History of Bauer Skates

  • 3 min read

Roller skating is a recreational activity and sport that is enjoyed by millions of people around the world. According to the websiteStatistica, almost 70,000 people in England said they participated in roller skating or inline skating in 2022, an increase from just under 50,000 people in 2016. While roller skating has experienced a rise in popularity since 2020, a trend attributed to thepandemic andTikTok, the history of the roller skate dates back much further all the way to the 18th century when they were first invented by a Belgian engineer and musician namedJoseph Merlin. Roller skates have since evolved over the next few centuries, eventually becoming the beloved hobby that many of us enjoy today.

If you’re an avid skater or just starting out, you most likely heard of one brand that stands out—Bauer. But did you know that despite being one of the most popular brands of quad roller skaters, Bauer doesn’t manufacture quads at all? With the exception of a brief line of quad roller skates called the Bauer Turbo 33, the entire current Bauer line of products only includes ice hockey skates like the professional-grade Bauer Vapor series, inline skates, along with gear, accessories, and apparel. If you have a pair of Bauer ice hockey skates and you’re looking to turn them into a pair of quad skates, you will need toconvert them

Let’s dive deeper into the history of Bauer, from why people convert them from ice hockey skates to quads roller skates, and what makes them so special in the skating community.Bauer got their start in 1927 when the Bauer Skate company was founded in Ontario, Canada. Initially, the company only manufactured and sold ice hockey skates, and was the first ice hockey skate manufacturer to make theblade permanently secured to the boot. The brand rose in popularity through the 20th century, especially as famous Canadian hockey players began to wear Bauers while out on the field. In 1994, the parent company of Bauer wasacquired by Nike Inc. where it rebranded as Nike Bauer.Bauer again became an independent company in 2008, and the Nike Bauer line was discontinued, although the boots still remain popular with resellers and as a vintage item.

A photo of Bobby Bauer, a member of the Bauer family and former professional Canadian hockey player for the Boston Bruins in the 1930s and ‘40s. He is credited with being one of the first professional hockey players to popularise Bauer skates on the ice, and was inducted in theHockey Hall of Fame in 1996 (Image source: Ice Hockey Wiki).


Bauer XLS roller skate with clear orange Air Wave wheels fromJT Skate.

Known for their comfortable inner padding and lightweight frame, Bauers are the ideal pair of skates for experienced skaters and beginners. Although Bauer still does not manufacture a line of quad roller skates, skaters have found a way to convert their ice hockey states into quads. The process involves using a riveter machine to push out the screws of the skate, where plates are then fitted and drilled to the bottom of the boot. Whether you’re interested in theBauer XLS or the more comfortable BauerXLP with extra padding, Bauer is a great option for starters as well as seasoned skaters looking for a pair of quad roller skates that will last for years to come. Slap on a set of Ventro Pro Turbo orAir Waves wheels, a goodset of bearings, and a pair ofcolourful laces and you’re all set to go! Happy skating!