The Roller Skate Sounds of Summer 2020

The colorful pastime of roller skating reemerged on TikTok in the wake of COVID-19. But for some, it was there all along.

Some may call this a comeback, others will side eye you and question where you've been. In the wake of a pandemic and shelter in place measures, outdoor and exercise activities are giving people the fresh air they have needed for years.

Sports equipment saw a spike in demand but that's not the only thing flying off the digital shelves. Roller Skating companies such as Impala and Moxie have been working extra hard to keep up with this huge increase in demand since March. The suspect - TikTok. Yes I said it, and I am not the only one thinking it.

You may not be the only one mesmerized by a beautiful community of skaters rolling through your Instagram and TikTok feeds. All of them twirling, gliding, and even flipping to classic Biggie, Jlo, and Doja Cat's breakout single "Say So". Miss Ana Coto racked up 14 million views for this Tiktok video, thus fueling the activity of the summer.

Roller Skate culture is an amazing past time connected to iconic music and a late night scene like no other fueled mostly by the black stake community during segregation. It is important that we continue to highlight roller skaters from all backgrounds and we are excited to help share their stories and experiences.

“I don’t want people to forget how the black community has contributed to the history of skating,” - Toni Bravo, NY Times

We caught up eight inspiring skaters to see how roller skating fills their life with joy. We want to know what music they bump while they roll through town, the new friends they have made, and to understand what they love about this ever growing and amazing community.



Name: Upreyl (Prey)

Social Handle: @preyonwheels

City you rep: Detroit all day! But stuck in Nashville.

Favorite Pair of Roller Skates: I’ve only ever worn Moxis and I love my Jack Boots! But I’m drooling over the new Moonlight Moon Boots.



So what inspired you to start skating? Is this a new hobby or something you have had in your life for a while?


I’ve been skating for a year now. I bought my skates on Juneteenth of 2019 as an act of protest. I was extremely depressed and unhappy living in a society that oppressed me as a poor, fat, queer, black woman. I realized that I needed something in my life that brought me joy because my misery was allowing them to win. So I decided on skate therapy! And it worked. This is the happiest I’ve been in my adult life.


Does roller skating serve as a form of self care and wellness for you?


Absolutely. Since beginning my skate practice, I’ve been able to avoid falling into depression. It’s honestly been a life changing process. Skating has also helped me embrace and love my body more. I feel more beautiful, more powerful, and more joyful because of my daily practice.


I can imagine there is so much freedom & excitement as soon as you get those speakers bumpin'...What is your go to song or playlist once you lace up your skates?


I primarily do slow flow skating so I love skating to slow jams. There’s a lot of Anderson.Paak, Nao, Luther Vandross, and DeBarge on my playlist. I also feel really nostalgic when skating so I have a lot of disco in my playlist. My favorite disco song right now is "Gotta Take Your Love" by G.A.M.E.


Are you more of an indoor roller rink skater or do you prefer to skate outdoors?


I usually skate outdoors. Since sunlight helps with depression, I like to feed the melanin whenever I’m rolling. There’s nothing like flying down a hill with the wind in your fro! Lol. But I do visit the rink because it’s so much easier to practice certain moves there.


What is your favorite memory that involves roller skating?


I love when children watch me skate. It’s always magical to see little girls watching me twirl around. Especially little black girls. I can see the mini skater growing in them and it makes me so happy.


What is the best part of the roller skating community for you and why?


I’m really encouraged by the number of friends I’ve made since skating. As a socially awkward person, I’ve always struggled with connecting with people. But since I’ve started skating, I’ve met so many great people online and in person. The skaters I’ve surrounded myself with are so supportive and accepting.



Name: Athena Fuentes

Social Handle: @ashinabeana (personal) @rollerizzi (skates)

City you rep: Mesa, AZ

Favorite Pair of Roller Skates: Moxi Skates

So what inspired you to start skating?


During quarantine, I was going insane from staying indoors. I was on TikTok to pass the time and Ana Coto was on my FYP busting out her iconic backwards walk on skates.


Are you more of an indoor roller rink skater or do you prefer to skate outdoors?


Arizona summer heat is intense. I prefer indoors!


What is your favorite memory that involves roller skating?


I actually convinced my mom and my brothers to skate! When the sun sets, all of us go outside and we skate around our little cul-de-sac.


How have new platforms like Tiktok connected you with this amazing growing community of skaters?


I find more amazing roller skaters on Tiktok! I’m excited skaters like Esty, Nicole Fiore and Indy Jamma Jones follow me!


Tell me about your most epic fail and your proudest moment while riding skates.


I was learning how to skate backwards and I tripped over a rock in front of some neighbors. My proudest is jumping over a water can for the first time, then crashing into a bush.


What is your go to skate song to warm up to as soon as you take off?


Adore You by Harry Styles


What is the best part of the roller skating community for you and why?


There are a lot of skaters that started skating the same time I did and it’s amazing that all of us are all learning how to skate! We all support each other no matter what experience or type of wheels you have!



Name: Indigo C

Social Handle: @indigothegoat

State you rep: North New Jersey

Favorite Pair of Roller Skates: I haven’t found my favorite pair yet

So what inspired you to start skating? Is this a new hobby or something you have had in your life for a while?


My New Year’s resolution in 2017 was to learn how to roller skate. It was the first resolution that I stuck to!

How has skating gotten you through the pandemic?


Skating is my self care. Although, I prefer to skate on wood learning to skate outdoors has been an adventure. It has given me the opportunity to connect with nature and step out of my comfort zone.

How have new platforms like TikTok connected you with this amazing growing community of skaters?


I don’t use TikTok but I do have an Instagram. I started my Instagram May 2020 and I gained a following rapidly. I like to interact with others on social media and leave supportive comments on other people’s pages. Eventually, I plan to take a trip to California to meet a few wonderful ladies in person.

What is the most unique skill or trick you've done with a pair of roller skates on?


I would say learning pivots. Pivots are a type of transition move that can help improve your dancing on skates. They took me a very long time to perfect and they are a skill that I continue to work on.


Tell me about your most epic fail and your proudest moment while riding skates.


My proudest moment is going down a ramp at the skate park for the first time. The skate park is a new world for me and any accomplishment feels like a big one.

My biggest fails usually occur at the skate parks as well; lots of falling happens there.


What is your go to skate song or playlist to warm up to as soon as you take off?


"Want To Give It Up" by Ralphi Rosario. Whenever that beat kicks in I go crazy.


What is the best part of the roller skating community for you and why?


I’ll have to say going to skate parties. The energy is crazy and watching so many talented people skate and dance together is a great feeling!



Name: Kaitlin Espinoza

Social Handle: @kaitintheskywithdiamonds (personal) / @pixie.skates (skate)

City you rep: Los Angeles, CA

Favorite Pair of Roller Skates: Purple Moxi Lolly

So what inspired you to start skating? Is this a new hobby or something you have had in your life for a while?


What inspired me to start skating was my childhood and my love for going to rinks as a kid. I used to go with my friends and family growing up and suddenly as I grew older I wanted to get back in touch with those roots so I decided to buy myself a pair of skates. Roller skating is a new hobby of mine but I’ve always enjoyed it since I was young.


What is your go to song or playlist once you lace up your skates?


Yes when I put on my skates I feel like I’m floating and I am just filled with happiness, especially when I’m listening to music. I have a playlist I made on Spotify named “Rollerskrrt” and it’s filled with R&B, 70’s groove, Disco, Pop, and all my favorites songs to jam to. Some of my go to songs to skate to are “As I Am” by H.E.R., “American Boy” by Estelle, and “I’ll Be Around” by The Spinners.


How have new platforms like TikTok connected you with this amazing growing community of skaters?


The platforms we have today allow skaters to connect with each other and join together to share our love for skating. Instagram is definitely the place where you’ll find most of the skate community. We use hashtags to connect and some of us even have our own separate skate Instagram pages to document our journey and just share our skate skills. TikTok is another app that recently has gotten roller skating the attention of the public eye which has been responsible for the recent shortage of roller skates.


Do you think a new wave of culture will come from this lost art?


Definitely. You can sense this new wave of culture emerging of roller skating thanks to social media. I think it’s wonderful, and I hope people don’t forget about the important history of where roller skating arose from, there’s important black history embedded in roller skating. It’s coming back and here to stay.


Any goals you have for yourself when it comes to learning more tricks and skills?


My personal goal for myself when I skate is to become more smooth and swift with my skating. It’s one thing for me to get a truck down but to have it look smooth and look skillful is another. I always try to improve the things I know and try new things too because it’s fun to learn. There’s always something to learn and improve on that’s why I love it.


What is the best part of the roller skating community for you and why?


The best part of the roller skating community for me is the one thing that we can all agree on, is our love for skating. Those who skate will know the feeling and understand the joy it brings. There is a sense of unity in the skate community, we all just love to skate and be free, it’s good for the mind and good for the soul. It brings people together and I love that.


Any advice for people interested in learning how to skate?


My advice for anyone learning to skate is to just have fun. Trust yourself and be fearless. Anything you put your mind to, you can do. And embrace falling because it happens no matter what.



Name: Tyrick Kornegay

Social Handles: IG: @tkornegay_23 / Tiktok: @HUNCHOSK8

City you rep: Goldsboro, NC

Favorite Pair of Roller Skates: Vanilla Skates

So what inspired you to start skating?

Truthfully my story about skating is I was really born into it. My mom and dad met at the skating rink and my dad skated all the time, so I started when I was just 1 years old.


What is your go to song or playlist once you lace up your skates?

The songs that has your best interests is always the best music to listen to having your own vibe.


How has skating gotten you through the pandemic?

Skating is my relief - gets me through anything.


Who was your original roller skate inspiration?

My dad is my inspiration.


How have new platforms like Tiktok connected you with this amazing growing community of skaters?

It’s cool to see all the people from different states skating. You find out what everyone can do and what different moves they have.


Do you think a new wave of culture will come from this lost art?

Skating has been the wave forever and everybody will eventually see why everybody has such a good time skating.


What is the best part of the roller skating community for you and why?

The best part about skating in the community for me is just glad to put a smile on someone's face and just have fun.



Name: Sierah Lewis

Social Handle: @sierahskatez

City you rep: Temecula, CA

Favorite Pair of Roller Skates: Sure Grip - Tan

So what inspired you to start skating?


I got my own pair of skates when I was maybe 6 or 7 years old and taught myself how to use them but didn’t really stick to it. Fast forward to October 2019, one of my friends asked me if I wanted to go to the skating rink with them on a Friday night, after seeing all of the talent, good times, and pure happiness in the rink I started going every week until I eventually got my own pair.


Who was your original roller skate inspiration?


My original roller skate inspiration was @kellllllllllls (11 L’S), I saw a video of her skating on the beach go viral during quarantine, her skill, grace, and confidence on skates inspired me and I ordered my skates within hours of seeing the video.


How have new platforms like TikTok connected you with this amazing growing community of skaters?


I believe that the skating community on TikTok and especially Instagram, is such a useful and honestly inspiring thing! It takes skating to the next level, being able to look at others progress and compare it to your own, ask your community for help on a trick, or just being able to show off that one trick you’re so proud of, which is so important during this time of social distancing. Probably my favorite part of skating and social media is the connections you make, I have a group of girls who are commenting on my account everyday, hyping me up, boosting my confidence, and I haven’t met a single one of them, although I truly hope to be able to skate with all of them one day.


What genre of music do you associate the most with roller skating?


The genre of music I associate most with skating is funky rock music, those fast almost 70’s - 80’s beats when you’re flying down the rink or a sidewalk add another level of energy and excitement to the skate. I also really enjoy listening to slow R&B songs when I skate more slowly, creating my own little dances to their softer voices.


How has skating gotten you through the pandemic?


Skating has been my number one outlet during the quarantine, before I got my Sure Grips, I was constantly in bed all day, feeling bad about myself, wishing I had something that could give me more purpose and entertainment, since I could no longer leave the house. Since ordering my skates I have skated every single day of quarantine and it has given me so much joy and it’s something that I get up and look forward to doing everyday. I truly love it.


What is your go to song or playlist once you lace up your skates?


My go to song for skating right now is a playlist with a combination of The Weeknd, Kehlani, and Jhené Aiko. All of their voices make me feel so relaxed and almost lead my body while I’m skating.


Any advice for people interested in learning how to skate?


The best advice I’d have for anyone interested in learning to skate it is, DO IT! Skating has absolutely no boundaries, you can be any age, any size, any shape. Honestly if you have love for the activity, want to get better, and are okay with falling every once in a while then you will thrive, especially with all of the love and support that the rollerskating community gives. Skating has made me so so happy in just the short time I have been doing it and I have no regrets about ordering my pair.



Names: Allison & Zoe

Social Handle: @allysk8rgator / @zoerollerskates

City you rep: Sydney, Australia

Favorite Pair(s) of Roller Skates:


Allison: My custom skates. Clementine Moxi Lolly boot, Falcon pilot plate, Bionic super stoppers, Moxi Fundae wheels & Bones Big Ball bearings.


Zoe: My honeydew Moxi Lollys!


What inspired you both to start roller skating?


Allison: The movie Whip It! If you haven’t seen it, get that popcorn ready.


Zoe: It happened kind of randomly, a friend of mine asked me if I own any roller skates and suddenly I just couldn’t stop thinking about it and HAD to get a pair.


What is your favorite memory that involves roller skating?


Allison: This question is hard to answer as my entire skating experience has been life changing but if I was to pick one it would be my first skate meetup. I’ve met lots of wholesome skaters of all skill levels, we get to bounce off each other's energies. Dare me to do tricks and we will be best friends.


Zoe: I’d have to say my birthday just last week! I got my first pair of Moxis as a gift and spent the day skating with friends and family. So many lovely people, snacks, bubbles, dogs - just an all around perfect day.


What are your favorite songs or genres of music to skate to?


Allison: Da funk! My favourite song to jam to is ‘Move your feet’ by Junior Senior


Zoe: Anything funky! I like a little bit of everything.


How has skating brought you both closer together?


Allison: We first met in skates, it was an instant connection. We were both able to push each other and give each other the support we needed. Being two different types of skaters we were able to bring different skills to the table. You could say it was love at first stack.


Zoe: I met Ally for the first time at our local roller rink! So I’m so grateful for roller skating for introducing me to such a beautiful person.


Do you think a new wave of culture will come from this lost art?


Allison: Definitely. You can see the way skating has come back full force and with the way the world is these days and the use of social media it’s easy for something to be seen all around the world.

No matter where you come from there is a community there to welcome you with open arms and push you towards your goals.


Zoe: I can definitely see it coming! I’ve made a lot of new friends in just the last 2 months who have all just started skating.


Any goals you both have when it comes to learning more tricks and skills?


Allison: I have countless goals when it comes to tricks, I feel like Santa with my long list ticking one off at a time. My dream trick to nail is the Ho Ho, which is a handstand on top of a ramp. As I can’t do a handstand yet.. it makes it a bit more difficult.


Zoe: I’m currently working on my upper body and core strength so I can confidently take my hand stands to the skate park!


What is the best part of the roller skating community for you and why?


Allison: The best part of the community is the messages I have received from other skaters saying I have inspired them or made them want to start skating and that has inspired me to be a better skater. The support in the community is growing everyday and that’s a ramp I want to skate forever!


Zoe: How uplifting we are towards one another!



For a list of songs, artists, & genres (plus more) mentioned by these wonderful skaters check out Roller Skate Sounds on Spotify!




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BOP Magazine founded 2019

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