Roller skating, as a sport, is seeing a decline in many countries. The choice of skates, as well as the surface of skating, has also undergone a sea change. Due to the rising size of the average younger generation, the standard wheel size of roller skates has been on the rise too. It has managed to reach 3*1500mm for marathons.
The world championships which are held every year alternating with the continental championships aren’t doing too great either. This is because the Federations of most countries cannot afford to send their national teams overseas every year. And, ever since track racing has taken over road racing, the racing schedule has also dwindled drastically. Track racing with four-wheel setups are the current favourites for not only the skaters but also the audience – It is more telegenic and way more spectacular to watch. The choice of skates has also changed with younger skaters more into in-line skates then quad-skates. In-line skates are the most common skates for events and on all categories with the judging methods for skating being the same as that of ice-skating.
The Decline and Suppression Over the Last Decade
The skaters are now sharing training places in the same permanent buildings as that of ice skaters. Global warming is an important factor which has forced the ice skaters to move down from northern countries because their activity has become too expensive and unaffordable. So both the ice and in-line skaters now use the same synthetic floor this also doubles up as a school for skating classes.
- During the day it is converted into a hockey rink and can host other events too. With the ice rinks becoming exorbitant to manage most of them have been either demolished or converted into multi-sport halls which can be used for a variety of sports including rollerskating.
- Even the best hockey nations in the world have started practising on synthetic floors be it for in-lines or ice skates.
- The competition in skating has improved immensely. It has also become more professional, and the sport is a challenge to enter and make a mark in international teams.
- With the rise in pollution, the game took a hit. It is only recently that thermal ban has set the sport on the back burner, in the lives of children. Children now have to share the roads or streets with loads of other vehicles as the rise in vehicular traffic is also considerable.
What the Future Has in Store
On the other hand, a rise in skating on green lanes and in clean areas has been prevalent. The surfaces are smooth non-skid and well drained. The equipment and skates have become futuristic with the skates automatically moulding to take the shape of the feet and the energy produced by the wheel’s rotation powering the electronic equipment.
With skating set to enter the Olympics in 2028, The IOC has devised half of the programme of the Olympics. The racing formats have changed to save money, and all the facilities are shared with BMX racing. Most of the facilities split up allocated time slots at the already existing racing tracks with BMX associations. Hence, the future of skating seems to be in good hands and safe for the future.