Skating has been with us in one form or another for a few hundred years now and has evolved into a popular leisure activity for adults and children alike. In more recent times we've seen the development of roller skates and skateboards, adding a whole new level of excitement and opening up new possibilities and environments in which to skate.
It seems amazing to say it, but at first roller skating was slow to take off. Back in the 19th century, when they were first invented, interest was minimal, but this is probably explained by the limitations of the initial design. The next incarnation was designed in such in a way to allow the skater to perform turns. This development paved the way for roller skating to become more popular.
For a long time it was a pretty niche activity, but then began to grow in size that it's popularity spread worldwide. An official association was even set up in the USA in 1937 to spread the word about roller skates and the fun you could have with them.
Serious sports have even evolved from the skating movement. Roller hockey for example, which you might have seen taking place down at your local leisure centre. They have featured in entertainment, the sci-fi classic Rollerball depicts a violent, futuristic sport played on skates. Most people will have at least heard of, if not seen, the musical Starlight Express, which features performers on skates.
This movement has spawned ever more variations on the skating theme. Skateboarding began in USA as the surfing movement took up wheels and explored the possibilities of the thrills they could achieve on land and in urban environments.
Today's technology has revolutionised skates and what can be achieved. Talented individuals can reach incredible speeds and perform amazing stunts that would have been unthinkable years ago.
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