Back in the 1970s, roller skating was all the rage. These days, in-line
skating, a direct descendant of roller skating, is even more popular.
In-line skating is also known as rollerblading. It is a form of roller
skating, except the skates are designed differently. While roller skates have
four wheels, separated into two rows on each skate, rollerblades have anywhere
from two to five wheels on each skate, arranged in one row. Sometimes, they
also have a brake.
Recreational in-line skaters enjoy riding on their skates down roads, sidewalks
Aggressive in-line skating is in-line skating with tricks, similar to skateboarding
or BMX bike riding. It is popular with people who enjoy thrills and like to
push themselves to confront their fears. Sound scary? In-line skaters say
it can also be a lot of fun.
Aggressive in-line skating can be broken down into three categories.
Vert riding involves riding on ramps, jumping in the air and doing
tricks in the air before landing again. This happens at skate parks or on
privately built ramps.
Street riding takes place anywhere out in the streets. Jumping down
sets of stairs, hopping up rails and sliding down rails are examples of street
Skate park riding happens in skate parks. This is like street riding
in a simulated street environment. There can also be vert or mini-vert ramps
in skate parks.
It's not easy to make a living being a professional aggressive in-line
skater. In fact, it is pretty tough. But those who do it say that they love
Some ways aggressive in-line skaters make money are through contests, sponsors
and videos, and by endorsing products.
"If you do have the skill level to be able to do it, and you are willing
to trade job stability and money for life experience, I would absolutely recommend
[going pro]," says pro aggressive in-line skater Chris Haffey.
In the United States, there are many levels of competition for aggressive
in-line skaters. Although the sport was taken out of the XGames in 2005, other
contests remain. One of the more popular ones is the ASA Action Sports touring
There are no regular working hours when you're a skater. Most competitions
happen on the weekend, so often you have to practice around another full-time
job while you're on the road to becoming a pro. That means even more weekend
and evening work. And as a pro, you may have to travel as needed.
Being physically fit is a must for skaters. So is buying safety gear. A
helmet, elbow pads, knee pads and wrist pads are all must-have items. Shin
pads help, too. The cost varies quite a bit on these items, but it's helpful
to remember that you get what you pay for. Don't be cheap!
Aggressive in-line skates can cost up to $500, or even more, while more
casual skates can be $100 to $200.