Cliff Weitzman


 Skateboards are made for tricks, longboards are made for speed and transportation. However, there is currently no effective way of stopping a longboard. Just imagine if your bicycle didn’t have any brakes. BoardBrake is a brake for longboards. BoardBrake allows riders to be safer, ride faster, and have more control. BoardBrake makes learning how to longboard much easier and opens the sport to a wide array of new consumers who may have shied away from it before due to frustration with not being able to stop. Not being able to properly slow down can lead to injury. Riders today drag their foot on the floor. This ruin’s rider’s shoes and puts them in an unbalanced position. Riders today often jump off of their board since they can’t brake, letting the board hurtle away uncontrolled. Because riders can’t stop, they also can’t maneuver well and if they reach high speeds they are at the mercy of what’s ahead.

There is currently only one active competitor. Their product costs $300 (that’s more than the price of most longboards )because it mimics the braking mechanics of cars. They also require riders to drill into their boards, which almost no longboarder is willing to do. 

We will use the Explore Grant from Brown Venture Launch Fund we will:

  • Submit a provisional patent.
  • 3D print 2 new prototypes.
  • Commission an expert in CAD for specific help.

The immediate goals for the ventures are:

  • To submit a provisional utility patent. This should be done by January 10th.
  • Edit our current CAD files. This should be done by January 5th.
  • Produce an improved prototype. This should be done by January 15th.

We will evaluate these goals by measuring:

  • Whether or not we now have a provisional patent.
  • Whether or not we have edited the CAD.
  • Whether or not we now have an improved prototype.

Explore Grant Report:

Progress to date and report on the evaluation from Explore phase were phenomenal. I went through over 42 design iterations and 8 prototypes (2 new ones that happened directly as a result of the explorer grant). So now we have really dug deep into the product. I talked to a lot of potential users and really isolated the problem, educated myself, and now am an expert on the problem the users and the product, and have established that there is great demand and that the solution is technically doable. I worked with two different experts to redesign the CAD. BoardBrake was part of Brown EP’s West Coast Accelerator and was very well received by investors. We finished writing provisional patent in full, with help from friends at RISD. I have started speaking with manufacturers, and then went to talk to even more of potential users.

Expand Grant Report:

What have you learned about your venture and what progress have you made since receiving the grant?

We learned so much about the problem during this process. We proved unequivocally that people do need a way of stopping their longboard and that there is great demand for our product. We found that our price range is correct and that our estimated cost of manufacturing is also in the right place. We made 2 new prototypes, reached the semi-finals of RI business plan competition, and completed our design. However, we ran into a roadblock - the manufacturing itself. We were all ready to go with the design but are reluctant to put money done and go all in to manufacture the product since then we are putting money at risk, since it would take time, but most importantly, since manufacturing is something none of us are experienced in doing. We hope to in the future either sell the design to a larger firm or to find a partner who is experienced in/ experienced in manufacturing and split the profits with them if they manufacture and distribute the product.

Our biggest accomplishment was...

finishing the design.

I learned the most during...


Something I think we did well...


We need to improve on...


In the future, I hope to...

build a product that is simple to deliver to customers.