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7 Jul 2017
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History of Inline Skates

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Posted By Ken H.

Are you an inline skate or roller blade enthusiast? If you are using an inline skate manufactured by Rollerblade, Inc., then you may be called roller blading, but if you are using inline skates from other manufacturer, the term roller blading does not apply to you. You may be surprise to know that the word roller blade does not refer to the skate you use but Rollerblade is the company that is known to manufacture roller blades.

Rollerblade, Inc. used to be known as Chicago Roller Skate Company owned by Scott Olson and Brennan Olson. While they are not the original inventors of inline skates, the Olson brothers redesigned a pair of inline skates by using modern materials. They initially intended to create skates for ice skaters to use during practice.

Their design is similar to the inline skates we know today. This is the reason why roller blades is the name the public calls an inline skate. The redesign done by the Olson brothers to inline skates happen in 1979. While this is not the first known appearance of the inline skates in the history, this is very significant because from this point forward, rollers skates are already known as roller blades.

The first ever appearance of a roller skate, which is a boots with three wheels aligned with each other is in 1943. A London stage performance used this in a stage act. The creator of the first ever roller skate or inline skate is unknown. His name is not even mentioned in the dockets of history.

Seventeen years thereafter, John Joseph Merlin of Huys, Belgium used inline roller skates to promote his museum. There was a problem in his invention of a roller skate because he cannot stop when he needs to. Often, you will see him hitting mirrored wall.

Another significant entry in the history of inline skates is in 1818, when inline roller skates are used by ballet performance for their entrance. This use of roller skates is supposed to be for ice skating. However, because during this time, it is still impossible to produce ice on stage, thus the inline skate as used.

In 1823, Robert John Tyers of London patented Rolito. Rolito is a shoe or boot with five wheels in a single row. While this seems to be just like the inline skates we use today, Rolito cannot follow a curved path like the modern inline skates.

Another important timeline in the history of inline skates is in 1860, when an inventor from Madison, Connecticut developed Parlor Skates. Parlor Skate is the first roller skate that uses rubber or leather ring on the wheels to allow good grip to the ground.

There are many other changes in design that are done on the roller skates that paved the way to the Olson Brothers getting hold of them and redesigning it to the inline skates we know today.

The history of inline skates after the Olson brothers and their establishment of Rollerblade, Inc. have been colorful and led to many manufacturers creating variations of inline skates.

There was a slow down in the popularity of inline skates that happened in the 1990's, inline skates reemerge in history through the aggressive skating discipline.

The history of inline skating likewise entered another entry in 2002 when the coach of Chien-Hao Wang requested for the redesign of inline skates to ensure better performance during inline figure skating events.

The history of inline skating is colorful and involves many personalities. However, even without knowing the ups and downs of the history, inline skating is good for recreational purposes. It may also be good for the health because some fitness gurus believe that inline skating may be comparable to jogging in helping ones self get fit.

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