Apple Valley man develops a new breed of skateboard
Think of it as snowboarding on asphalt.
It’s called Krainkboarding, or Krainkn for short, and it’s the brainchild of Apple Valley entrepreneur Kevin Rains.
Rains brought his fledgling street team to Apple Valley’s skate park on Monday to demonstrate his invention, a skateboard modified with plastic wedges at the front and back, attached to rubber tubes with handles for the rider to grab.
He’s touting the patented device as the basis for a new sport that’s easier to learn than traditional skateboarding.
“It’s new, it’s extreme and it’s like snowboarding,” he said.
Rains, a single father of two teenage boys who formerly worked as a loan officer in the mortgage business, has built three Krainkn prototypes at a total cost of about $350, and is now looking to have them mass produced.
He’s launching a Kickstarter campaign Aug. 13 in an effort to raise the capital needed to get a production operation off the ground.
Rains said the idea for Krainkn came to him a few years ago during a day of snowboarding with his youngest son at Buck Hill Ski Area in Burnsville.
There, he observed a middle-aged couple stiffly, almost robotically attempting to navigate a slope, and it struck him that a strap-and-handle system on a snowboard or skateboard would greatly improve form and ease of travel.
After building his prototypes, Rains brought the Krainkn boards to local skate parks and asked skaters there to try them out.
“I didn’t know if it would work until I walked down here (the Apple Valley skate park) one day,” he said. “The response I got was, ‘This is cool.’ ”
The street team – including Jesse Graham of New Prague and Seth Piekarski of Northfield, who are primarily snowboarders – showed off what the Krainkn boards are capable of Monday, executing a series of spins, twists and majestic jumps off ramps at the skate park adjoining the Apple Valley Teen Center.
“For snowboarders, it works as a summer sport,” said Graham. “It makes you have perfect form, and it keeps you in shape for the winter snowboarding season.”
More about Krainkn, including video clips of the board in action, is at www.krainkn.com.