In recent years, roller skates and roller discos have been making something of a comeback. Since the ‘60s and ‘70s, roller culture has helped minorities to find solace and sanctuary, has helped move along dance culture, and has provided a safe space for teens everywhere. While roller skating is often seen as something closely related to U.S. culture, it really appeals to people of all ages and across a range of cultures.
Why Roller Skating?
Perhaps it is something of a cultural mystery to some as to why roller skating didn’t simply die out with big hair from the 1980s; the truth is that it never truly disappeared at all. In fact, dedicated roller skaters have continued to innovate on the dance floor whether or not other people have acknowledged the fact that roller skates are essential to their fun.
Apart from the joy evident on the faces of old and new roller skaters on any given night, the fact is that roller skating is just a super-fun activity. It keeps people fit, builds confidence, and continues to build important social connections across culture, ages, and genders.
A Truly Millennial Curiosity
Luckily, Slick Willies roller skates and others still mean that anyone can enjoy this retro nod to a seemingly bygone age. Just when most people thought that roller blades and inline skates would replace old-style roller skates forever, there are now a growing number of fashion houses, shoe makers, and shops stocking all manner of old-school skates.
While some of the old names have shut up shop for good on roller skate production, there are a wave of new brands associated with roller skates that look good and feel good on the feet. This amounts to a choice of roller skates the likes of which people have not seen since the heady days of the ‘70s and ‘80s, including skates for beginners, kid’s skates, quad skates, roller skating bags in a wide variety of styles, and colourful wheels and stoppers.
All of this adds up to something of a social and cultural phenomenon driven largely by the desire for millennials to experience the colourful and glitzy decades that happened many years before they were born. Indeed, this is a big part of the whole retro movement. While those over 40 or 50 might seem bemused by the youthful desire for ages past, picking up something such as a film camera or a colourful pair of rainbow roller skates seems to stoke a level of interest in millennials that is rather touching.
The good news is that roller skating is back. It may not be the centre of mainstream culture anymore but there are now more exclusive roller parties being thrown than at any time in the past 25 years. This is good news for skaters young and old!2017-11-06