Do You Roller Skate?
August 1, 2018 4:46 PM   Subscribe

This question is about skate rink culture and etiquette for a beginning skater.

I am the beginning skater. I've been skating probably seven times or less in my life. Most of those time were years ago. Last month my sister and I took her kids to the skate rink we went to when we were kids. I was wobbly at first but then I got into it and I just had a blast. Can't stop thinking about it actually. I'd love to be able to casually skate once or twice a week for exercise. The thing is, I didn't see any adults at the rink who weren't accompanying kids. I did find a skate rink in my town that has an 18+ adult skate night each week, but I wonder, will those people all be like professional roller derby women who will be annoyed with me, the beginning skater, who is basically a big, slow moving speed bump? Will I get run over? Will I be in the way? Should I/could I practice on family skate days or will I most likely be mistaken for a skeevy adult predator in a mainly kid space? How is the best way to go about this?

Thanks for any insight you may have!
posted by WalkerWestridge to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Oh my gosh I love roller skating!!! Look around -- there are always adult beginner classes available in the afternoons and evenings before free skate in my area and the instructors are really kind and good about making sure you feel at home and are doing what you are comfortable doing.
posted by Hermione Granger at 4:50 PM on August 1, 2018 [3 favorites]

I am not the greatest skater but I used to frequent an adult skate night almost once a week and it was a lot of fun. There were always a range of skills from newbies to expert. A lot of the regulars were really quite good, but I never felt like they looked down at us newbies. Everyone was just there to have fun, no judgment.
posted by canda at 6:38 PM on August 1, 2018 [1 favorite]

will those people all be like professional roller derby women

Maybe some.

who will be annoyed with me

Not if the ones I've met are typical.
posted by Rat Spatula at 6:52 PM on August 1, 2018 [1 favorite]

Go!! Have fun. A skate class might make you feel more comfortable, but just being out on the rink wobbling around is important to. I wish we had a rink around here. I used to love to skate!
posted by BlueHorse at 6:53 PM on August 1, 2018 [1 favorite]

Call them up! "What are some good times for a beginner adult to just skate around?"
posted by rhizome at 7:09 PM on August 1, 2018 [7 favorites]

Should I/could I practice on family skate days or will I most likely be mistaken for a skeevy adult predator in a mainly kid space?

There were several adults without children on the rink the last time I went to a mainly-kid space/time. It wasn't obvious whether they were there on their own or if their kids were skating by themselves (or playing in the arcade). None of the many parents who were with me gave them a second glance or commented on their presence. I think that as long as you aren't crashing into toddlers or acting weird you should be just fine.
posted by belladonna at 7:23 PM on August 1, 2018 [3 favorites]

If its anything like the skate rink I go to, there may be roller derby players but they're more likely to be beginner-intermediate level players (top level players would not get much out of a roller disco, they're already training on skates 4+ hours a week), they might try to help you or even recruit you but they're unlikely to be annoyed by you. We all started where you are now. You don't go to a public skate rink with the expectation of being able to do much more than skate in a circle at a moderate pace, maybe some backwards skating and stops but you very much have to be aware of the other public skaters in the space. If its quiet and we're not in anyone's way, we'll practice other stuff but its not what the skate rink is for so we'd be making sure we weren't in your way
posted by missmagenta at 12:34 AM on August 2, 2018 [1 favorite]

I am a professional roller derby woman and I can promise you that the vast majority of us are just there to have a good time because roller skating is fun! (And also, yeah, we train 8-10 hours a week so the roller rink isn’t always the first choice for an evening out.)

The adult skate nights I’ve been to have had a huuuuuge range of skills, from folks hanging onto the walls to people doing jam skating moves that made me wonder whether they were part Gumby. It’s a great time and you should definitely go! Make sure you follow basic rink etiquette - follow the flow of traffic, stay to the outside if you’re going slowly, don’t cut across the center of the track (which is usually reserved for jam skating/dance/tricks).
posted by coppermoss at 6:12 AM on August 2, 2018 [3 favorites]

Very few of us on our derby team go to the rinks outside practice times. If we're going to skate recreationally, it's going to be outside. (And honestly, if there are derby folk there, they are more likely to try to recruit you by giving pointers than be annoyed.)

I think every single rink has its own culture, and at at least one of the rinks in my city, 18+ adult night means it will be PACKED to the gills with jam skaters, which I find intimidating, because it's such a different style of skating for me in close proximity. I think I'd scope out the rink's facebook page to see if you can find photos of this session.

I don't think anyone will bat an eye at an adult at regular family sessions, *especially* if it's clear you're there and learning.
posted by pixiecrinkle at 7:48 AM on August 2, 2018 [2 favorites]

« Older Help me find this bag   |   Making faith your own? Wrestling with evangelical... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.