Today we’re not going to talk about roller derby. Yes, people do things on roller skates that aren’t skating counter-clockwise and hitting people. Weird, I know! Whether you’re retired from competitive derby, just taking a break, or you’re searching for a way to shake up your cross-training, there are lots of other ways to have fun on your skates.
“Aggressive” roller skating (skating in bowls, skate parks and halfpipes) has been around for years, but it’s been having a resurgence lately, probably due in no small part to the Chicks in Bowls organization. Started by two New Zealand skaters in 2012, CIB has spread like an awesome rash all over the world, now comprised of 150+ chapters. If you live in a city with skate parks, chances are there’s a chapter in your area. Their mission is to “encourage and inspire women and men to get into skate parks on their rollerskates,” so they’re very beginner-friendly – no need to be intimidated! If aggressive skating tickles your fancy, check their Chapters list to see if there’s one near you. And follow them on Instagram and Facebook for visual inspiration. Oh, one last thing, before you ‘drop in’ anywhere, make sure you know your skate park etiquette!
Like to go fast on your skates? Want to go even faster? Why not try speed skating! It’s no coincidence that some of roller derby’s best players are former speed skaters. Obviously, speed skating training can improve a myriad of skating skills: speed, power, endurance, strength, crossovers, edge awareness…and what derby player doesn’t covet those delicious, meaty thigh muscles. A good place to start is to bring basic speed skating technique into your regular derby training. Online speed skating trainers Sk8skool have a series of short videos on their YouTube channel that break down a number of speed skating techniques. If you end up loving the feeling of speed skating, you can take it to the next level: track down the closest national roller sports organization and find your city’s inline speed skating club. And if you’re lucky enough to have an ice speed skating oval in your town, give them a shout to see if they’ve got an adult Learn to Speed Skate program. (Lower Mainlanders: yes, Richmond Oval has one!)
Want to branch out in your skating, but take down the intensity a few notches? Jam Skating could be for you! You Tube has loads of jam skating videos, so just search it to see if it’s something you’d like. The Quintessese of Groove guys do a pretty nice job of singling out and shooting their moves, and The Infamous Skating Couple are legendary jam skaters who shoot sleek and sexy videos. If you are serious and want to break it down even further, Rollergirl.ca has a Learn to Jamskate DVD box set available to buy online. Want to practice with the big dogs? Head to your local roller rink’s Adult Skate Night or special jam skating events. Don’t be shy – those guys and girls had to start somewhere too!
(Please remember, all of these things are challenging and athletic, so only try them if you’re an experienced skater and in relatively good shape. If you’re a beginner, make sure you get a good handle on your derby skating techniques first.)
Okay, grab your skates, get out there and have a new adventure!
P.S. Not sure what to wear on your new skating adventures? The GW Tush Shorts are perfect for showcasing your new, powerful speed skater legs, a Hoodie will come in handy for the changing weather at the skate park, and the Tiki Timebomb Tank will definitely add some funk to your jam skating!