Is This the New Era of Roller Skating Mania?

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For certain generations, roller skating brings back fond childhood memories. Perhaps you grew up at the roller rink for school events or parties. Or just to have fun with friends. Roller rinks are still around and have seen a resurgence in skaters. However, there’s another place where roller skating has become a trendy way to pass the time—and you don’t have to go very far to find it.

Roller Skating Lifestyle

Unless your family was living under a rock during COVID-19 lockdowns the roller skating craze became a common outdoor activity. Even though people were asked to stay at home, many places allowed outdoor activities while social distancing was acceptable. People started looking for outdoor activities they could do with friends or alone. This led to the rise in popularity of roller skating.

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I’ll admit that I even jumped onto this craze. For me, putting on a pair quads was a stress relief and a way out of the lockdown in all parts of the world. During the pandemic, roller skating was an accessible and affordable option. You could also skate park on the street or in your basement.

The popularity of getting into a pair or quads from Germany, Kenya, and the USA was due to Instagram reels and TikTok videos. Oumi Janta was only one of many skaters that helped to popularize jam skating in 2020. People still comment on her reel and show their admiration for her quad moves, even though it was published in November 2020.

Roller skating has been embraced by celebrities. The video of Nathan Apodaca was released in October 2020. @420doggface208On TikTok, the video became viral. After his car broke down, he recorded himself skateboarding to work while singing to Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams.” Stevie Nicks even spoofed Apodaca’s video as she laced up her roller skates and sang to her own vocals.

A pastime with roots in civil rights

However, roller skating didn’t begin with the pandemic, and it didn’t end once lockdown orders ceased. Roller skating is an enjoyable sport with a long history. Even as a way to protest. Many people are familiar with skate clubs that existed in the 1970s, when disco was on the rise. Did you know that modern roller skateboarding actually began during civil rights?

Many roller rinks attempted to keep Black skaters from the floor when desegregation was introduced in the 1950s. The Black community organized sit-ins and protests. What did the outcome look like? Many roller rinks held separate black and white skate nights. During Black skate nights, skaters invented jam, hip-hop, and rhythm skating.  

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Those same styles became more and more popular during the ‘70s, ‘80s, and ‘90s. The quad moves that were popular during civil rights are now being adapted for modern skaters. No matter if you’re out on the street or with your friends, keep rolling.

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