Freestyle rolling, or quite simply, rollerblading, are two terms that are commonly used today to describe the current state of aggressive inline skating. As the sport of aggressive inline skating grew, matured, and advanced the title “aggressive inline skating” did not seem to match what participants were doing any longer. Tricks, grinds, airs and an overall approach to the sport have stopped looking as “aggressive” as they were when first introduced and were now refined, developed, and distinguished. Aggressive inline skating is now commonly looked at by current participants of freestyle rolling / rollerblading as a term to describe the early stages of the sport.
As mentioned in the aggressive inline skating introduction there are three different ways for skaters to participate in freestyle rolling / rollerblading. They are categorized as street, park, and vert inline skating. Each category has advanced dramatically in trick vocabulary, representation, and visual appeal. The current average dedicated rollerblader is a person who has been involved in roller sports for five or more years, so freestyle rolling is now viewed as an action sport that is well developed and close to being mastered and perfected. Like any other sport, the more each practitioner dedicates himself or herself to the craft, the better the finished performance becomes.
The most commonly practiced category of freestyle rolling in New York City is street, now being closely followed by park as the New York Parks Department continually develops new skate parks around the five boroughs. Since the early stages of “aggressive inline skating,” New York City has always been looked upon as the epicenter for street skating. NYC is currently host to one of the biggest street competitions, where professional and amateur rollerbladers from all over the world travel to participate in the event. The New York City rollerblading / freestyle rolling scene is one of the largest in the United States.
Be sure to see the gallery of photos provided by Craig Benabu that showcase local New York City rollerbladers skating in various locations of the city. Craig documents and promotes the improvements to aggressive inline skating that are rarely seen by the majority of inline skating enthusiasts.