Pioneer of the In-line Skating Industry
Bordentown, NJ--Rollerblade, Inc. is credited with creating one of the fastest-growing sports in the world: in-line skating. The world leader in the in-line skate market, Rollerblade® pioneered the in-line skating boom by changing the perception of in-line skates. Once seen as strictly an off-season training device for hockey players, in-line skates are now a widely accepted "lifestyle" product that can be used by just about anyone. Today professional athletes, fitness enthusiasts and fun seekers of all ages enjoy the sport of in-line skating.
How It All Began
In 1980, two hockey-playing Minnesota brothers discovered an in-line skate while rummaging through a sporting goods store and decided that this design would make an ideal off-season hockey-training tool. They refined the skate and began assembling the first Rollerblade skates in the basement of their parents' home. Hockey players, who loved the product, were soon turning heads as they glided down Minnesota roads in the summer. Nordic and alpine skiers were also quick to adapt Rollerblade skates to their training regimens.
Business grew during the early '80s, but the market was undeveloped and limited geographically. It was only after the company was sold in 1984 that strategic marketing efforts were introduced to position in-line skating as a new sport, and tactics were employed such as giving skates to rental shops along trendy Venice Beach in California.
Leading the Way
Through the years, Rollerblade has achieved several industry "firsts," such as the use of polyurethane boots and wheels, metal frames, dual bearings and heel brakes. Later, Rollerblade developed the first wheel with a core, which added speed, and the first non-metal frame, which made Rollerblade skates lighter and more comfortable. In 1994, Rollerblade introduced the biggest innovation to hit the industry -- the award winning Active Brake Technology® (ABT®), a cuff-activated braking system that makes stopping easier and provides better speed control. Aside from the ABT development, Rollerblade has introduced several other skate features:
ABT2, an updated version of the original brake innovation, was developed as a sleeker design.
Air-Cell Cushioning provides excellent cushioning and long-lasting comfort by wrapping your foot in a supportive foam polyurethane.
TRIFORCE technology was developed to provide extra support to those parts of the foot, which generate the most power in order to redistribute that power to the toes and heel.
EST technology is used to produce a more powerful and efficient stride by storing and releasing stored energy during crucial parts of the stride.
Cross Molded Technology provides support where you need it and comfort where you want it.
ABT® Lite the third generation of Rollerblade's award-winning ABT® brake, the new ABT Lite brake offers a lighter, streamlined design that is integrated into the boot and frame, as well as improved stopping power. The ABT Lite brake is made from lightweight magnesium and steel.
Flex System frame design in the Perseus skate series features a hinged pivot at the foot's natural flex point, which allows the skate to flex with a skater's natural foot movement during the stride in order to generate more power and speed.
Over the years Rollerblade has remained dominant through extensive research and development. Rollerblade has been in the in-line skating business longer than any other company in the industry and holds more than 220 patents. We are constantly trying to develop new ways to enjoy the sport with new technologies by continually improving upon our current line of 20+ models while expanding the market to give skaters more options on all surfaces. By listening to our consumers, we are able to develop skates that address their needs and desires. Some recent examples of Rollerblade in-line skate model innovations:
The Coyote skate was introduced in 1997 as the first true off-road skate in the industry. The air filled tires were designed for shock absorption, traction, and terrain versatility. The revolutionary ABT Xtreme brake, developed specifically for the skate, serves as a reliable, easy and effective brake on any surface.
RB Grind Shoe is the first grind shoe from the leader of in-line skating. The Grind Shoe features a patent-pending Twin Bar roller system so you can grind anytime, anyplace.
With the new Nature skate, transportation is back. The Nature skate allows skaters to pop off frames and walk into "no skate" areas.
Our new rough-road skate, Outback X features a full-suspension elliptical frame and 90mm Air Trapped wheels that help cushion the ride and virtually eliminates that annoying vibration from rough roads, bumps and cracked pavement.
Xtenblade technology makes it possible to accommodate children's growing feet by creating an adjustable frame that extends four full sizes with the turn of a screw.
In addition to being the undisputed technology leader, Rollerblade has led the way with grass roots programs to support the sport of in-line skating:
Skate-in-School was developed for schools by the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE), and Rollerblade, Inc. The program was initiated to provide more physical education options.
BladeFitness is a unique in-line skating workout curriculum that teaches instructors how to implement skating for fitness at health clubs.
Blade Cross features downhill skating events on all-terrain skates.
Demo vans take in-line skating to the streets and parks through free lessons, safety clinics and other fun skating activities.
Blade Schools have been developed around the country to teach in-line skating classes for all ages and ability levels.
Committed to being the industry leader, Rollerblade continues to improve existing products and offer new products for everyone from newcomers to advanced. Watch for new products and product enhancements that will keep fun, comfort and style synonymous with the Rollerblade name.
ROLLERBLADE, INC. is the founder and leader of the in-line skate industry, which it founded in 1980. Rollerblade® is part of Benetton Sportsystem USA, a group of leading sports brands including Prince, Ektelon, Nordica and Killer Loop. BSS USA is owned by the Benetton Group, located in Ponzano, Italy, and is a $2.5 billion apparel, sports and footwear company. Visit Rollerblade's website at www.rollerblade.com.