Do you even skate?

The Hidden Aspects Of Skating


Skateboarding factsSkateboards, kneepads, rollerblades, Vans: These are some of the things that come to mind when the term “skater” is used. Serving as its own subculture, the skating world has its own significance to the people that are connected to it, and students are no exception.

Roller skating became a trend on TikTok in early 2020, with multiple brands like Impala running out of stock of their most popular sizes and styles.
“Always get the right size because too tight means you can fall easily and too loose and you won’t get the right grip on the skate,” said freshman Raquel Amaya, who has been interested in skating for a long time.

“When I was younger, I was always interested in roller skating and would watch YouTube videos about tricks,” she recalls. “I remember watching many tutorials but I could never get it just right. I think it took me like a good two months just to balance myself. But I’ve made a lot of friends in the rink and I’m glad I have that as a sport and it helps me stay active.”

Nearby rinks include the one at Funplex and the Dairy Ashford Roller Rink. Most public rinks will rent skates on-site, the fee added to an admission cost. You can also purchase through your nearby sports gear store (ex. Academy or Sports Goods) or order online through trusted sites, such as Impala Roller Skates. Roller skates can be pricey, so be prepared to spend from $100 to $200.

However, when most people think of skaters, they immediately think of skateboards. Junior Diego Vasquez recalls how he started. “My brother-in-law basically forced me onto his longboard”, he said. “[Afterwards] I fell in love with that little tingly feeling when you think you’re gonna fall but you don’t. There’s no one feeling honestly… I just like feeling the board out when going down hills.”

In 2019, Southside Skatepark announced they were planning to create a skate park in Alief, in partnership with Action Sports Design. Through a Facebook post, they asked the skating and Alief community for input in the design of the park: What had started as a petition was quickly adopted by the district, having planned construction near the new Alief Community Center. However, according to a Southside Skatepark employee, the pandemic paused the project and it is currently unknown if the district will move forward with its plans.

With the lack of a nearby skate park, students have to find alternative places. “ I just casually skate around my neighborhood like twice a week,” said Vasquez. For those willing to go the distance, Southside Skatepark has an indoor park located at 510 Iowa St, South Houston, TX 77587. For a more extensive and open-air option, try visiting North Houston Skatepark at 12351 Kuykendahl Rd, Houston, TX 77067.

Though having multiple health benefits, the majority of students who choose to skate do so as means of de-stressing, referring to the activity as therapeutic for the intense and heavy workload.

“It’s a good way to stay active as well as taking your mind off of things,” Amaya said. “If I want to skate one day, I put a list of things to do before I go skating so I don’t have anything on the back of my mind and I’m more relaxed and free.”