JULY, 3 2020
Roller skating has caught our attention on more than one occasion lately. Whether it’s Marician Dedeaux Brown or Ana Coto whizzing past us on Tik Tok, or the talented neighbourhood kids in the park down the road–one thing is certain: roller skating is in.
This brings us to a question: is roller skating simply a Tik Tok fad, or is there more to it?
It seems there’s been a perfect storm between the isolation of Covid, and people looking for quick, consumable content. Add in a spoonful of 2020’s appetite for nostalgia to the mix, and we’ve arrived at the perfect opportunity for the culture of roller skating to thrive.
Once you excel past the wobbly learning stage, roller skating is a great form of cardio. It’s easier on the ol’ joints than running, and arguably a little more fun than cycling or swimming. Plus, it’s a year round activity; no ice rink needed!
The connection between African-Americans and roller skating is linked to the country’s history of segregation. During segregation, rinks kept black and white skaters apart, which led to the formation of a distinct black skate culture.
Roller skating is conducive to staying social, at a distance. When the entire world is coping with quarantine, and reaching a common ground of squirrely sentiments at home, roller skating is here to help.
Similarly, Inline skates are seeing a resurgence as of late, suppliers reporting a 723% year-over-year traffic increase on customers searching for inline skates.
Once you acquire a pair of skates, suddenly the world is your rink! Parks, the Seawall, and suburban streets provide seriously smooth sailing potential on skates. No memberships, and minimal gear mean you have the potential to skate your heart away at pretty much any time. *Cue Tik Tok routine*
Let's be real. Tik Tok has been doing some serious leg work making a name for the sport–or rather art, of roller skating. A couple of viral videos, and there you have it–an interest has been sparked amongst Tik Tok users across the globe. Ana Coto’s video of her skating to Jennifer Lopez's "Jenny from the Block" has over 1.7 million likes on the app. And that’s just the beginning.
With roller-skating tutorials on the rise, roller skates are rumoured to be sold out from numerous retailers. So, where do you find your first pair? Online shops like Poshmark or Facebook Marketplace are good spots to browse. Just remember, investing in a good quality pair is key for sturdy ankle support for beginners.
While many roller rinks have historically served as safe spaces for marginalized groups, like the L.G.B.T.Q.+. community, the skate community as a whole prides itself on being inclusive; the final reason we truly do hope that it’s here to stay.