Outdoor Skaters Unite!

Philly skater Cohen Thompson has been making headlines for his incredible skating ability, and once again for his efforts to bring outdoor roller skating to his community.

So happy to see that community leaders are supporting this. Too often I’ve seen skaters shooed out of public parks and recreation areas just for trying to exercise the way they choose.

Why do cities prioritize space for tennis courts for a chosen few, when we could invest in multi-purpose areas for more varied interests and serve more of the community?

Now that more skaters are having to roll outside, due to the Co-vid19 pandemic, conversations with our community leaders and park officials are going to be very important. Skaters are going to need to coordinate and show up in numbers so that we can’t be ignored.

A few years ago, I interviewed one of the most successful community advocates for outdoor roller skating. David Miles Jr., San Francisco’s “Godfather of Skate.” Over the last 40 years, he has developed a very vibrant and successful skate community producing over 2000 skate events, many which have been featured in national magazines including Sports Illustrated and on the front page of newspapers throughout the country.

Since arriving in California from Kansas City in 1979, D has developed great working relationships with the local government in the city and county of San Francisco to create a positive image for skaters and help implement laws that benefit skaters.

Here again are his thoughts on how to start, and grow a thriving outdoor skating community in your city!

David Miles Jr. is the owner of the Church of 8 Wheels, San Francisco, CA. Since co-vid shut down his rink, he recently added an online skate shop offering official Church of 8 Wheels skates, wheels and accessories.