A newly invented deflector device for skateboards will soon enter the market and may change the safety of the industry.
Rockochet, the world’s first and only rock and debris deflector, was invented by Jorge Arjona, from Phoenix, Ariz. His vision is for Rockochet to be the new standard for safety for skateboarders around the world.
Jorge Arjona made sure that Rockochet did not affect performance. The only trick that cannot be done with the device mounted on the skateboard is the front nosegrind.It mounts onto standard-sized skateboards and penny boards as well. Jorge Arjona plans on creating one for the longboard.
He said that unlike other safety devices that help protect a rider when falling, Rockochet helps prevent one from falling.
The official date of Rockochet’s availability for purchase is still unknown, but Jorge Arjona said it will be soon.
“We’re just fine-tuning things to make sure that when it does come to the market, it’s going to be the best product out there, the best possible way to do it,” he said.
Jorge Arjona had a variety of talented skaters test out the product at Venice Beach and filmed a video for Kickstarter, in which you will be able to see Rockochet in action and how it deflects rocks and debris. It will go live Nov. 19.
The inspiration for inventing this new safety device began three years ago on Halloween when Jorge Arjona received a phone call from his sister. She told him that his nephew had just gotten hit by a car while skateboarding.
A few rocks caused his nephew, Marco Chavez, 15 at the time, to fly off the skateboard and get run over by a car. As the driver panicked and continued to drive, Chavez was dragged underneath the vehicle and felt all his bones begin to break.
Chavez ended up damaging his lower back and had to get a transforaminal lumbar interbody fusion, an operation that fuses the columns of the spine. He had lost the ability to move his right leg and foot. It was unclear whether he would be able to walk again.
Four operations, 28 screws, one metal plate and a loss of 35 pounds later, Chavez was able to go home in a wheelchair.
One day, Chavez moved one of his toes and then his foot. This became the driving force for him to try gaining the ability and force to walk again.
“It’s just a passion,” Chavez said. “I love skateboarding; it’s something I love to do, something I really wouldn’t live without. So right after the accident, I still told my family that I still want to skateboard. It shocked them, but it’s something I love to do. It’s as simple as that.”
Shock was indeed the family’s response. They couldn’t believe that after his tragic accident, Chavez desired to pick up a skateboard again.
Jorge Arjona began thinking of ways to help Chavez get back on the skateboard without taking the risk of an accident happening again.
“I went to my garage and started building, started tinkering a little bit and came up with my first prototype,” he said. “I tested it, and it worked halfway through the rocks.”
Upon taking it to engineering, about 16 phases of design and testing have been done, in addition to coming up with the appropriate way to attach it to a board without limiting it.
“He actually sort of has that inventor mind,” said Holly Arjona, Jorge Arjona’s wife. “He’s always trying to make things more efficient or make things better. He’s always had ideas for as long as I remember dating him.”
Chavez said he believes this is going to be revolutionary for skaters.
“It’s definitely going to change the skateboarding industry,” Chavez said. “There are many people who fall just the way I did. I happened to have fallen in front of a car, so that for me was a little more tragic than for other people, but for Rockochet to come out in the market, it’s going to change everything. It’s going to change absolutely everything about skateboarding.”
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