What is Roller Skating?
Roller skating is a wonderful recreational activity, and involves a roller skater moving around on various skating surfaces with roller skates. Roller skates comes in few different varieties or types, including inline skates or Rollerblade skates and the traditional 4 wheel quad roller skates.
Funny Roller Skating Fact: While the US prepared for World War II, the government entertained utilizing roller skates to move infantry around Europe in hopes of saving on gasoline.
The History Of Roller Skating
John Joseph Merlin, a creative Belgian man is considered the inventor of the roller skate by creating the famous pair of wheeled shoes that he first displayed at a party in London. The inline roller skate was patented by a man named Monsieur Petitbled in 1819. His skate was an inline 3 wheeled roller skate. The four wheel or quad roller skate type was developed by James Plimpton.
In America, roller skating first became popular first in the mid 1930’s. Polyurethane wheels creation in the early 1960’s and the popularity of roller skating rinks playing disco music that kids loved, interest in roller skating began to skyrocket.
Funny Roller Skating Fact: The first public skating rink opened in 1866 in a furniture store owned by James Plimpton in New York City.
Learn How To Roller Skate
Are you just getting started with learning how to roller skate? As a beginner at roller skating you may need a little help to get rolling. If you are just getting started on your roller skating journey, watch the video below and you will be rolling your way to health and happiness.
What are the Different Types of Roller Skates?
There are two general types of roller skates, including 4 wheel quad roller skates and there are inline roller skates. There are many different variants of roller skates within both quad roller skates and inline skates. We will break down all the types of roller skates below.
Types of 4 Wheel Quad Roller Skates:
Speed Skates – This type of roller skate typically has a low cut ankle boot that provides a speed skater with a wide range of motion compared to high top roller skates. Speed skates usually have high quality wheels and bearings that increase the skaters ability to skate at a faster pace. Roller speed skates can be used both indoors or outdoors, but are typically used by roller skaters inside a skating rink.
Roller Derby Skates – Much like the predecessor quad speed skate, roller derby skates usually feature a low cut leather boot with the addition of reinforced toes and stickier wheels for better grip. Modern roller derby is an international sport, played by pros and amateurs around the world. Roller derby has grown to become one of the most popular roller sports around the globe. While most teams are all female, there has been steady growth in the number of male, unisex, and junior roller derby teams.
Artistic Skates – Very similar to figure ice skates, the women’s roller figure skating typically has a high leather boot and narrow artistic roller skating wheels. The artistic roller skate is designed to allow a skater to jump or spin with stability and control. Artistic skates use a standard lacing system that allow the skater to manually tighten the boot to their preferred level of tightness.
Jam Skates – This type of roller skates is used by roller skaters that dance or jam to music on roller skates. The skates are used to do jumps, spins, and pull of skating tricks similar to breakdancing. Jam roller skates typically have a low cut ankle leather boot made a little lighter, giving a jam skater the the flexibility to rotate their ankles in all directions, making jam skating tricks easier to perform.
Rhythm & Dance Skates – Rhythm and dance roller skates have become very popular recently as more adult roller skaters are hitting their local skating rink to show off their rhythm and dance moves. The rhythm boot is usually has a stiff high top leather boot that gives a skater more ankle support while dancing on skates. Dance or rhythm skating requires a harder wheel to help with smooth slides as you dance skate around the skating rink.
Outdoor Skates – This type of 4 wheel roller skate is made for skating outdoors on rougher surfaces like concrete roads. The big difference between indoor and outdoor skates comes down to the wheels. A softer wheel will provide a smoother ride when skating on less than smooth surfaces, including sidewalks, parking lots, and city streets.
Types of Inline Roller Skates:
RollerBlade – Rollerblade offers many different types of skates, including aggressive, fitness, and recreational inline roller skates. When Rollerblade was developed, they were the only manufacturer of inline roller skates that had worldwide distribution. This earned the inline skating manufacturer a very large percentage of the world inline skates market, and nearly complete ownership of the North American market. They continued to add to their immense popularity with aggressive advertising campaigns and sponsoring various inline skating events.
Recreational Inline Skates – This type of inline skates are designed to increase stability and comfort, while providing a more relaxed fit. Recreational inline skates usually require very little or no break-in time for the skater. These type of recreational roller skates are usually cheaper in price and do not include the high performance features that other types of inline skates offer.
Fitness Inline Skates – Inline fitness skating is a great anaerobic workout that can increase strength, flexibility, and endurance. Fitness skates are designed specifically for roller skaters who want to get in shape through frequent roller skating. Fitness skates are a step up from recreational skates when it comes to skating performance when skating short or longer distances. Fitness skates tend to be lighter, more comfortable, and include higher quality quality liners inside the skate. These skates usually have larger wheels and high quality bearings to maintain higher speeds on long skates.
Inline Roller Hockey Skates – The roller hockey skate is similar to the ice hockey skate, and there are only a few small differences in the hockey skates design. Inline roller hockey skate boots are armored with reinforced stitching and leather, and other materials like plastic and carbon fiber further enhancing the boots strength and durability. Airplane grade aluminum is used to construct most inline roller hockey frames, providing a light and durable skating solution.
Street Skates – Inline street skates or aggressive skates are designed for sliding down hills, jumping off ramps and stairs, and grinding rails in the local skate park. This type of roller skates are designed for outdoor skating and offers comfort for skating on rough surfaces and avoiding a crash when skating over sand, rocks or bumps. The wheels are usually bigger and softer to accommodate for skating outdoors on rough roads and sidewalks.
Inline Speed Skates – The inline speed skate has a boot that is close-fitting, lightweight with little padding, and is made of leather and carbon fiberglass composites. Many of the inline speed skating boots are heat molded for a custom fit on the inline speed skaters foot to increase comfort and stability. Inline speed skates typically ride on top of an carbon frame or aluminum frame that hold wheels that range in size of 76mm to 125mm with a 3 or 4 wheels set up.
Is Roller Skating a Sport?
Yes, Roller Skating includes a wide range of roller sports that roller skaters compete in while wearing various types of roller skates. National and World Championships for most of the roller sports each year, and some roller sports have both amateur and professional roller skating leagues.
A List of The Roller Sports
- Alpine Skating
- Artistic roller skating
- Downhill Skateboarding
- Inline Freestyle
- Inline Hockey
- Rink Hockey
- Roller Derby
- Roller Freestyle
- Inline speed skating
Looking for roller skating news? Check out our roller skating news section. We update this section daily with the latest roller skating news.
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