CO man visiting the Coast brings his Skate Assist invention - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

CO man visiting the Coast brings his Skate Assist invention

Andy Labout brought his invention "Skate Assist" to the coast during his trip from Colorado. (Photo source: WLOX News) Andy Labout brought his invention "Skate Assist" to the coast during his trip from Colorado. (Photo source: WLOX News)
BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -

A Colorado man who was down here for his wife's Biloxi High School class reunion decided he wanted to get some exercise during his stay on the Coast. Andy Labout is an inline speed skater. He created an invention he said makes braking safer.

"I raced bicycles for years, had a lot of tangles with cars and decided that I wanted to do inline speed skating instead. The only problem with skating where you ride a bicycle is there's a lot of steep hills and things you have to get around. So, I needed a brake to descend some of the big climbs in Colorado,” Labout said.

That's when Labout decided to build a contraption he calls Skate Assist, which is designed to help skaters stop.

"You know the roller blade brake that rubs off eventually? If you use speed skates, you do a tee stop, and it wears the wheels out. The wheels are $20 a piece, and you got to replace all eight of them," he added.

So far, Labout has skated 1,400 miles using his Skate Assist and has only fallen once. His invention includes a bicycle wheel and bicycle brake with handle bars, as well as a water bottle holder. He's also added a Garmin and GoPro to record his stride.

"Speed skating, you go faster if your stride is perfect. So, you are constantly working on your stride,” he said.

With an invention like this, it's no surprise Labout has been getting a lot of attention.

“I got two, ‘That's cool.' The lady the other day was riding the opposite direction said, 'It's a good idea.' Lots of people are curious at how it works. Lots of, 'I'd go back to inline skating if I knew I could stop,'" said Labout.

Labout said he is working on a patent for his project.

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