Anyone who’s a fan of inline or rollerblading knows the name Powerslide. Ridden by professionals, enthusiasts, and amateurs alike, they’re one of the world’s most popular brands. But it wasn’t always that way, for founder Matthias Knoll it’s been a long and bumpy road. After the death of his father in 1988, Matthias and his family were struggling to make ends meet. So, in order to earn some much needed money, Matthias started selling speed-skating products at the races he would compete in. Known as Roll-Knoll, he sold products like Hyper wheels, YD, Bont, Roller House, and Belotti. By 1994, this little business was ready to take the next step. Beginning as a simple distribution company, Powerslide focussed largely on American products and aggressive skating brands like Senate and Co. since this was in huge demand at the time. Working with his partner Stefan Göhl, Powerslide took off and was soon supplying skates and hardware across Europe. But the late nineties saw a crash in the popularity of inline skating. This forced a lot of brands out of business, including many that Powerslide were distributing. Finding themselves with a surplus of old stock and a smaller market, Matthias and his partner were forced to take a different approach.