In late 2005, Ryan Farrelly launched the next great action sport to the world. With his innovative sideways skates, he merged the movement and exhilaration of skateboarding, surfing and snowboarding with the action of self-propulsion, into a new product the world had never seen. From its first ride, Freeline skates “sideways ride” generated what has now become a typical response – “look at that” – stopping bystanders in their tracks. Freeline skates are a complimentary skating activity to skateboarding, tapping into a well-established market of over 9.3 million “riders” in the U.S. and 25 million worldwide. This emerging, new sport and iconic brand has dynamically developed enthusiasm and a following across America and around the globe.
Freeline skates were invented by Ryan Farrelly, a lifelong snow boarder, surfer and downhill skate boarder. Ryan first began tinkering with building a better downhill board as an engineering student at the University of San Diego. A few years later, he was back in his hometown of San Francisco, bombing down hills with his friends, and still thinking about what his “next ride” would be. As he was building a new downhill board, it suddenly hit him that he didn’t need the board at all, but could ride down the hill on the trucks alone with two wheels inline under each foot for an awesome new sideways ride. In 2003, Freeline was born and the first skates were sold to the public in late 2005.
Freeline skates feature dual independent skates, with two custom “wide” Freeline wheels on each skate, one in front of the other, that are ridden with a sideways and perpendicular stance. Freeline skates emulate the “carving” movement common to surf and snow boards, and the circular movement and tricks seen with skateboards, at a fraction of the cost of those sports. The individual Freeline skates, when ridden together, produce exceptional speed, agility, and natural self-propulsion, allowing for uphill motion. Freeline skates ride faster than many skateboards, inline skates, scooters and most bicycles.
The dual skates’ cutting-edge design creates an exciting, new street or skate park riding experience through a faster and more dynamic means of downhill and uphill skating. Riders can achieve high levels of traction and carve smooth “S” turns while riding downhill, or switch to an undulating motion to quickly and efficiently propel on flat ground or uphill. These attributes also make Freeline skates an ideal cross-training companion to surfing, snowboarding, skateboarding, inline skates and a variety of other sports.
“Freeline skates were born for downhill. Now we’re dropping into vert, catching air and doing tricks we never thought were possible,” says Ryan.