John Metcalfe was CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, covering climate change and the science of cities.
The Baise-en-villes skateboard can be locked or equipped with lights, just like a bicycle.
What’s a good way to give a skateboard two major benefits of a bicycle—lockability and lights?
Two Parisian designers who go by Anne and Laurent answered this riddle through subtraction. They removed a circular plug at the front end of a skateboard, creating a space that can accommodate an LED or cable or U-lock, as well as fingers for easy carrying.
Their perforated Baise-en-villes Skateboards are now on sale for a November preorder on Kickstarter, each handcrafted from American maple and shipping from France. The designers explain why you might want one:
The hole can be considered a handle to simplify the transport of this skateboard and catch it more easily, a way to attach it in the street with a padlock…. You can also add to it accessories (rope, lamp, GPS) which will improve the ride experience.
The name comes from the French expression that appeared around 1930. It’s a small luggage that men took with us when they spent the night away from home and wife…. We wanted something surprising, urban, Frenchy, that evokes the transport of the board in the hand. Voilà!
There are a variety of quirky patterns for the decks, from a bearded face (“Hipster”) to a cartoonish city skyline (“Go Paris”) to a scantily clad set of legs (“Ballerine”). Once you skate home, you can just hang it on a wall hook as your own piece of strange art.
Baise-en-villes Skateboard, €79 ($89) for just a deck, €159 ($179) to add wheels and trucks, plus $37 if shipped to the U.S., at Kickstarter.