Edit ModuleShow Tags

I Tried It: Skate School

A writer channels her 80s childhood to attempt to master roller skating and roller derby


Published:

Skate school at Skateworld in Linda Vista. | Photo: Jay Reilly

You Try It!

All ages skate school and roller derby classes Tuesday and Saturday

$10 for 30 minutes instruction, 30 minutes open skate

Skateworld
6907 Linda Vista Road, Linda Vista

Stepping into Skateworld in Linda Vista is like entering a time warp—one that transports you back to a simpler time when all you needed was feathered hair, neon leggings, a pair of white skates, and some blaring Pat Benatar. Lacing up my own retro skates for Tuesday night skate school, I’m immediately transformed into my former ’80s Jersey girl self who spent many a Saturday “shooting the duck”—skating lingo for squatting down and sticking one leg straight out—at a childhood birthday party.

Once the nostalgia fades and reality sets in, however, I’m not nearly as coordinated as my tween self used to be. I realize quickly that roller skating is not at all like riding a bike—unless that bike is wobbly, awkward, and prone to falling down.

Thankfully, Melinda and Sami, who teach beginner skate basics and roller derby, respectively, are patient and forgiving. (The hard rink floor, not so much.) For 30 minutes, Melinda guides me around the inside track while skaters less than half my age geared up for derby lessons speed by on the outside. The half-hour lesson tests my cardiovascular stamina, my heart rate rising the faster I skate; my muscle strength, as I engage my core and quads to squat and raise one leg while in motion; my balance, to stay upright while on wheels; and my coordination, to do it all without crashing into anyone.

As I attempt to skate forward, backward, figure eight, and on one foot, more advanced students wearing helmets and pads practice speed skating and jumping over a limbo pole in preparation for roller derby tryouts. When I ask Melinda when she thinks I’ll be ready for such skating shenanigans, she kindly says, “Maybe three or four months. You’re not bad. You have the balance down; you just need to practice.” And then she offers me her hand and helps me up off the floor.

Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

More »Related Stories

Trail of the Month: Convention Center Loop

How to run or walk this nearly 5-mile trek in downtown San Diego

Where to Run in San Diego in October

This month's top 5Ks, 10Ks, marathons, and more

Trail of the Month: Crest Canyon

This 2.2-mile trek has all the beachy scenery
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Most Popular

  1. The Best of San Diego 2019
    Our annual compilation of everything delicious, cool, and Instagrammable in San Diego (and Baja!)
  2. The Problem With Bright Red Tuna
    Many Americans still think bright red tuna means it’s fresher (it’s not)
  3. First Look: Animae
    Puffer Malarkey Restaurants unveil 5.5 million-dollar pan-Asian concept
  4. Jason Mraz and his Historic Coffee Bean
    The singer and Bird Rock Coffee Roasters unveil the first California-grown Geisha coffee
  5. Morning Glory Is a Millennial Wonderland
    The Little Italy restaurant may finally break San Diego's aversion to brunch
  6. A Deep Dive into the San Diego Fishing Industry
    A $2 billion project is poised to revive San Diego’s commercial fishing industry
Edit ModuleShow Tags

Promotions

Not Your Grandma's Orthotics

New year, new – shoe? Staying on your feet for long hours at a time just got a whole lot more comfortable with Wiivv’s BASE custom insoles

October is Rideshare Month

Join the Rideshare 2015 Challenge and get there together
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module
Edit Module

Connect With Us:

Edit ModuleShow Tags

Sponsored

The Vape Debate

Two Scripps doctors weigh in on this dangerous trend

Kaiser Permanente San Diego Makes Life Easier

Kaiser Permanente brings high quality, affordable care to San Diegans when and where they need it
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit Module Edit Module
Edit ModuleShow Tags
Edit ModuleShow Tags