FIRST of all, this was never going to be a good idea for me. Historically, I do not do well with little wheels under my feet, and painful misadventures in skateboarding, rollerblading and roller skating pepper my past. But yet, when Rollercade opened at Battery Park in the V&A Waterfront, I had a sudden rush of blood to the head and thought I’d give it another go.
Roller skating just looks so damn cool. I’m hopelessly nostalgic when it comes to the romance of roller rinks, gliding around under pink lights and sparkling mirror balls, hand in hand with a sweetheart and KC And The Sunshine Band suggesting we Get Down Tonight.
The reality is very different. When someone who can actually roller skate told me at our age we fall differently and can get quite badly hurt, I began to have my doubts. Especially since I know of people who have tripped over fresh air and broken their ankles. Plus I am currently obsessed with boxing training and didn’t want to incur any injuries that might jeopardise that. “Boxing is everything, boxing is life!” my friend (and fellow boxer) Nicole Biondi and I chanted together.
So after a brief discussion in the car park, and a recce around the rink, we decided we’d rather spectate and play pool than take our chances. Yes, I did feel like a bit of a big girl’s blouse for copping out, but when even the experts take a tumble – and they do – it feels better to be cautious. I don’t have medical aid either.
Don’t let my yellow belly put you off though. There are marshals to help you, and even rolling frames (like a Zimmer but on wheels) to help you get around until you find your feet. And for those who can already remain upright, it’s a fun and social couple of hours (there are two-hour sessions throughout the day), with the disco lights and the music (contemporary, not retro).
Rollercade is inside the parking garage which you enter from Alfred Street (opposite the Signature Lux Onomo Hotel), and down one level, in case you miss the sign. Therefore, it is a section of converted parking space. Entry protocols are in place. Skates and safety equipment is available to hire, there is a VIP area for private parties or functions, snacks and cool drinks come out of vending machines, and there’s a big screen playing movies.
There are two pool tables, so Nicole Biondi and I decided that’s where we’d spend our time. Even knowing each other for years, we’d only recently discovered our mutual love of the game and how we’d both played excessively in the glorious days of old. If I could ride a bicycle, I’d say it was just like that, but I can’t and it mostly wasn’t. Rusty doesn’t even begin to cover it, but we loved every moment and it meant our R5 coins stretched far as we knocked those balls around.
Rematch, Nicole Biondi?
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PHOTO CREDIT: BIANCA COLEMAN ©