History and Evolution of Roller Skating

Want to see a roller skate fanatic? Then I greatly welcome you to visit my house in Western Australia and I know that you(like many others) are going to be amazed of the vast range of roller skates I have been collecting for many years. I am in love with them and with the techniques that can be performed with these four wheeled boots.


If you also want to know more about the roller skates Australia online sites offer and before you purchase the pair that best describes your affinities, you first have to dig into the history of who came across an idea to invent them and how they have changed and evolved over the years. Let’s begin!

History of roller skates

Roller skates were first invented by a Belgian inventor Joseph Merlin in 1760. He made a quite introduction rolling across the floor in Carlisle- House in London during a formal masquerade party on metal wheeled skates while playing on his violin. Because his invention had certain limitations, they couldn’t turn nor stop, he run into a large mirror and harmed himself badly. After this experience he wasn’t interested in skating any more.


The history continues on, in 1800′s one Dutch man used wooden wheels on his ice skates considering them to be an appropriate substitute when skating in the summer time. In 1818 in Berlin, ballet dancers wore roller skates during a ballet performance, and people rolled some on the streets of Paris too. But these models didn’t feature a breaking mechanism and their disadvantage was that they couldn’t turn.

After many tries, finally, in 1863, James Plimpton, a businessman from Massachusetts, came across an idea to make roller skates that can help people turn around easily. They got the name “rocking” skates because they allowed people to skate curves.

The 80s were not so good for roller skate promoters and manufacturers. But again, in 1986, a new model of in-line-skates were launched, which made fitness enthusiasts to become crazy about them and the desire for roller skating was revived once again. This decade of change, made many skating centers to expend into centers where the entire family can entertain and perform new skating techniques.

Since the very first invention, roller skating had become an entertaining activity for both, men and women. Wooden wheels were replaced with more advanced plastic versions that provided smoother and easier skating. Along with that, the lightning and the music that was played at skating centers was modernized and skaters enjoyed long hours of unforgettable performances.

The evolution of roller skates

Today, roller skates Australia market overflows with are new and advanced models, that come in different materials, sizes, colours, wheels and different product prices. The progress is more than visible, from wooden wheels (that were made of boxwood that was imported from Turkey and Persia), to rubber wheels, metal, fiber and nowadays, wheels that are made from various synthetic compounds that come in several sizes. Anyway, it is good to know the fact that hard wheels are made to run faster than their softer version, but what makes the soft wheels good is that they tend to grip the floor better. Choices vary due to the customers goals and needs.

Evo roller skates

Another thing that made an evolution since the premiere version of roller skates is the breaking mechanism. Modern roller skates feature toe stops that allow the roller skater to easily jump off his toe and to perform a variety of moves and techniques. If you are a passionate jamskater then opt for good pair of roller skates that feature toe plug which will allow you to accomplish harder and more complicated maneuvers and tricks.

And about the model of the skate, on the market you can still find the traditional “quad” skate that features four wheels, two on the front and two on the back of the boot, but this type has one disadvantage it limits your movements. If you want to perform spins, jumps, fancy turns and many other challenging maneuvers, inline skates are your ultimate choice.

Goran Nikolov is a content writer of Protista, a website where you can find a lot of interesting lists. He is from Macedonia and has a passion to write lists about everything that surrounds him, especially about sports, health, music, technology and history. Goran loves to play basketball in his free time, enjoys playing on his guitar and sharing his thoughts with others.