Rollerblades - History of Rollerblades

Rollerblades

Although roller skates have a long and diverse history traveling through numerous countries throughout the world, the history of roller blades is much more modern and condensed.

In 1979, two hockey players known as Scott Olson and Brennan Olson came across a pair of antique roller skates. However, these skates were quire unusual, as they did not contain the standard two pairs of four wheels placed on alternate sides of the shoes. Instead, they contained a single row of in-line wheels running down the middle of the boot.

Intrigued by this design, the Olson brothers continued experimenting with other similar designs, but instead used more modern materials, like plastic, to construct their devices. Eventually they were able to create the first rollerblade, complete with four in-line wheels, and a rubber toe-brake to allow for quick maneuvering and stops.

In 1983, the Olson brothers founded Rollerblade Inc. as well as the term "rollerblading", as they were the only producer of in-line skates at the time. However a few fails in the design, including the nearly impossibly task of cleaning them, and the easily damaged wheels, allowed for only small success.

Therefore, the Olson brothers eventually sold Rollerblade Inc, and under new ownership the company made huge improvements to the roller blade design and became quite successful. Quickly, other rollerblade companies began to appear in hopes of trapping some of the success of the original.

Today, rollerblades are little changed from the original design of the Olson brothers in 1979. However, their popularity has reached far throughout the country, replacing a large proportion of roller skates usage. Although roller-skating and blading is a fun and exciting activity, it has fallen out of favor with today's youth. Despite this, it will always remain one of America's best past time activities, and many of its enthusiastic fans and participants will keep on rolling for many years to come.

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