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Skate Ray - a rechargeable headlight for your skateboard project video thumbnail
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$17,334 pledged of $65,000 goal
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By Monolithic, LLC
$17,334 pledged of $65,000 goal
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About this project

The Skate Ray cuts through darkness, allowing you to ride your skateboard or longboard any time of day, or NIGHT. We created the Skate Ray in order to make riding in the dark fun, safe, and well… possible. 

UPDATE:

After launching the Skate Ray, we have received an outpouring of requests to offer a version with a red light. So we are doing just that.

Now if you pledge for a Skate Ray, you will be able to select between red and white lights in a survey at the end of our Kickstarter campaign. The red version can be used as a tail light for added safety when riding, and works ideally when paired with a white version in the front. We're committed to meeting the desires of our supporters and to making night riding even safer.

As any skater knows, obstacles in your path can be the difference between happily gliding along and being face down on the pavement. We don’t want you face down on the pavement, we want you up on your board where you belong.

With the power of the Skate Ray, you will never get caught off guard by that pot hole, rock, or gaping crack in the road again. Instead you will have knowledge of the road in front of you, and as we all know... knowledge is power. The Skate Ray also makes you visible to the world. It's all the advantages of wearing a reflective jacket, but without the embarrassment of wearing a reflective jacket. As a driver, you can also breathe easier knowing you won't accidentally mow down an unsuspecting rider. So no matter which way you look at it, the Skate Ray will greatly decrease the chances of a skateboarder ending up face down on the pavement during a night of riding.

We knew from the beginning the Skate Ray shouldn't change the way you like to ride. That's why the Skate Ray is slender... real slender... it measures in at less than a centimeter, and that's no accident. Every component was selected with the intention of making the Skate Ray as thin and durable as possible.

 Mounted as any skateboard spacer would be, between the board and the trucks, the Skate Ray will hardly be noticeable. Well, until you switch that bad boy on!

Powering the device is a high capacity lithium battery, which can be easily recharged by simply plugging the Skate Ray into a micro-USB cable. These cables are everywhere these days, so you'll have no problem finding a place to recharge while you're on the go. You likely already have a surplus of micro-USB cables, but we'll send you another one, just for fun. Currently the Skate Ray runs continuously for about three hours, which is longer than we can ride for at one time. Battery technology is improving rapidly though, so we will be offering upgraded batteries as the technology improves in the future.

These powerful components are housed in a super tough body, which is machined from a solid piece of aluminum, anodized, and then laser engraved. So not only does it look slick, but it can take a serious beating too. A rubber gasket lines the casing, which prevents water and dirt from messing with any of the fancy internal stuff. While we don't recommend taking the Skate Ray swimming, riding in the rain, dirt, or even puddles won't be a problem.

You can trust the Skate Ray to never leave you in the dark. When activated, the power button will briefly glow green, yellow, or red depending on how much juice is left in the Skate Ray's tank.  So you'll know when its safe to keep ripping, and when its time to find a place to recharge.

Upon successful funding of this project, Skate Rays, t-shirts, and/or stickers will be delivered to every supporters doorstep. But we’re not stopping there. As LED and battery technology continue to improve, we will be offering upgrades to keep your Skate Ray evolving with the times. And with the modular design, anyone capable of operating an allen key can swap out components for the latest and greatest parts available. We want to continue to push this product to the limits of performance by offering upgrades on batteries, LEDs and improved lenses at an affordable price. We want your Skate Ray to age like fine wine.

Sounds great, right? But as they say, the proof is in the pudding. We don't exactly know what that means, nor will we be making any pudding. Instead, we have been designing a more efficient lens in order to prove this modularity concept. So, has it worked? In a word, YES.

We used lens 1.0 to film our video and it worked great! The new one is much, much better though. While it took weeks to improve our lens design and get the new parts made, swapping one into our Skate Ray took only a minute. The Skate Ray will of course be shipping with lens 2.0 as well as any other improvements we make in the coming weeks.

The high power Cree LED is the heart of the Skate Ray and it gets HOT! It should get hot because its putting off over 200 lumens of bright white light. We designed the aluminum casing to absorb this heat though, which keeps the LED running brightly and efficiently for somewhere in the neighborhood of 70,000 hours of continuous use. That's a lot. If you're like us and also use your Skate Ray to look for the lost remote underneath the couch, you'll feel it warm up just slightly in your hand. This means its working. 

When the Skate Ray is at home though, mounted on a skateboard, it runs even better! That's because its aluminum body fits flush with the skateboard's truck which absorbs even more heat, and keeps the LED running even cooler and even more efficiently. The graphic above was derived from our thermal simulations, and shows the hot LED being cooled by the aluminum casing of the Skate Ray as well as the skateboard's trucks. Did we think of everything? Yes, we did. 

One of our trickiest design challenges was finding a way to focus the light onto the road ahead efficiently. We tried countless off-the-shelf lenses and reflectors, but none met our standards. They were all too bulky to allow the Skate Ray have the low-profile we wanted and the standard round beams wasted light in places you don't need it. So using ray tracing, we designed our own lens. It's super slender and focuses the bright light into a nice rectangular shape that is ideal for projecting light onto the road ahead of a skateboard. 

All of this sound complicated? Well it was, but all you need to know is the Skate Ray shines its light to all of the places you want light and none of the places you don't. Cool, right? We think so. 

You might be wondering where this money will go. Well, because we insisted on using the highest quality materials and best components, the Skate Ray costs a lot to build. So nearly everything we raise will go to manufacturing the parts, assembling the Skate Rays, and then shipping them to our supporters. The small portion left over will go to the people who believed in our idea and worked to make this project a reality under the hope that one day we might be able to reimburse them for their services.  

If we reach our $65K goal, we will ship your Skate Ray with a matte black anodized finish. And while the Skate Ray looks fantastic in black, we would also love to be able to offer more colors for you to choose from. So we will be adding additional colors if we are funded beyond our initial goal as shown below. And at $125K, we will include a custom riser pad with every Skate Ray we ship. This riser pad not only looks mean, but when mounted underneath the rear truck balances your skateboards height when you have a Skate Ray mounted as a spacer.

Martin knows a thing or two about longboards. Thats because he spent years racing them professionally, and even won a slalom skateboarding World Championship title in 2009. Since then, his focus has shifted to engineering and design, and he spent time working for a start-up tech company. With a degree in engineering and a background in riding skateboards, the Skate Ray was a perfect fit. 

Risks and challenges

We're betting the farm on the Skate Ray, but the farm isn't all that big. So we're asking for your support to help us overcome our biggest obstacle: raising the funds necessary to get the Skate Ray into production. The custom molds and tooling needed to get started building Skate Rays are super expensive and so we can only offer our creation to you by way of this wonderful platform, Kickstarter.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    THANK YOU for your support! We'll keep you updated on all things Skate Ray. Also, we'll probably scream your name to the heavens.

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    We'll send you a vinyl Skate Ray sticker and a huge thank you. Oh, and the sticker GLOWS IN THE DARK!

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    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    Your new favorite t-shirt. It's so nice and soft that one day you'll bump into another person wearing one and give each other "the nod" because that's what people do when they are part of something awesome.

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    Pledge $55 or more About $55

    Early Bird Special! Receive a hand-built SKATE RAY in all of its glory. Anodized black or your choice of color if we reach our stretch goals. Includes mounting bolts, a USB charging cable, and stickers.

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $65 or more About $65

    Receive a hand-built SKATE RAY in all of its glory. Anodized black or your choice of color if we reach our stretch goals. Includes mounting bolts, a USB charging cable, and stickers.

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $90 or more About $90

    The mighty Skate Ray, as described above, PLUS A T-SHIRT.

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $125 or more About $125

    Your passion for riding isn't limited to just a single skateboard, which is why you need DOUBLE the Skate Ray. We'll send you two, plus bolts, charging cable, and stickers.

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    16 backers
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    Your passion for riding isn't limited to just a single skateboard, which is why you need DOUBLE the Skate Ray. We'll send you two, plus all the fixings: a t-shirt, bolts, charging cable, and stickers.

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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    The GOLDEN SKATE RAY. Super shiny gold finish with a limited edition laser engraving designed by local artist Josh Mangum. His work is amazing, seriously, check him out: www.mangumart.com Also, you'll probably want to wear this around your neck from time to time, so we'll include a chain, as well as a t-shirt and the rest of the goodies.

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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    The HIGH ROLLER SPECIAL. Got a wad of cash burning a hole in your pocket? Looking to make it rain? We can help! Select this reward and we will send you the Gold Edition Skate Ray (for the wall), a standard Skate Ray (for a skateboard), and the rest of the gear. This reward also includes a signed photo of us assembling YOUR Skate Ray and a warm, fuzzy feeling.

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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $3,000 or more About $3,000

    Knock knock. Who's there? Its a Skate Ray. At your door. Hand delivered by Martin Reaves. We can talk shop, chat about the future plans of Monolithic, LLC, and you'll hear the juicy story of bringing the Skate Ray to life. And if you like, go out for a ride with Martin who will give you pointers on your longboarding game.

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Funding period

- (30 days)