Skating was a huge deal, entire streets would be blocked off in major cities for skate festivals and races. Even the Golden Gate Park in San Francisco was once overrun with the happiest looking skaters ever photographed. They even managed to earn a world record at a Golden Gate event– “World’s longest skating serpentine.”
In the 1970s, when roller skating began to catch on, the disco craze was already at its height in popularity and people were not ready to let it go. Instead on one fad replacing the other they were combined and roller discos were born. The lights, the music, the disco ball and all the dance moves… with wheels thrown into the mix.
Leave it to the 1970s to take a perfectly good, family-friendly activity and make it as pornographic as possible. The seventies was like that bad influence friend that roller skating shouldn't have been allowed to play with. But, they just had so much fun together! The influence of the eighties (oddly enough) is what calmed things down a bit and skating rinks became kid-friendly again.