Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Scott's roller skating CRAZE!!!!

I first started roller skating in the 1970's...and like many a teen back then all it took was 1 trip to a roller rink get hooked! Invited by friends, i struggled like all first time skaters with my balance but something about the experience clicked, and for the next year I was on skates almost everyday!
The 70's werea golden period for skating and "disco roller skating" was everywhere: movies, T.V. Cher!, etc...and the rinks were every where too! NYC had at least 10 ! ....only 1 remains today Roller Jam located in Staten Island. But back to the 70's for a local rink The Roxy roller rink (opened in 1978) was my weekly thrill. Great music, and some of the best skaters I've ever seen. It closed for good in the beginning of this decade, but serious skating there had been in decline for years...when the lights went out I thought an era was gone. Occassionally I would wander past the Central Park Skaters and pine fo the goood old days, but my skates were still in deep storage (3 hrs away), and skating was only something i dreamed about, but this would ALL change in 2013!
Unbeknownst to me...Dance roller skating never went anywhere and was alive and well as a strong underground cultural experience...I would later find out that surviving rinks were mostly located on the fringes of many American cities, and in some cases they were thriving! I would soon discovere that there were distinct regional skate styles with different emphasises. D.J.'s would play an important part of this culture, with many of them good skaters who focused on the kind of music we want to skate too. People away from the scene mistakenly think there's something "retro" about this kind of skating...but nothing could be farther from the truth. Sure there's some old school music thrown in, but it's changed to reflect modern tastes and skating styles. What keeps this scene all together and vibrant is the mix of rink owners, the D.J.'s they employ and the skaters who keep coming. Huge organized skate "Jams" are attended by skaters from all over the world...these are annual events that see die hard fans getting together and hitting the wood all together in places like Atlanta, North Carolina, Detroit, Chicago, Alabama, New York, New Jersey, Texas....and many other locals. Thanks to this new passion I have a whole new group of friends affectionately known as sk8 fam! Since coming back to the fold, i'm skating 3-5 nites a week, and i've hit rinks in California, Nevada, Chicago, Maryland, New York & New Jersey AND Tokyo! My knees are feelin it but my heart is strong and i'm putting in that work!
Even though this sk8 culture is thriving, many rinks face pressure from land developers or competing forms of entertainment and rinks are closing across the country at an alarming pace. Luckily, NYC / NJ area is still a hot bed of roller skating and we have LOTS of options and a murder's row of great DJ's to choose from locally! Shout out to my faves (in no order of preference): Robert "Big Bob" Clayton, D.J. Arson "the fire starter", D.J. Ray Rozay, D.J. D, d.j. Nile. & D.J. three...

Here's a list of my fave places to roll in the NYC/NJ area: again, in no particular order, The rinks: Newark NJ's Branch Brook Park, Union NJ's Skate 22, Lynbrook, Long Island's Hot Skates, Seaford L.I.'s United Skates of America  . and then the incredibly unique Crazy Legs skate club located in Bedford Stuyvessant Brooklyn! taking place in a Salvation Army community gym...the skating takes place on a basketball court! Great D.J.'s always on hand.

Each place offers it's own unique vibe and many skaters will only be found at 1 place or the other!
So next time you want to roll....hit me up at for info!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Looks like fun!