Inline Skating, Rollerblading, Skating? Is it all the Same?
By. Chris Gorski
So, you are an inline skater, or are you a rollerblader... There are many different ways to say you are a skater but it all comes to a similar end, you are one that enjoys skating with inline skates. They are inline skates, Rollerblade is a brand name, but we will cover that more in depth later. There are many variations of inline skating including hockey, aggressive skating, racing or simply skating around your neighborhood or park for fun and fitness. Here at Inlineskates.com we deal in all these various types of inline skates and are fairly well versed when it comes to the different terms that are associated with this great sport. In this article we will cover some of the most common misconceptions surrounding terms like Rollerblade and Rollerblading.
Rollerblade skates VS. Inline skates – Common worldwide misnomer
It seems more often than not inline skates are referred to as Rollerblades, inline skaters are referred to as Rollerbladers and inline skating is referred to as Rollerblading. This is a common misconception as Rollerblade itself is a brand of inline skates much like Kleenex is a brand of facial tissue but both these brands often become the term associated with all the other various brands. But there are many brands of inline skates including Rollerblade, K2, Roces, Bladerunner and more just as there are many brands of facial tissue including Kleenex, Marcal and Angel Soft. If you are wearing Rollerblade brand inline skates you could state you are out Rollerblading since you are wearing the namesake on your feet but, still, technically you are simply inline skating in a pair of Rollerblade skates.
Trademarked Term VS Generic Term
Although Rollerblade is a registered trademarked of Tecnica Group S.p.A, the Rollerblade parent company, it is commonly used interchangeably for all brands of inline skates. This happens a lot when one brand over runs an industry in the early stages of the popularity of the product. What can begin as a positive in brand recognition can become a cloud following the brand as it grows and surpasses its start up. Rollerblade has for the most part been lucky to embrace their name being generalized as a term for inline skates offering great skates year in and year out. And it really is this ability to continually make great inline skates brandishing the Rollerblade name that has given them the ability to have great longevity in the skating market.
Could all inline skates one day be called Rollerblades legitimately?
Right now K2 skates are called K2 inline skates and Rollerblades are called Rollerblade inline skates but could one day the correct term be K2 Rollerblades and Rollerblade Rollerblades? There is such a thing as Trademark Erosion which takes effect when a brand doesn’t do a good enough job to protect their name from becoming the common namesake for the product it represents. This has happened in select cases with some of the most recognizable being Aspirin, Kerosene, Thermos, The Escalator and The Zipper; all of which were once trademarked names from specific companies but have since lost their legal protection. This is most likely not going to happen with Rollerblade but you could one day see K2 Rollerblades or Roller Derby Rollerblades and it wouldn’t be incorrect.
As we see it, it doesn’t much matter what term is coined for inline skating because we are going to love the sport and have fun no matter what. So, call us inline skaters, skaters or Rollerbladers and we will continue to have a great time while skating.