Powerslide and Passion – A Brief History
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.
Going out on their own
In 1997 they launched USD and hand picked some of the best skaters in the world to represent the team. Their first worldwide brand, they brought new skates to the market with easily interchangeable parts. This was a move that would become the beginning of customisation in aggressive skating. Taking it step by step, Powerslide extended themselves into protective gear, bearings, wheels, and more. This would lead them to the creation of the Powerslide speed division, the launch of Nordic skates, a line of fitness skates like the Phuzion, and ever deeper into the work of rollsports.
These days, Powerslide and their host of brands like Chaya, Kizer, Undercover, Volten, MyFit, and Matter work with almost anything on wheels and plenty that isn’t. From longboards to quad skates, boot liners to trucks, if it’s made to roll, there’s a good chance Matthias Knoll and Powerslide are behind it.