Roller Skating, Anyone?

Roller Skating, Anyone?

Cooper Morris, Staff Writer

The 70s birthed plenty of trends, many of which have returned to popularity in recent years. Flared jeans and crochet clothing have become increasingly popular with the return of retro fads. Roller skating, which can be an indoor or outdoor activity, has made one of the biggest comebacks. 

Roller skating is recognized by the American Heart Association as an aerobic fitness sport. Just an hour of moderate skating can burn up to 330 calories, and brisk skating can burn up to 500. The AHA recommends roller skating as it is extremely beneficial and an efficient way to burn calories.

We all know that roller skating was one of the biggest trends in the 70s and 80s, but where did it all begin?

The first recorded use of roller skates was during a play in London in 1743, where the actors used skates to move around for the entirety of the production. While this is the first known instance of skates being used, the identity of the inventor remains a mystery.

In 1760, inventor John Joseph Merlin introduced his newest creation, which he dubbed “wheeled shoes.” He presented them by skating around the room at a party, but he hadn’t figured out how to make them stop, so his performance ended abruptly when he crashed into a mirror. After this, he adjusted the skates to have four wheels with two on each side, along with adding the ability to pivot. This was the beginning of the classic roller skate everybody knows and loves.

After years of adaptation and evolution of the skate design, the first roller-skating rink was opened in 1863. 13 years later, the toe stop brake was added to the shoe, allowing skaters to stop with ease. 

Gaining traction in the 1880s, roller skating quickly became popular and soon turned into one of the biggest crazes. People all over the world, especially in the United States, pined for their own pair of skates, and roller rinks were flooded with people every day. The health benefits plus the pure joy that comes from skating made it one of the most appealing activities to people.

While the rinks aren’t as full as they used to be, people all over the world still share a common love for the sport. People of all ages can participate, making it the ideal family activity.

Junior Meadow Myers shared, “My dad used to roller skate with me when I was a kid; he would hold my hand and we would skate backwards. It’s a core memory.”

Even though roller skating isn’t as popular as it was 40 years ago, it still retains all of its desirable qualities. From being one of the most efficient ways to get fit to simply being extremely fun, skating remains one of the best activities for anyone to do.