Thanks to its newfound Tiktok popularity, roller skating and rollerblading are undergoing a bit of a resurgence. All over social media, you see creative videos featuring roller skating fanatics in fashionable outfits skating along to upbeat music while executing some fancy moves. Influencers have given the sport an aesthetic that makes it look glamorous and trendy, but have you ever wondered how roller skates are made?
The components for roller skates are each manufactured individually by certain companies. For example, the same companies who manufacture skateboard wheels will often also create wheels for roller skates and blades. Once all of the separate components have been collected and brought to a manufacturer, they’re assembled using an assembly line.
The boot shells are made with a process called injection molding, which involves urethane plastic being injected into a mold, similarly to the creation of a ski boot. After any dye has been added for color and the piece has been given the time to cool, the injection mold will eject the finished boot.
Next, the liner is inserted into the boot. The liner is typically made using a soft cloth or plastic foam which is cut to conform to the size of the boot. Once the sizing is correct, the liner is fitted into the boot. Additional pieces, most of which are bought and prefabricated, are then attached to the boot. These pieces include the shell cuff, plastic or velcro straps, metal buckles, etc.
Finally, the frame is attached to the boot. The frame includes the wheels and bearings, which are placed in a row and secured to the frame. The frame itself is connected to the boot shell by rivets or by utilizing a coupling system. Once the assembly is complete, the rollerblades or skates are sent from the assembly line to your local shop or even roller rink.
Roller skating is an activity for all ages and abilities. Knowing how roller skates are made gives a new appreciation of the sport.