The Parisian Skating Trend That Had People Flipping Out in 1923

These skates certainly don’t look like what we’re used to!

Before rollerblades there was a curious invention known as cycling-skates. Skaters would ride along on one wheel per foot, tightened to their shoes via skate keys just like old fashioned roller skates used. But, in the film reel below we notice that over rough terrain they’re using skiing or hiking poles to stabilize and propel themselves. The truly talented go without, although it looks quite a bit harder than plain old roller skating. Perhaps there’s a reason why this particular design never caught on like roller skates and rollerblades did!

Other early prototypes for this type of skate also had very large wheels. Via/ Library of Congress

This sport seems kind of dangerous, but it was the hot new thing in 1923, having come direct from Paris! Have a look in the clip below from British Pathé.