Roller skating has been around for over 200 years, but it's wheels keep rollin'! There's a continued progress and evolution. This awesome activity can be enjoyed by everyone , with endless ways to enjoy it. From competitive sports to freestyle skating, there are many different styles of roller skating to choose from. Pick one or pick them all!
1. Dance Styles
Roller rinks are the backbone of roller skating and have been present in American pop-culture since the 70s. African-american skaters are incredibly important and influential when talking about the origins of skating at large, and the rink movement specifically. Although you can go to your local rink and just do laps around, you will often see different dance styles being performed at rinks.
Different dance styles are also performed at rinks, including jam skating and rhythm skating.
Image by Roland Ramanan.
2. "Aggressive Roller Skating"
Also known as park, trick or street skating, this style of skating is focused on doing tricks on ramps, ledges, rails, and all and any obstacle you may find in a skatepark. Some of the most common tricks involve sliding and grinding, which requires special hardware on your skates. Other common tricks are airs, spins and flips. This style demands a blend of skill, courage and creativity, making it a favourite amongst thrill-seekers and adrenaline junkies.
In addition to skate parks, aggressive skaters also skate on city streets, using the urban landscape as their playground!
Image by Keeks Vaughan
3. Artistic Roller Skating
Artistic roller skating is a competitive sport similar to figure skating but where competitors wear roller skates instead of ice skates. Inspired by its ice-based counterpart, skaters execute elegant routines that involve spins, jumps, and intricate footwork. Technique is above all in this modality, and if competing is your thing you have to make sure to follow certain rules to make it to the top.
4. Roller Derby
Roller Derby is a competitive contact sport played in teams, on roller skates. Two teams face each other in an oval track, and believe it or not there is NO BALL! Score system is based on overlapping skaters from the opposite team, while simultaneously trying to block opposing players - but there is much more to it than that. Roller Derby is fast-paced and action filled, with a dash of controlled chaos. Strategy, speed, agility and teamwork are crucial in this sport.
Fun fact: Sam, Sugu & Bowzer all played Roller Derby together at one point. Above, Sugu blocking with one of her teammates. Picture by Liam Mitchell.
5. Recreational Skating
Do as you wish! Last but not least, there's the skating that is just for the fun of it. No rules, no set moves, places or styles. Recreational skating is all about enjoying the ride. A great way to stay active while cruising around parks, boardwalks or the city! As we always say, you have to learn to walk before you run - so if you are a beginner skater we recommend skating recreationally to get all your basic skills down pat, before you venture into more advanced kinds of skating.
Roller skating is very broad, and on this list we have focused only in the most common kinds of skating we see these days, but believe us, the list goes on: roller hockey, slalom, speed skating, freestyle skating....