I used to think that inline skates were a vindictive present bought for kids by their unwitting parents. Wheeled contraptions, designed to excite young minds, that for some, brought no joy, but only pain. This perception, in hindsight, was probably biased against the sport, and my parents, as I now believe my total lack of balance was key to my downfall(s). Fragments of skin would have marked my trail had I not spent time fastening my knee, wrist and elbow straps, followed by covering my crown with a battered helmet. By the end, my layers of padding had seen more action than John Terry’s PR team. But that is in the past, and I am now ready to move, somewhat hesitantly, onwards.
The UKFSA (UK Freestyle Skate Association) is the “governing body for freestyle skating sports in the UK”. Part of their mandate includes promoting and providing funding for freestyle skating within the UK. X in the City will provide a great platform for the UKFSA, allowing them to demonstrate their skills and encourage others to join in. The website www.sportsdefinitions.com, gives 46 different terms involved in freestyle skating, which is 45 more than I had. The only term I knew was “ouch!!”. However, “swizzling”, “rockering”, and “spacer” sound more like terms used at a 1970’s Woodstock festival, than at a blading competition.
YouTube videos see contestants dancing through a slalom of miniature cones, in what could be confused with a animalistic mating ritual. However, a combination of spatial awareness, agility and co-ordination make for quite a spectacle, and therefore the UKFSA can expect a lot of attention come October, when X in the City gets rolling.
Below are a few links to my favourite inline skate videos:
Check out “Asia’s number one” Kim Sun Jin (the bloke), weave his madness into our minds and through the cones: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GYNyaqZ9F2w
Footage from the 1st World Freestyle Skating Championships in Milan. Some great spaghetti leg action: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lE4BRPqninM&feature=related
A man “dancing” over a pack of fags without touching them: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xwkG1QjIWgI&feature=fvw