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What We Need... More Young Skaters Having Fun

roadskater's picture

One of the happy moments of the last week was when I was skating at Country Park and a little girl about of five years or so gleefully exclaiimed to her parents, "Look, Mom, he's ice skating!" I of course interpreted this to mean that I looked like an Olympic Ice Speedskater of awesomeness. (Please don't say there's no way.) I'm convinced kids love inline skating. How can we get them outdoors and skating with us so they can be the future of roadskating? Let's think how and do some of that.

Local girls named finalists in game-inventing contest - Sparta Independent -


Sparta Independent

Local girls named finalists in game-inventing contest
Sparta Independent - Feb 12, 2009
Everyone wears helmets, rollerblades or skates and knee pads. A netted goal is placed on either end of the court and the game starts with three air-filled ...
[Rollerblading]

Location

Sparta, New Jersey
United States
41° 1' 55.902" N, 74° 38' 17.3292" W

Comments

dreeves's picture

my plan for the future of skating

Good idea! My plan has been to find another skater, procreate with them, and then teach the resulting children to skate. Speaking of which: It's a boy! Cantor Maxwell Soule-Reeves was born on 2009-02-04! Faire will be 2 years old in May and it's high time to get her on skates. Anyone have tips on finding skates for 2-year-olds?
roadskater's picture

Yay yipee yowee yoohoo should I say yahoo?

Wow that is some awesome news. It is so great to hear from you. I was just looking at skating photos last night and thinking how often bethany is the hero of so many of my you can do it stories regarding doing Tour to Tanglewood! Congratulations to the WORLD that we are so lucky to have another baby of such awesome parents who happen to skate. Thank you so much for replying! Hope all is Max-well and especially Faire for all, and everyone's haptitude is high. I think I've only seen Barbie non-skates for 2fers...clack, clack, clack. Hmm. Anyone?
eebee's picture

Congratulations

That's so wonderful. Congrats to you, Bethany and Faire.

Good luck finding toddler skates that work, although I did see a five year old getting along smashingly with a pair of Barbie quad skates. We tried the Fisher Price plastic skates with my kids but they really didn't even roll! 

MikeB's picture

what a great question

First - congrats on new Baby Reeves. Only 10 days old. That is FANTASTIC....hope Mom and Baby are doing well. Getting more kids & people into roadskating means to reach out in different ways depending on age group. Kids of all ages rollerskate and play inline hockey, but that's primarily indoors. One idea to get them outside would be to partner with a roller rink staff & conduct a parking lot clinic/safety course; followed by a supervised paved trail skate. The rink could promote it as Team Jellybeans for example, w/rink give-aways, T shirts, etc. It could bring even more business to the rink. Teens seem to go for the extreme/aggressive skating. As a parent I'd be pretty nervous about that and prefer another form of skating. An introduction into competitive skating could be good. Why do some kids join cross country running? That mindset could somehow be tapped and turned to roadskating. College kids need motivation: maybe a campus club; general promotion of fitness; heck - faster way to get across campus, to the library, to the North Dorm to visit a girlfriend, to Alpha Kappa Beta to visit the sorority girlfriend, then to South Dorm to visit another girl. Then back to off campus housing just in time to get the obligatory phone call from the girlfriend back home........nicccccee. NCSU just had the Krispy Kreme Challenge - 100+ runners run 2 miles to Krispy Kreme, eat a dozen glazed donuts and run 2 miles back to campus. The goal is to be under 60 minutes. This year's champ was a little over 29 mins. Scary stuff, I hear ya. But point being - motivational factors create a turnout. And in this case, from participants that don't normally run. College kids love 'causes.' I could envision them skating for hours around the Ag.Dept. thinking that the wind generated from repeated laps around the cow pasture will disperse high concentrations of methane thereby resulting in better local air quality. Why do so many people turn to cycling instead of roadskating? Answering that question would be enlightening.
eebee's picture

"I have a pair of Rollerblades in the back of my closet"

Most people learn to ride a bike at a very young age (or at least, it's what people used to do). They remember all it takes is a couple of brake squeezes to stop.

Many people tottered around on skates of some kind at a young age, but may or may not have learned how to brake properly, especially if they perceived their speed to be much slower than when they were on their bikes. Besides, when you're a kid, crashing is never going to happen to you so why bother to learn how to brake? 

The predominant fear factor in most adults I've spoken to, prohibiting them from trying those Rollerblades in the closet once again, is that they can't stop. Most folk over 30 want to know how to stop before they even begin skating, so they can learn to go at their own speed. They are so afraid of being out of control. I remember that was my biggest fear at my first breaking clinic in Piedmont Park in 1999. Wow it's been almost ten years!! 

A common adult misconception about inline skating is that some people must've just been born on skates and those are the only lucky ones who can swan around the park gracefully. 

Another phrase I hear so often from soccer/baseball/basketball/football moms is "Oh I bought a pair of Rollerblades but I couldn't get down my driveway in them so I put them in the back of my closet". Whenever I hear this I tell them that I had to learn from professional coaches, first how to brake, then how exactly to skate properly, and that it's something vey specific that everybody can learn. Of course I'm hardly recruiting depressed, overweight housewives to my thrilling life on skates, so at that point in the conversation they scoff and turn away, uttering comments about how they could never skate like me anyway. My God, if they could only have seen the defeated, sobbing heap I was at my first speedskate workshop.

Free braking clinics of the kind the Nat'l Skate Patrol folks put on are a great service to 'growing the sport'.

dreeves's picture

zeroth birthday greetings for Cantor

Thanks everyone! :)

Want to add some skate-related greetings to little Cantor? The page is not very spambot resistant so let me point you to it slightly cryptically: it's etherpad.com and then a slash and then "cantor" without the quotes.

 Can't wait to see everyone -- hopefully Tanglewood at the very latest!

roadskater's picture

Good Stuff, Amigo

Etherpad is good stuff, amigo. I am just going to go ahead and assume you made that! I promise my comments here and plays on words were made without knowing what had already been said on the etherpad. So much for being original, of course, but even if not original, silly is OK with me, obviously. Ha! Yes, by Tanglewood at least we hope, and we'd like to see you at the Carolina Century (likely after Athens to Atlanta) as well if possible. No matter what, we definitely want to see you guys this year (let's not forget there's the Big Apple Roll, everyone).

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