150 Completely Random Facts from the World of Roller Skating that we wrote!

  1. Veronica Harris from Houston, Texas holds the record title for the longest duration roller skating backward while hula hooping, with 33 minutes 1 second.


  1. Xanadu is perhaps the most famous roller skating movie. It features a romantic musical fantasy that features a love story built around a roller disco.


  1. Skating has also influenced sneaker culture. Certain sneakers have become popular for their compatibility with skateboarding and roller skating, and this has influenced the broader sneaker trends.


  1. Thanks to Ronald Reagan, October became National Roller Skating Month in 1983.


  1. 2004 NBA slam dunk champion credits roller skating for his accomplishment, saying “When I was younger, my parents used to take me to the skating rink at least twice a week. All the time I spent on skates strengthened my legs and helped develop my leaping ability.”


  1. Roller skating can burn up to 600 calories per hour.


  1. The Paris-based label Yves Saint Laurent sold one of the most expensive skates ever. They were high heels with wheels and were priced at $2,600.


  1. Rollerball is a science-fiction sports movie featuring a violent future sport that is a mix of roller derby and motorcycle racing.


  1. The LGBTQ+ community has used roller skating as a form of protest and demonstration. For example, the annual “Roll Out for Pride” event in New York City is a roller skate parade that coincides with the city’s Pride celebration.


  1. The largest parade of roller skaters took place in Paris on June 15, 2008, with 1188 participants who skated for 12.68 miles.


  1. In 2015 Shristi Sharma set a new record for the lowest limbo skating over 25m, traveling under a course of 25 6.69-inch (17 cm) bars.


  1. The activity of roller skating requires balance and coordination, skills that can be improved with regular practice.


  1. On August 11th, 1866, James Plimpton, creator of the contemporary quad roller skate, leased the Atlantic House Hotel in Newport and transformed the dining room into a skating rink. This was the very first public roller skating rink.


  1. As a weight-bearing exercise, roller skating can help to improve bone density, which could potentially reduce the risk of developing osteoporosis.


  1. Kansas City Bomber is a film starring Raquel Welch about a roller derby star trying to balance her personal life and her roller derby career.


  1. Monkeys can be trained to roller skate quite well.


  1. Roller Derby originated in the United States in the mid-1930s, and while it was initially a marathon skating race, it evolved into a contact sport with the introduction of physical collisions and falls.


  1. The “Power Slide” trick is done by skating fast, then turning sideways and sliding, often used as a stopping technique.


  1. The Skatebirds, a television show that aired from 1977 to 1978, featured three large, costumed birds on roller skates: Knock-Knock, a woodpecker; Satchel, a pelican; and Scooter, a penguin. Their nemesis was a cat named Scat Cat, who would chase the roller-skating trio.


  1. Roller rinks became popular in the United States in the late 1800s and were often used for social events and parties.


  1. In the 1950s and early ’60s, roller skating carhops became a common sight at drive-ins, making serving food easier and more fun.


  1. In the late 20th century, rollerblading (also known as inline skating) became a popular alternative to traditional roller skating.


  1. Although there have been a few companies to create electric roller skates such as Escend, and Atmos Gear, they have yet to become popular enough to reach a wide customer base.


  1. Roller Derby is known for its inclusive and empowering culture. It has a strong following among women and is one of the few sports with professional leagues for women. Many roller derby leagues also embrace people of all gender identities.


  1. Roller Boogie is a movie that combines two popular trends of the 1970s – roller disco and boogie music.


  1. Concrete, known for its durability and cost-effectiveness, is a popular choice for outdoor roller skating. When used in certain environments, it’s typically coated with a sealant or epoxy for a smoother finish.


  1. Roller skating is popular in several regions around the world. Some of the places where it’s most popular include:

– United States

– Europe

– China

– Japan

– India

– Southeast Asia

– Latin America

– Middle East and Africa


  1. The longest distance covered on roller skates is 8,596 km (5,341.3 mi) achieved by Peter Bögelein (Germany). Bögelein departed Würzburg, Germany on 1 June 1986 and returned to Würzburg on 16 September 1986.


  1. Renée Forrestall, who was attempting to pick up roller skating again in time for her 60th birthday, unintentionally purchased a set of skates she had previously owned 4 decades earlier.


  1. Professional roller skater Tinuke’s Orbit (aka Tinuke Oyediran, UK) has the record for most cartwheels on roller skates in one minute with 30.


  1. Roller skating has been used as a form of physical and mental exercise during military deployments. For example, Chief Warrant Officer 3 Victoria C. Corrigan from the 16th Combat Aviation Brigade formed a roller derby league at Kabul Air Base during her deployment in Afghanistan.


  1. Roller skating requires flexibility in your joints, particularly in the ankles, knees, and hips, which can be improved with practice.


  1. In the United Arab Emirates, particularly in Dubai, there’s a roller skating community known as Madrollers. It was launched in 2015 and has grown to have 700-800 active members who meet several times a week to practice and enjoy roller skating. The community is free to join, and they even provide training for beginners.


  1. Roll-on or Roll-off Flooring are temporary solutions made of plastic or synthetic materials. Their easy installation and removal make them ideal for temporary setups or events.


  1. Roller skating is an excellent way to boost cardiovascular health, as it offers aerobic exercise that can help strengthen the heart and potentially reduce the risk of heart disease.


  1. The first patented roller skate was introduced in 1819 by Monsieur Petitbled. These skates were like inline skates, with only three wheels and no way to turn.


  1. Engaging in roller skating can help boost mental health by releasing endorphins, improving mood, and reducing stress levels.


  1. Inline skates were re-introduced to the market in the 1980s by two American brothers, Scott, and Brennan Olson, who found an old pair of inline skates and decided to redesign them for off-season hockey training. They are the founders of the Rollerblade company.


  1. The International Federation of Roller Sports was the global authority for a variety of roller sports, including skateboarding, rink hockey, inline hockey, inline speed skating, inline alpine, downhill, roller derby, roller freestyle, inline freestyle, aggressive inline skating, inline figure skating, and artistic roller skating. It was founded in Montreux, Switzerland in April 1924 by Fred Renkewitz and Otto Myer, two Swiss sports enthusiasts.


  1. Roller skating helped popularize tube socks, particularly those with stripes at the top. In the 1970s and 1980s, skaters often wore these with shorts.


  1. Roller skating’s forward-thinking roots link back to roller derby and its enduring ties with feminist and queer groups. Conceived in the 1930s by Leo Selzer, a sports marketer from Chicago, derby was revolutionary for its time as it welcomed both men and women right from the start.


  1. The longest conga line on roller skates was done by the Shivganga Roller Skating Club in Inda. It totaled 308 people.


  1. Roller skating’s popularity has had its ups and downs. While the 1970s may be considered the most famous roller skating decade, the early 1900s also experienced a roller skating craze. In 1905, roller skating rinks opened in cities on the East Coast, and it became a preferred form of entertainment over dancing and other activities.


  1. The “Crazy Legs” trick requires the skater to cross one leg over the other while moving, creating a “wave” effect with the legs.


  1. Sk8fanatics is a California-based company that specializes in custom setups. From dress shoes to Jordans, they can make almost any shoe a high-end roller skate. They have made custom skates for many celebrities, such as Usher.


  1. The majority of roller skating injuries involve the wrist.


  1. The African American Roller Skate Museum was established to tell the story of roller skating in the African American community and to celebrate its history and contributions.


  1. Roller skate wheels are typically made of polyurethane, a material that offers good grip and bounces.


  1. In 1945, Paul Riedell, a roller skating enthusiast, founded Riedell Shoes, Inc. in Red Wing, Minnesota. He and his wife Soph became known for their high-quality, handmade skating boots that ensured great fit and comfort.


  1. Roller Champions is a competitive 3v3 roller sports video game where you take on the rival team with quickness, intelligence, powerful tackles, and audacious evasions. One secures victory by being the initial team to accumulate five points via successful hoop shots.


  1. Roll Bounce is a movie set in 1978 and revolves around a group of teens who are passionate about roller skating.


  1. There are two main types of roller skates: quad skates and inline skates. Quad skates have four wheels arranged in two rows, while inline skates have a single line of wheels.


  1. As the popularity of Disco rose in the 1970s, so did the installation of Disco Balls at roller rinks. This led to more roller rinks making their locations look and feel like nightclubs with widespread lighting upgrades.


  1. Similar to the iconic dance move, the “Moonwalk” has the skater moving backward while appearing to skate forwards.


  1. Inline skating can provide a significant aerobic workout. According to the Mayo Clinic, a person can burn between 210 to 311 calories in 30 minutes of rollerblading at a leisurely pace.


  1. For outdoor skating, a softer wheel is preferred (below 90A hardness), because it offers better shock absorption on rough or uneven surfaces. Conversely, for indoor skating, a harder wheel (above 90A hardness) is ideal.


  1. One of the most famous instances of roller skating intersecting with the Civil Rights Movement included a man named Ledger Smith, who skated 685 miles to attend Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech.


  1. Founded in 1936 by John L. Wintz, SURE-GRIP International first made its mark with a rubber inlay wheel for roller skates in 1937. Made from durable phenolic, these wheels offered extended use and grip, replacing slippery wooden ones, and revolutionizing the industry. Hence, the company’s name, SURE-GRIP, aptly reflected its pioneering product. This success marked the company’s start as a trailblazer in the industry.


  1. The physics of roller skating can be taught as part of a S.T.E.M. learning program: Roller skating provides a practical and fun way to explore the principles of physics. Concepts such as friction, force, gravity, and momentum can be explored through the movements and mechanics of roller skating.


  1. The plate links the boot, trucks, and wheels in the roller skate setup. There’s a range of roller skate plates to choose from; constructed from nylon or metals, and with varied truck angles for enhanced agility.


  1. The DiscOasis at the Wollman Rink, in Central Park, NYC is a roller disco extravaganza, hosted by Nile Rodgers, the “Groovemaster”, and features open skate sessions, theatrical performances, live DJs, artists, and special guests.


  1. The “Cross Over Turn” move is commonly used when turning corners at high speed. The outer foot crosses over the inner foot, helping to maintain balance and speed during the turn.


  1. Some roller skate wheels have a hollow core to reduce weight. This is especially common in speed skating and roller derby.


  1. Roller skate wheels also come in different shapes, which can affect maneuverability. Narrow wheels are more agile, while wider wheels offer more stability.


  1. Each major American city developed its skate style during the 1970s roller revolution. Chicago became famous for JB skating, with its intricate moves borrowed from James Brown (“JB”).


  1. The popularity of roller skating was further fueled by social media trends, particularly on TikTok. Skaters such as Ana Coto (@anaocto), TJ Rossetti (@skaterboitj), Solomon Snowden (@idance_solo), and many more, received millions of views on their videos and inspired many people to pick up roller skating during the pandemic.


  1. In the 1970s, short shorts, also known as “hot pants”, were popularized in part by roller skaters, both men, and women.


  1. During World War 2 one of the USO’s most popular programs was roller skating.


  1. The renowned singer, Pink, has been spotted enjoying roller skating with her family during her leisure time.


  1. The Universal Skate Wrench is one of the most popular roller skate tools: this skate tool features a 15/16″ open-end wrench for adjustable toe stops, a 1/2″ socket for wheel axle nuts, and a 9/16″ open-end wrench for standard kingpins. This tool is perfect for beginner skaters as it will adjust your 3 main skate parts: toe stops, wheels, axle nuts, and your skate kingpins.


  1. “The Spin” trick involves spinning around in place, either on the toe wheels, heel wheels, or all wheels.


  1. The largest indoor roller skating rink in the world is Guptil’s Arena in Cohoes, NY. It has over 400,000 board feet of oak flooring held together by nine tons of nails.


  1. Regular roller skating can help to increase endurance over time, allowing you to engage in physical activity for longer periods without getting tired.


  1. Vinyl Tile is a durable, water-resistant material that provides a smooth surface for skating, which makes it suitable for many uses. It’s also relatively easy to maintain.


  1. In season 4 of Stranger Things, a surprising turn of events occurs at Rink-O-Mania, which is, in reality, Skate-O-Mania, located in Albuquerque, New Mexico.


  1. The “Toe Spin” trick involves spinning on the front (toe) wheels of one skate.


  1. Bill Butler, a black skater active in the 1970s, is credited with the inception of roller dancing. He originated numerous dance steps and glides on roller skates, earning the title of the Godfather of Roller Disco.


  1. There are now brands dedicated to creating fashion specifically for roller skaters, blending functionality with style.


  1. The first recorded marriage on roller skates happened in 1912 in Milwaukee.


  1. In 1984, the Apollo Victoria Theatre, in London, staged the premiere of Starlight Express, the world’s only musical performed exclusively on roller skates.


  1. The TWA Hotel at the JFK Airport, in Queens, NYC is a hotel that hosted the summertime fest “Roll-a-Rama at the Runway Rink.”


  1. During the disco era, roller rinks were popular hangouts. Fashion of this era translated to the rink with bright colors, bell-bottom pants, and satin jackets.


  1. Inline skates, or rollerblades, have a line of wheels extending along the center of the boot, usually ranging from two to five wheels.


  1. Roller skating is a full-body workout that engages various muscle groups, particularly in the legs and core, thereby improving muscle strength.


  1. Jam skating is a type of roller skating that blends facets of freestyle skating, breakdancing, and roller skating.


  1. Whip It Is a film directed by Drew Barrymore, the film stars Elliot Page as a member of a roller derby team.


  1. A technique for stopping in which one foot is placed behind the other, forming a ‘T’ shape is called the “T-Stop.”


  1. Roller skating is featured in many Cirque Du Soleil shows. One such example is in the show “Totem”, which explores the evolution of mankind. A couple is shown spinning on roller skates at high speeds during a wedding ceremony for the performance.


  1. Patrick Swayze made his big-screen debut as Ace in 1979’s Skatetown USA, a roller disco film.


  1. Roller skating originated in the 18th century: The first recorded invention of roller skates was in 1760 by a Belgian inventor named John Joseph Merlin.


  1. The sport of inline speed skating has been included in the World Games since 1981. Its inclusion has made it a global phenomenon.


  1. Moxi Roller Skates and Moxi Shop’s owner and founder, Michelle Steilen, had to start a second facility to handle all the back orders the company had amassed in 2020. “In April, [we] generated 12 times our typical sales. Now, it’s a lot more than that.”


  1. Boots are made into skates when the skate frame is attached to the shoe by drilling holes through the frame into the shoe and bolting them together. The bolts are then cut down to size.


  1. At 95, Gene Elliot celebrated his birthday by roller skating at Skateland USA in Hickory, North Carolina. He is one of the oldest roller skaters ever recorded on video.


  1. Maple hardwood is a highly sought-after skating surface due to its durability, resilience, and smooth feel. It’s often favored for surfaces where a bit of flexibility is needed.


  1. A bearing press/puller tool is used to remove and install bearings easily and efficiently. It is a two-sided tool that has one end to pull the bearing out of the wheel, and the other end is used to push the bearing into a wheel.


  1. Roller derby requires a lot of protective gear due to its physical nature. Participants typically wear helmets, mouthguards, elbow pads, knee pads, and wrist guards to protect themselves during play.


  1. Beyoncé has been seen roller skating for fun in her time and has even used it as a theme for a music video.


  1. Inline skates are used for a variety of activities, including fitness skating, racing, aggressive skating, and extreme sports such as aggressive inline.


  1. Roller derby is a contact sport played by two teams of fifteen members roller skating in the same direction around a track. The game consists of a series of short matchups (jams) in which both teams designate a jammer who scores points by lapping members of the opposing team.


  1. The first recorded game of roller hockey took place in London in 1878.


  1. ABEC Scale: The quality of bearings is often graded using the ABEC scale (Annular Bearing Engineers’ Committee), which rates them from 1 to 9. A higher ABEC rating means better precision and efficiency.


  1. A trick where the skater squats down on one leg and extends the other leg straight out in front is called “Shoot the Duck.”


  1. Roller skating culture has inspired certain hair and makeup trends, such as brightly colored hair, glitter makeup, and vibrant nail colors.


  1. The Roller Skating Rink Operators Association was established in 1937 by a group of skating center owners to promote roller skating and establish good business practices for skating rinks. They hold a convention every year and also have a trade show where companies showcase the latest products geared to roller skating and operating roller skating rinks.


  1. The boots of inline skates can be made of different materials, from plastic for recreational skates to carbon fiber for racing skates, which allows for more speed and better maneuverability.


  1. Actor Brandon Perea became the youngest professional Jam skater in history at the age of 13.


  1. Freestyle Slalom Inline Skating is a form of inline skating where tricks are performed around a linear arrangement of uniformly spaced cones. While most freestylers prefer inline skates, a few opt for quad skates.


  1. Particularly for children, learning to roller skate can boost confidence and independence as they master a new skill.


  1. In the late 1980s and early 1990s, a Minneapolis, Minnesota-based firm, Rollerblade, Inc., created by Scott and Brennan Olson, extensively publicized inline skating under the registered trademark Rollerblade. This label has evolved into a generic trademark for inline skates.


  1. Roller skate and inline bearings are typically made from steel, although some higher-end versions may be made from ceramic or titanium.


  1. Roller skates have been used in various sports, including roller hockey, speed skating, figure roller skating, and roller derby.


  1. The rapper Snoop Dogg has been photographed on several occasions showing off his roller skating skills.


  1. In 1995 Nike bought Bauer and started producing Nike-branded inline skates. As the popularity of inline skating slowed in the early 2000s, so did Nike’s interest in the market, and they ended up selling Bauer for $200 million on February 21, 2008.


  1. Inline skate wheels are usually larger and harder than roller skate wheels, which makes them faster and suitable for different kinds of terrain.


  1. The World Roller Games is the largest global event for roller sports and includes several disciplines such as speed, hockey, derby, and freestyle skating.


  1. In 1979, Cher released a song called “Hell on Wheels,” and the accompanying music video featuring roller skating was one of the first modern, MTV-style music videos.


  1. James Plimpton, an American, invented the “rocking” skate in 1863. This design, known as the quad skate, improved upon previous designs and is the design most used today.


  1. The Church of 8 Wheels in San Francisco, California, is an old church converted into a roller rink that offers a unique skating experience. It hosts different events, including roller disco parties.


  1. Roller skates have also been used in the military. During World War II, the United States explored using roller skates to help move infantry more quickly.


  1. Americans who skated at a roller rink in the late nineteenth century would dance to brass bands or small orchestras. However, as the century ended, rink owners were increasingly reliant on the mechanical band organ, a less expensive alternative that produced excellent music.


  1. Tarra is considered the world’s only roller-skating elephant. She lived in Matilija Canyon during the late 1970s and early ’80s with her owner and trainer Carol Buckley.


  1. There are many roller rinks throughout Europe. Amsterdam is home to the famous Roller Planet.


  1. The film Boogie Nights is set in the late 1970s and features a character known as Rollergirl who is always seen with her roller skates.


  1. The modern roller skating scene often embraces a DIY aesthetic. This includes customized skates, homemade skate accessories, and personalized outfits.


  1. RollerJam USA on Staten Island is New York City’s last remaining indoor roller rink. It was severely damaged during Hurricane Sandy, and it took $750,000 and six months of extensive repairs to reopen.


  1. Aggressive inline skates are marked by a resilient, rugged boot. Still, the distinguishing features are the soul plate and the groove, also known as the H-block, of the frames, facilitating secure and comfy grinds.


  1. The design of inline skates was inspired by ice skates and was initially used as a summer training tool for hockey players.


  1. Inline skating skills are valuable for camera operators in the film industry who need to move smoothly and quickly around a set while shooting. This can include both indoor and outdoor shoots.


  1. One of the disciplines in Artistic skating is “Figures,” where the individual follows the figure circle line on a specific edge. Figures become progressively more complex with the addition of turns and the use of the third circle.


  1. Rollerblade brakes are typically found on the back of the skate, with some designs allowing for the brake to be moved from one skate to another, depending on user preference.


  1. Despite their typically technology-averse lifestyle, Amish communities have used roller skates for decades. However, during the Rollerblade craze in the 1990s, only a third of Amish congregations approved their use.


  1. In the late 1800s, concern over potential accidents between roller skaters and walkers led certain areas of London to consider prohibiting roller skating. Winston Churchill refused to agree to a by-law that banned skating on pavements, “as it affords outdoor exercise for young people, which is badly wanted in London”.


  1. The recent resurgence of roller skating has brought with it a revival of 1980s fashion, including neon colors, high-waisted jeans, and crop tops.


  1. In 1994 Roces made the first adjustable inline skate called the NRjr. Size adjustability has now become a standard quality for children’s inline skates.


  1. Detroit also has its roller skating style that started in the Motown era. “The Hatch” is a popular Detroit skate where a group of three to four skaters, holding hands, alternately twist their bodies from right to left as they skate. They must be completely in sync for it to work.


  1. Roller derby participants often adopt a “derby name”, a nickname that’s typically punny, fierce, or humorous. These names are part of the fun and camaraderie of the sport.


  1. Peter Bögelein from Germany holds the record for the longest distance traveled on roller skates, covering a total of 8,596 km (5,341.3 mi). Bögelein embarked from Würzburg, Germany on the 1st of June 1986, making his return to the same city on September 16, 1986.


  1. The first World Championships for speed roller skating were held in 1938. By 1979, the sport was included in the Pan American Games program.


  1. In France, there is a police unit made up of 9 inline skaters that are training for utilization during the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.


  1. Founded in 1980, the National Museum of Roller Skating offers the community a chance to understand the roller skating sport and its origins. The museum displays roller skating across the ages through exhibits featuring relics from the early 19th century.


  1. Artistic roller skating mixes figure skating, dance, and gymnastics, showcasing choreographed routines to music. Performances can be solo, in pairs, or team events. It’s competitive, with global contests, but also a popular recreational activity due to its expressive character.


  1. Roller skates were initially seen as a form of transportation, rather than for recreation or sport.


  1. Established on Jan. 9, 1955, during the Civil Rights period, RollerCade is among the oldest persistently open, black-owned rinks nationwide.


  1. Toe Caps: Toe caps are protective accessories that cover the toe area of roller skates. They provide an extra layer of durability and can help prevent scuffs and damage to the front of the skates.


  1. The first roller skate with adjustable tension via a screw was patented by James Leonard Plimpton in 1863.


  1. When drive-in restaurants started to gain popularity in the United States in the 1950s, roller-skating waitresses first appeared. These restaurants discovered that hiring roller skating waiters was a successful option when they required a quick and effective way to serve customers who were in their cars. While collecting orders and bringing food and drinks to clients’ cars, the waitresses would roll out on skates. The restaurant business immediately adopted this idea and it started to become popular.


  1. In Berlin, roller skates were elegantly introduced into society through the debut of the German ballet Der Maler oder die Wintervergn Ugungen (The Artist or Winter Pleasures). The ballet required ice skating, but due to the impracticality of creating ice on stage at that time, roller skates were used instead.



  1. Roller skates themselves have become fashion accessories. Skates can be found with a variety of colors, patterns, and even light-up wheels.



  1. The Rink (1916) is a silent short film that showcases Charlie Chaplin’s comedic roller-skating prowess. Chaplin, also the writer and director, portrays an awkward server with exceptional skating talent.



The book which we wrote 🙂

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