Is rollerblading a sport? The truth is, there are many sporting activities out there, and the thought of rollerblading being one may be far-fetched. However, if you have no idea, you don’t need to beat your head to this because I have the perfect answer for you today.
A sport is a physical activity that people indulge in for a particular reason. Going by this definition, rollerblading is a sport because people engage in it for pleasure, competitive rewards, and many health benefits like improved heart health. Some examples of rollerblading sport disciplines include speed skating, aggressive skating, freestyle skating, figure skating, and inline hockey.
This is only the scratch on the surface. In the rest of this post, we’ll delve deeper into the rollerblading sport and all its dynamics. So, without much ado, let’s get to it! Shall we?
Is Rollerblading a Sport?
To get us started, rollerblading is the popular term used to describe inline skating. However, it’s important to note that the correct term should be inline skating. Therefore, in this regard, the right question should go like this: is inline skating a sport?
According to Merriam Webster, a sport is a physical activity that people engage in for a particular goal. Therefore, for anything to qualify as a sport, it should be physical activity and should have a goal and lastly, a way to keep record/score.
That being said, going by this definition, rollerblading, aka inline skating, should pass for a sport because people engage in it for pleasure, competitive rewards, and it has tons of health benefits like improved heart health.
In addition, rollerblading features disciplines that make it a competitive sport. Some examples include:
- Inline speed skating
- Inline Freestyle skating
- Artistic Figure skating
- Inline hockey skating
- Aggressive inline skating
Apart from these rollerblading disciplines, people also engage in inline skating for various health reasons. Usually, athletes are fit and healthy individuals. Something largely contributed to by being sporty.
Some examples of health benefits from rollerblading sport are:
- Good exercise for weight loss,
- Muscle development around the core, glutes, hips, and legs,
- Improve body balance,
- Boosts cardiovascular system,
- Help keep diabetes at bay,
- Tones limbs (arms and legs)
- Boosts the production of the feel-good hormone,
- Keep joints strong and healthy,
- Helps with body coordination, and
- Boosts self-esteem and confidence.
Here is the comprehensive article on10 Health Benefits of Rollerblading | New Research. If you want to discover all the health benefits of rollerblading, I will invite you to click the link.
Rollerblading Sport Disciplines
Many things make rollerblading a sport. However, these five technical disciplines make inline skating a competitive sport attracting thousands of participants both locally and internally. Let’s quickly look at the various disciplines and what it takes to take part in them.
1. Inline Speed Skating
In inline speed skating, participants use inline speed skates to race around tracks or go to marathons. Therefore, this rollerblading discipline can be done indoors in indoor racing arenas and outdoors in racing tracks or urban/country roads.
The participants are expected to cover some distance, like 15 miles for long-distance marathons and 100-200 mm for short distance races to win the prize. The best three athletes are warded with a gold medal, silver or bronze, and some cash, depending on the organization.
Inline speed skaters wear special speed skating suits for ergonomics. The suits are tight-fitting and provide comfort and ease of skating when rollerblading fast. Also, speed skaters use special inline skating shoes with large wheels of up to 125 mm.
While skating, inline speed skaters wear helmets, wrist guards, and some do knee pads for safety. In addition, they also do glasses to prevent eye destruction from light, objects suspended in the air, and wind when skating at high speed.
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First speed skaters around the world used roller skates and inline ice skates. Afterward, these two gave birth to what we have today as inline speed skating, done on dry land and in inline skating shoes with wheels.
Also, the sport is done by both women and women through individual contests and relay races. If you’re thinking of giving it a shot, nothing is stopping you. The best way to go about it is to find a trainer, either online or offline, and get going.
2. Inline Freestyle Skating
Inline Freestyle skating is also commonly known as Freestyle Slalom skating. It’s an artistic rollerblading sport discipline that involves performing tricks around cons arranged in a straight line and at intervals.
Depending on the required level of precision, the cons are placed wide apart or close apart to meet the desired objective.
Inline Freestyle skating can be done both indoors and outdoors on smooth surfaces. Therefore, asphalt, plastic, or concrete surfaces would be an ideal fit. Also, this can be in rollerblading rinks or at a skate park.
In addition, the participants can engage competitively as individuals or teams depending on their arrangements. You need special inline skating shoes with less popular wheels and frame configuration to make it in this sport.
If you’re wondering what this is, it’s called the rocker wheel set up, where the skates have some wheels touching the ground while others are hanging in the air. This setup enables the athletes to achieve a high level of precision and maneuverability around the cons.
In addition, these special inline skates for slalom skating are popularly made by SEBA skates company and other key players like Rollerblades Inc., Power Slide, and Roces.
Like other skills, freestyle skating can be learned. However, one should put in the required effort. So, find a tutor either online or offline at a skate park, and you’ll be good to go.
3. Artistic Figure Skating
Artistic Figure skating is one inline skating discipline performed on ice using figure skates. The sport involves performing in figures or unique patterns. Also, it’s one of the popular winter Olympic Games, attracting thousands of crowds across the world.
Individuals, duos, or teams can do the sport according to regulations stipulated by the International Skating Union. Apart from featuring in the Olympics, artistic figure skating is also done in theatres with ice.
To get better at this sport and possibly participate in the world championships, you need to put in the effort and practice at least six hours daily. In addition, teaming up with like-minded figure skaters goes a long way in flattening your learning curve.
4. Inline Hockey Skating
Inline hockey is also known as roller inline hockey, is a type of hockey sport played by ten athletes—5 from each side—on a hard and smooth surface. The players wear special inline hockey skates and carry a long hockey stick to juggle the hockey cork into the opponent’s goal post.
In addition, the sport is almost similar to ice hockey, but there are slight variations like the type of skates, type of surface, and rink design. It can also be played both indoors and outdoors.
In the United States, inline hockey skating is managed by USA Roller Sports, responsible for coming up with the sport rules.
Like other sports, you can learn inline hockey skating. However, you first need to buy the right gear, including a shin guard, chest guard, special gloves, and helmet.
5. Aggressive Inline Skating
Aggressive inline skating is popularly known by many names such as aggressive skating, street skating, rollerblading, blading, rolling, and freestyle rolling. It’s almost similar to Freestyle inline skating, considering it’s also stylistic.
However, in aggressive inline skating, there are no cons involved but jumping on rails, ramps, or any raised objects on the way. Because of this, one can engage in the sport in rollerblading rinks, on the streets, or in neighborhoods.
This sport requires special inline skates with small wheels and an H-shaped frame. This is meant to give room for jumps and grinds on rails and other hard surfaces. The sport is considered one of the x-treme sports, thus requires a lot of caution.
Because of this, many participants wear hip pads to protect their tail bones in case of a fall, helmets, shin guards, elbow pads, wrist guards, and knee pads.
The sport is currently governed by World Skate has been featuring in the World Roller Games Championships since 2017. Unfortunately, the sport was part of the X Games from 1995 until 2005, when the organizers stopped it.
Is Rollerblading a Sport? Frequently Asked Questions
1. Is Rollerblading good for Cardio?
Rollerblading is a sport and also good for cardio. The sport is rigorous and helps keep the heart strong and healthy to pump blood to all body parts.
2. Is Rollerblading Bad for Knees?
Rollerblading sport is considered a low-impact aerobic exercise, meaning it’s rough on fats and excess calories but gentle on joints. Therefore, this makes rollerblading a safe sport for people with bad knees.
3. Is Skating a Sport or Hobby?
Skating is both a sport and a hobby since it’s an activity people engage in for fun (fitness and reaction) and competitive reasons like speed skating, hockey, aggressive skating, Freestyle skating, and figure skating.
Wrapping Up | Is Rollerblading a Sport?
Is rollerblading a sport? The answer I a big yes! Like we’ve already seen, rollerblading exhibits all characteristics of what makes a sport. Therefore, rollerblading is a sport because people engage in it for pleasure, competitive rewards, and it has tons of health benefits like improved heart health.
If you’re looking to getting into inline skating, you can try the following rollerblading sport disciplines: speed skating, aggressive skating, Freestyle skating, figure skating, and inline hockey. Cheers and happy skating!
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