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Rollerman
August 14, 2007 11:08 AM   Subscribe

Take some assorted body armour. Attach an assortment of castor wheels to just about every part of your body and you become Rollerman Flash. His real name is Jean Yves Blondeau, a former design student and proud owner of the world's only rollerblading supersuit. It may be handy for zipping in and out of traffic, but the fun really starts when you roll down an alp QT, reaching speeds of up to 60mph with oncoming traffic. Is this insane, or an extreme combination of inline skating and street luge.
posted by bap98189 (54 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

 
It's insane.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 11:12 AM on August 14, 2007


Good gravy, he looks like a wheeler.
posted by LN at 11:26 AM on August 14, 2007 [2 favorites]


Holy baby jesus on a pogo stick.

The rough quality and small screen of the Alps video make it look more like some kind of gameboy simulation. But I know it's not, and that's where the insane gut clench starts.
posted by tula at 11:28 AM on August 14, 2007


free-wheeling surrender monkey
posted by DU at 11:34 AM on August 14, 2007


First link should be.
posted by dontoine at 11:34 AM on August 14, 2007


RollermanFlash link is borked. This link works.
posted by ericb at 11:35 AM on August 14, 2007


Or, what dontoine said!
posted by ericb at 11:35 AM on August 14, 2007


I can't view QT. It this the same video? It's an Alp of some kind.
posted by DU at 11:36 AM on August 14, 2007


He must have scared the shit out of the other motorists, especially the motorcyclist he passes.
Does anybody see how he stops??
posted by MtDewd at 11:37 AM on August 14, 2007


Jesus christ, those stretches of cliffside road where the bollards on the egde are about half a metre apart...
posted by fire&wings at 11:40 AM on August 14, 2007


Gizmodo has one of him going against a 600cc sportbike.

Awesome suit, piss-poor web design skills.
posted by jsavimbi at 11:40 AM on August 14, 2007


Streetluge.com -- home of Road Racers Association for International Luge and profession streetluge racing.
posted by ericb at 11:40 AM on August 14, 2007


Jesus Christ, that's insane. Did he buy that suit from the Acme company? A guy could catch a lot of roadrunners with a suit like that.
posted by mosk at 11:40 AM on August 14, 2007 [4 favorites]


Are there any shock absorbers in that suit? He must be bruised as hell by the time he reaches the bottom.
posted by Terminal Verbosity at 11:51 AM on August 14, 2007


...Maybe he is part coyote...
posted by djrock3k at 11:51 AM on August 14, 2007


In that Gizmodo video he makes what appears to be a 90 deg. turn at speed. I doubt that any motor vehicle could match that particular move.
posted by tommasz at 11:52 AM on August 14, 2007


what's the hardest part about rollerblading?

telling your dad you're gay!

(wocka)
posted by knowles at 11:55 AM on August 14, 2007


Does anybody see how he stops??

That was my first thought too. Looks ok when he's going in a straight line, but on turns it seems he isn't very much in control. I noticed a few scene changes where he looked like he was going to plow into a parked car, and one instance of him cutting off a vehicle about to engage in the street, seemingly because he was unable to stop.

I mean, props for him for building something that crazy, but for taking it on the road amongst traffic and lying down below the sightline of drivers on the road? If he rolled by my car lying down on his stomach, I'd have a mind to follow him and let him know just how much of a dumbass he was being.
posted by splice at 11:57 AM on August 14, 2007


Here's another vote for "insane."
posted by GrammarMoses at 12:08 PM on August 14, 2007


OMG!!! Thank you so much for posting this! I remembered seeing him on TV as a kid and a little while back he had come up in a conversation and I was trying to explain him to my friend but couldn't because he'd never seen or heard of him before. It drove me nuts. All I knew was it had "man" somewhere in it but all my google permutations with helpful descriptors wouldn't bring him up. Thank you thank you!

(Just to explain why Rollerman came up in a conversation: My friend and I for some reason were hotly debating how a human version of a Tachikoma would look, and I was all "He'd be like that French dude with all the wheels on his body," which really didn't help describe it all that well. But it just makes sense when you see how a Tachikoma moves. I couldn't find a photo or anything, but ended up drawing it out in frustration....and....um...yea I realized this makes me sound really really nerdy and weird.)
posted by kkokkodalk at 12:12 PM on August 14, 2007


Last month I saw some weird old dude shooting down the Manhattan side of the Queensborough Bridge sitting on a skateboard, with a flattened shoe-box under his heel as a brake.

Seriously, this shit is the next level. It's already HERE. You just have to take that leap onto your face, and have faith that the wheels will be there when you land.
posted by hermitosis at 12:27 PM on August 14, 2007


Nerdy, yes. But tachikoma is totally the way to describe this guy's suit.
posted by anthill at 12:28 PM on August 14, 2007


By god we live in a wonderful time
posted by poppo at 12:33 PM on August 14, 2007


ohh I'm so glad someone else thought of Wheelers... those things used to freak me out as a kid.

On Halloween a few years ago I saw someone dressed in a full-on wheeler costume...

it was amazing.
posted by elleinad at 12:37 PM on August 14, 2007 [1 favorite]


I was largely unconvinced until the bit at the end of the Alps video where he's dancing around and under the APCs. That moved it into another plane for me.
posted by freebird at 12:37 PM on August 14, 2007 [1 favorite]


Weird. It looks like someone played a copy of Kinetica back in the day and decided it looked fun enough to try.
posted by verb at 12:39 PM on August 14, 2007


As insane as this seems, it still looks waaay safer than street luging. As demonstrated in the videos, he can turn quickly, which is a feat I've never seen anyone on a street luge do well.

So, on a scale of crazy; this is lighting yourself on fire while yodeling, where street luging is setting yourself on fire while hitting yourself in the head with a hammer.

While naked.
posted by quin at 12:48 PM on August 14, 2007 [2 favorites]


Attach an assortment of castor wheels to just about every part of your body...

and if they squeak just apply a little caster oil.
posted by quonsar at 12:58 PM on August 14, 2007


What a cornball.
I mean, balls-y and all that but, uh, he's like wearing roller skates all over his body. Do the chicks really dig that?
posted by From Bklyn at 1:19 PM on August 14, 2007


What a dork. The little "dance" he does towards the end of the "alp" video reminded me of the geeky game designer/villain in Grandma's Boy.
posted by The Card Cheat at 1:36 PM on August 14, 2007


a former design student and proud owner of the world's only rollerblading supersuit

Actually others have "full body in-line skating" suits -- as per his posting here.
posted by ericb at 2:09 PM on August 14, 2007


Thanks to whoever corrected the link. I hadn't noticed it was borked.
posted by bap98189 at 2:28 PM on August 14, 2007


Seems like a real-life Transformer. But smaller.
posted by grouse at 2:50 PM on August 14, 2007


This post needs a batshitinsane tag. Wow.
posted by sciurus at 2:50 PM on August 14, 2007


Shattered my femur, shredded my hip, and garfunkled my knee doing similar stunts way long ago. We were just using a skateboard with the trucks tightened to within an inch of their lives. Watching this I'm torn between needing to put together a suit of my own and clenching my sphincter tight enough to make diamonds. That kind of speed is fun as hell but eight weeks in traction sucks balls.

Thanks for posting!

and now my snarky as all hell comment about the flash site being quite possibly the worst UI I've run across this year...
posted by Fezboy! at 2:52 PM on August 14, 2007


thanks for mentioning wheelers. they really freaked me out too- i think it was the illustrations.

I also want to know how he stops. riding that far below the view of drivers seems redonkulously unsafe. The only benefit I can think of is that a wreck at those speeds (going HEADFIRST!) should be immediately fatal, rather than just painful and crippling.
posted by dubold at 2:59 PM on August 14, 2007


I wouldn't mind watching some movies, but I just can't reward that Web site. That's probably the worst site design I've seen (where someone actually tried) in years.

Thanks for the Gizmodo link. I could swear I've seen this guy before...
posted by mrgrimm at 3:01 PM on August 14, 2007


So we get three more of them, and some sort of contraption that spits out streamers of rigid light from their hinders, and put them on a giant grid...
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 3:10 PM on August 14, 2007 [1 favorite]


riding that far below the view of drivers seems redonkulously unsafe

And let's not forget the bits of the video where he was doing this at night.

Because the world doesn't have enough moving high-speed speed bumps for me to crash into.
posted by quin at 3:24 PM on August 14, 2007


quin writes "Because the world doesn't have enough moving high-speed speed bumps for me to crash into."

I propose we shorten "moving high-speed speed bumps" to "speedy bumps".
posted by Bugbread at 4:43 PM on August 14, 2007 [3 favorites]


Where are you going to roll today, Rollerman?

Anywhere I want to! Geez!

posted by Flashman at 4:43 PM on August 14, 2007


Hanging out with Rollerman must get tiresome pretty quick.
posted by Skygazer at 5:21 PM on August 14, 2007


Words fail me (except for one – CERTIFIABLE).
posted by tellurian at 5:43 PM on August 14, 2007


Flashman - unfortunately, the proper term is Gosh!

No favorite for you.
posted by yhbc at 6:32 PM on August 14, 2007


Did you see the speed run video where he goes 110 kph (~68mph)? Someone is going to add a rocket to this to take it to the next level.
posted by BrotherCaine at 6:36 PM on August 14, 2007


OK, I haven't read Baum for almost 30 years, but my instantaneous thought was also, "WHEELERS! AAAUGH!" I'm glad I"m not alone....
posted by umberto at 7:39 PM on August 14, 2007


I definitely see porn potential. Fetish, at least.
posted by reality at 7:40 PM on August 14, 2007


Is this insane, or an extreme combination of inline skating and street luge.

This is not a mutually-exclusive choice. It is insane and extreme.

Within an hours' drive of my place are two superb places for pulling this sort of stunt. One is the Coquihalla, down to the Okanagan; the other is Hwy 6, down to the Needles ferry. Both have an insane incline, several lanes, and little traffic.

Hmmmm...
posted by five fresh fish at 7:49 PM on August 14, 2007


Awesome, but if he's not careful he'll grease the underside of a LeCar.
posted by Frank Grimes at 7:50 PM on August 14, 2007


I saw this guy cruising down a busy street in Busan last year. They were filming him for a commercial.
posted by Brittanie at 8:42 PM on August 14, 2007


This looks like lots of fun.
posted by Goofyy at 3:42 AM on August 15, 2007


First pothole...he eats it.
posted by paulsc at 6:26 AM on August 15, 2007


Flashman - unfortunately, the proper term is Gosh!
No favorite for you.


D'ow!
posted by Flashman at 8:54 AM on August 15, 2007


In a balanced universe, his next move would be to become a Spider-man villain.
posted by JDC8 at 10:54 PM on August 18, 2007


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