I’d like to take a moment to apologise to my parents because when I grew up I wanted to pursue a career in nearly every sector and their wallets severely suffered the consequences.
From nurse to shopkeeper, detective to teacher, you name it and it was most likely on my career pursuing list. One that stuck around for at least six months though was professional roller skater. Not an olympic ice skater or gliding gymnast, but rather a roller skater, and it meant that my parents had to invest in the whole kit. Roller skates, helmets and protective gear, alongside torturous weekends down at my local leisure centre for their weekly skateathon.
What my parents soon found out was that I was invested, albeit for a six month stint.
I was by no means a great skater straight off the bat. It’s a skill that takes persistence, patience and the occasional scraped knee before you really flourish into your own, but anyone who saw me whizzing along the corridor (sorry Dad again for the chipped paintwork) at the speed of light knows how much fun and joy it can bring to yourself and others around you. And much to my former childhood selfs delight, it’s a hobby that’s now leapt its way into 2021, bringing with it the same fused fun that I found all those years ago.
Despite being the oddest 18 months in our generation’s existence, there have been some beautiful, heartfelt moments to come out of the multiple lockdown periods; one being the time we cherished adopting new skills and hobbies while we were shut up inside.
It’s a hobby that’s now leapt its way into 2021, bringing with it the same fused fun that I found all those years ago.
Here in the UK, while the weather has been a little unpredictable, we all went out to soak up the vitamin D in our allotted one hour daily for fresh air, and while many opted for cycling or walking, many began opting for whizzing around on roller skates, all socially distanced of course. But why did we see this rise? We have viral Instagram and TikTok videos to thank for that, showcasing just how much of a breeze the hobby can be, so much so that when it first got big last summer, there were even reports of a global roller skate shortage. First loo roll, now this…
Actress and skating influencer Ana Coto went viral, boasting over two million views on this one TikTok video alone, looking effortlessly cool and making fans across the world want to invest in some skates and recreate the car park shot. Another musician and influencer Oumi Janta has helped increase the roller skating spike with her videos where she glides, strides and does pretty cool tricks on her whizzing skates. All you need to do is look up the Instagram hashtag #rollerskating to see the 1.9million posts dedicated to the craze (and let’s not even get started on TikTok).
If you’re intrigued by the revival of the 70s craze and want to try it out for yourself, here’s where to get your skating fix in London.
Skating In London
The skating spot for all of the family, Skating Haven in Newham will see you and your family enter on a journey of rolling, gliding and maybe a spot of falling over too. You’ll be equipped with all you need to get you on your way, from helmets to pads and skates. If you’re a newbie to the skating world, there’s a beginners boot camp option where you’ll be able to learn from the skating instructors just how to glide around without making a complete fool out of yourself, before you whizz on off around the hall.
Right now their sessions have been postponed for the foreseeable but bookmark this skating rink to visit at a later date.
31 Prince Regent Lane, E13 8SD
Mix up your usual date night and head over to Roller Nation, the UK’s premium night club on wheels. Located in Tottenham, the roller rink is home to disco nights, great music and a whole lot of skating fun. Whether you’re a pro or you’re embarking on your roller skating journey for the first time, Roller Nation is a great place to help you get out on the rink and rolling.
117 Bruce Grove, Tottenham, N17 6UR
If you’re looking to revive your childhood craze, London Skate Crew are here to help you with their quad and inline skating lessons. Their talented team of expert instructors will guide you on your journey, helping you from being a klutzy skater to a professional in no time. If you’re more advanced, there’s different sessions based on your ability so once you’ve gained a bit of momentum and confidence, you’ll be able to whizz on into their intermediate and advanced classes.
Helping you to achieve your skating dreams is London Skate Life, a skating school that holds group and private sessions for eager skating enthusiasts. The team can build the lessons around how competent you are at skating, so whether you’re picking up your skates for the first time or you’re looking for ways to build confidence in each stride, book in to adventure on.
Nobody ever said skating was easy on your glutes. It requires a lot of time and patience to master the art but it’s also a great way to add in a bit of cardio and toning up. Play Tone is the fitness group helping you to tone up and get your skate on. Built on a blanket of play, joy and spontaneity, the team is dedicated to helping you to achieve your skating goals, while also working out.
Right now, their classes, events and services are postponed for the foreseeable but keep up to date on their website for future dates.
Grow your skating confidence with Skate Fresh, London’s longest running skate school. Skate Fresh offers great courses for beginners, intermediates and advanced skaters, as well as boasting hen parties and children’s party packages too. Book in for one of their August sessions, all following government guidelines on social distancing, and uncover your hidden talent.
Skate Fresh also offers online tuition too, through video training, allowing you to learn at home and on the go.
Providing you have enough room to zoom on through, you can near enough skate anywhere. From parks to paths, just make sure you’re mindful of others when you whizz on by but the best thing you could do to get you on your way is to actually get out there and start practicing.
Shop Our Edit
If you’re looking to channel your inner skater, you’re going to need to invest in some wheels. Here are a few of our favourites on the market that’ll see you whizz from clumsy to professional in no time.
Skating giants Impala Rollerskates are killing it with their range of quad options. We love this retro-inspired pair, complete with rainbows, peace signs, hearts and flowers.
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