Magazine article Sunset

In-Line or Old-Fashioned? Roller Skates Make a Comeback

Magazine article Sunset

In-Line or Old-Fashioned? Roller Skates Make a Comeback

Article excerpt

Some Christmas presents are timeless: bicycles, train sets, roller skates. Of course, the bike under this year's tree will probably have I 0 to 1 5 speeds. And the trains will be considerably smaller than the one your grandfather had. But skates are still skates, right? Not quite. In the '60s, mass-produced single-piece skates replaced the old metal skates with keys. Then polyurethane wheels in 1973 made skating smoother and safer. Now come skates with a single row of wheels (instead of two side-by-side pairs) beneath what looks like a ski boot. This in-line configuration-rather like a blade made of wheels-lets roller-skaters turn by shifting their weight and using the edges of their skates, much as ice-skaters and skiers do. Surprisingly, in-line skates were developed before the more familiar roller skates in the early 1700s, by a Dutchman seeking to simulate ice-gkating in summer. But only in recent years has a modern version become popular. According to Dr. Wheelgood (Bob Lagunoff)-who, with his wife, Bonnie, bas been renting, selling, and servicing skates for 17 years from his store in Venice, California if you have an ice-skating background, you'll prefer in-line skates. But if you grew up gliding down ribbons of concrete rather than sheets of ice, you'll likely be more comfortable on traditional roller skates. Both kinds offer low-impact, high-aerobic exercise and overall toning of hips, buttocks, legs, and thighs (using ski poles adds some upper body conditioning). At a moderate pace (about 10 mph), you'll burn an average of 650 calories an hour about the same as jogging. How much is it going to cost? Whether you want traditional or in-line roller skates, you can choose from numerous brands, paying from $30 for an inexpensive pair of children's skates to $330 for the top adult in-line model. Why the difference? You're paying for materials, craftsmanship, and expected longevity. If you're buying for an adult, you'll pay $150 to $190 for a good pair of either kind of skates. An equivalent pair of children's roller skates runs $50 to $80, with in-line versions starting around $80. Safety equipment can add $25 to 100 to your purchase. Most injuries are to the wrist, so you should consider wrist guards which are reinforced with steel and plastic mandatory equipment. Elbow and knee pads can prevent painful bruises and scrapes. Head injuries occur infrequently, but you'll feel safer using a helmet Bike helmets are fine, but many skaters prefer the extra ear protection of skateboard, hockey, or kayaking helmets. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.