Inline skating is a multi-disciplinary sport practiced widely internationally. Inline skates typically have 2 to 5 polyurethane wheels, arranged in a single line by a metal or plastic frame on the underside of a boot. The in-line design allows for greater speed than roller skates and better manoeuvrability. Following this basic design principle, inline skates can be modified to varying degrees to accommodate niche disciplines.
Inline skating is also known as “roller blading” due to the popular brand of inline skates, Rollerblade.
The modern style of inline skates was developed as a substitute for ice skates, for use by a Russian athlete training on solid ground for Olympic long track speed skating events. Life magazine published a photo of American skater Eric Heiden, training for the 1980 Olympics, using such skates on a Wisconsin road.
In 1980, a group of ice hockey players in Minnesota were looking for a way to practice during the summer. Scott and Brennan Olson formed the company Rollerblade, Inc., to sell skates with four polyurethane wheels arranged in a straight line on the bottom of a padded boot.
Coming soon: A directory of Inline Skating resources and products