Some 17 million Americans, adults and children alike, annually delight in the pleasures of roller skating. It is safe to say that every city of ten thousand or more population, as well as a great many smaller communities, is within easy reach of a roller rink. Schools and colleges, churches and recreation centers are making their gymnasiums available for skating in increasing numbers until there can be no doubt that roller skating is one of the fastest growing sports in the land.
There are many reasons for this enthusiasm for the sport. For one thing, equipment and facilities have improved vastly. There is a world of difference between gliding over a smooth maple floor on quiet plastic wheels and clattering noisily and precariously along a sidewalk as in days of yore. For another, people have discovered two important facts about roller skating: it is a clean, wholesome sport that all the family can enjoy, and it is a sugarcoated way of combining physical fitness with fun.
Roller skating develops grace, poise, and balance. It is one of the best sports for exercising leg, arm, and back muscles. It provides as much exercise as a brisk game of tennis or a long bicycle ride. At the same time, roller skating can be graduated down to pleasant light exercise for Mom and Dad. It is an ideal bridge between active athletics and more sedate, inactive pastimes. It helps the young to grow up and the older persons to regain their youth.
In roller skating, one can find pleasure and reap healthful benefits whatever his level of skill. But as with anything else, there are right ways and wrong ways to roller skate, and learning correctly will increase enjoyment many fold.
It is on this premise, then, that Edward R. O'Neill has prepared these articles: that roller skating is easy, but that it is important to learn to skate the right way. He has set out, with admirable success, to provide uniform instruction in language that the average person without an extensive roller-skating background can understand and execute.
Eddie O'Neill is particularly well qualified for such a task. One of the bright young men of the roller-rink industry, he has spent more than a quarter-century in all phases of the sport—Gold Medal award dance skater, a teaching professional since 1941 and acknowledged as one of the ablest instructors in all phases of roller skating from dance to figures to free style, and operator of the Hillside Roller Rink, Queens, New York.
Now he has added to his laurels the authorship of a clear and forceful articles that should raise the standards of instruction wherever a pair of skates is laced on nimble feet. I commend you wholeheartedly to the charge of this expert teacher as he introduces you, step by logical step, to the wonderful world of roller skating. May the skill you acquire furnish you a lifetime of enjoyment.