Roller skating is a sport / pastime that basically is the act of moving whilst standing on a pair of roller skates. It has become a highly popular activity all over the world, particularly among the younger generation. Its popularity is based on its low cost and flexibility.

Anybody can take up roller skating young or old, and basically you can roller skate just about anywhere. That is to say places that have a flat solid surface that will allow the skates to roll on top of the surface. So roads, car parks, even ballrooms can all be venues for roller skating.

The flexibility of roller skating has led to roller skates becoming incorporated into many sports. And in this blog we take a look at each and every one of them starting with artistic roller skating, and including such things as roller hockey and roller derby.

Artistic Roller Skating

Artistic Roller Skating is a competitive sport that is a collection of different roller-skating disciplines, just like athletics. Figures, Dance, Precision Teams, Singles, Pairs and Freestyle are all combined together under one banner of Artistic Roller Skating.

The basis of Artistic Roller Skating is similar to Figure Skating but instead of ice skates the competitors wear roller skates. The type of skates actually worn are known as quad skates, and they feature two wheels at the front and two at the back with a rubber break that enables a quick stop.

The discipline consists of movements that are made in at least two circular courses but never more than three. The first movements do not include turns. The judges are looking for how well the competitors perform their dancing. And there is also a freestyle event so when the music plays the competitors spin, jump and perform freestyle movements.

Speed Skating

For this sport inline skates are used, and the event is as it sounds as the competitors race each other on racing circuits. The inspiration for this sport comes from speed skating on ice and it is very popular in America as well as parts of Europe.

Speed Skating varies on the track and the distances the competitors race on, so you can see sprints, long distance races and even marathons. The indoor tracks are oval in shape with plastic coated flooring for the skates to build up speed. In the outdoors most tracks are just concrete and are about twice the size of the indoor ones. In Europe most of the external tracks are in patinodromes.

Both indoor and outdoor Speed Skating races are usually for individuals to race against a single opponent. But there are also relay events that have multiple team members. The sport is open for either male or female contestants, and appears in the World Championships and the World Games.

We continue our exploration of the sports that use roller skates in part two of this blog, where we will look at the very popular Roller Hockey and the exciting Roller Soccer among many other sports. We also find out about the different kinds of roller skates used for the different sports that they are used in.