Blend elements of skateboarding and snowboarding and you have the caster board. This unique sport has been growing in popularity. The Wave Board, by Street Surfing, produced some of the first caster boards on the market. It was RipStik, however, that made caster boarding a household name. RipStik is as synonymous with caster boards as Band-Aid is with bandages.
A RipStik is similar to a skateboard in only a couple of ways. It has a deck and wheels. Everything else about it is different. The movement of your hips and body propels it, with no need for pushing off with your feet. Between the two footpads is a narrow neck that rotates, allowing self-propulsion without removing your feet from the RipStik's surface. The caster-style wheels assist this motion while allowing for much tighter turns than a traditional skateboard.
RipStik's primary use is personal transport. It will get you from one point to the next as a skateboard or scooter might. The design and control of the RipStik make it less likely to slip out from your feet, creating less chance of accidents. The slightly curved-in decks have inset grip pads on the top for improved traction. Some models come with a metal centre neck, making them suitable for grinding. The RipStik is capable of doing many tricks that traditional skateboarders do.
The RipStik is a design by the company Razor USA. It is their take on a caster board. This style of recreational transport first became popular in California. Several manufacturers began producing caster boards, but the RipStik took the caster board to increased popularity. Carlton Calvin, the president of the company, introduced the RipStik to the American market in late 2006.
RipStik is available all over the U.S. at many major retailers. While Razor USA has not taken the Razor global, would-be RipStik owners can find deals on auction sites online. On February 16, 2007, the Toy Industry Association named the RipStik the Outdoor Toy of the Year. In 2008 eToys.com named the RipStik one of their hot holiday toys for the season. Razor USA works to keep evolving the RipStik and its popularity continues to grow. Three models of the RipStik are currently on the market. The RipStik and the RipStik G have an MSRP of £84.40 while the RipStik DLX is £97.40. Some discount retailers have the base model for as low as £44 so it pays to shop around.
The RipStik is a safe and fun piece of recreational equipment, but use caution. Safe enjoyment of caster boards, like the RipStik, is not unlike that of skateboards. You should always wear a helmet. Elbow and knee pads can be especially necessary when first using your RipStik and when trying tricks or manoeuvres that are more difficult.