough terrains, ski down on grassy surfaces and get to wherever you want to go much, much faster.
The Chariot Skate uses one large, knee-high wheel (made from 5.5 pounds of carbon fiber) with a pneumatic tire strapped to each foot that you control independently. Your foot sits just below the axle, providing a low center of gravity for greater balance. The supports are configured to allow full extension and flexing of the feet, allowing for a more comfortable movement. It can also come with removable training wheels (as with the first picture above).
Basically, it's a larger, bulkier two-piece skate that compensates for the disadvantages by working much, much better. In fact, they boldly compare the resulting performance to a bicycle, adding that it offers an excellent alternative to foot pedaling due to the potentially cheaper price, wearable design and smaller frame.
Whether the Chariot Skate can truly make a dent in the scene when it debuts in June 2010 is still up in the air. One thing I'm sure of, though: it needs a better facility for braking. Currently, the only available way is to squat and grab the wheels, which doesn't really inspire much confidence.
Looks fun anyway.