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Specialized ProfessionIAmA designer who created a suit with wheels that allows the user to roll, ski, and ice skate in every position. AMA!

Feb 6th 2018 by atlasobscura • 6 Questions • 30 Points

My name is Jean Yves Blondeau, also known as the Rollerman, and I created buggy rollin (or “body skating”), a sport that uses a suit with wheels, 20 years ago, and I’m here to answer your questions with help from Atlas Obscura, who wrote about it.

I conducted a study about body balancing sensation and locomotion through space, and my first prototype was to show that it is possible to roll in every position. I use the suit everywhere: People can skate on flat surfaces like a stage, on a halfpipe, downhill in the biggest pass of the alps, or in bob tracks. (Body skating on mountain roads is maybe my favorite.) Over the years, I’ve appeared around the world in advertising and in movies like Yes Man with Jim Carrey and Zooey Deschanel and CZ12 with jackie Chan.

I had a lot of fun with the suit in the summer, but I wanted to enjoy the winter, too, because I live in front of mountains in the alps. So I created a version of the suit with skis, which has even more potential than on wheels. Two years ago, I started to use the suit on ice.

My work has many purposes. I hope my creation will be an inspiration for other artists, and I want to develop the armor as a sport that everyone can enjoy. For that, I need to finance and produce and sell a large quantity of suits.

I try to gather all people around the world who already have the suit in a federation in order organise our events and get together to share, enjoy, and level up in camps. So we have a group on Facebook.

Last year, everyone came to my house for 10 days to learn buggy rollin, starting with indoor basic skills, then going to city parks, hills, ski resort roads and finishing on bob tracks. The idea was to progress all together (and enjoy a nice event). This year it will take place in the summer, but we have not fixed the time and location yet.

Proof: https://twitter.com/atlasobscura/status/960600260107210752

Edit: Time to sign off . Thanks for your questions. Thanks atlas obscura for bringing me here.

Use Facebook to keep in touch.

I am on the obscure side of the planet, time to sleep here.

https://www.facebook.com/Rollermannet/

And www.buggy-rollin.com for all the next questions in the next weeks

Q:

What inspired you to create a body skating suit?

A:

Wow quite a long story. I made a one year study for graduate industrial design engineer in Paris about body balancing sensation and locomotion. The purpose was to create something new, fun, exploring new possibilities.

On this video i talk about it https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A9wgag4klg0&t=24s

And on this one i show a little bit more of my environment (a few years ago) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5AMI2D6a6zg&t=3s

Certainly i was NOT inspired by superheroes ( i dislike very much marvel and strange comics) NOT by OZ that i have never seen completely, Not by Transformers who made their first film much later after my suit (but they used my motion)

Inspiration during creation was middle age armors, speed ski suits, american football armors (it gave the identity of first helmets). And later i discovered deep connection with some japanese manga masters and heros like GUNMM

https://www.mangaverse.net/images/glenat/gunnm/6.jpg Where characters have a complex psychological profile and ask questions about human-machine relationship, identity limit like ghost in the shell - the manga NOT THE FILM. They lost the essence of ghost in the movie, it is a fail in the contend on nice pictures.


Q:

How much is a suit? How expensive is routine maintenance?

A:

Because everyone can choose and make the set they want the prices vary a lot. I will give you some basic price for BLACK shell sets.

A RANGER Set, is the one of the minimum configuration requested. It already give access to 80% of sensations and motion. It is ARMS+LEGS. On my website i propose it for 1999 € (I make a little promotion on price, it sohuld be 2050)

Here is the link http://www.buggy-rollin.com/shop/product/ranger-set/

A FULL SET like BLACK-BLACK suit

ARMS+LEGS+CHEST+BACK+HIP+SHOULDER 4572,43 €

Here the link of BLACK-BLACK

BUGGY ROLLIN™ BLACK BLACK Full set

Here is the link of a full set definition and price

http://www.buggy-rollin.com/shop/product/full-set/

Another full set BLACK-GOLD

BUGGY ROLLIN™ BLACK GOLD Full set

A set with metal paint and helmet included 6660 €

BUGGY ROLLIN™ SILVER Hero set

Routine maintenance depends of how hard you roll how hard you brake in dowhill. And in which weather condition you roll. Extreme downhill need a set of four wheel per day.

I did not order new wheels in 2017 because i did not use it. I made a lot of flat performance indoors, so did not need to change bearings. If you must roll under rain, salty wet road and sand, then you will have to clean your bearings lie any other skater.

Maybe you do it once and then care that it does not happen often because we speak about 64 bearings on 32 wheel suit.

Some foams get old after a 3 or 5 years, armor can get scratches… again it depends how you use it and how much you care.

A friend scratched his helmet visor on the first day. And now he cares a lot how to pack, how to take off helmet, where to put etc… like airplane owner. You learn the value of things.


Q:

Are you building any other sports related equipment right now?

A:

Yes i do .

I built "buggy ski" for snow and "buggy ice" for ice

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nXuJmSaRPLk

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nXuJmSaRPLk

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nlJmOhQlhR4&t=153s

Here is a link of the buggy_rollin .com page that explains every prototype With picture and video. It helps to understand the progression of the suits.

If you want you can skip directly to 2005-2007 BUGGY SKI armor for snow and to 2016 BUGGY ICE with ice blades prototypes-2 www.buggy-rollin.com/prototypes-2


Q:

Is there any suspension mechanism for the roll-related suit?

A:

No - yes . as we are fighting with weight, because we must carry the armors, carry means jump down, push up, stand up, skate to speed up again and jump down again, push up again, stand up again …. There is no mechanism like we can see on a car or bike. But yes there are some clever built in systems especially in the way the materials are chosen and built together that confer elasticity, shock dispersion, deceleration, and comfort during the hours of intense use. Many parts that look simple and stupid are in fact multi function, such as body positioning, anatomical adaptation, comfort, and shock reducer.

You must touch and try the suit to feel it!


Q:

What was it like to work with Jim Carey?

A:

Jim was fun and nice. I always remember how he welcomed me at the studio in Burbank. He was the first to have an IPhone and he showed me my video that a friend of him sent him on the phone.

They cared about me. I met two of my best friend on the set. Still working with jodi for any contract i have in movies.

Jim is gentle. He really wanted me to go to his favorite french restaurant in LA (the little door). One night he came outside of the set to my car, just to say hello to my girlfriend who was waiting alone shy and bored that the the shooting finished. She was very surprised.

He gave me a very specific place. I could stay right between him and the director in first row front of the monitors. I could go anywhere on set and studio. I had my own office. I was doing 3 jobs in one day. Constructing the suits, scouting the roads, training the stunt girl. I was very busy and very happy.


Q:

i would like this at a camp!! Can it be a team sport?

A:

Team sport i do not think so. But a brotherhood/spirited sport for sure. It is already there. And i think it is stronger. We do not need to fight someone or some other team.

But grow together a BIG YES.

We will have beginners camp too !