When did rollerblading start? Rollerblading is an exciting sport that started in the 1700s in a very rudimentary form but was later fine-tuned in the 1980s by Scott and Brennan Olsen. While in a sports store, the two brothers found an old inline skate and used it as inspiration to make the first rollerblades.
But that’s only the tip of the iceberg! The juicy part is yet to come if only you stick around to the end. Below is a quick rundown of what we’ll cover in today’s post.
- When Was Rollerblading Invented?
- When did Rollerblading become Popular?
- How did Rollerblading become Popular?
- Why did Rollerblading Become Unpopular?
- What is the future for Rollerblading?
If you’re looking to getting started in rollerblading, or perhaps you’ve already joined, learning more about your hobby can be interesting.
The good news is, I’m going to cover rollerblading history over the year from the ancient days, today and the future. So, let’s get started on this exciting adventure!
When Was Rollerblading Invented?
Rollerblading has been active since the 1700s when it was first invented by an unknown English man in London in 1743. Later in 1760, John Joseph Merlin became the first known inventor of inline skates. Because of this, we can refer to him as the father of inline skates.
Down the history line, that is, between 1743 and 1980, this is the time inline skating saw an unprecedented growth. Other notable inventors and key players during this period include; Robert John Tyers, Louis Legrange, John Jay Young, and Scott and Brennan Olson.
In the early 1980s, Scott and Brennan Olson revolutionized inline skating to what is today mostly known as rollerblading. These two brothers were also hockey players that brought in the new dawn in modern inline skating.
When did Rollerblading become Popular?
Rollerblading started becoming popular in the early 1980s when Scott and Brennan Olson made the first advanced inline skates. By advanced, I mean the skates were way better than what was being used in the early years.
The two brothers created the inline skates for use during hockey games off-season. In 1980, the two brothers established Rollerblade Inc., the company they used to sell their inline skates to hockey players.
Besides, they went ahead to make the sport more popular that everyone adapted the name rollerblading. Even today, the name rollerblading is common among skaters who refer to inline skating as rollerblading.
How did Rollerblading become Popular?
Were it not for the pioneers who made rollerblading popular in the 1980s through to the 1990s; probably, the sport wouldn’t have seen the light of the 21st century. In 1883, Rollerblade Inc. began a massive campaign of these inline skates.
They introduced the skates to everyone else as recreational or fitness gear. Besides, the skates were more advanced and safe to use, thanks to better wheel quality and an inbuilt braking system.
Today, more inline skate companies are on the market, thanks to the foundation that Rollerblades laid in the early years. Some of these companies include; Power slide, Seba, K2, and many more. Below is a complete review of inline skate brands that I did with you in mind.
Why did Rollerblading Become Unpopular?
Despite the success rollerblading enjoyed in the 1980s and 1990s, soon doom befell the hobby. It started becoming more unpopular for several reasons.
- One, people were fearful that the sport is dangerous, and so, parents shunned the idea of allowing their children into rollerblading.
- Two, there was inadequate support from influencers. For example, when X-Games stopped supporting inline skating, it was like a death sentence.
- Three, there was gender and age bias—people associated rollerblading with a feminine hobby. Worse, it was widely believed it’s for children. That helped put people off.
- Four, stiff competition from skateboarding. Most inline skaters dropped the hobby for a skateboard leading to a massive decline in inline skaters.
This is what happened, and it almost paralyzed rollerblading. However, the sport has been resilient over the years and has stood the test of time.
What is the future for Rollerblading?
After all that has happened over the last three decades –the rise and fall of rollerblading—the sport is fast picking up again. Check online Rollerblading Facebook communities like Rollerblading International, and you’ll be amazed at how seniors are making a comeback.
At 40 plus years, both males and females acquire new rollerblades and hit the roads once again. For some, it’s picking up from where they left as teenagers, while for others, it’s starting on a clean slate.
For the better part of it, people have realized rollerblading has numerous health benefits, plus it’s an awesome way to lose weight while having fun. If you’re yet to get started, you have no idea what you’re missing. So, don’t hesitate any further.
I must confess that rollerblading will be a big thing in the coming years—more prominent than it was back in the 1990s. I bet you won’t want to forgive yourself for missing out on this mega transformation.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How Dangerous is Rollerblading?
Rollerblading isn’t as dangerous as people may think. Your safety is guaranteed with proper care and skating in designated areas like skate parks, neighborhood trails, and rollerblading rinks.
Besides, there’s the option of wearing protective gear such as; a helmet, elbow pad, wrist guards, knee pads, shin guards, and hip pads that protect your entire body should you encounter an accident. To top it up, rollerblades have a wide wheelbase for more stability. This minimizes the chances of falling when skating.
2. Do I need a Helmet When Rollerblading?
By all means, you need a helmet anytime you go rollerblading. A helmet forms an integral part of your rollerblading protective gear since it protects your head from injuries should you encounter an accident. Some rollerblading surfaces have obstacles like pebbles and potholes that can lead to a fall. Therefore, you want to have a helmet on if that happens.
3. Is Rollerblading good for seniors?
Rollerblading is good for seniors since it has no age limit. Besides, rollerblading is considered a low-impact aerobic exercise, meaning it’s gentle on joints. Since seniors are likely to have joint problems, rollerblading would be a suitable sport to help them with exercising without experiencing joint pains.
When Did Rollerblading Start? Final thoughts
Learning about your hobby is fun and exciting. I mean, it’s a thriller to have all the information of how the hobby started and the ups and downs it’s gone through over the years. As an inline skater, discovering more about rollerblading instills a sense of pride and hope in me.
I believe it does the same for you! Having said that, if you’re just getting started in rollerblading, now you have the background information for your hobby. Rollerblading has tons of health benefits and is suitable for all ages.
If you’re looking for a fantastic way to exercise and keep fit while having fun, rollerblading has your back. So, have fun and happy rollerblading!