Blades of glory: Inside Melbourne’s rollerskate revival
Whether it’s at a skate park, a rink or in a bar, rollerskating is back and it’s here to stay.
On regular Wednesday nights in Melbourne, anywhere from 50 to 100 skaters gather for a street skate hosted by Melbourne Freeride, a Facebook group with more than 2000 members started by passionate skaters Cuong Huynh and Jess Jackson. Meeting at the iconic Cow Up a Tree sculpture on Harbour Esplanade in Docklands, the free session is for all comers from beginners to experienced, and both quad and inline skaters. The freeride events attract rollerskating enthusiasts of all ages and genders, as well as people riding scooters and skateboards. “We encourage all wheels,” says Jess.
When they’re not working (Cuong, 39, is the manager of Highett skate shop Bayside Blades and Jess, 35, is a professional dog walker) you’ll find them at skate parks in Melbourne’s inner north or skating the suburbs looking for interesting places – stairs and ledges, for example – to try their skills.