WOODRIDGE – Linas Olsauskas had a dream as a teenager. As 48-year-old, he's finally chasing it down.
The Woodridge man's idea to help skateboarders master tricks and beginners balance with ease was born as a 13-year-old. Sk8Hook is a rubber-dipped attachment that mounts on the deck of a skateboard and gives skateboarders a lift by putting pressure on the outsides of each foot.
"I came up with the idea 35 years ago and never did anything with it," said Olsauskas, a self-employed real estate appraiser. "I sat on the idea for all those years because I never knew where to take it."
About a year ago, Olsauskas read an article in the Woodridge Reporter about efforts from area residents to patent their ideas, he said. That pushed him to create his Sk8Hook contraption, which he described as "training wheels" for skateboards.
"I researched as much as I could and I just dove head first," he said. "At this point and time, the product is patent pending, which protects you within the bounds of the US."
He said it can take about two years before the patent office sends a response. The process has cost him almost $3,000 thus far, he said.
"It's an expensive process especially if you don't make any money off it yet," he said. "I try to make attempts at dedicating a little time each week."
He hopes to one day sell the idea to a skateboard company that will mass produce the Sk8Hook. For now, he's selling it online for $24.95.
As of Monday he had only sold two of them, but he added that the product is still in its early stages.
"It's only been out for a few days ... It's going to be slow moving in the beginning," Olsauskas said.
"It's the American dream to have a business that will set you up for life."
He hopes his product's rarity carries it to success – he said noone else produces anything like the Sk8Hook.
"This is just something that was missing [from the skateboard industry]," Olsauskas said. "It's an elevation that can change the sport in some way, if you had a little bit control over the board you'd see better landings and less injuries as well."