Silhouette of two women on Powerslide inline skates and protective gear looking at the horizon


We Love to Skate!

“If you do what you love, you’re going work your butt off every day.” - Johny Hendricks 

We love to skate! POWERSLIDE has been helping people discover their own love of skating since 1994 when the company was founded by former acclaimed speedskater Matthias Knoll and his business partner Stefan Göhl. 

POWERSLIDE began as a distribution company offering a range of skates and products mostly from already established brands. If you were a skater in the ‘90s, you’ll likely remember Senate, 976, Boneless, and Crank Straps. In fact, during the inline boom, Powerslide distributed more than 50 brands.

The skating boom came to an abrupt end in 1997 with numerous brands leaving the market. While many companies were abandoning the sport Matthias saw an opportunity and completely flipped POWERSLIDE’s business strategy upside down. Rather than depend on the products and decisions of other companies as a distributor, going forward POWERSLIDE would develop and design its own innovative products and brands, all focused on four key pillars: innovation, quality, performance, and design.

Later that year, Powerslide’s first original brand was born. Upsidedown (later renamed to Universal Skate Design or ‘USD’) was and continues to be a groundbreaking inline skate brand that has developed some of the most innovative, capable skates the world has ever seen.

POWERSLIDE has continued to evolve, with a growing family of renowned brands that offer the highest-quality, most innovative skates, wheels, bearings, protective equipment, and all the products people need to redefine what’s possible on wheels.

POWERSLIDE is proud to support more than 100 of the world’s best skaters. These passionate athletes test all POWERSLIDE products, providing feedback, and ensuring you have the high-quality products you need to skate faster, jump higher, push your limits, and have fun doing it.

With a passion for products and pure love for the sport, POWERSLIDE is a driving force in the inline industry, always innovating and striving to make better products and make the impossible possible. And why do we do it? Simply put, WE LOVE TO SKATE.

Matthias Knoll - Inline Skating Pioneer

At POWERSLIDE, we love to skate. Mathias Knoll’s love for rolling started back in 1975 when he was just six years old. Rolling on quad roller skates made of wood, he soon realized not only that he loved to skate, but he had the passion and drive to be a champion.

After winning medals at national and international speed skating events, Matthias soon became a member of the German national team. Always the leader and never afraid of a challenge, in the early ‘90s Matthias was the first member of the German team to switch to inline skates and win races.

With the unmatched speed and performance of inline skates, he was hooked and recognized the broad popularity of inline skating that quickly moved across the pond from North America to Europe.

An entrepreneur at heart, to make ends meet and finance his passion for sports, Matthias started his own business. Thanks to his connection with Tom Peterson—former World Champion on skates and founder of Hyper Wheels—Matthias began to sell wheels and other equipment at speed skating events out of his car under the name Roll Knoll.

It didn’t take him long to realize he really enjoyed selling products to his friends and competitors. His love for skating and appreciation for business soon came together when he enrolled in university to study sports management. By the time he graduated, Matthias had the education, experience, and passion to take the next step.

Together with his friend Stefan Göhl, Matthias founded POWERSLIDE in 1994, driven by the goal of bringing the joy of rolling to people around the world through high-quality, innovative skates and parts that allow skaters to push their limits, have fun, and redefine what’s possible on skates.

The summer of 1994 was a pivotal time for POWERSLIDE. Matthias was at the peak of his skating career and had the chance to join the speed skating world championships in France. As fate would have it he had another big opportunity come his way that forced him to make the biggest decision of his life. During the same time as the World Championships, he got the chance to introduce POWERSLIDE at ISPO in Munich, the world’s premier sporting goods trade show. With a heavy heart, he stopped his professional skating career and embarked on the successful journey of living his dream.

Matthias is the brain, heart, and soul of POWERSLIDE. He’s a visionary, a loving workaholic, and an undoubtedly positive force that keeps moving the company forward and challenging staff to discover what’s possible on wheels.

From humble beginnings, POWERSLIDE has grown into a company that supplies innovative, high-quality skates and rolling products to people around the world.

The term “skater owned” is thrown around a lot, but in the case of POWERSLIDE it’s 100% true. Matthias is still skating and still racing, living up to his motto “Work hard, train hard” - it’s what he does day in and day out. There is no better person to represent the POWERSLIDE slogan: WE LOVE TO SKATE!

An image from the early 1990s of a large group of people and a car at an inline skating event
Matthias Knoll skating in Powerslide inline skates and wearing a race outfit
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