Athlete Students

Blades are for skating

Cade Fisher

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Photo by Marisa Valdez

In hopes of manifesting warmer weather, I would like to discuss the absolutely iconic activity that is rollerblading. 

Rollerblades are the supreme wheeled shoe as they allow for easier and faster travel. As Wisconsin rolls out of winter and warmer days sit on the horizon, rollerblades allow people to get around in a speedy and eco-friendly way.

Before I go further, I would like to clarify the difference between rollerblading and roller skating. Rollerblades are a brand of in-line skates, which are boots with four wheels attached in a line at the bottom of the shoe. 

On the other hand, roller skates are similar boots that have four wheels attached to the base with placements like a car’s wheels. Skates have a brake at the front of each shoe, while rollerblades have a brake at the back of one of the shoes.

Personally, I’ve been rollerblading since the age of five, but rollerblading is also the perfect transportation method for college students. Rollerblades allow people to get places faster than roller skates can and without the hassle of storing a full bike, scooter or skateboard.

Rollerblades are seamless just another version of a shoe that allows for bladers (the professional term as deemed by me) to glide gracefully on a sidewalk or street. Their compact nature also allows for easy weaving in between walkers or hazards on the road.

With warmer weather, students who live off campus can blade to school instead of walking, cutting the travel time down. Weaving between the masses of students on campus is easier than squeezing a bike between crowds, and rollerblades allow for simple and easy exercise.

According to a USA Today article, rollerblading as an activity requires strides to propel yourself forward. These strides workout the quads, glutes, hamstrings and inner thigh muscles that aren’t pushed when normally walking.

Rollerblading also requires balance, working the abdominal and core muscles, as well as  increasing coordination through balancing your weight and maneuvering along a path.

Not to mention, rollerblades are functional as a mode of transportation. Students can rollerblade on campus to get to buildings, and even use them to get downtown. Personally, I’ve used my rollerblades to get to Olsen’s ice cream, Culver’s and Festival food. 

Rollerblades can get you places faster than walking, but still give you time to take in the sights. UW-Eau Claire is known for being a beautiful campus, with the river and parks giving students the ability to enjoy nature. Rollerblades can help you explore these areas quickly while also getting exercise.

My favorite thing to do while rollerblading in Eau Claire is to blade around campus at 6 p.m. Most classes are done for the day, so Lower Campus is free of large crowds. Students can rollerblade on the clean sidewalks for a smooth ride around the university, allowing students to utilize the campus in ways they can’t while just sitting in a classroom.

Overall, rollerblades act as a mode of transportation, cardio, muscle workout and a fun hobby. It is the perfect activity for students to pick up to get their heart rate up and learn a new skill.

For those who are new to blading and don’t want to try on open terrain, High Roller Skating Center is a rink where people can practice blading or skating at the company’s open skates on weekends. 

Fisher can be reached at [email protected].