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Youth return to roller skating

Roller skating (Photo: David Franzen)

With roller sports on the rise among 20-30 year olds, it might be time to trade your skateboard for a new set of wheels

Roller skating (Photo: David Franzen)

Cardiff’s roller skating movement began with the opening of The American Roller Rink on Westgate Street in 1908 (Photo: David Franzen)

Cardiff is well known for its skateboarding culture, but now young people are strapping on their roller skates for the first time in decades.

The growing popularity of roller skating among youths is being encouraged by Cardiff Skate School who organise weekly public sessions in hopes of reviving roller skating as a modern sport.


Sharon Nicholls, founder of Cardiff Skate School, said, “I think people perceive roller skating as more of a one off activity rather than a hobby, but once people attend our public sessions it definitely becomes more of a regular social outing for them.”

Sharon commented that although there are more 20-30 year olds participating in roller skating, the sport is much more common among older generations who would have taken part in the activity when they were younger.

(Photo: VintageSon Foto)

Roller skating began to regain popularity in the UK in 2010 with the introduction of roller derby (Photo: VintageSon Foto)

Sharon also maintains this new trend is a result of fashion’s revival of vintage culture. “Despite the recent rise in popularity of roller skating among youths it is still viewed as a nostalgic pastime rather than a current day hobby. It was inevitable that the rise in vintage fashion and culture was going to use that to its advantage,” she said.

On the other hand, Michelle Steilen, brand manager of Moxi Roller Skates, suggests that skating has earned its place as a popular pastime. “I don’t think that fashion revivalists are responsible for the resurgence of roller skating. I think that the world is out of new ideas and we are recirculating the best ones.

“Roller Skates are the shoes of the future – not the past. We need to exercise our brains and bodies more than ever before, and the roller skate is the most practical footwear I can think of.”

Details of Cardiff Skate School’s public sessions can be found on their Facebook page.


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