If you’ve ever laced a pair of skates, you know that roller-skating is a blast. But did you know that it has a crazy past? We’re sharing our favorite facts about the history of roller-skating.
5 Fun Facts about Roller-Skating
- Roller-skates were invented in 1760 by John Joseph Merlin. They started with a bang (literally—he crashed into a mirror), but didn’t gain popularity until the invention of skate trucks let people actually turn while roller-skating. Before that they only had two directions to choose from: backwards and forwards!
- Skating isn’t all breezing around the rink. In addition to aggressive trick skating (think extreme sports), popular skating sports include jam skating, derby skating, and speed skating. Jam skating uses the principles of artistry and rhythm to create complex dance choreography on skates. Derby skating is an aggressive, team-oriented sport comprised of mostly female athletes. And inline speed skating is used by some Olympic athletes to practice during the off-season.
- Charlie Chaplin was a pro roller-skater, incorporating complex spins and slapstick falls into many of his silent films.
- And other celebrities love to skate, too! Prince was such an avid skater that he owned a pair of custom-designed skates. And Beyoncé threw her 21st birthday party at a skating center in her hometown. Not to mention all the roller-skating seen on TV, in movies, and in music videos.
- Even the Amish love to skate. In fact, there was a big debate in the 90s about whether teens’ new inline skates crossed a cultural line because they went so much faster than the traditional quad skates.
Have a fun skating fact? Want to learn about us? Can’t wait to go skating? We’ll be waiting! Visit Chester Skateland for family fun and fresh skate facts.