I don’t know about you, but leaving a pair of dirty socks on a snack bar table is just plain gross. As for the rubber glove, I don’t want to know. #SkaterShaming.
Every once in awhile we come come across rink visitors who don’t understand certain rules and why they need to be enforced. So here is the short list of 10 things rink owners wish their patrons would quit doing.
Were you a rink rat in high school? Did you hang out at your local roller rink week after week? If so, then you understand why roller skating rocks. Most of us gave up skating for other interests and are starting to recall how much fun it is. Perhaps it’s attending a skating party for your child’s or grandchild’s birthday. Or you want to improve your fitness level without all the danger involved.
Here are my Top 10 reasons why roller skating rocks it at any age.
- It’s safe. Yes, it really is. Especially if you roller skate indoors. There are no rocks to roll over, cars to dodge, rough pavement, or the possibility of getting stranded 2 miles from your car with a thundercloud overhead. The Roller Skating Association asserts that roller skating is 5x safer than bicycling.
- It burns calories. Depending on how fast you skate and what you weigh, you can burn about 500 calories an hour.
- It’s low impact. The gliding movement is a lot easier on your joints as opposed to running or tennis. Your ankles, hips, and knees will thank you.
- It tones muscles. Those are weights strapped to your feet, so it’s like you’re doing cardio and weight lifting at the same time. Your butt will begin to lift.
- Improves balance. Can you stand on one foot for very long? This is what keeps us upright and prevents falling in later years. Skating is the perfect activity to maintain posture and balance through the senior years.
- It feels good doing it. Feeling the wind in your hair makes you feel like you’re flying. Remembering how to skate backwards and do tricks: priceless.
- It improves your mood. An increased heart rate and fitness program boosts endorphin and serotonin levels.
- It’s an enjoyable activity you can stick with. When you look forward to skating every week, it becomes a fitness and social routine.
- You can skate at any age. I have skated alongside 80 year olds and 2 year olds. Roller skating is one of the few activities that can be shared across generations as a family activity you can all do together. Not only that, you can impress your kids because you may be a better skater than them.
- It’s a great value. Skating prices are a bargain when you compare it to snow skiing or a monthly gym pass. With roller skating, you only pay for the sessions you attend.
If you skated when you were younger, and then took a 20 year break, you’re not alone! We launched RollerSk8r.com to keep you in the know about recreational roller skating.
If you’ve been to the Sunshine State anytime in the past 3 years, and ventured into one of its many roller rinks, chances are you may have seen the Roll Dawgz, a group that is growing enthusiastic roller skaters of all ages.
Roll Dawgz of Florida is the brainchild of co-founders Sammy Glover, Stephanie Castillo, and Bruce Walther. It’s not a skate crew or competitive club, but a flock of like-minded skaters and their families dressed in blue shirts. They meet up at rinks across the Sunshine State on a monthly basis to promote roller skating and celebrate milestones, like their annual anniversary.
Glover was a national speed champion and former employee of the Ocala rink in Florida. He told The RollerSk8r he initially got the idea 10 years ago to start a social skating club but couldn’t find the right people to join him. About 3 years ago he thought it would be an awesome idea to form a “family-based” club rather than all adults or all one type of skating style. “I started this club because I have kids, and I wanted them to know what skating is all about,” he admitted. The Roll Dawgz welcome jam, speed, derby, art, freestyle, shuffle, and recreational skaters of all stripes. Members are racially diverse and there are no dues to pay. Just express interest, show up at a future event, and buy a t-shirt. And if you really want to go all out, you can purchase matching LED lights and attach them to your skates.
Because Roll Dawgz Florida is made up of families, skaters range in age from 3 to 60 years old. And they only skate at public sessions. Some rinks offer a dollar discount for group members who wear their blue shirt, because session skaters will obviously notice a group of skaters all dressed the same. “It’s one of the ways we keep growing,” said Kenny McNabb, a member who started skating 6 years ago. “We meet other skaters at the rink who are really excited about skating and want to join the family.” McNabb stipulates it is a family rather than a crew. “We’re not out to get into turf wars with other rinks.” The Roll Dawgz make the rounds at rinks such as Skate Reflections (Kissimmee), Skate World (Tampa), Skateland of Brandon, Skate and Shake (Ormond Beach) SkateMania (Ocala) and Spinnations (Port Richey), as well as the Astro Skating rinks in the Tampa area. They’ve also made the road trip to Jacksonville.
Typically the Roll Dawgz convene once a month and at some rinks host a clinic 30-45 minutes ahead of the session to exchange tips on skating skills.
Both McNabb and Glover stated there is no drama among the Roll Dawgz skaters. In order to join the group, interested skaters are asked to come back for a road trip to another rink, meet the “family” and purchase a shirt. Glover stipulates that all Roll Dawgz must respect the shirt. “I don’t want to see you on the local news that you just robbed the Jiffy Mart while wearing a blue Roll Dawgz shirt,” he said. “You have to be 100% respectful to others. No fights. We keep the respect level up and the drama out.” In the 3 years since the club started, only one member was asked to leave because of a disrespectful attitude.
Also, a visit to the Roll Dawgz of Florida Facebook page shows Blue Alerts calling out birthday and anniversary wishes to members of the team. With 675 Facebook friends and growing, there’s also lots of photos and pictures of the 160 group members in their blue Roll Dawg Shirts and matching LED lights mounted on their skates.
“It’s magical,” said Glover. “When we come in … 40 people with the same shirts and blue LED’s on the skates, people stop and talk to us. They ask, ‘where are you from?’ and we get a conversation going.” At an event 3 years ago, we had 30 people with us. The rink owner got phone calls all week after that asking “how do we join the Roll Dawgz?”
Since then the Roll Dawgz have taken several road trips across Florida, bringing along 50 to 60 skaters to each rink they visit. While they teach skills to each other as well as the session skaters while they are there, they are not a competition group. They just like to travel and skate together. With 160 regular members throughout Florida wearing blue shirts promoting roller skating, the rinks like having them in the building.
Glover and his group members are appreciative of rink operators. “Our biggest thing is to promote the rinks, because without the rinks, there would be no us.” He adds, “you have to create skaters. And they only way to create skaters is to expose them to it.”
Find the Roll Dawgz Florida on Facebook to discover more about the Funky Blue Crew and where they will appear next.
Anyone who grew up during the disco era will remember the movie “Roller Boogie.” A cult classic starring Linda Blair and Jim Bray. Bray was an 8 time national champion who had to relinquish his title to be in the film. He did nearly all his own stunts. I remember seeing the movie in the theater when it came out. I wasn’t that interested in the plot. It was the skating I was fascinated with. At the time, I recall taking mental notes of new moves I wanted to try.
Jim Bray traveled throughout the world to promote the film, and he skated on a live television show in Australia. Thanks to Jayson Sutcliff for providing this clip: https://youtu.be/P7CFasLYaRM
Meanwhile, the movie “Roller Boogie” is free for viewing on You Tube at 1:44:00. I’d post it here, but fear the movie copyrighters will pull it down altogether. So go hunt it out on YouTube for yourself.
The band Electic Approach from Washington State shot their video at Rollarena in Washington State.
Jessica Simpson’s A Public Affair featured Christina Applegate and Eva Longoria. Videotaped at the Moonlight Rollerway in Glendale, California.
Also shot at Moonlight Rollerway: Elle King’s new single “America’s Sweetheart.”
Gwen Stefani recorded the first music video on live television during the 2016 Grammy Awards. The skating scene toward the end is epic and the fall was planned with a stand-in.