Roller skates are having a major moment. Here’s everything you need to know.

From Emma Corrin’s Princess Diana spinning around the halls of Kensington Palace along to Duran Duran in The Crown right through to au courant Instagram sensation @oumi_janta, roller skating is having a mainstream moment. The latter captured the essence of lockdown summer last year with her retro towelling two-piece and uplifting disco beats on the streets of Berlin, inspiring many more to follow suit. With worldwide Google searches doubling in 2020, even Gucci is riding the four-wheeled zeitgeist, enlisting skater Sarah Lancerio to be the face of its latest watch campaign.

Yet, as with many seemingly flash-in-the-pan crazes, the hard-core skating movement has never gone away. Long-time members of the community extol the mental and physical benefits of getting your skates on. So whether you’re in it for the Insta kudos, the pleasingly retro outfits or simply for the breeze in your hair and sense of escapism, here’s our lowdown, from accounts to follow for inspiration to stylish kit to try out and even the tunes to glide to.

Who To Follow


Whether you’re looking for tips on how to go from Bambi to Boss and find your skating legs, or you’re just in love with the hypnotic lines and sunshine vibes of the pro skaters videos, here are three of our #rollerskating favs:

@coco_franklin_




From her bell-bottom jeans right up to her ever-changing unicorn braids - Coco Franklin is a pro-street skater who makes it look cool and effortless in equal measures. A shot of pure sunshine with a backdrop of LA palm trees. The perfect follow for an injection of upbeat fun on your feed. Follow her here.


@Zelinaonwheels




Rink rider, @zelinaonwheels takes roller skating off the flat tarmac and shows how to skate bowls, halfpipes and rinks with some gravity-defying moves. Great for teens who may already skateboard or scoot, looking for their next wheelie-fix. Follow her here.


@Thaisonwheels




Adding some serious French girl cool to the scene, Thais skates the avenues and rivieras of France in easy-breezy style. Not afraid to show her ‘fails’ videos, she falls with grace and makes her moves all the more impressive for it. Follow her here.


Tune In


Part of the joy of roller skating is plugging in your tunes whilst you tune out the rest of the world and let the music guide you. With a 14-hour long playlist, check out Amanda Keller’s ‘Roller Skating Rink Songs’ on Spotify to get you dancing on eight wheels faster than you can say Rhythm Is A Dancer. A brilliant mix of 205 songs covering retro pop, RnB and 90s feel-good tracks to get your toes tapping. Get the playlist here.



The Skateofmind podcast should be your first stop to really understand the culture and community of skating. As in life, topics spill out beyond the rink to talk about mental health, the pandemic, racism and running your own skating business. Listen in here.



The Kit



Skates



Head to Skatehut for the all-important skates and protective gear. There’s a great range of styles and sizes, but we love Impala and Rio Roller for the glorious colours and vintage feels. Look for styles with good ankle support and padding if you’re a beginner and chat with long-term skaters online to find the best skates for you – whether you’re planning on outdoor, park or rink use.


Clothing



The brilliant thing about skating is that although it’s truly a great form of exercise, it’s also a little bit of an excuse to dress up. Forget the drab technical garbs worn for running or cycling and have fun with it. Inspired by its 70s roots, anything goes, from Daisy Dukes to vintage sports labels, unitards, Disco Funk vibes and tassel jackets. Just don’t forget the pads. We love Sweaty Betty’s Sunshine towelling romper while for stream-line unitards and matching co-ords, do check out ethically made fitness brand, Girlfriend. Ebay is also a great place to source authentic, vintage sportswear for some 80s Jane Fonda workout looks.


Helmet



Triple 8 has some pretty ombre helmets for a flower-power vibe, while Bobbins’ chrome, gloss and pastel styles are stylishly simple.

By Lydia Mansi
September 2021

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Lydia Mansi

Lifestyle Editor

Lydia is an all-round lifestyle guru, tireless champion of women in business and our resident expert on beauty.

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