Five Essentials For Rollerskating
Updated: Jul 28, 2020
By: Christina Corbisiero
Rollerskating has been a trend that has been going in and out of fashion for about three centuries. Roller rinks have been seen in shows such as Euphoria and That 70’s Show, music videos (Beyonce’s video for her song ‘Blow’ features skating), and countless movies. Before the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a slump in the number of people who roller-skated; and many locally-owned skate shops focused more on selling rollerblades and skateboards over quad skates. Once quarantine started, people found themselves looking for ways to not only stay active but keep themselves entertained while they are social distancing and TikTok gave thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of people the answer. Start Rollerskating.
With one click on the #RollerSkating tag on TikTok, you’ll find Ana Coto dancing on skates along with countless other skilled creators having, what looks like, the most fun activity ever. With this new interest in rollerskating coming about, people everywhere are eagerly trying to start, so here are five essentials you need to take part in the world’s latest trend.
The first thing you need is...rollerskates. When choosing a brand to buy from it’s important to do some research before you buy the cheapest or most expensive brand. Here’s what people are saying about the most popular brands:
Moxi - The most beginner skates on their website are the Moxi Beach Bunnies that are $150 and the cheapest from the brand. A con is that they take about 7-10 hours of skating to fully break-in, and aren’t the most pleasant for beginners, but with resilience become an amazing skate. Moxi has outdoor skates up to $300. Since there is an increase in consumers, all orders aren’t set to ship until about three months after ordering, but people are also selling these skates on eBay and Facebook Marketplace. The TikTok user @bonitravo uses Moxis and has many videos of herself skating, talking about her Moxis, and doing cool tricks.
Impala - If you follow the user @rosemaryretro on TikTok, you can find her cartwheeling and dancing on skates in her pink Impalas. These skates range from $99-120 and come in a lot of fun colors. You can buy the skates on their website, but also skate shops throughout the United States and Zumiez sells them. They are a bit bulkier than Moxis but are great beginner skates. There have been complaints about the brand in the past, but they’ve been working on fixing up their skates. They also use vegan leather!
Moonlight Roller - Although the Moonlight Roller Lounge is an 18+ roller rink in Tennesee, their skates are making their way across the country. The company is releasing its new Moon Boot soon, and across all platforms, rollerskaters have been raving about the quality of the skates, which range from $250 to $280. Moonlight roller is a very ethical brand (you sometimes find scam websites), and black-owned. The founders have been trying to bring back rollerskating, and because of the pandemic have seen an uptick in orders.
Other brands that are popular for beginners and within a budget are Chaya, Candi Girl, and Rio Roller. A brand to stay away from is Chicago Skates. Amazon sells Chicago Skates for about $60, and they aren’t the best skates, as the wheels are too hard for outdoor skating and the boots run big. You’d have to put more money into changing the wheels and laces. If you make the investment for a good pair of roller skates, you won’t get injured as easily and only have to spend money on accessories (opposed to a broken skate).
If you’re buying skates from thrift shops or used, make sure that the skates are well-taken care of, and take account of things you might need to change (i.e the wheels, laces, bearings). It also helps to talk to previous owners of the skates or to people who’ve had that brand (if it’s unfamiliar to you).
2. Skate Leash & Bag
A skate leash is a piece of fabric or rope that you wrap around your skates so that you can carry them on your shoulder. Before you buy a skate leash, you might have an urge to tie your laces together and carry them that way...the only thing that’ll do is stretch the laces out. Skate leashes come in lots of colors and designs and range from $10-20 on Etsy. They are also similar to yoga mat carriers, so if you have one of those lying around, that can also work! Skate leashes make it a lot easier to carry your skates and can distribute the weight of them more easily. This might be a given, but bring some type of bag when you skate to carry your phone, keys, sandals or shoes (so that you can switch into your skates), and protective gear. Drawstring bags work very well.
3. Protective Gear & Skating Socks
If you’re a beginner please buy wrist guards, knee pads, and elbow pads. You will fall...a lot, and many of those falls happen to land on your wrists and knees. As you get more experienced with skating, you’ll fall less, but you never know what could happen, so wrist guards are the number one most essential protective gear. If you’re going to try to do tricks, you should also own a helmet for the offchance you have a bad fall. Watch videos to learn how to fall correctly so you land on your pads and in positions where you have the least likelihood of long term injury. Also, if you go to a skate park; always wear your protective gear. Many sporting goods stores will sell packs of protective gear for about $30.
Skating socks are a must for beginners. These are similar to knee socks, but meant particularly for skating. Beginner skaters need to learn how to use the strength in their ankles for skating technique, and with that comes lots of blisters if you’re not wearing socks. Not only do skating socks help with technique and supporting your ankles, but help make the skates fit better. They’re also so cute, and you can match them to your outfits!
Toe caps are a fun edition because not only do they come in a range of colors and styles, they protect your roller skates from wear and rips in the front. The more you skate, you’ll notice scratches and rips, and toe caps act as a barrier between the skate (not the wheels) and the ground. You can also change them whenever! Etsy and Instagram accounts sell lots of laces, toe caps, and accessories to make your skates your own. Also, you can buy LED wheels that glow up in the dark, along with indoor and outdoor ones online and in skate shops.
The most important aspect of rollerskating is to not get discouraged. If you’ve never roller skated before, it’s going to be hard at first, but the more you practice...the better you’ll get! Luckily, thousands of people are learning how to rollerskate alongside you. Connecting with other beginners along with the way along with people who are more advanced is important to your rollerskating journey. There are Facebook groups for Beginner Skaters across the globe (one even has 10,000+ people in it) that you can join with no judgment! On Instagram, there are so many skating accounts of people documenting their journey, and all there’s so much advice on them. Even making an account yourself will draw in supportive people on a global scale to help you and cheer you on (don’t forget to use hashtags though!). Rollerskating isn’t an exclusive club, it’s all about having fun!