The summer of rollerblading is upon us
Roller skates are making a comeback and we’re here for it.
While stay-at-home orders have forced people across the country to be more creative when exploring the world outside of their humble abodes, roller skates – America’s long (almost) lost staple of the 70s, 80s and 90s – saw a kind of resurgence. The popularity of the activity was noted most acutely in an international spike in viral roller skating videos on Instagram, TikTok and other forms of social media, in addition to the creation of entirely new brands selling the product.
An emblem of the culture of the time, roller skating joined cycling to define a summer unlike any other before it. Rather nostalgic modes of transportation truly took center stage in American life during the quarantine, which even led to supply shortages.
On TikTok in particular, where virality is the name of the game, the activity has grown in popularity – a search of #rollerskating on the platform reported 2.3 billion views. While it’s difficult to pinpoint exactly when the fashion took off, a video of actress Ana Coto gliding across Los Angeles as Jennifer Lopez’s “Jenny From the Block” stars in the background was seen over 14 million times on TikTok and will become arguably the most recognizable visual reminder of the trend.
Whether rollerblading is just a moment or whether the trend is here to stay remains to be seen. For what it’s worth, taking a peek at the teens and adults skating in cities brings back memories of a more upbeat and less anxious America – a picture we can’t get enough of just yet.
To that end, here are some weirdly calming videos of people sliding their way through the summer:
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