Skating: Roller Style

Contrary to a lot of popular opinion in the world, roller skating is considered a legitimate sport. This is a sport considered a form of recreation as well. There are typically two forms of skating which are your traditional four wheel skates and the inline variety, where all four wheels are in a line on the skate. The history of roller skates can be traced back all the way to 1743 in London. There is no credit given to a specific inventor of roller skates but the first maker of skates is a man known as Jean-Joseph Merlin around 1760.

The initial four wheel skate was originally created in New York City by James Leonard Plimpton in 1863. This skate became immensely popular because it allowed the skater to lean side to side and turn the skate in the other direction. This design made it easier to turn corners and stop without injury, making it the standard in the industry for more than a century. Due to the popularity of this skate, the first known skating rink was opened for business in 1866. The location of this was in Newport, Rhode Island. Mass production of roller skates began was early as the 1880s. Thousands of skates were being produced every week. This type of roller skating model remained the norm until late part of the 20th century.

Towards the end of the 20th century, inline skates were created as a benefit for those involved with another sport, ice hockey. Creators, the Olson brothers, took the four wheels of a normal roller skate and the shoe from a pair of hockey skates, and put them in a line for them. This design allowed for hockey players to train on surfaces other than ice. A few years down the road here, a company was launched known as RollerBlade, Inc. took control of the inline skating world. At some point within the 1990s, the inline version of the roller skates became so popular that they passed over the traditional skates as the more popular one. Something that does not see any signs of slowing down in the coming future.

Roller skating as a sport was very popular in the 1970s. There were competitions throughout the world for group skating and individual skating that put roller skating on the map. Also during these competitions there was an event known as free skating. Free skating was an event where the skaters would literally race each other around a track and see who would win in a race style format. There are other creations that were spawned from the world of roller skates. One of the things that the world received from this sport was skateboarding. Taking the wheels that were being used at the time from roller skates, these four wheels were used and put under a board where someone could ride.

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