Roller Boogie

Better Roller Skating coverBetter Roller Skating for Boys and Girls

Back in the day (mid 1970s), I actually frequented a roller rink or two.  I was a bit surprised that the pub date was as late as 1980. I would have thought that by 1980, roller skating was on the way out.   I have no idea if the equipment has changed much since this book was written, but I can’t imagine any kid born in this century finding this too helpful.  (Just as an aside, anyone remember the movie Roller Boogie (1979) with Linda Blair?)


Better Roller Skating back cover

roller skating is exciting and fun-filled

Choosing your skates

skates and skate bags


  1. For one, they didn’t have rollerblades back then, did they? That’s the big change that pops in my mind.

  2. And even with roller blades most parents, at least back then, would make their kids start with roller skates first.

    In the 80s I actually owned a pair of skates that needed a key. Actually, I owned two pair like that. One was metal and I got them as a hand me down. The other pair was hard plastic. Then I got real roller skates.

    But despite that, I never did learn how to skate. Finally gave up.

    And for those who don’t know what locking skates are, I found a music video on YouTube that some high schoolers did in the ’70s that has a few close ups.

  3. All the skates in the picture under “Choosing Your Skates” look alike to me. I feel uncultured. :((((

  4. I just performed a search using Google to see if one could buy roller skates any more. I was thinking pre-search the best one could do would be Heelys or inline skates, but not the roller skates of my youth. However, they are still made and sold.

  5. I was in kintergarden around 1985 and my gym class attempted to teach us how to roller skate. I was scared and hated it and never tried to learn since accept for that one roller blade fiasco of 1997.

    Anyhoo, I just recently rented a movie from RedBox called Skateland. It is set in 1983 in a small Texas town and the main character is a young teen who has worked at the local skating ring for a few years until the owner decides to close it. There was a discussion on the movie’s message board on IMDb about when the skating fad died down. Most people said the late 70s and very early 80s were the last of its heydey and that by the time that this film is set ’83, the fad may have just hung around in small towns such as the one portrayed in the film.

  6. I was a child in the 80s, roller skating was still quite popular and I attended more than one birthday party at a roller rink. I remember I got a pair of Mickey Mouse roller skates for my birthday one year, probably around 84-85, it was a big deal!

  7. There is a roller skating rink about 10 minutes from where I live, in the next town over. It shares a building with a regular hockey rink. I actually just headed there a few weeks ago, it was a pretty nice place and you could rent skates as well as blades.
    A few months ago, the newspaper I work at did a front page story on an elderly couple who still competed in pair skating competitively at that site.

  8. For some reason, the pictures in this book made me think of the roller skating scene in “Heaven’s Gate.” The movie that ruined Michael Cimino’s career, not the cult.

  9. Growing up in the shade of the world’s largest indoor roller rink I basically learned to skate as soon as I could walk. I prefer inline skates though and deeply regret not taking mine with me when I moved out.

    This book looks pretty informative but I don’t know anyone that owns roller skates any more.

  10. I rollerskated all the time in the late 80s and early 90s. The rink where I usually went is still open so clearly kids still do it!

  11. Roller skating was HUGE when I was growing up in the 80s. There was a rink in my town as well, and the in thing to do was to have your birthday party there. I went to maybe 10 of those in my last few years of grade school. In my district, there were three grade schools and only one junior high, and the schools held a “getting to know you” pre-seventh grade mixer at the rink. I was never any good at skating, but it was definitely trendy.

    By the way, I love your site and gave you a shout out on mine, at

  12. ok, this book actually looks awesome. the pictures!!

    also I thought people roller skated in the 90s too? what about that De La Soul song “A Roller Skating Jam Named ‘Saturdays'”? and nowadays we have roller derby which appears to be gaining in popularity.

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