The following blog post originally appeared on our website in February 2009. We're reposting it because it is a blog post that refuses to die. It continues to be wildly popular on Pinterest, and is one of our most widely shared pages of all time. All this from the seed of an idea that sprouted over 7 years ago... and continues to this day: the Skateboard Swing is alive and well and available with our Serendipity and Frolic playset lines
Skating the Summer Away
Posted in handy hints by Barrett, February 9th, 2009
We're always looking for ways to extend the useful life of our swing sets. I'm not talking about stains or chemical treatments or new species of wood – we're in love with the northern white cedar we use in our swing sets. I really mean finding ways to help a swing set evolve with the changing interests and abilities of kids over the years.
So, we asked ourselves, "what do kids like to do when they are 8, 9, 10-years-old or older?" And, like it or not as parents, we answered, "skateboard!" Heather, our lead product designer, quickly got on the phone and discovered that we have a manufacturer of wooden skateboard decks right here in Maine. We had a sample a few days later, and after adding some holes, ropes, hardware and a dowel or two, we had our first Skateboard Swing prototype.
We did a quick strength test by having one of our more full-sized employees (I won't name names) stand, then bounce, on the swing. Some bending, but no breaking. With that reassurance, I could no longer wait to give it a ride. And I was addicted – immediately. The pumping action needed to get it going is completely unlike a traditional swing, yet intuitive. The swinging motion is also unlike a traditional swing, and it is fantastically exhilarating.
We put the prototype on a swing set in our outdoor display area for several months this past summer. Heather, whose office strategically overlooks the display area (great for finding inspiration and for spying on unwitting guinea pigs), watched in amazement over the next several weeks. No one visited our display area without trying the swing, and no other accessory got more use. From 3-year-olds to parents to grandparents, the allure and resulting smiles were overwhelming. (We have included a few images of some of the more radical rides taken by our older kid test pilots)
In fact, the only problem we had was disappointing so many people who wanted to buy the swing before we completed development. But we need disappoint them (and hopefully you) no more. Our new Skateboard Swing, which can be used with both our
Revelry Frolic swing sets and our Serendipity swing sets, is now available.