|The Internet's Official BMX Magazine.|
New ideas come and go all the time. Action sports enthusiasts never rest content with what's available; some have a constant desire to seek out new mediums toward attaining the glorious adrenalin high. When Jake Burton first took early prototypes of his snowboards to the ski slopes, he was thought to be crazy. Even when his dream became a reality, it took years for snowboarding to gain acceptance. Not a whole lot later, snowboarding would grow from being something tolerable to utterly dominant.
I haven't seen a "new toy" look so promising in a long time; that is, until I laid eyes upon Diggler mountain scooters. Just about everyone is familiar with the popular Razor scooters that almost every kid on the block has-they're small, compact, and limited in what they have to offer. The Diggler, on the other hand, could easily use Razor scooters as terrain; that is, if you've had enough fun playing on the mountain or grinding in the park. The Diggler isn't necessarily what the scooter was meant to be, but rather, what it COULD be.
Diggler founder and inventor, Rob Fruechtenicht, never forgot his childhood dream of designing something that could incorporate all the sports that he loved. He grew up an avid BMXer, skateboarder (used it for what is now called street lugeing), skier, snowboarder, and mountain biker. The idea of the mountain scooter came to him and he knew it was a good idea, so he gave it his all. One day after graduating college, short on cash, Rob decided rather than to do something impractical like renew his car registration, that he'd pull into a local bike shop and buy a scooter. He took it home, cut it in half, stretched it out using a skateboard on top and a plastic ski on the bottom: "Pretty Homer Simpson style." The first Diggler prototype was born. And it was pretty shady.
But the dream had only begun to materialize. After designing and redesigning about 8 models (changing wheelbase, materials, wheel size, handlebar height, deck length, etc.), Rob finally came to the design he was looking for, and his dream became reality.
A Diggler mountain scooter combines a bunch of different action sports, including BMX, mountain biking, skiing, snow boarding, and skate boarding. You hold on as if on a bicycle, your feet can be positioned as if you were skateboarding or snowboarding, and you have to maintain a good center of gravity. These things can really grind through turns once you get used to them. In addition, the jib plate underneath is great for grinding or rolling over objects like rocks, logs, handrails...you name it!
Peter Berridge, a former pro mountain biker and the world's first pro mountain scooter, was very skeptical of the whole Diggler concept when he was introduced to it. The early designs were admittedly ghetto, but once it was refined, "It blew my mind," Berridge exclaims. One ride down the mountain on it and he was sold. In fact, he wanted to see just how good it would be on the downhill trails against the more mainstream mountain bikes, which have the added benefit of more ground clearance, a drive train, and shocks with more travel. So Peter entered a downhill race at Aspen's Snow Mass at the Aspen Bike & Brew Fest. None of the mountain bikers, decked out in full body armor and uniforms, took Berridge, who wore nothing but shorts, a t-shirt and a helmet, very seriously. In fact, no one thought he would even make it down the mountain. But when he crossed the finish line with a faster time than half the competitive mountain bikers, attitudes changed.
Diggler offers a few different models: the Cement Mixxer, the OMS, and the OMS Pro. Retailing for just under $400, the Cement Mixxer is the street devil of the Diggler line. Combining the true essence of bike stunt and skateboarding, any urban assaulter can do some really hardcore shredding. Complete with foot pegs for flatland tricks and grinding, and a Jib Plate for "skateboard style board slides, rock-n-rolls, and just plain smacking it on any obstacles that get in your way." It also has a detangler for bar spins.
The OMS and OMS Pro (retailing for about $500 and $600 respectively) are for hitting the mountain full tilt. The front suspension allows for some really good travel so you can get over the rocks, roots, bumps…whatever. The knobby BMX wheels offer great traction and add an overall burly appearance. The OMS and OMS Pro also have Jib Plates for sliding over tough mountain terrain. Also, be on the lookout for a new model with rear suspension and disc brakes!
Diggler is consistently gaining its deserved acceptance. Ski resorts such as Mammoth Mountain and Vale are looking to it to help supplement their summer activities. In fact, Diggler rentals out performed mountain bike rentals recently at Brian Mountain, UT. Retail outlets such as FAO Schwarz, The Sharper Image, and Modell's plan on stocking Diggler scooters in the near future, and Maxxis tires and Sobe beverages may join in as major co-sponsors. So what does all this mean for the action sports arena?
Quite simply, another fun and competitive thing to do. But more importantly, since it's such a great crossover sport for many different types of athletes, it will help prevent the inevitable burnout that comes from doing the same thing over and over again. You utilize similar skills and strengths, but it's a different way to get the rush we all love so much.
For more information on Digger mountain scooters, visit their web site at www.diggler.com
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