When Were Rollerblades Invented

Gregor Mersick
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History of Rollerblades

Rollerblading is as fun as it is challenging. The skates require skill and balance, because it’s hard to stay upright without falling down. Some people are too scared to try it, while others who are more hardy teens are willing to risk sprained ankles for the thrill of the sport.

So how do rollerblades work and when did they come out?

Long ago, ice skates were the only skates available. Then, people started creating devices to help them get around over land. One of these was the skateboard. But skateboards don’t work when the ground is rough. That’s why rollerblades were invented. A rollerblade is like a skateboard but with wheels that are attached with a binding to the shoes. You can control it by leaning from side to side, and you can do tricks with it.

Scott & Brennan Olsen Idea

In 1975, Scott and Brennan Olsen founded California Fitness Products Inc. and set out to invent new exercise equipment. They came up with a new style of inline skating equipment called “Rollerblades”, which they patented on April 21, 1978, following years of research.

Known as an “hourglass with a wheel on each end,” netting attached to a plug-in receptacle held a driver and skate. In 1981, the invention gained significant traction when Olympic skater Scott Hamilton wore skates while winning gold medals in the winter games.

Since then, skates have evolved from steel-tipped to plastic and various other materials.

Although rollerblades originated in the United States, it has spread globally. While they have received criticism over the years, hopefully for anyone willing to try these skates, they see rollerblades in a good light.

Sneak Peek Of Rollerblades Timeline

If you haven’t stepped onto rollerblades in about 15 years, you might be surprised to learn that they’re back in a big way. Especially if you’re a kid in middle school, and you like extreme sports and fashion trends, you’ve likely seen Rollerblades everywhere in the last couple of years.

That’s not a big surprise. After all, that’s the group that grows up with a penchant for the “extreme”. But it’s pretty surprising that rollerblades are back en mass at all, considering they were pretty much considered “yesterday’s news” more than a decade ago.

It’s been over 20 years since we’ve seen these popular “wheels with skates on the bottom” making the rounds. So, to get caught up on the rollerblades timeline, let’s take a look at some of the rollerblades history and how the sport got its start way back in the day.