Glide into a new roller skater’s heart with these cool gifts
For your favorite person on eight wheels.
Roller skating never stopped being cool, but this year the sport has picked up legions of new fans. And why not? It’s an outdoor activity in a time when socializing indoors is dangerous, it’s perfectly suited for making viral videos on Instagram or TikTok, and it makes you look really cool (when you’re not falling). If you have any friends or family members who’ve gotten big into skating this year, you probably already know that it’s not just a recreational activity—it’s a way of life. Here are some gifts to help your favorite skater cruise in comfort and style.
The great skate wrangler
Skating is fun as heck, and it can also be a great way to get around. But for a newbie, it’s best to save the wheels for spots where you know you can skate without fear of careening down steep hills or into traffic. Unless you live right next to a skate park, rink, or silky smooth slab of pavement (jealous), you’ll probably be commuting in street shoes and slipping your skates on once you’ve reached a prime location. Enter the skate leash: These simple lengths of fabric allow you to sling your skates over your shoulder, providing a convenient way to carry them without risking them getting all tangled up with the stuff in your backpack.
A set of protective pads
Safety is sexy. You might be impressed by advanced skaters who spin and leap all over your TikTok feed with nary an elbow pad in sight, but trust that their grace and stability is the result of years (years!) of falling down. Triple Eight is the gold standard in skating safety gear, and their pads come in convenient starter packs (and fun colors). Knee pads, elbow pads, and wrist-guards will give you the protection you need to skate safely, fall properly, and avoid ruining your precious joints.
Something to soak in
No matter how well you balance and how many pads you wear, you’re bound to pick up a few gnarly bruises as you learn to skate. Soak the pain away with these luxurious CBD-infused bath salts. The jury is still out on whether CBD actually helps with topical pain relief or relaxation, but these sachets of bath tea are irrefutably soothing either way.
A super cool fanny pack
Roller skaters wear fanny packs—that’s just a fact. Why? Well, for starters, fanny packs are the best. They’re also a great place to store your wallet and phone while you skate; they’re less likely to impede your movement than most backpacks, tangle up your legs unlike a purse or tote, and get obliterated during a fall.
Something to keep you on your toes
Unless you’re picking up some super-smooth dance moves as a jam skater, you’re going to want toe stops. The rubberized little appendages give you extra control while turning, doing fast footwork, and sometimes even while stopping. If you’re playing roller derby, you might want to start out with extra-large stops to give yourself more stability when you’re on your toes. But if your skating activities are more in the realm of twirling around parks and sidewalks, you can indulge in something cuter.
Doughnuts for your feet
An investment for your noggin
Remember how we said that safety is sexy? Safety can also be adorable. Triple Eight’s helmets are a great buy to protect your beautiful brain, and they come in some awesome styles and color combos. The store’s bound to have an option that perfectly fits your signature style.
If you give a roller skater a helmet, they’ll probably ask for some stickers to put on it. The extra swag doesn’t have to be about roller skating, but we think this option is pretty great. And as the above photo demonstrates, your gift recipient doesn’t have to limit their sticker placement to their helmet.
Tools to keep you cruising
Skate maintenance might not be as sexy as a rad new helmet, but it’s important for keeping a skater moving as safely and smoothly as possible. You might not know what bearings are yet, or why you might need a special tool (or three) for your skates, but we promise you’ll find out soon enough. Best to be prepared!
Little hats for your toes
Toe caps aren’t as necessary as a helmet or a pair of wrist-guards—your little piggies won’t gain any extra protection from them—but they’ll help protect your precious skates from scuffing and other wear. Plus, they provide yet another opportunity to customize your look.
A big skate upgrade
Are you ready for a revolutionary improvement in your skate game? Splurging on expensive skate boots isn’t the only way to get better, but if the pair you started learning with is looking ragged or doesn’t feel quite right, consider a higher-quality replacement. Bonts are the brand of choice for loads of elite roller derby players and speed skaters, and the company’s Parkstar model is an awesome upgrade for anyone looking to improve their park, bowl, or street skills. You can even customize the color scheme of your boots.
The ultimate piece of safety gear
Whether you’re skating with friends or just looking to show off your favorite hobby while running errands, this retro skate mask will ensure you stay safe from COVID-19 while looking just as fearless.