My first introduction to roller skating and roller rinks was when I watched the (totally underrated) 2011 movie Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules with my little brothers. Even though I was a little grossed out by the second-hand pizza the seventh graders were eating, the roller rink looked like a riot and ever since, I’ve wanted to try it out.
Lucky for me, roller skating has made a thrilling comeback over the pandemic, and it is once again a go-to activity for young and old alike.
In December 2021, dreams came true for a lot of Edmontonians when local roller skating shop owner, Claudia Garcia, opened Rollers Roller Rink. According to CTV News, it is the only rink in Alberta, and so far, it’s been a hit.
Garcia says that (she) “think(s) with COVID we saw a big resurgence of roller skating in general. It kind of started with a Vogue article that happened before COVID, and then it just progressed, and COVID just helped it along because all of the gyms closed down and (people) wanted to do something fun and get their mind off of the pandemic.”
The rink is in a space that used to be a gym, and so it features a huge skating area, changing rooms with lockers, a viewing area, and a separate (smaller) lesson area.
Rollers is perfect for anyone at any level. Are you an advanced skater? Well, then you can go anytime during the day or evening and rip up the roller dance floor. Are you a beginner? Then Rollers offers group lessons, or for a more budget-friendly option, you can go and test the waters during the quieter daytime hours.
Rollers offers beginner roller skating lessons as well as advanced/roller dance lessons. Garcia says that “the lessons are lots of fun because it isn’t just the lessons and the skills you learn, but also you get to meet some people who have a common interest.”
Lessons are $100 for a four-class session consisting of one lesson per week. The class sizes are small, so if you feel like you need some extra help, don’t worry — you will be able to learn at your own pace.
If you have your own skates, the regular entrance fee is $25, and if you need to rent skates, then you pay an extra $10 for rentals. A huge perk is that there is no limit on how long you can stay.
For a more budget-friendly option, there are also five skate punch cards available for $100 that you can use with friends and family.
Lastly, there are also monthly passes available for $150, which gives you unlimited access, and this is a good option for people who “may just want to come in for half an hour or an hour at a time,” Garcia says.
The rink itself is getting lots of cool upgrades over the next few months, including tinted windows. A brand new sound system was also just installed. Garcia also has her store in the rink, so if you are looking to buy some of your own skates or accessories, you easily can before you skate.
The rink is open weekdays from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m., and on Fridays and Saturdays, they stay open until midnight for an adult-only skate.
Rollers is located at 13543 St Albert Trail NW and is adjacent to a hub of restaurants, so don’t worry if you get ravenous — you can totally spend a day/evening just enjoying the area. The rink also has a small concession stand with prepackaged food and drinks available for purchase if you need a little pick-me-up while you’re skating.
I highly recommend grabbing your friends and checking Rollers out. I wasn’t sure what to expect, and even though I fell within the first minute that I was skating around, I loved it and can’t wait to go again.
If you want to book lessons or check out more information, visit the website at rollersrollerrink.ca.
Happy roller skating!
Image credit: Brett Boyd