They're light, fast and nimble.
And they're certainly not your father's or your grandfather's scooter.
In Lawrence, as well as across the nation, a new generation of motorless scooters are appearing in greater numbers on residential and downtown sidewalks.
They carry brand names such as Razors, Xootrs and Zappies.
Their drivers are mostly youngsters looking for a method of travel that is more stable than skateboards and roller-blades.
Hugh Naughtin, 15, Lawrence, re-ceived a Razor for his birthday in May. He had heard of the scooters but didn't know much about them.
"Now I ride mine quite a bit," he said. "I go downtown on it a lot."
Hugh's new mode of travel caught the attention of his friends and a few of them now have their own motorless scooters. Patrick Roberts, 15, Lawrence, is one of them.
"You can glide along pretty fast and you can take the corners pretty smoothly," Patrick said. "You have to learn to adjust your balance and you get used to it fast. I also like the fact that they are environmentally correct."
Hugh also finds the motorless scooters easy to ride.
"It's just like you're sailing along the sidewalk and it feels really nice," he said.
Hugh taught himself to do wheelies by popping the front of the scooter up in the air and gliding with his weight resting on the wheelie bar at the back of the standing platform. He also learned a couple of tricks for making the scooter hop.
Motorless scooters are mostly made of ultra-lightweight aluminum, according to advertisements. Other features include in-line-style, 4-inch wheels and front coil suspension. Wheels come in various colors.
Both Hugh and Patrick have Razors purchased from Sharper Image on the Country Club Plaza in Kansas City, Mo. The store started selling the scooters about a year ago, according to Jim Lane, assistant manager. Although he wouldn't release sales figures, he said the scooters are very popular.
"It's amazing, simply amazing," he said. "It is one big phenomenon not only here but around the world. They're fast, the ones we sell are very well built and you can do tricks on them."
In Lawrence, one place where motorless scooters can be purchased is at Play It Again Sports, 1029 Mass. Sales are doing well there as well, floor manager Heather Chester said.
"I think it's something that's new and fun," she said, trying to explain the popularity of the scooters. It's easier to ride than a skateboard and it's simpler than rollerblading."
Motorless scooters carry price tags from about $70 to well more than $100.
"I think you get what you pay for," Lane said.
Most of the buyers have been youths ages 15 and under, Chester and Lane said. Some adults, however, are buying them as well, Chester added.
"We've sold some to men in their 30s and 40s who live near downtown," Chester said.