Roller skating has a long history — from Victorian metal skates on wooden maple floors for 25c an hour, to the American Civil right movement of the 1950s. Roller skating has turned up throughout history, encouraging freedom of choice and movement. Once again the wheels hit the floor as millions of skates were ordered throughout the pandemic.
Why roller skate?
One thing we notice about roller skating is that it’s popularity links closely to social movements and changes.
- 1870, roller skating gained popularity and specially designed skate dresses started being produced. These dresses improved freedom of movement and contributed greatly to the increasing rights of women’s dress choices and behaviors.
- 1950–1960’s Hip hop culture gained momentum and skating became a metaphor of Black freedom in America. Though segregation was still prominent, slowly rinks began reducing their colour restrictions, attracting more skaters to the rink.
- 2020 Isolated indoors and socially distanced from others, skating became the number one solo sport. Over 1 billion searches on Tiktok were performed and big brand MOXI saw an unprecedented surge in demand.
Why is roller skating so popular?
We all love to reminisce, feel a sense of freedom and add our own personal touch. Roller skating facilitates all three of these key criteria points.
Due to its aged history, roller skaters of all ages feel a sense of reminiscence as they wiz around on eight wheels. Parents who took to the sport in the 80s return to their youth, while Gen z are attracted to the endless influences pop culture has had on the sport, choosing bits from each decade to integrate into their skating routine.
We all loved to add our own personal touch onto everything we own. Roller skating naturally lends itself to personalisation with different ranges of shoes, laces, fabrics, wheels, protection, add on attachments and more — the options are really endless. We also haven’t mentioned skate fashion yet. Whether you wish to wear denim jeans, booty shorts or an A-line dress, as long as you feel comfortable then you can skate.
The future of skating
Roller skating isn’t owned by any age group and so over the past 100 years the sport has taken many different forms. Including roller dancing, hill bombing, skate park skills and roller derby, there literally is something for everyone. Whether you wish to skate in a group or alone, nothing stops you from lacing up your boots.
Skating itself is a pretty easy sport meaning almost anyone can do it. Young or old, any gender and any size, roller skating doesn’t have a weight category or set of rules that have to be followed. It is the sport of freedom.