Roller Skating Resurrects ’90s-Baby Fantasies

Millennials Find Four-Wheeled Freedom, from the Kitchen Island to the Next Reggie Rocket

The authors explore four-wheeled freedom. | Credit: Elio Cruz

When I think of roller skating, I see warm summer nights and hear music. Whether you’re stuck to a tile hallway in your apartment or cruising down the street without a care in the world, roller skating is good fun and a great workout. Just make sure you wear your helmet! 


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I spent a huge amount of time as a child racing around my neighborhood on rollerblades. I loved going as fast as I could, and at one point, my stubborn self decided to try skating with my hands and my feet. After sliding down the driveway face first, I never tried that again, but it couldn’t dampen my love for gliding through the street. I considered myself to be somewhat of an expert at skating, but that was only on blades. 

Photo: Elio CruzRicky Barajas

From the moment that I saw Roll Bounce, I wanted to groove on the quads too. After being cooped up from quarantining and seeing one too many TikToks about roller skating, I bought a pair and set out to teach myself how to use them, with the end goal of being able to skate backward as well as forward. Next mission was to find a crew to skate with, so when Celina asked if I wanted to join a socially distant skate sesh, I was ecstatic. —Ricky Barajas

When I first told Ricky I was interested in roller skating, I didn’t mention how, up until that point, my only experience was white-knuckling the curved edges of my kitchen island before breaking one of my mom’s potted plants. I’ve never been gifted in the athletic department, but what I lack in skill and agility I make up for in not taking myself too seriously if I’m not fantastic at something from the get-go.

Photo: Elio CruzCelina Garcia

I’ve always imagined roller skating as something another me does to pass the time in some kind of alternate universe. Now, quarantine isn’t exactly what I envisioned, but it seems just as good a time as any to chip away at something I have no excuses not to try. 

This past Saturday, Ricky; his partner, Elio; and I made plans to meet up and get our skate on in an empty parking lot. Cabrillo Boulevard sounded too ambitious for my amateur status, but once I grow out of my signature Gollum-like physicality — soon, hopefully! — I’ll be just one step closer to fulfilling my ’90s-baby fantasy and being the next Reggie Rocket. Y’all should join us next time! – Celina Garcia


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