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National Roller Skating Month: What African-Americans Need to Know


When was the last time you did roller skating? If you can’t remember, October is the perfect time to get back to it. After all, it’s National Roller Skating Month. This is one of the most enjoyable activities you can do for beginners or experts. In this article, we’ll tell you more about this month and the roller skating.

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History of Rolling Skating

The creation of roller skating is attributed to a couple of people. In the mid-1760s, Belgian inventor John Joseph Merlin created the first iteration of roller skates. He used them when attending events. However, they had one major problem. John Joseph Merlin wasn’t able to stop his roller skates.

In 1819, Frenchman Charles-Louis Petitbled patented his skates. His were different from John Joseph’s in that they were made of metal or wood and were attached to the shoe through a shaft.

In 1863, American James Leonard Plimpton made additions that influenced today’s roller skates. He added a set of wheels that increased the stability of the skates. He also added a rubber cushion that gave the users the ability to change direction.

In the 1860s, roller skating blew up after roller rinks were opened. James Leonard promoted the activity as a pastime for ladies and gentlemen and people flooded the avenues to be part of the trend in town.

Since then, the roller skates have evolved. It became a sport in the 1890s and today, it’s used in different forms. 

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Types of Roller Skates

National Roller Skating Month: What African-Americans Need to Know
An inline roller skater. Image Source: Unsplash licensed under CC BY 2.0

If you want to fully enjoy National Roller Skating Month, you first need to understand the variation of skates that exit. This will help you to get something that you’re comfortable with.

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Speed Skates

If you are looking for speed, these are the types of skates you should go for. The wheels allow you to go as fast as you want and use them for as long as possible. 

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Outdoor Skates

A rollerskating show. Photo by Luke Southern on Unsplash licensed under CC BY 2.0

They have a low or high cut and are used outdoors. The wheels are designed to facilitate movement on rough surfaces.

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Indoor Skates

If you’ll be done the National Roller Skating Month on a rink, these are the types of skates you should get. You can roll around, twist and turn, and dance beautifully in them. They have high boots that will give you good control. 

Inline Skates

National Roller Skating Month: What African-Americans Need to Know
Inline skaters. Image Source: Unsplash licensed under CC BY 2.0

There are three types of inline skates. 

  • Recreational, which are meant for those who want to exercise
  • Racing skates are for those who want to experience the sensation of speed. You can wear them indoors or outdoors. 
  • Roller hockey skates are for people who play roller hockey. 

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Why Should You Care About National Roller Skating Month?

Besides the fun aspect of it, there are many benefits to roller skating. Exercise is the biggest. 

  • It’s a low-intensity activity which allows you to relieve stress.
  • It’s suitable for people with bone and muscle pain
  • It also helps you to burn excess fat. 
  • Further, roller skating helps in building endurance and improving your balance. 

How You Can Celebrate National Roller Skating Month

Add A Few Tricks

If you’re an expert in roller skating, you can add a few tricks like skating backwards, spinning, one-foot skating, or wheelie. If you’re a beginner, this goes for you as well. Perfect one trick you can show your friends. 

Take Lessons in Skating

Whether a beginner or an experienced roller skater, you’ll always have something to learn. For those who haven’t skated for a while, lessons will help you to polish your skills. 

Go to a Rink

Find one or a couple of roller skating rinks around you and visit. Spend time with family and friends as you dance away, play hockey, or compete with friends.

There are plenty of reasons to celebrate National Roller Skating Month. We hope this article helps you learn more about this month and the history of roller skating. 

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