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Entrepreneur magazine - Apr 1, 1999
Downward mobility is on the rise
By Debra Phillips
What's the latest thing in the wild world of extreme sports? Believe it or not, sliding down hand-rails--wearing specially designed sneakers--is the latest craze among thrill-seekers.
Credit Chris Morris and his Torrance, California, footwear company, Soap, for getting this trend going. "I've never seen demand for a product grow this fast in my life," says Morris, 35, of Soap's shoes with built-in plastic plates that enable sliding. "It's really fun."
According to Morris, this kind of sliding--technically termed "grinding"--is much easier than, say, skateboarding.
"Humans love to slide," says Morris, pointing to his company's successful expansion into more than a dozen countries. Even more gripping is Soap's projected 1999 sales of $15 million. With momentum like this, Morris expects grinding to quickly slide further into the spotlight. As with other extreme sports, however, there is an element of risk. "You can definitely fall down," admits Morris, who says he's only been hurt (mildly) once. Hey, gravity is one mean competitor.
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