Who Invented Roller Blades? [When, Where & How]

Childhood wouldn’t be so interesting without rollerblades. Many of us enjoyed it passionately and now we have knees and chin scars to remind us of those glorious times. Some still enjoy rollerblading, but not many know who invented roller blades.

Rollerblades were invented in the early 1980s by Scott and Brennan Olson. They were ice hockey players and the first developers of a commercially viable inline skate. The brothers are credited as the inventors of the modern inline skate, which hit the market in 1990.

Many interesting facts stand behind rollerblades’ innovation and history. We’re ready to discover the most interesting ones. Check it out below!

Do you have a question about who invented what and when? Nevada Inventors is a great resource for finding out who invented what and when.

Who Invented the First Roller Blades?

Why were rollerblades invented

Rollerblades were invented by Scott Olson and his brother, Brennan. 

They were competitive ice hockey players who wanted to be able to play year-round. They acquired some roller skates and began experimenting with their configuration.

They eventually settled on a design where the skate wheels were attached to the bottom of the boot, rather than at the sides like traditional roller skates. 

This allowed for more maneuverability and better control over speed and direction.

Scott Olsen, who invented rollerblades formed a company, Rollerblade Inc., and began selling the new product. 

The first version of Rollerblades was popular, but they had flaws that were getting in the way of optimal performance.

The company worked on improving this invention by adding new features such as brakes and foot straps for better control over speed and direction. 

They also added additional parts like wheels and bearings which helped create better performance overall.

In the late 1980s, several companies were producing rollerblades that were quite different in appearance from the original. 

Rollerblades were designed to be an alternative to roller skates and other inline skates of the day, which were expensive and had limited performance capabilities.

Scott Olson Rollerblade

If you’re one of the many Minnesotans who grew up rollerblading, you might have heard of Scott Olson Rollerblades. 

The company was founded in Minneapolis, and they’ve been making rollerblades and accessories ever since.

Scott Olson Rollerblades is best known for its iconic red and black color scheme, which has been featured on a wide range of products over the years. 

Some of their most popular products include skateboards, scooters, helmets, and wristguards.

When Were Rollerblades Invented?

Many people don’t know when were rollerblades invented. Rollerblades were invented in 1983 by Scott Olson. 

He was working on a new design for roller skates when he realized that the idea could be applied to roller blades as well. 

The name “rollerblade” was chosen because it sounded more exciting than “skate blade.”

The first rollerblades were made from metal, and they had wheels that could pivot or swivel at the toe of the skate. 

The skates also had brakes that worked with a strap attached to the heel of the shoe.

In 1983, Rollerblade introduced the first pair of soft-booted inline skates. 

This design change made it possible for people to skate on roads as well as smooth surfaces like sidewalks and floors inside buildings.

In 1990, Rollerblade patented its own technology called “Zap” which allowed users to make turns while skating downhill without having to slow down or stop first.

When Did Roller Blades Become Popular?

Roller skating became popular during the 1980s and 1990s. It was especially popular among young people, who liked to skate in groups or with friends. 

Roller skates are available in many styles, including those that are made specifically for men and women.

The popularity of roller skating increased even further when celebrities like Madonna began using them as part of their activities during live performances or photo shoots for magazines such as Vogue. 

This helped make them popular among young adults who wanted their own pair but couldn’t afford designer brands like Dolce & Gabbana or Prada.

Why Were Rollerblades Invented?

Rollerblades were invented in the early 1980s by a man named Scott Olson. 

He was an ice hockey player for the Minnesota North Stars, but he suffered a knee injury that ended his career. 

He was looking for something to do during the off-season, and he thought rollerblades would be an excellent way to stay in shape.

He decided to create a company called Rollerblade Inc., and he hired skaters from all over the world—including Japan—to help him design and test different types of rollerblades. 

It was hard work, but it paid off: soon after Rollerblade Inc. was founded, other companies started making their own versions of rollerblades.

Rollerblade Benefits: Can You Rollerblade Every Day?

Rollerblading is not just a hobby: it’s a lifestyle. If you want to get started on your new lifestyle, here are some of the rollerblade benefits you can expect:

  • Shapes your body—Since you are constantly moving, you burn calories and exercise your muscles. This helps your body to stay in shape, so you can look great in your clothes!
  • Strengthens your core—Rollerblading puts a lot of demand on your abdominal muscles, which are responsible for keeping you upright while moving forward. 
  • Burns calories—Did you know that rollerblading burns more calories than running? That’s because it requires more effort to balance yourself on skates than it does on foot.
  • Improves the balance—Improves your balance, coordination, and agility skills. Balance is crucial for any sport and can help prevent injuries down the line.
  • Improves your mood—Rollerblading has been shown to help improve your mood, increase your energy, and make you feel happier than ever before.
  • Improves your health—It’s also great for your health! Rollerblading can strengthen the muscles in your legs and arms, which can help prevent injury and improve your balance.

Skateboarding vs Rollerblading

Scott Olson rollerblades

If you compare rollerblade vs skates, there are some differences between them. 

Rollerblades are faster than a skateboard because they have larger wheels, which allow you to go faster and easier on flat surfaces.

Rollerblades are also more stable than a skateboard because of their wider base and smaller height.

However, rollerblading can be trickier for beginners because it takes more time to learn how to balance yourself on the blades.

Skateboarding is better for tricks and stunts because it’s easier to balance on a board with four wheels rather than two wheels.

Rollerblade vs K2

The Rollerblade vs K2 comparison is a popular debate among rollerbladers. 

They are both designed for recreational skating, but they have some key differences that make them suitable for different uses.

Rollerblade has been a leading brand in the roller skates industry for over 30 years. 

Their products are known to be durable and comfortable, with high-quality wheels and bearings.

K2 is another well-known brand in the roller skates industry, and they make all of their products in the USA. 

Their skates are known for being very sturdy and durable, but also for being comfortable enough to wear for long periods.

Rollerblade vs Inline Skates

Many people are wondering, are inline skates the same as rollerblades? The answer is: YES. Inline skates are the same as rollerblades, just a different name.

The main difference between inline skates and rollerblades is the frame size.

Inline skates have a smaller frame than rollerblades, which makes them easier to control. 

Rollerblades are also sometimes called quad skates because they have four wheels on each foot, while inline skates only have two.

History of Rollerblading

Rollerblading is a form of recreational activity in which skaters wear roller blades and use them to glide on the ground. 

But the history of rollerblading goes way back to the 19th century.

Of course, those were just primitive attempts, but they definitely gave the idea to Scott Olsen to design modern-day rollerblades. 

So, let’s check the timeline of rollerblade’s history.

  • The 1800s – Defined first prototypes of rollerblades. The first patent for roller skates was issued to a man named James Thomas in 1848. He created a basic design that included four wheels and a metal frame.
  • 1980 – Scott Olsen designed the first rollerblades. He developed the first pair of rollerblades, which he called rollerblades, as an alternative to in-line skates. Also, he formed Rollerblade Inc. in Minnesota
  • 1992 – Roller skating was introduced at the Olympic Games in Barcelona and many countries around the world picked up this new form of transportation. Since then, it has been included in many other sporting events such as the Winter Olympics and the World Cup.
  • The 2000s – Rollerblading became popular worldwide during the 2000s due to its ease of use and convenience compared with traditional in-line skates.

2011 – The IOC removed roller skating from its list of Olympic events. However, some sports governing bodies still include it in their competitions.


In the following section check the answers to the most common questions related to who invented roller blades.

How many wheels do rollerblades have?

Most rollerblades have four wheels, but some are designed with three or five. These days rollerblades with six wheels are also popular on the market.

What is the best Rollerblade brand?

One of the best ratings on the market have K2 Boa Women’s Inline Skate Alexis 84 and K2 Boa Men’s Inline Skates F.I.T. 84. For beginners, recommendations are Rollerblade Zetrablade Elite Women’s Skates and Rollerblade Zetrablade Men’s Skates.

Is rollerblading a good workout?

Yes, rollerblading is a good workout. Rollerblading is a fun activity that allows you to burn calories and get some exercise. Rollerblading qualifies as cardio because it increases your heart rate and burns fat while you’re doing it.

Who invented rollerblades on Shark Tank?

They were invented by Scott Olsen.


Now you know who invented roller blades. Invented in 1976 by Scott Olson, Rollerblades are here to stay. 

They have become a cultural icon and a part of pop culture’s history.

 From rebel kids to professional athletes, Rollerblades can be seen on the streets of every city around the world and their popularity is unlikely to decline any time soon.

I hope you enjoyed the article. Of course, if you have something to add to this topic, feel free to leave a comment. 

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