Lights, Camera Ska-ction: Roller Skates In Pop Culture

Since the first recorded use of roller skates in 1743 roller skating has meandered through many obstacles to remain the top casual fitness activity. Ironically, the great depression played an influential role in motivating people to think “Outside the box” for new forms of entertainment.

In fact roller derby got it’s start in a popular pastime recreational activity by the name of Endurance Races. But soon after the great depression something called WWII broke out and most of the roller derby men had to kiss the sport goodbye.

They definitely kept their skates stashed in the closet as evidenced by the come back that roller skates made after the war. In 1948, roller derby debuted on New York television with a 13-week series of matches between New York and Brooklyn. The big screen is responsible for the revival of many sports and hobbies and roller skating is no exception!

In 1995, roller skates were first promoted as fitness skates and this trend doesn’t show any signs of stopping. Let’s glance back at the big screen and take a look at the influence that pop culture has had on roller skates.

Charlie Chaplin at his best in the 1939 comedy film Modern Times

Roller Skates Go Western

Not so long after, the epic western film from 1980 Heavens Gate, brought us one of the most epic scenes with roller skates. Did you know the roller rink in the film is called “Heavens Gate”? Unfortunately, the entire roller skating dance scene didn’t make the cut for the slimmed down 149-minute version.

Rock On At The Rink

2002 saw the best collaboration of pop music and roller skating when Matchbox Twenty transformed New York City into a giant roller disco for a music video. Even though the song they chose isn’t in their top three best, can we agree that the video definitely is?

“In Manhattan now, there’s this unbelievable underground roller disco scene,” Thomas said. “We went out and cast these kids, some of whom were from this off-Broadway show that’s a roller disco show, some of whom are just Wednesday-night-at-the-Roxy skaters, street skaters. There’s a whole other world that goes on in the middle of the city that people don’t know about.” ~ Lead singer Rob Thomas

Skateland: Sundance On Roller Skates

Only grossing $19,411 in the north american box office is the 2010 movie Skateland. Come on! Every movie involving roller skates should be a blockbuster hit, right? It’s your typical teen movie and it premiered at the Sundance Festival. Were not movie critics here at Roller Skate Nation but we give the roller rink scenes a 10/10. Check it out!

The Best Roller Skating Gift Ideas and Tips For Everyone

There was nothing easy about creating a list of roller skating gift ideas and it was just as challenging as roller skating backwards down a hill or roller skating a Great Dane dog on a stroll through the park. You be the judge. The reason is that in our opinion, any gift related to roller skating is the perfect gift but when narrowing the list down, we took in consideration those items that make for the best surprises and happy roller skaters.

To cut to the chase, you can never go wrong with a gift card to Roller Skate Nation but for those that choose surprise over choice, read on!

When shopping for great roller skating gift ideas the first step is to determine the skill level and amount of involvement that the gift recipient has with skating. A set of wheels is no good if the person doesn’t have skates and there’s no reasons to invest $400 in roller skates for a first pair.

Riedell Roller Skates

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Top 5 Reasons To Shop At Roller Skate Nation

There are more than five reason that make Roller Skate Nation a great choice for your roller skating needs but I narrowed the list down to focus on the fact of the matter that you when you buy roller skates from us, you are joining a community of avid skaters and gurus of all things skating.

online shopping

1. For as popular as online shopping has become, customer service remains one of the most important reasons for why people choose a company. Online shopping can be confusing and roller skates are more complex than what meets the eye. That is why we created live support customer service to answer your questions and concerns about anything related to your shopping and skating experience when you buy roller skates. Next time you’re browsing our site, take notice of the “Contact a Skate Rep!” menu on the lower right of the screen. If no one is available at the moment you request help, just leave your email and a message and a rep will get back asap.

2. We know how it is during the moment of check out when you choose your shipping option and get slapped with a dreaded shipping fee. We offer over 250 roller skates that ship themselves for free and we’ve divided them into 6 categories to help you find what you’re looking for faster for when you buy roller skates.

3. We are Roller Skate Nation based in Columbus Georgia but there are no borders between your order and our warehouse. We love international customers and we’ve partnered with MyUS.com to offer fast and convenient international shipping to more than 225 countries. Just follow these steps for international delivery.

Follow these two steps for international delivery:
1. Get your own U.S. address in America at www.MyUS.com.
2. Use your new U.S. address, provided by MyUS.com, when placing your order with us.

4. If we had to do the math, there are probably thousands of roller skates on sale at any given time on the web and there are only so many types of skates. Lucky for you, you’ve come to one of the biggest roller skate stores with the biggest collection of skates. If you find a skate at a lower price then we will stand by our low price guarantee and match that competitors’ price. This is our 100% skater satisfaction policy. Were happy to offer this service but it’s best to inform yourself of the policy and restrictions that apply. Don’t worry, we make it as easy as possible.

5. We are your one stop shop for all of your skating needs for when you buy roller skates. From mouth guards, bearings to helmets and everything in between, we organized our online store with the both pro skaters and beginners in mind.

Our relationship does not end when the transaction is over. In fact, this is when it starts rolling.

Five Things to Know Before You Purchase Roller Skates

Roller skates can seem a bit complicated when you start looking over the manufacturer specifications, sales brochures, and reviews, but they don’t have to be. If you know the terms and what each component does, then choosing your next pair of skates can be a simple process. There are five basic elements that make up a pair of roller skates. Everything else is just cosmetics, design, and performance.

This article covers the basics, but has been written to help you select the roller skates that fit you best. When you are ready for more advanced terms or specifics about a component, just click any one of the article titles below, and it will take you to a more in depth explanation of that component.

If you have any questions that aren’t covered here, or you need any additional help or advice, please don’t hesitate to contact us (link to contact form / person).

The Basics:
Whether you are a first time skater, an old pro returning to the newer technologies available, or parents looking to surprise someone with a new pair of skates, this guide will help you get off to a good start. Don’t let the descriptions get you confused. Every pair of roller skates is just wheels that strap on your feet. The details are a bit more involved, but that’s all explained later. There is also a link to each component that explains it in more detail.

  1. Wheels
  2. Bearings
  3. Trucks
  4. Chassis or Plates
  5. Boots

That is everything that makes a pair of roller skates. So, let’s take a look at each of these five components, and have a quick overview of what each does. This way you’ll know not only what components you’re looking at, but also what is and is not likely to be in your price range. We’re going to take this from the ground up, just like the list above, so take notes or bookmark (link) this page so you can come back to it.

Step One: Wheels
Wheels are basically about durometer (hardness) and shape (size). Hard wheels are faster and typically for indoor skating. Soft wheels are slower and usually for outdoor skating or indoor beginners. Shape basically means size. Narrow small wheels are easier to steer, and are best for beginners or skaters who make lots of fancy turns. Wider wheels are more difficult to control, but offer more surface area and are great for stability in high speed turns.

Step Two: Bearings
Wheel bearings put the roll in your skates. High performance bearings will roll longer, making them ‘feel’ faster. In scientific terms, less energy (push) is required to go farther. Additionally they last longer and offer a higher degree of safety due to their reduced chance of mechanical failure.

Step Three: Trucks
The truck on a roller skate is the ‘T’ shaped piece that bolts onto the plate. It is also the most complex part of the skate. The wheels are attached to it, and when leaning left or right, the truck twists in that direction to accommodate the turn. Single action trucks have only one cushion (shock absorber) and typically sit at a 45 degree angle. They are best for speed skating. Double action trucks are usually at a 10 degree angle, and have two cushions. They are easier to control, and are the most common type (most people skate on these).

Skate trucks are made from either aluminum or a composite of nylon and fiberglass. In most cases aluminum is more expensive, and generally lighter and stronger than nylon.

Step Four: Plates
Plates are what everything except the wheels and wheel bearings attaches to. They are basically just a piece of metal for everything to attach to. The boots go on the top, with the trucks on the bottom, and the wheels and bearings attached to the trucks. The most noticeable difference in plate designs is whether they have a stop (the big rubber brake).

Like skate trucks, plates are also made from either aluminum or nylon and fiberglass, with aluminum typically being the better material.

Step Five: Boots
Boot is essentially the ‘shoe’. It is the part that actually goes on your feet. The material of the boot will be leather or synthetic (vinyl). Leather is more comfortable and durable, while vinyl will cost less. Tall boots will generally be for more traditional or artistic skating styles, while low boots will be for speed or track skating.

In summary, there are many different roller skates to choose from. The one that is best for you will be a combination of your skill level, design preferences, and of course budget. By knowing what each piece does, you’ll be better prepared to select a combination suited to your own personal needs. Have fun, and don’t forget to