Have you ever tried on a pair of roller skates? If you have, do you remember that feeling of putting them on for the first time, then standing up, awkward, a little nervous, and rolling forward, clenching every muscle in your body, arms waving around as you steady yourself and with your eyes firmly fixed on your feet? 

And if you’ve never put on skates, chances are you’d feel exactly the above. If this was your experience then I feel you – it was mine too, albeit it was on inline skates, a slightly different type of skate, with that exact same feeling! Whatever skate you tried, I bet it felt scary! That scary feeling, however, has done nothing to stop the meteoric rise and popularity of roller skating today.

Roller skating has gone from an activity that some of us toyed with as kids, to something that has become really cool to do, even though roller skating has been around for a while. And surprisingly many adults have discovered it and are now doing it! How has this happened?


Kicking back to 2020, cooped up at home and with nowhere to go but a socially distanced walk along the road, and with all the gyms being shut, many people were searching for an activity where they could exercise yet have fun at the same time. Something that you could do outside your own front door, in the garden or inside you home, like the kitchen!

Suddenly people, influenced by Tik Tok and social media, discovered this ‘new thing’ roller skating, and when a TikTok of actor Ana Coto roller skating dropped and skating content creators like Oumi Janta started posting, skating exploded!

THIS is what became that activity.


As a result, the sales of skates from a niche almost underground arena, saw an incredible boom within the public, with so much interest in the purchase of skates that manufactures struggled to keep up with global demand. Some skate retailers saw as much as 800 per cent increase in sales of skates during the pandemic. Some of the top core skate companies such as Moxi Skates and Impala Skates – of Barbie inline skate fame, were just a few brands that, without realising it, caused an explosion in this amazing activity.


It's Fun!

Theres no doubt about it, having wheels strapped to your feet can be, at first, a little scary. But man is it fun! It’s an experience like no other. And whether you look at it as a sport, something to keep fit, or as an activity that is part of your own lifestyle, skating is ‘DOPE’!

Viral videos on TikTok were now showing people not just cruising down palm-lined beach fronts and dance skating on tennis courts, but also fans skating inside their own kitchens. My niece is one such person! And with hundreds of YouTube and Instagram tutorials teaching how to roller skate, it has become a global phenomenon.

The leisure industry are catching onto this too. Making the most of the hype and maximising on the rising trend of competitive socialising, ‘eatertainment’ and experience-driven nights out. Bringing that fun to the masses.

Imagine the fantastic feeling of gliding along, carving, turning, and spinning with the wind on your face, or listening to the coolest grooves from your Apple EarPods, or from the base bins of a roller club. It’s addictive. 


An intrinsic part of roller skating is having that sense of community. ‘Skate Brum’ is one such community that has a massive following, organising regular after school and work hook ups via Facebook and WhatsApp. The core of what they like to do is DANCE SKATE!

We personally got to experience this (my wife and I) At a RollOUT BHX event at a club! Skating to the booming bass and wickedest beats is something we won’t forget for a while!

Michelle Steinlen of Moxi Skates on the other hand loves to Ramp skate. Not only does she have mad skills on the half pipe, but she also champions women off all shapes and sizes to learn how to skate and have fun! As a result, she has an enormous following, the world over. 

And it’s not just Michelle, skate-centric spaces are opening up to provide places for people to hang and skate on an evening. Places such as Skate Parlour in Leicester, The Aware House Collective and The House of Vans put on evenings of music, food, drink and retail – providing an alternative to pubs, bars and restaurants.


Music experiences

Music is a massive part of the now popular dance or ‘Jam skating’ phenomenon and savvy entrepreneurs are seeing this and acting on it.

A good example of this is Roller Jam in Digbeth, Birmingham run by four entrepreneurs including former roller skating champion Jerry McGrath, Lenny Scarlett and George Kafetzis . With some of the coolest bars, restaurants and venues, the only thing missing in Digbeth was a roller rink! With that, Roller Jam was born.

The owners have cleverly tailored weekly events to suit skaters of all levels – from beginner to advanced, kids events family events free entry skate nights, lessons and special events such as the aforementioned, RollOut BHX. Situated in huge historic building, just one area of it has been converted into glitzy multi-purpose skating venue, incorporating food huts, big cocktail bar, comfortable chill out areas, and a large gaming area.

It’s become so popular because it offers a brilliant atmosphere and a safe place for anyone to have a go at roller skating whilst jamming to music. A great place to make friends laugh, joke, express your sense of fashion, show off a little and generally have a great time, while flying (or crawling!) around on skates. 



The inclusivity of the activity and culture together with the influence of social media has helped break down barriers, making room for work parties, kids, moms and dads and all gender types to boot up and skate, mixing with seasoned skaters, whilst enjoying the vibe. Roller Jam seem to be hitting all the boxes. Similarly Skate Parlour and other indoor skate venues offer female only evenings as well as child sessions to break down entry barriers. Never has roller skating been in such a good and positive place!

Wear what you wear

Roller skating is exciting, exhilarating, fashionable, inclusive, creative, and just pure fun. In fact, roller skating has ALWAYS been cool! Fashion and expression always hugely important to self-expression, and that’s no different in the skating scene. What you are wearing is just as important as how great your skates are.

I see in the next few years brands looking up and taking notice of this new revival and metaphorically, ‘strap wheels’ to the feet of their businesses. We already see the likes of Oumi, mentioned previously, working with the likes of Adidas, Moncler and even Vogue.

Will you be one of them?


Why it matters

Younger generations are particularly drawn to competitive socialising activities, due to being more sober-curious than past generations (read more about this trend here), and as such, are increasingly seeking new and varied activities that provide a sense of adrenaline but don’t necessarily involve consuming alcohol.

Leisure brands are well placed to continue offering new and exciting ways to spend your free time. Creating unique and fun skating experiences not only taps into the competitive socialising and sober-curious trends, but also taps into a new upcoming trend for 2024 where we are expected to see barriers to fitness squashed (something Nike, The Slow AF Run Club and Cosy Cardio are already maximising on).

Skating provides the perfect pastime and memorable experience for all. If you want to chat about how to bring your skate concept to life, get in touch. As you can see, we love to talk all things skating!

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