Feeling unsteady on those new skates? Don’t worry, the first person to invent the now trendy activity dates back to 1760 and his debut also ended with an embarrassing crash. No need to sweat, Birmingham has plenty of opportunities to learn and look great while doing it.
What’s with the resurgence?
Like 90’s fashion and tie-dye trendiness, roller skating is back baby. You may remember it from elementary school birthday parties or times that involved Spanx leotards, but today it’s all about style.
It started, or was amplified at least, with a simple Tik Tok from LA actress Ana Coto
When I say the internet hasn’t gone so wild over a video since “Charlie Bit My Finger” I mean it. Stores couldn’t keep roller skates in stock. Headlines plastered publications like Buzzfeed, NBC News , The Washington Post and more. I even bought a pair myself in direct correlation with watching that video.
Many roller skating videos started to surface to the top of Twitter feeds and Instagram explore pages—including Oumi Janta, a roller-skating instructor based in Berlin. Again, the internet exploded at the extreme talent and stylish moves—we all wanted to be her.
But…it’s not as easy as it looks—here’s how to start
In my quest to be like Oumi and Ana Coto I tried relentlessly to catch on, but I didn’t look near as glamorous and many tears were shed. In fact, it was incredibly humiliating to think of someone watching me, a 22-year-old college graduate with a full career, clinging to her mom, begging not to let go.
Best places for beginners in Birmingham
If you’re looking to take lessons, buy skates or have a nice place to practice, Birmingham and the surrounding area have several options.
Easiest Outside spots:
Indoor Skating Rinks:
Get involved with the local skater community
I found all of this great information from the people who know it best and have been doing it long before the TikTok trend—the Community of Quad Skaters in Birmingham, AL. While the group also has advanced skaters, they’re very welcoming to beginners and even have newbie-friendly meetups.
Stay in touch through their social channels for periodic meet-ups of all different levels. Trying something new takes a lot of courage, so starting out with a supportive community will not only help you learn, it’ll be much more fun.
And if you need something to aspire to…
Did you know Birmingham has its own competitive WFTDA roller derby league? The Tragic City Rollers are bad.ass and although I don’t think I’ll ever skate like the pros, it never hurts to get inspired.