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Freestyle Rolling 101

Freestyle rolling is rollerblading like you've never seen before. Check out the crazy tricks and hip hop flava of this new sport!

Freestyle Rolling - History

Freestyle rolling is the latest and hippest extreme sport to pop up. It's a more aggressive and dangerous version of inline skating. Much like skateboarding or BMX, freestyle rolling is a sport based on tricks and stunts. Known as an underground sport for more than a decade, it was only recently that the sport started gaining mainstream appeal, with DVDs of freestyle rollers performing unreal tricks selling like hotcakes within the extreme sports crowd. Freestyle rolling is now being considered as an event for the 2010 Youth Olympic Games.

Freestyle Rolling - Types

  • Vert Skating - Skating in a half pipe where freestyle rollers perform tricks.
  • Street Skating - Just as the name implies, this is freestyle rolling in public streets. Skaters do tricks on stair rails or any prop they can find along the way.
  • Park Skating - Freestyle rolling in skate parks where they have smaller ramps.

Freestyle Rolling - The Equipment

Although freestyle rollers use inline skates, the type of skates they use are not your average rollerblade. For starters, they have smaller wheels, which allows the skater to speed up and slow down easier. How soft or how hard the wheels are also makes a big difference. For example, park skaters use harder wheels because they can reach faster speeds. Softer wheels have better shock absorbance which is good for landing jumps in a half pipe. Other big differences between regular rollerblades and freestyle rolling skate are the frame and the sole plate. In order to try freestyle rolling tricks, your skate must be more durable and light than ordinary rollerblades.

Freestyle Rolling - Dipskate

In early 2006, hip hop music and freestyle rolling collided. Diplomat Records' CEO Jim Jones decided to expand his empire into the extreme sports arena by sponsoring a freestyle rolling team that has come to be known as DipSkate. The DipSkate team is comprised of talented young skaters that share the fashion and culture consistent with the famous rap label. Could this experiment lead to a change in extreme sport culture?

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