Michael Jenkins is from Adelaide Australia but has spent recent years working in China with leading carbon composite sporting goods manufacturers on the design and development of Wheelskates.
He is an electrician with factory maintenance, construction and mining experience but has also had his own businesses both as an electrical contractor and in manufacturing fibre-glass aerodynamic wind deflectors for trucks. In his youth he frequently went skating at the Elizabeth roller-skating rink and then the Payneham ice-skating rink in Adelaide, and was a keen cyclist. Ayear or so after completing his electrical apprenticeship he cycled around most of Europe and spent the winter working and skiing in Zermatt in the Swiss Alps.
With Michael’s skating, cycling and skiing experience he realized that a skate with a large wheel could incorporate the dynamic benefits of all three genres. Using his technical experience from his trade and previous fibreglass manufacturing business he built a couple of prototypes secretly in his garage whilst on R&R from his mining job. After the completion of the second prototype he filed a provisional patent then finished work in the mines, and completed a third prototype at home. Then, with the help of family & friends as investors, Michael went to China to work with suitable carbon composite sporting goods manufacturers on four more prototypes.
Michael is now a director of Chariot Skates Ltd, a Hong Kong company which will manufacture and market Wheelskates under the trademark of Chariot Skates to the international sporting community.
When Michael cycled around Europe in the early 80’s he felt the seat and handle bars of a bicycle were restrictive and uncomfortable compared to the freedom experienced when skiing or skating. He has always considered that having each foot suspended below the axle of a large wheel with a pneumatic tyre was an obvious benefit over roller or inline skates because it would enable skaters to travel and commute over uneven and rougher terrain, much like a bicycle.
Michael always considered it such an obvious development that he wondered why no one else was producing such a device. Then, in December 1999, when the foldable aluminium scooters were all the rage, he was talking to a good friend Rick about how something that is less practical than the regular large-wheeled scooters could suddenly be so popular, and that someone should come up with skates where each foot is suspended below the axle of a large wheel. They then talked together about all the problems that such skates would have. After going home that night the answers to all the issues divinely came to him and he made some sketches and kept things to himself until the end of 2004 when, while walking and praying one night in the outback while working at Challenger Gold Mine, he felt led to start developing Wheelskates.
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